Image above: A picture of Muriel in 1909
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Muriel Matters was a professional actress before coming to England. She became involved with the suffragette movement and earned her spurs by chaining herself to a grille in the Ladies Gallery of the House of Commons. She later studied under Maria Montessori, the radical Italian educationalist, and returned to work at Sylvia Pankhurst's school in Bow, East London.
The Grille Incident
On 6 February 1909, King Edward officially opened Parliament for the coming year. As a part of the festivities there was a precession to the Houses of Parliament led by His Majesty. To gain attention to the suffrage cause, Matters’ decided to hire a dirigible air balloon (similar to a modern-day blimp in appearance) and intended to shower the King and the Houses of Parliament with WFL pamphlets.