Minnie Turner was born in 1866 in London, then moved to Brighton. A Liberal, she first
became a member of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), but then
joined the more militant Women’s Social and Political Union WSPU in 1908.
Minnie ran Seaview a boarding house at 13-14 Victoria Road, Montpelier in Brighton as both a
holiday destination and a refuge for suffragettes recovering from imprisonment, hunger-strikes
and forcible feeding. There is a Blue Plaque at this address commemorating Minnie’s life and
work and her support of the Suffragette movement.

Her guests included WSPU leaders Emmeline Pankhurst, Annie Kenney, Flora Drummond, Emily Wilding Davison, Constance Lytton and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence.
Emmeline Pankhurst’s sister, Mary Clarke, lived at Seaview while working as Brighton’s WSPU organiser and in 1910 she and Minnie were both arrested outside the House of Commons. In 1911 Minnie was imprisoned for breaking a Home Office window. When hostile local men broke Seaview’s windows in 1913, she hoisted a sign saying “Male Logic”.

Minnie Turner in her garden

Minnie was a member of the Tax Resistance League (TRL), whose members refused to pay taxes when they could not vote. In 1912 her goods were seized and sold at auction in lieu of tax. After the War she was elected to the Brighton Board of Guardians and served for 7 years at the Brighton Workhouse. She died in 1948.