Margory Lees

Margory Lees was born in 1878. Her mother, Sarah Anne Lees, was the founder of the National Union of Women Workers. In 1910 Margory was appointed president of Oldham Women's Suffrage Society, a branch of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies.

In October 1909 Margory Lees helped establish the Tax Resistance League (TRL). Founder members of the organisation included Louisa Garrett Anderson, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Margaret Nevinson, Cicely Hamilton, Edith How-Martyn, Sime Seruya, Maud Arncliffe Sennett, Lena Ashwell, Dora Montefiore, Beatrice Harraden, Evelyn Sharp and Eveline Haverfield. The TRL remained under the auspices of the Women's Freedom League. The motto adopted by the TRL was "No Vote No Tax".

In 1913 the National Union of Women Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) had nearly had 100,000 members. Katherine Harley, a senior figure in the NUWSS, suggested holding a Woman's Suffrage Pilgrimage in order to show Parliament how many women wanted the vote. According to Lisa Tickner, the author of The Spectacle of Women (1987) argued: "A pilgrimage refused the thrill attendant on women's militancy, no matter how strongly the militancy was denounced, but it also refused the glamour of an orchestrated spectacle."

Members of the NUWSS set off on 18th June, 1913. The North-Eastern Federation, the North and East Ridings Federation, the West Riding Federation, the East Midland Federation and the Eastern Counties Federation, travelled the Newcastle-upon-Tyne to London route. The North-Western Federation, the Manchester and District, the West Lancashire, West Cheshire and North Wales Federation, the West Midlands Federation, and the Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire Federation travelled on the Carlisle to the capital route. The South-Western Federation, the West of England Federation, the Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire Federation walked from Lands End to Hyde Park.

Margory Lees led the Oldham contingent. Lisa Tickner has pointed out: "Most women travelled on foot, though some rode horses or bicycles, and wealthy sympathisers lent cars, carriages, or pony traps for the luggage. The intention was not that each individual should cover the whole route but that the federations would do so collectively." Margory Lees, claimed that the pilgrimage succeeded in "visiting the people of this country in their own homes and villages, to explain to them the real meaning of the movement."

In 1918 she became president of the Oldham Women's Citizens' Association and of the local branch of the National Council of Women. In 1919 she was elected to Oldham Town Council. She held the seat for the next 15 years.

Margory Lees died in 1970.