[Newington butts were lively]
Author: Alice Stewart Ker (1853-1943)
This poem appears in our anthology
Publication: Holloway Jingles
Publication type: Chapbook
A full copy of this poem is available.
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Archive/Library: National Library of Scotland
This poem appears in Holloway Jingles, a collection of poems written by militant suffragettes serving sentences in Holloway Prison during March and April, 1912, which were compiled by a Glaswegian inmate, Nancy A. John, and subsequently published by the Glasgow branch of the W.S.P.U. (the militarist Women's Social and Political Union). The poem is written by Dr Alice Stewart Ker, a Scottish physician educated in Dublin, who often went under the alias of Jane Warton. She was a supporter of the Temperance movement and became involved in a Theosophical society. She was released early from her sentence in Holloway Prison, either due to illness or forcible feeding. This poem recounts Ker's trial by jury and 'Justice Lawrie'. The speaker states that 'The lies piled up like snow drifts' and that the judge was biased: 'except for Justice Lawrie / I'd be far away and free'. The poem is set to the song 'Annie Laurie', a Scottish song believed to have been written by William Douglas. Alice Ker has an entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.