Lilian Metge

Lilian Metge (1871-1954)

Lilian was born Lillian Grubb in 1871. Her father was Richard Grubb and her maternal grandfather was Jonathan Richardson of Glenmore, Liberal MP for Lisburn (1857–63) and senior partner in the Quaker firm, Richardson, Sons and Owden.

In 1892 she married Captain Robert Metge MP. After he died in 1900, she and her two daughters moved to Lisburn, where in 1910 she helped to establish Lisburn Suffrage Society. She was treasurer for the northern committee of the Irish Women’s Suffrage Federation (IWSF) until the brutal treatment by police of a suffrage demonstration in London convinced her to become a suffrage militant. She joined the Ulster Centre of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) and participated in a number of militant activities.

In 1914, she and three other women were arrested for blowing out the stained glass window of Lisburn Cathedral but were released under the amnesty given to the suffrage prisoners at the start of the First World War. Metge remained close to Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and to Dorothy Evans, the WSPU organiser in Ulster, and eventually moved to live in Dublin.