Lethal White: Parliament Prediction ‘Hit’

On 24 August this year, Friend of This Blog Lesley Stevens wrote me from the UK with this prediction about Lethal White:

I just wanted to send you this extract from a newspaper article I found on line re St Mary’s Undercroft. Whilst I appreciate it probably has no relevance at all, it just made me wonder that with JKR having such strong political views, that she may have been aware of this story of Emily Wilding, who untimely died under the hooves of a horse, and her night in St Mary’s Undercroft. 

‘Yet there have been moments when the two worlds met. On January 1, 1911, the night of the national census, Emily Wilding Davison – a militant suffragette – hid in a St Mary’s Undercroft cupboard.

As a result, her entry in the census recorded her address as ‘the House of Commons’ – a declaration that she had a right to sit, as well as sleep, in parliament. She died when, as a more dramatic protest, she ran in front of King Edward’s racehorse on Derby day. 

The memorial plaque, inside the cupboard, is a tribute and an apology from the MPs whose predecessors denied her access for so long. It adds to the tranquillity of the most peaceful place in the whole Houses of Parliament.’

A woman fighting for her rights dying through contact with a horse ! Just a thought! 

In Lethal White Robin is undercover in the House of Commons. At one point she descends into its depths to read a text from Cormoran and finds herself in a “crypt,” one “decorated like a medieval jewel casket.”

The minutes slid by and still Strike hadn’t answered. Robin got up and walked around the chapel. At the very back she found a cupboard. Opening it, she saw a plaque to suffragette Emily Davison. Apparently, she had slept there overnight so that she could give her place of residence as the House of Commons on the census of 1911, seven years before women were given the vote. Emily Davison, she could not help but feel, would not have approved of Robin’s choice to place a failing marriage above freedom to work.

Bullseye, Lesley! We get to claim at least partial credit for this remarkable ‘hit’ because a post at HogwartsProfessor about a Rowling Twitter Header in February led to the identification of St Mary’s Undercroft chapel by Beatrice Groves as a likely scene in Lethal White. But the plaque find and the link of Davison, death, and horses is all yours, Lesley. I’ll be sending your Order of Nostradamus medal, First Class, and attendant paperwork out tomorrow.


  1. Congratulations and well deserved award, Lesley Stevens! Great connecting link taking the text to the next level.

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