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This plaque for feminist writer and founding figure in the Union of Ethical Societies, Zona Vallance, was created by another active member of both the suffrage and Ethical movements: enamellist Ernestine Mills. Displayed in the secular ‘Ethical Church’, occupied by the West London Ethical Society from 1909, it was a testament to the esteem in which Vallance was held by the early humanist movement, as well as to many of its members’ active involvement in efforts for women’s equality. The Church’s interior was decorated by Walter Crane, and ornamented with art and sculpture representing the ethical ideals of the Society. Sadly, after the sale of the Ethical Church in the 1950s, the fate of this plaque (and many other items of note within the building) are unknown, but an image of it was reproduced in a pamphlet written by Stanton Coit. He described it as ‘representing a Joan of Arc figure bearing an ensign of purple, green and white, the colours of the Women’s Social and Political Union’, commemorating Zona Vallance’s devotion to the political and economic emancipation of women. Following her death in 1904 aged just 44, the Society introduced an annual ‘Woman Sunday’ in Vallance’s honour.

The plaque inscription reads:

This tablet has been placed here by the committee of the
West London Ethical Society
in special remembrance of
Miss Zona Vallance
6 February 1860 – 15 December 1904
She was one of the founders of the Union of Ethical
Societies and of the Moral Instruction League. She also
devoted her many intellectual gifts to the cause
of political and economic
emancipation for women.

Made by Heritage Creative