Humanitarian League

The  Humanitarian League  was an organization that was formed in England in 1891 by Henry Salt who was also the general secretary and editor. Other founding members were John Galsworthy, Colonel WL Blenkinsop Coulson,  [1] and Edward Carpenter. Its aim was to uphold the principle that it is unfair to cause unnecessary suffering to any sentient being.The League opposed both corporal and capital punishment. Its other objectives include banning all hunting as a sport, and it was also strongly opposed to vivisection. HL thus anticipated the modern animal rights movement. Notable supporters of HL include Keir Hardie, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, Bertram Lloyd (1881-1944)  [2]  and Christabel Pankhurst. [3]

The union was closed in 1920.  [4]


  1. Jump up ^ Colonel Coulson
  2. Jump up ^ See The collected letters of Thomas Hardy: Vol. 5 1914 – 1919 by Thomas Hardy, Little Richard Purdy and Michael Millgate. Clarendon, 1985.
  3. Jump up ^ Hilda Kean, Animal Forensic: political and social change in Britain since 1800 , Reaction Books, 1998.
  4. Jump up ^ Henry S. Salt – Humanitarian League