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Lizzy Lind af Hageby

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Lizzy Lind af Hageby

Lizzy Lind Af Hageby
Lizzy Lind af Hageby, seated, middle, with members of the International Anti-Vivisection Congress, including Caroline Earl White (to her right), Washington, D.C., December 1913.
Born Emilie Augusta Louise Lind af Hageby
(1878-09-20)20 September 1878
Died 26 December 1963(1963-12-26) (aged 85)
7 St Edmunds Terrace, St Johns Wood, London NW8
Citizenship Swedish, British
Alma mater Cheltenham Ladies' College
London School of Medicine for Women
Occupation Writer, anti-vivisectionist
Organization Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society (ADAVS)
The Anti-Vivisection Review
Purple Cross Service
Ferne Animal Sanctuary
Known for Brown Dog affair
Notable work(s) The Shambles of Science: Extracts from the Diary of Two Students of Physiology (1903)
Parents Emil Lind af Hageby (father)

Emilie Augusta Louise "Lizzy" Lind af Hageby (20 September 1878 – 26 December 1963) was a Swedish-British feminist and animal rights advocate who became one of England's most prominent anti-vivisection activists. She co-founded the Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society (ADAVS), founded The Anti-Vivisection Review, and ran an animal sanctuary at Ferne House in Dorset with the Duchess of Hamilton. She became best known as the co-author of The Shambles of Science: Extracts from the Diary of Two Students of Physiology (1903), a diary of vivisection demonstrations she attended in London.

Born to a distinguished Swedish family, Lind af Hageby enrolled at the London School of Medicine for Women in 1902, together with another Swedish activist, Leisa Schartau, to advance her anti-vivisectionist education. The women attended several vivisections at University College London, and in 1903 their description of the vivisection of a dog there led to a scandal when they accused the researchers of having performed the procedure without adequate anaesthesia. The controversy, which became known as the Brown Dog affair, lasted seven years and led to rioting in London by medical students, who were angered by the description of their work.[1]

Lind af Hageby spent the rest of her life writing and speaking about animal protection, and about the link between feminism and vegetarianism.[2] A skilled orator, she broke a record in 1913 for the number of words spoken during a trial, when she spoke 210,000 words and asked 20,000 questions during an unsuccessful libel suit she brought against the Pall Mall Gazette, which had criticized her campaigns.[3] This was at a time when women could not be admitted as lawyers in the UK.[4] The Nation called her testimony "the most brilliant piece of advocacy that the Bar has known since the day of Russell, though it was entirely conducted by a woman."[5]

She became a British citizen in 1912, and for several decades worked together with a small group of upper-class women – suffragettes, feminists and animal advocates – who sought to challenge the largely male medical establishment's attitude towards women and nonhuman animals.[6]

Early life and education

Born into a wealthy and noble Swedish family, Lind af Hageby was the granddaughter of the embroidering.[8]

When Lind af Hageby spoke to the Glasgow Vegetarian Society in 1914, a Daily Mail journalist reported that he had expected to find a "square jawed, high browed, slightly angular, and severely and intellectually frugal looking" woman, but instead found "a pretty, little, plump woman, with kind brown eyes, eyes that twinkle ... She was not even dowdy and undecorative. Her blue dress was ... pretty as anyone could wish." He wrote that he was "almost converted to vegetarianism" by her "straight, hard logic."[9]

After college Lind af Hageby spent time in Paris in 1900, where she and a Swedish friend, Leisa Katherine Schartau, visited the Pasteur Institute.[10] They were distressed by the vivisection they saw there, and when they returned to Sweden joined the Nordiska samfundet till bekämpande av det vetenskapliga djurplågeriet (the Nordic Anti-Vivisection Society). Lind af Hageby became its honorary chair in 1901. In 1902 the women decided to move from Sweden to England, and enrol at the London School of Medicine for Women to gain the medical education they needed to train themselves as anti-vivisection activists.[6]

Writing and activism

The Shambles of Science

Bayliss v. Coleridge (November 1903), was shown this reconstruction of the brown dog's vivisection. William Bayliss is standing at the front.

Demonstration in London, July 1909, part of an international anti-vivisection conference organized by Lind af Hageby

Demonstration in London's Trafalgar Square, 19 March 1910, to protest the removal of the Brown Dog memorial statue from Battersea Park. A banner from Lind af Hageby's Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society can be seen in the background.

Lind af Hageby and Schartau began their studies in the autumn of 1902. The women's college did not perform vivisection, but students there had visiting rights at other colleges, so they visited King's College and University College – the latter a centre of animal experimentation – to observe and maintain a diary of the experiments.[1]

In April 1903 the women showed their 200-page diary to Stephen Coleridge (1854–1936), secretary of the British National Anti-Vivisection Society. It contained one allegation, in a chapter called "Fun," that caught his eye, namely that a dog had been operated on multiple times over a two-month period by several researchers, then dissected – without anaesthesia, according to Lind af Hageby and Schartau – in front of an audience of medical students. The women wrote that, during the final experiment on 2 February 1903, conducted by William Bayliss (1860–1924), they had watched as the dog was brought into the lecture theatre strapped to a board and had his neck cut open.[1] They said the dog was struggling and the students were laughing:[11]

Today's lecture will include a repetition of a demonstration which failed last time. A large dog, stretched on its back on an operation board, is carried into the lecture-room by the demonstrator and the laboratory attendant. Its legs are fixed to the board, its head is firmly held in the usual manner, and it is tightly muzzled.

There is a large incision in the side of the neck, exposing the gland. The animal exhibits all signs of intense suffering; in his struggles, he again and again lifts his body from the board, and makes powerful attempts to get free.[11]

If true, the allegations meant that the experiment had violated the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876, which required for the kind of procedure Bayliss was engaged in that the animal be anaesthetized and used in only one experiment before being euthanized (there were other licences available that permitted the vivisection of conscious animals). Coleridge accused Bayliss in public of having broken the law. Bayliss responded with a lawsuit.[1]

The libel trial opened in November 1903, by which time the diary had been published by Ernest Bell of Covent Garden, first as Eye-Witnesses, and later as The Shambles of Science: Extracts from the Diary of Two Students of Physiology. Lind af Hageby and Schartau testified that they had been the first to arrive at the lecture theatre, and watched as the dog was brought in. They observed scars from the previous operations, and saw an incision in the neck where two tubes had been placed. They said they had not smelled the alcohol, chloroform and ether mix that the researchers said had been used as an anaesthetic and had not seen any apparatus that would deliver it. They testified that the dog had been arching his back and jerking his legs, movements they regarded as "violent and purposeful."[12]

Bayliss testified that the dog had been anaesthetized and was suffering from chorea, a disease that caused involuntary spasm; he said any movements were not purposive, and that the dog had been euthanized after the procedure.[12] The jury accepted his account, and on 18 November awarded him £2,000 with £3,000 costs.[13] The publisher of The Shambles of Science withdrew the book and agreed to hand over all remaining copies.[14] Lind af Hageby's ADAVS republished it without the chapter called "Fun," and with a new chapter about the trial, printing a fifth edition by 1913. The protracted scandal prompted the government to set up the Second Royal Commission on Vivisection in 1907. Coral Lansbury writes that Coleridge was appalled when the government appointed vivisectors to the commission and allowed it to sit in private.[15]

Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society

Lind af Hageby co-founded the [17]

Lind-af-Hageby v Astor and others

Dr. Caleb Saleeby's articles about Lind af Hageby triggered the 1913 libel suit.[3]

She became known for her brilliance as a speaker and debater, particularly after a second libel trial in 1913, when she sued Dr. Caleb Saleeby, a physician, eugenicist and journalist, the Pall Mall Gazette, its owner William Waldorf Astor, its editor James Louis Garvin, and its printer D. C. Forrester. The suit was in response to two articles by Saleeby in May 1912, prompted by a graphic vivisection display ADAVS had run in its Picadilly shop, which Helen Rappaport writes attracted crowds of horrified onlookers. Saleeby's response was to accuse Lind af Hageby in the Gazette of "a systematic campaign of falsehood."[6]

Representing herself during the trial, which lasted from 1–23 April, she defended herself for a total of 32 hours, at a time when women were not admitted as lawyers in the UK. Her opening statement lasted nine-and-a-half hours, her evidence nine hours, her cross-examination eight-and-a-half hours, her closing statement three-and-a-half hours. The New York Times reported that she had spoken 210,000 words, and had asked 20,000 questions of 34 witnesses. The case apparently broke records for the number of words. The judge, Mr. Justice Bucknill, said she had cross-examined as well as any barrister could have done. "Her final speech was a very fine one," he said. "She is a woman of marvellous power. Day after day she showed no sign of fatigue and did not lose her temper."[3]

She lost the case, but it attracted welcome publicity for her work.[18] The Nation wrote on 24 April 1913: "The long trial revealed the most brilliant piece of advocacy that the Bar has known since the day of Russell, though it was entirely conducted by a woman. Women, it appears, may sway courts and judges, but they may not even elect to the High Court of Parliament."[5] A vegetarian dinner was held in her honour when the trial ended. The words of one after-dinner speaker, Colonel Sir Frederick Cardew, suggested how important women were seen to be to the anti-vivisectionist cause: "The day that women get the vote will be the day on which the death-knell of vivisection will be sounded."[19]

First World War and peace movement

During World War I she joined the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace, set up veterinary hospitals for horses hurt on the battlefield,[6] and with the cooperation of the French government created the Purple Cross Service for wounded horses.[17] She also opened a sanatorium in France for soldiers wounded at Carqueiranne, and wrote anti-war pamphlets, including one that appealed to women: "Be Peacemakers. An Appeal to Women of the Twentieth Century to Remove the Causes of War" (1924). Rappaport writes that she became involved after the war in protesting against cruel sports, including the hunting of pregnant hares, supported the Our Dumb Friends' League, and opposed the sale of old horses to slaughterhouses.[6]



book cover
Title page of the fifth edition of The Shambles of Science. The first edition was published in July 1903 by Ernest Bell of Covent Garden, later editions by ADAVS.

Lind af Hageby was opposed to vivisection both for the sake of the animals and because she regarded it as bad science, though she told a Royal Commission on Vivisection that she had "no objection to vivisection, provided that the vivisectors experiment on themselves."[14] She argued that it was not enough to vilify vivisection; activists had to educate themselves so that they understood the science well enough to be able to argue their case.[20]

She continued throughout her life to advocate social reform and economic equality as the main way to overcome human disease,[21] living as a strict vegetarian and becoming a board member of the London Vegetarian Society.[7] She was also active in Henry Stephens Salt's Humanitarian League. Leah Leneman writes that Lind af Hageby saw Darwin's theory of natural selection – the Origin of Species had been published in 1859 – as essential to the cause of animals, because it "brought about the decay of the old anthropocentric idea of man ... It taught that if there is this kinship physically between all living creatures, surely a responsibility rests upon us to see that these creatures, who have nerves as we have, who are made of the same flesh and blood as we are, who have minds differing from ours not in kind but in degree, should be protected ..."[22]


She was also active in several women's organizations, including the Women's Freedom League, arguing that the kinship she felt between humans and non-humans had implications for the enfranchisement and education of women, and that support for animals and women was connected to a "general undercurrent of rising humanity."[17] Indeed, the connection between rights for women and animals, neither of them regarded as persons during Lind af Hageby's lifetime, had been starkly illustrated a century earlier when Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) was swiftly followed by a parody and reductio ad absurdum, Vindication of the Rights of Brutes, written anonymously by a Cambridge philosopher.[23]

Following the lead of Frances Power Cobbe, Lind af Hageby regarded feminism and animal rights (and, in particular, vegetarianism), as strongly linked, seeing the advance of women as essential to civilization, and the tension between women and male scientists as a battle between feminism and machismo.[24] Craig Buettinger writes that feminism and anti-vivisection were strongly linked in the UK, where the comparison between the treatment of woman and animals at the hands of male scientists (and, indeed, their husbands) dominated the discourse. But in the United States, the antivisectionists based their need to protect animals on their duties as mothers and Christians, and did not see advancing women's rights as part of that.[25]

Lind af Hageby saw the spirituality and Christianity of the American anti-vivisectionists as directly tied to women's rights and progress in general. "[W]hat is called effeminacy by some ...," she wrote, "is really greater spirituality ... and identical with the process of civilization itself." Leneman writes that this view accounted for the involvement of feminists in the theosophy and other spiritual movements;[22] Lind af Hageby was herself involved with the London Spiritualist Alliance from 1935 until 1943.[26]

Animal sanctuary and later life

In 1950, at the age of 73, she attended The Hague World Congress for the Protection of Animals.[6] From 1954 she ran a 237-acre animal sanctuary at Ferne House near Shaftesbury, Dorset, an estate left to the Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society by the Duchess of Hamilton on the latter's death in 1951; the Duchess, a friend of Lind af Hageby, had been using the estate as an animal sanctuary since the Second World War.[27]

Lind af Hageby died at her home in London at 7 St Edmunds Terrace, St John's Wood, on 26 December 1963, leaving ₤91,739 in her will.[17] The society's assets were transferred to the Animal Defence Trust, which as of 2012 continues to offer grants for animal-protection issues.[28]

Selected works

  • with Schartau, Leisa Katherine. The Shambles of Science: Extracts from the Diary of Two Students of Physiology, Ernest Bell, 1903.
  • Mountain Meditations, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1917.
  • August Strindberg: The Spirit of Revolt, Stanley Paul & Co., 1913.
  • On Immortality: A Letter to a Dog, 1922.
  • The Great Fox-Trot: A Satire, A.K. Press, 1938, with sketches by Madge Graham.
  • "Blue book lessons, a brief survey of the first three volumes of minutes of evidence given before the Royal commission on vivisection," pamphlet, 1908.
  • (ed). The Anti-Vivisection Review. The Journal of Constructive Anti-Vivisection, St. Clements Press, 1909 onwards.
  • "Address of Miss Lind-af-Hageby at the public meeting of the American Anti-Vivisection Society", American Anti-Vivisection Society, 5 February 1909.
  • (ed). "The Animals' Cause", selection of papers contributed to the International Anti-Vivisection and Animal Protection Congress, London, 6–10 July 1909.
  • "Fallacies & failures of serum-therapy", pamphlet, Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society, 1910.
  • "The new morality: An inquiry into the ethics of anti-vivisection", pamphlet, Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society, 1911.
  • "Vivisection and medical students : the cause of growing distrust of the hospitals and the remedy", pamphlet, Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society, 1912.
  • "The constructive side of the anti-vivisection movement", delivered to the International Anti-Vivisection and Animal Protection Congress, Washington, D.C., 9 December 1913.
  • "The new search for health: medical theories and the dangers of their enforcement", Animal Defence & Anti-Vivisection Society, lecture given at Konserthuset, Stockholm, on 25 April 1930, published in Progress Today.
  • with Lohy, Ernest. "La Fonction de la femme dans l'évolution sociale", Conflans-Saint-Honorine (Seine-et-Oise), pamphlet, 1922.
  • "Be peacemakers : an appeal to women of the twentieth century to remove the causes of war", pamphlet, A.K. Press, 1924.
  • "Cruel experiments on dogs and cats performed in British laboratories", pamphlet, Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society, printed in The Anti-Vivisection & Humanitarian Review, 1927.
  • "Ecrasez l'infâme: An exposure of the mind, methods, pretences and failure of the modern inquisition", pamphlet, Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society, 1929.
  • "Tyranny of an ancient superstition: vaccination causes disease and death", pamphlet, Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society, 1929.
  • "Vivisection and medical students : a public scandal and a disgrace", pamphlet, Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society, 1930.
  • "Progress", pamphlet, Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society, 1931.
  • "Foreword" in Barbanell, Sylvia. When your animal dies. Spiritualist Press, 1940.
  • "The Pleasure of Killing", pamphlet, National Society for the Abolition of Cruel Sports, 1947.


  1. ^ a b c d Coral Lansbury, The Old Brown Dog: Women, Workers, and Vivisection in Edwardian England, University of Wisconsin Press, 1985, pp. 9–11.
  2. ^ Leah Leneman, "The awakened instinct: vegetarianism and the women's suffrage movement in Britain", Women's History Review, 6(2), 1997, p. 227.
  3. ^ a b c "Woman lawyer praised: Miss Lind-af-Hageby loses case, but makes court record", The New York Times, 11 May 1913.
  4. ^ Lisa Gålmark, "Women Antivivisectionists, The Story of Lizzy Lind af Hageby and Leisa Schartau," in Animal Issues, 4(2), 2000 (pp. 1–32), p. 2.
    • Alexandrine Guyard-Nedelec, "Discrimination Against Women Lawyers in England and Wales: An Overview", Gender Forum: An Internet Journal for Gender Studies, 17, 2007, p. 1:
    • "Around [1912] ... Gwyneth Bebb's application to be registered as a solicitor was rejected by the Law Society and her appeal was rejected similarly on the grounds that she was not a "person" within the terms of the Solicitors Act 1843. ... By 1919, the passing of the Sex Discrimination (Removal) Act achieved success, stating that women were persons and that they could hold public office. However, the persistence and resistance of traditions and customs remained very strong and this act did not mean that women were accepted into the legal profession. The first woman solicitor, Madge Easton Anderson, was admitted in Scotland in 1920; England and Wales followed with three women admitted in December 1922. They were only allowed to practise in restricted areas such as family law, matrimonial and probate work."
    • For a discussion in the House of Lords in 1918 about women becoming solicitors, see "Solicitors (Qualification of Women Bill)", House of Lords, 18 March 1918.
  5. ^ a b The Nation and Athenæum, Volume 13, 1913, p. 127.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Helen Rappaport, "Lind-af-Hageby, Louise," Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers, Volume 1, ABC-CLIO, 2001, p. 393.
  7. ^ a b Mike Roscher, "Louise Lind-af-Hageby, die kosmopolitische Tierrechtlerin",, 19 December 2010.
  8. ^ Lisa Gålmark, "Women Antivivisectionists, The Story of Lizzy Lind af Hageby and Leisa Schartau," in Animal Issues, 4(2), 2000 (pp. 1–32), p. 2.
  9. ^ Leneman 1997, p. 286, footnote 49.
  10. ^ Peter Mason, The Brown Dog Affair: The Story of a Monument that Divided a Nation, Two Sevens Publishing, 1997, p. 8.
  11. ^ a b Lansbury 1985, pp. 126–127, citing The Shambles of Science, pp. 19–20, 29.
  12. ^ a b Mason 1997, p. 15.
  13. ^ "Vivisectionist exculpated", The New York Times, 19 November 1903.
  14. ^ a b Frederic S. Lee, "Miss Lind and her views", The New York Times, letter to the editor, 3 February 1909.
  15. ^ Lansbury 1985, pp. 13–14.
  16. ^ Rod Preece, Awe for the Tiger, Love for the Lamb: A Chronicle of Sensibility to Animals, Routledge, 2002, p. 363.
  17. ^ a b c d Mary Ann Elston, "Lind-af-Hageby, (Emilie Augusta) Louise (1878–1963)," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004.
  18. ^ "1912.-L.-No. 928", writ issued 8 May 1912, between Emelie Augusta Louise Lind-Af-Hageby and William Walford Astor, and others; and "1912.-L.-No. 1113", writ issued 6 June 1912, High Court of Justice, King's Bench Division.
    • "Lind-af-Hageby Libel Case", Wellcome Collection, accessed 23 April 2012.
    • "In the High Court of Justice Kings Bench Division, Before: Mr Justice Bucknill and a Special Jury Lind-af-Hageby v Astor and others, Wellcome Collection, accessed 23 April 2012.
    • Lisa Gålmark, Shambles of Science, Lizzy Lind af Hageby & Leisa Schartau, anti-vivisektionister 1903-1913/14, History Department, Stockholm University, 1996, published by Federativ Publ., 1997, p. 46.
  19. ^ Leneman 1997, p. 280.
  20. ^ Hilda Kean, "Aspects of the history of anti-vivisection", Voice for Ethical Research at Oxford, 16 January 2007.
  21. ^ Gålmark 2000, p. 1.
  22. ^ a b Leneman 1997, pp. 227, 280–281.
    • The Irish feminist, Charlotte Despard (1844–1939) – one of Lind af Hageby's supporters during the Brown Dog affair – argued that the "awakened instinct which feels the call of the sub-human ... works itself out through food reform on the one hand, and on the other, in a strong protest against the cruel methods of experimental research. Both of these are in close unison with the demands being made by women."
  23. ^ Mary Ann Elston, "Women and Anti-vivisection in Victorian England, 1870–1900," in Nicolaas A. Rupke (ed.), Vivisection in Historical Perspective, Routledge, 1987, p. 259ff.
  24. ^ Lynda Birke, "Supporting the underdog: Feminism, animal rights and citizenship in the work of Alice Morgan Wright and Edith Goode", Women's History Review, 9(4), 2000, p. 701. PubMed
  25. ^ Craig Buettinger, "Women and antivivisection in late nineteenth century America", Journal of Social History, 30(4), Summer 1997, pp. 857–872.
  26. ^ Mercy Phillimore, "Emilie Augusta Louise Lind-af-Hageby", obituary, Light, LXXXIV(3), 1964, p. 456.
  27. ^ Hilda Kean, "The 'Smooth Cool Men of Science': The Feminist and Socialist Response to Vivisection", History Workshop Journal, 40, 1995, pp. 16–38.
    • Andy McSmith, "Press dynasty is coming home from exile to a '£6m' mansion", The Observer, 13 June 1999.
  28. ^ Animal Defence Trust, "History", accessed 23 April 2012.

Further reading

  • Boyd, Nina. Animal Rights and Public Wrongs: a biography of Lizzy Lind af Hageby, Create Space, 2014.
  • British Medical Journal. "The National Antivivisection Society", 1(2210), 9 May 1903, p. 1109.
  • British Medical Journal. "Bayliss v. Coleridge", contd, 2(2237), 14 November 1903, pp. 1298–1300, and 2(2238), 21 November 1903, pp. 1361–1371.
  • British Medical Journal. "Mr. Coleridge On Tour", 1(2366), 5 May 1906, p. 1074.
  • British Medical Journal. "The 'Brown Dog' Of Battersea", 2(2448), 30 November 1907, pp. 1609–1610.
  • British Medical Journal. "Antivivisection Meetings", 1(2468), 18 April 1908, p. 951.
  • Adams, Carol J. and Donovan, Josephine (eds.) Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations, Duke University Press Books, 1995.
  • Birke, Linda. Feminism, Animals and Science: The Naming of the Shrew, Open University Press, 1994.
  • Ferguson, Moira. Animal Advocacy and Englishwomen, 1780–1900: Patriots, Nation, and Empire. University of Michigan Press, 1998.
  • Hamilton, Susan. Animal Welfare and Anti-Vivisection 1870–1910: Nineteenth-Century Women's Mission. Routledge, 2004.
  • Kean, Hilda. Animal Rights: Political and Social Change in Britain since 1800, Reaktion Books, 1998.
  • Kean, Hilda. "An Exploration of the Sculptures of Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Brown Dog, Battersea, South London, England", Society and Animals, 1(4), December 2003, pp. 353–373.
  • Murray, Lorraine. "The Brown Dog Affair", Encyclopedia Britannica Adovocacy for Animals, 19 January 2010.
  • Ritvo, Harriet. The Animal Estate: The English and Other Creatures in the Victorian Age, Harvard University Press, 1987.
  • Vyvyan, John. The Dark Face of Science, Joseph, 1971.
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