Edith Cole & William Wallace Kelly – Anti-Vivisection Celebrities – 100+ years ago!

EdithColeAntiViv

 “Think of me as pleading with the Vivisectors for the dear dogs I love so well.” Edith Cole (1861? – 1927) 

The photo is by – Mons Sala Arbus, Reading. M(argaret Solom)ons & Sala Arbus, 40 Friar Street, Reading. - opticians & photographers. To-date we have discovered almost nothing else about the photographers – but they sound ‘interesting’. Sala Arbus.

The Ernest Bell Library has always focused on collecting and preserving the records of anti-vivisection societies, details of anti-vivisection campaigns, anti-vivisection literature & anti-vivisection ephemera.

The early anti-vivisection societies cooperated with many celebrities – very effectively - but the battle against the vivisectors is still going on today!

Above this is a battered anti-vivisection postcard from  ‘The National Canine Defence League’ (NCDL) – from circa 1905 – featuring the then-famous English theatre actress Edith Cole – aka “Mrs. William Wallace Kelly” aka “Mrs W. W. Kelly”.

In the late 1890s & into the early 20th C – Ernest Bell, Jessey Wade, Gertrude and Harold Baillie-Weaver (Gertrude wrote the book Suffragette Sally using the pseudonym – Gertrude Colmore)  – plus many other friends were running & promoting NCDL. It was founded in 1891.

In our Ernest Bell Library we have a lot of the NCDL’s archival material.

NCDL were very active in fighting the vivisection of animals.

The Dog’s Trust is the current name of the former – ‘The National Canine Defence League’.

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This postcard is currently being exhibited at: -

580NMAS

LIGHT IN DARK PLACES:
Anti-Vivisection from the Victorian Era to Modern Day

May 10 – August 3, 2014

National Museum of Animals & Society
4302 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90029

HOURS

Thursday through Sunday from 11 am – 6 pm.

Note: Google Chrome is not the browser to use for opening this site!

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From the book -

Twentieth-Century British Theatre: Industry, Art and Empire

 By Claire Cochrane

- p 62.

~ The Irish-American actor William Wallace Kelly owned the rights to W. G. Wills’s hugely popular Napoleon and Josephine drama, A Royal Divorce, and made a fortune touring it with his wife Edith Cole. Play ownership was bolstered by building interests on Merseyside. In Birkenhead from 1897 Kelly was the proprietor of the old Theatre Royal and the lessee of the Metropole. In Liverpool in 1909 he bought the Queen’s Theatre from Granville Theatres Ltd. which had financed the reconstruction of the 2,000 seat theatre in 1904 out of the shell of an older and much renamed and relaunched venue. The theatre was renamed Kelly’s Theatre and programmed with popular dramas which attracted audiences from the dock areas.

 Kelly the prominent citizen served on Birkenhead Council, was made an alderman in 1929 and three times refused a mayoralty. Kelly the showman cultivated the image of the flamboyant actor-manager – frock coat, silk top hat and huge buttonhole – further enhanced by the anecdotes  which collected around his famous touring show. ~

EdithColeDogsHome

Edith & William – possibly ‘opening’ the ‘Edith Cole Home for Dogs’  for the NCDL – in Birkenhead, Liverpool, England – date unknown – estimated to be circa 1915.

William is standing top left – to the left of the door displaying his –  “…frock coat, silk top hat and huge buttonhole…”.  – for sure they had not gone ‘all the way to vegan’ – but not too many people had at this time.

Edith is standing top right – to the right of the door.

The 6 dogs & the other 3 humans have not yet been identified! 

 An item from the Ernest Bell Library Collection.

EdithColeCigCard

An earlier image of Edith. 

 An item from the Ernest Bell Library Collection.

William_W_Kelly

An earlier image of William.

[Image Number - ULPA 1980.20.0764], Macauley’s Theatre Collection, 1980.20, Photographic Archives, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky.
http://digital.library.louisville.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/macauley/id/760/rec/10

Edith Cole & William Wallace Kellynotes -

Edith’s baptism

Edith Julia Cole

Record Type: Baptism

Estimated Birth Date: abt 1861

Baptism Date: 10 Nov 1861

Father’s name: Charles Cole

Mother’s name: Julia Ann Jane Cole

Parish or Poor Law Union: Whitechapel St Mary

Borough: Tower Hamlets

Edith & William’s marriage

Name: William Wallace Kelly (Irish-American actor)

Age: 41 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1857

Spouse Name: Edith Julia Cole Spouse Age: 37

Record Type: Marriage Marriage

Date: 10 Aug 1898

Parish: St Thomas, Clapton Common County: London

Borough: Hackney

Father Name: William Kirkwood Kelly

Spouse Father Name: Charles Cole

In the 1901 census, they were living at – 8 Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, Cheshire

William W KELLY, Head, 47, Manager Theatrical, Employer, born in United States

Mrs KELLY (Edith COLE), Wife, 39, Actress, Own Account, born in Middlesex London

Julia COLE, visitor, married, 58, born in Middlesex London

Papers of Stanley Morison

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The Ernest Bell Library is actively preserving & sharing: -

  1. items related to veg(etari)an products.

  2. veg(etari)an books & other publications.

  3. items related to veg(etari)an organisations.

  4. items related to veg(etari)an businesses.

  5. items related to animal rights organisations.

  6. animal rights publications.

  7. items related to humanitarian organisations.

  8. humanitarian publications.

  9. items related to rambling clubs run by members of the above groups & related publications.

If anyone would like to help by either Adopting or Sponsoring items in the library, please be in touch.

We are working seriously on cataloging the collection, as & when funds are available.

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If anyone would like more information, please send an email to: – 

humanitarianleague (at) outlook (dot) com 

- or message me through HappyCow – 

http://www.happycow.net/blog/author/JohnnySensible/

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About John Edmundson

Working to promote vegan businesses since 1978. Henry S. Salt Archive - researcher & fundraiser. The Humanitarian League - researcher & fundraiser. The Ernest Bell Library - archive manager. Collecting & republishing historical material of vegetarianism and other humanitarian movements. Running the 'Hum-an-imal Badge Co.'.
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