Charles W. Forward

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Charles W. Forward
Charles Walter Forward

(1863-08-19)19 August 1863
London, England
Died9 June 1934(1934-06-09) (aged 70)
Wimbledon, London, England
Occupation(s)Activist, historian
Florance Kate Cramp
(m. 1888)

Charles Walter Forward (19 August 1863 – 9 June 1934) was an English animal rights and vegetarianism activist and historian of vegetarianism.

Early life[edit]

Charles Walter Forward was born in London on 19 August 1863 to Charles John Forward and his wife Catherine.[1] He married Florance Kate Cramp in Wandsworth in 1888.[2]


Forward authored many publications on vegetarianism and was editor of the Vegetarian Jubilee Library.[3] Forward has been described as a historian of the vegetarian movement.[4] His best known work Fifty Years of Food Reform, was published in 1898. It was the first book to document the history of the vegetarian movement in England and covered vegetarians such as William Lambe, G. Nicholson, John Frank Newton, John Oswald, Richard Phillips, Joseph Ritson and Percy Bysshe Shelley.[5] The book also mentions historical vegetarian ideals expressed from the classical period onward from writers such as Plutarch and Pythagoras.[6] It contains a map of London showing vegetarian restaurants.[7]

In 1897, Forward edited John Smith's vegetarian book Fruits and Farinacea. The book was heavily criticized by the English Medical Journal as non-scientific.[8]

Forward speaking at the National Vegetarian Congress in 1899 argued that although the vegetarian movement was increasing, vegetarian restaurants in London had decreased in number.[9] He noted that affordable tinned meat had become widely available and how some of the purported vegetarian restaurants were not strictly vegetarian as they were serving meat dishes.[9]

In 1913, Forward contributed the chapter "Slaughter-House Cruelties" to the book The Under Dog, edited by Sidney Trist. The book documented the wrongs suffered by animals at the hand of man.[10] Forward edited The Animals' Guardian, subtitled "A Humane Journal for the Better Protection of Animals". This monthly periodical was published by the London and Provincial Anti-Vivisection Society.[11]

Diet theories[edit]

Forward argued that most diseases including cancer are the result of modern-day unhealthy eating habits because people have shifted from their natural primitive vegetarian diet and are eating less fruit and vegetables.[12] In 1912, Forward was elected Chairman of the Society for the Prevention and Relief of Cancer.[12] From 1914, he lectured on cancer and diet and gave a lecture at The Polytechnic in Regent Street on cancer causes and prevention. Similar to Robert Bell and Douglas Macmillan he held the view that meat eating was a major cause of cancer.[12]


Forward died in Wimbledon, on 9 June 1934.[13]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.
  2. ^ London Metropolitan Archives; London, England, UK; London Church of England Parish Registers; Reference Number: P95/TRI2/009
  3. ^ Crossley, Ceri. (2005). Consumable Metaphors: Attitudes Towards Animals and Vegetarianism in Nineteenth-Century France. Peter Lang. p. 61. ISBN 978-3039101900
  4. ^ Richardson, Elsa (2019). "Man Is Not a Meat-Eating Animal: Vegetarians and Evolution in Late-Victorian Britain". Victorian Review. 45 (1): 117–134. doi:10.1353/vcr.2019.0034. S2CID 166975219.
  5. ^ Magel, Charles R. (1989). Keyguide to Information Sources in Animal Rights. McFarland. p. 65. ISBN 0-89950-405-1
  6. ^ Li, Chien-hui (2006). "Mobilizing Literature in the Animal Defense Movement in Britain, 1870-1918" (PDF). Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies. 32 (1): 27–55.
  7. ^ Richardson, Elsa (2021). "Cranks, Clerks, and Suffragettes: The Vegetarian Restaurant in English Culture and Fiction 1880-1914" (PDF). Literature and Medicine. 39 (1): 133–153. doi:10.1353/lm.2021.0010. PMID 34176815. S2CID 235659826.
  8. ^ "Reviewed Work: Fruits And Farinacea The Proper Food Of Man. Vol. IV by John Smith, C. W. Forward". The English Medical Journal. 2 (1911): 405. 1897. JSTOR 20250967.
  9. ^ a b Assael, Brenda. (2018). The London Restaurant, 1840-1914. Oxford University Press. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-19-881760-4
  10. ^ Animal Rights and Wrongs. Chambers's Journal, 1913.
  11. ^ "Magazine Data". Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  12. ^ a b c Rossi, Paul N. (2009). Fighting Cancer with More than Medicine: A History of Macmillan Cancer Support. The History Press. pp. 36-45. ISBN 978-0-7524-4844-2
  13. ^ England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.
  14. ^ Gregory, James Richard Thomas Elliott (2002). "Biographical Index of English Vegetarians and Food reformers of the Victorian Era". The Vegetarian Movement in Britain c.1840–1901: A Study of Its Development, Personnel and Wider Connections (PDF). Vol. 2. University of Southampton. Retrieved 2 October 2022.

Further reading[edit]