Joseph Malins

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Joseph Malins (1844–1926) was an English temperance activist.


Malins was born at 7, Askew Place, Worcester on 21 October 1844. He emigrated to the US with his wife and found work as a painter of railway wagons.

When he returned to England, he brought back the Independent Order of Good Templars (IOGT), a temperance organization which he had joined in the US. The first English lodge was called Columbia No. 1 in Morton's Chapel, Cregoe Street, Birmingham, founded on 8 September 1868. He became president of the English Good Templars, though sometimes called despotic. From 1876 to 1887, the English and Irish Good Templars were in conflict with the Good Templars in America, as in 1875 the American body had adopted a policy of accepting de facto segregation of lodges in the American South after the American Civil War.

For the reunion of the American and English lodges in 1887, Malins compromised by accepting segregation, but Malins and the Good Templars were uncompromising over temperance and regarded as extreme in England. Malins was in favour of Local Option votes for local areas, which could vote to go "dry". He opposed compensation for liquor licence owners and public management of retail liquor outlets. Malins supported the Liberal Party, but went from supporting the Liberal Unionists to supporting the Home Rule (for Ireland) Liberals. His support for candidates depended on their attitude to temperance.

Malins' 1895 poem, "The ambulance down in the Valley", is seen as a forerunner to the Upstream fable[clarification needed] describing the difference between prevention and cure. The poem is quoted in numerous modern day resources (e.g., Primary health care in Australia: A nursing and midwifery consensus view[1]).

He died at home in Birmingham on 5 January 1926 and was buried in the Yardley Cemetery there.


  1. ^ Primary health care in Australia: A nursing and midwifery consensus view.
  • Joseph Malins - Patriarch Templar, by Joseph Malins, 1932, Templar Press, Birmingham.
  • Fahey, David M. "Malins, Joseph (1844–1926)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/37732.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  • Primary health care in Australia: A nursing and midwifery consensus view.