Order of the Golden Age

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General Council of the OGA, April 1910

The Order of the Golden Age (OGA) was an international animal rights society with a Christian, theosophical and vegetarian emphasis which existed between 1895 and 1959.


The Order of the Golden Age was founded by Rev. Henry John Williams (younger brother of Howard Williams) in 1882.[1][2] Sidney Hartnoll Beard re-established the OGA in 1895.[1][3]

The OGA'S headquarters were located at Beard's residence in Ilfracombe.[4] The Order promoted psychical research, spiritualism and vegetarianism.[1] In 1904, the OGA's new headquarters were located at Barcombe Hall in Paignton.[1][4] Beard was the editor of the Herald of the Golden Age (1896-1918), the official journal for the OGA.[3][5] The aim of the journal was to promote the "fruitarian system of living, and to teach its advantages."[5] The journal promoted vegetarianism from a Christian perspective.[6] According to an advertisement of the journal, it "challenges the morality of Carnivorous Customs and advocates Practical Christianity, Hygienic Common Sense, Social Reform, Philanthropy and Universal Benevolence. It is opposed to War, Slaughter, Cruelty and Oppression, and is designed to promote Goodness, but not goody goodyism, and Orthodoxy of Heart, rather than Orthodoxy of Creed."[7]

By 1909, the OGA was active in 47 countries.[2] The OGA organised successful concerts at the Royal Albert Hall.[8] The OGA even claimed to have converted Pope Pius X to the vegetarian diet during 1907.[9] In 1938, the Order decamped to South Africa upon the death of their official Founder and President, Sidney Hartnoll Beard, to become forgotten about by the vegetarian movement until the 21st century.

A commemorative website was created in 2006 and the OGA was mentioned in a modern published history of the vegetarian movement a year later.[10][1] A large collection of volumes of The Herald of the Golden Age were digitised by the Internet Archive in 2008.


  1. ^ a b c d e Gregory, James. (2007). Of Victorians and Vegetarians: The Vegetarian Movement in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Tauris Academic Studies. p. 109. ISBN 978-1-84511-379-7
  2. ^ a b "The Order of the Golden Age by John M. Gilheany". Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Anonymous. (1978). Who Was Who Among English and European Authors, 1931-1949. Volume 1. Gale Research Company. p. 114. ISBN 0-8103-0040-7 Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN.
  4. ^ a b "Sidney H. Beard (1862-1938)". Order of the Golden Age. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Kuhn, Philip. (2017). Psychoanalysis in Britain, 1893–1913: Histories and Historiography. Lexington Books. pp. 73-74. ISBN 978-1498505222
  6. ^ Stark, James F. (2018). Replace them by Salads and Vegetables: Dietary Innovation, Youthfulness, and Authority, 1900–1939. Global Food History 4 (2): 130-151.
  7. ^ Kuhn, Philip. (2017). Psychoanalysis in Britain, 1893–1913: Histories and Historiography. Lexington Books. p. 93. ISBN 978-1498505222
  8. ^ The Times, Tuesday, Nov 01, 1910; p. 16; Issue 39418.
  9. ^ The Herald of the Golden Age, July 1907, p. 132.
  10. ^ "The Order of the Golden Age". August 10, 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • John M. Gilheany. (2010). Familiar Strangers: The Church and the Vegetarian Movement in Britain (1809-2009). Ascendant Press. ISBN 978-0-9552945-1-8

External links[edit]