William Horsell

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William Horsell
William Horsell.png
BornMarch 31, 1807
Died1863
OccupationPublisher, vegetarianism activist

William Horsell (March 31, 1807 – 1863) was an English hydrotherapist, publisher and vegetarianism activist. Horsell published the first vegan cookbook in 1849.

Biography[edit]

Horsell was born in Brinkworth, Wiltshire. Before the age of twenty he was preaching the gospel and became a temperance activist in 1833.[1] In 1838, Horsell established the Anti-Nicotine Society at Congleton, Cheshire.[2] Horsell founded the Nature's Beverage Society in 1842. The Society aimed to spread abstinence from all artificial beverages.[3]

Horsell operated a hydropathic infirmary at Northwood Villa, Ramsgate.[4] It has been described as the first vegetarian hospital in Britain.[5] In 1847, a meeting was held at the hospital from which the Vegetarian Society was formed.[4] Horsell was secretary of the Vegetarian Society for several years.[6] In 1856, Horsell noted that there were a thousand members of the Society.[6] He managed the Society from his London office.[7]

Horsell edited the Truth Tester, which became the Society's official journal.[4] The journal described vegetarianism as "the next practical moral subject which is likely to call forth the virtuous energy of society".[6] In 1850, it was renamed the Vegetarian Advocate.[8] Horsell stepped down as Secretary and his journal ceased in 1850.[9] From 1849, the Vegetarian Society's President James Simpson published the Vegetarian Messenger.[9] In 1850, Simpson moved the Vegetarian Society office to Manchester and Vegetarian Messenger became the Society's official journal.[9] Horsell remained active with the London branch of the Vegetarian Society.[7]

He authored a popular hydropathic manual and was an advocate of phrenology.[6] He was a publisher for vegetarian and spiritualist literature.[6] His wife Elizabeth Horsell was also a vegetarian.[6]

Horsell was a London agent for the Fowler & Wells Company.[10]

In 1849, Horsell published Asenath Nicholson's Kitchen Philosophy for Vegetarians, in London. A review in the Vegetarian Advocate, noted that "butter and eggs are excluded" from the recipes.[11] The Vegan Society have cited the book as the first vegan cookbook.[12]

Selected publications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Horsell, William (1807–1863)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  2. ^ Blocker, Jack S. Fahey, David M; Tyrrell, Ian R. (2003). Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History: An International Enclyopedia, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 634. ISBN 1-57607-833-7
  3. ^ Winskill, Peter Turner. (1891). The Temperance Movement and Its Workers, Volume 2. Blackie & Son. p. 150
  4. ^ a b c Spencer, Colin. (1995). The Heretic's Feast: A History of Vegetarianism. University Press of New England. p. 252. ISBN 0-87451-708-7
  5. ^ Forward, Charles W. (1898). Fifty Years of Food Reform: A History of the Vegetarian Movement in England. London: The Ideal Publishing Union. p. 20
  6. ^ a b c d e f Gregory, James. (2007). Of Victorians and Vegetarians: The Vegetarian Movement in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Tauris Academic Studies. pp. 31-52, pp. 72-73, p. 104. ISBN 978-1-84511-379-7
  7. ^ a b "London Vegetarian Association, 1850s - the world's first 'vegan society'". Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  8. ^ Puskar-Pasewicz, Margaret. (2010). Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 179. ISBN 978-0-313-37556-9
  9. ^ a b c "The Origins of the 'Vegetarians'". International Vegetarian Union. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  10. ^ LeMaster, J. R; Kummings, Donald D. (1998). Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 230. ISBN 0-8153-1876-6
  11. ^ Anonymous. (1849). Kitchen Philosophy for Vegetarians. The Vegetarian Advocate 11 (1): 10.
  12. ^ "Key facts". The Vegan Society. Retrieved 14 July 2019.

Further reading[edit]