Sidney H. Beard (1862-1938)
One more link with the early days of vegetarianism, as an organised movement, in this country has gone with the death, which we regret to record, of Mr. Sidney H. Beard, at the age of seventy-six, after a week's illness, at his home in Putney on October 20th. Besides horticulture, Mr. Beard was keenly interested in metaphysical and scientific research, and he became an honorary member of the Psychical Research Society in 1882. Like Mrs. Beard, he was an ardent spiritualist. However, his chief interest, to which he devoted his life, was the Order of the Golden Age, and of this he was founder and president. A ready writer, and also a lecturer, on health and religious topics, Mr. Beard was editor of the Herald of the Golden Age (the official organ of the organisation just mentioned) from 1896 to 1918. He was also the author of numerous articles, pamphlets and booklets. Among the last mentioned may be cited "Is Flesh-eating Morally Defensible?" and "A Comprehensive Guide-Book to Natural, Hygenic and Humane Diet." In November, 1894, a series of lectures held in Devonshire under the auspices of the Exeter Vegetarian Society was the means of Mr. Beard adopting the vegetarian diet. Subsequently, he and the society's hon. secretary, Mr.J. I. Pengelly, decided to resucitate the practically defunct Order of the Golden Age, and headquarters were established at the residence of Mr. Beard, "The Beacon," Ilfracombe. Soon afterwards, in January, 1896, the first number of the Herald of the Golden Age made its appearance. In 1904 headquarters were transferred to Paignton, Mr. Beard occupying the offices of president and hon. treasurer. Among its objects, as set out in its literature at that time, were "to proclaim and hasten the coming of the Golden Age, when humaneness and peace, righteousness and spirituality shall prevail, and when kindness towards every fellow-creature shall reign in the human heart." In the year 1909 headquarters were removed to London. Since then, countless thousands of leaflets and brochures have been distributed in many parts of the world, branches of the organisation being established in Pietermaritzburg and Bombay, as well as in Burma.
From The Vegetarian News of December 1938. #
Rev. H.J. Williams (1838-1919)
An old and enthusiastic revoltant from the sanguinary and barbarous prevailing dietics, and protester against the frightful daily inflicted tortures of the slaughter-house, has lately passed from among us at the ripe age of 81 - the Rev. Henry John Williams, sometime Rector of Tintern. Later he held successively the Rectorship of Brimpton, in Somerset, and the (Episcopal) Incumbency of Kinross. In the latest period of his clerical career he preferably occupied the post of locum tenens in various parts of the country, under the persuasion that thus his sphere of influence as an exponent of the Higher and Humaner Life would be more extensive. At the age of about forty - in the year 1878 - Mr. Henry Williams abjured the flesh diet upon the grounds of humanity and humaneness, and he ever afterwards constantly adhered to vegetarianism. He never admitted to his table flesh-dishes, although, being of specially sociable disposition, he very frequently entertained flesh-eating friends. But it was not alone the frightful cruelties and agonising sufferings of animals that influenced him. As with all radical food-reformers the too obvious concomitant of the universal work of daily butchery imposed vicariously upon a numerous class of men, and the equally inevitable degradation and demoralisation of this, so to speak, pariah class could not but gravely weigh upon his mind as soon as the whole question of the Higher Ethics was opened to him. Health reason, though secondary, confirmed the conviction of the beneficence of, as well as the moral and religious obligation to, the dietary reformation. To the present writer he often has expressed profound sense of gratitude to the vegetarian associations as having been the salutary means by their teaching of freeing him entirely from the common (and surely retributive) physical malady - dyspepsia. His vitality and energy - psychical and physical - were remarkable. Some years ago, it is of interest to record, Mr. Henry Williams published a pamphlet under the title of "A Plea for a Broken Law," inspired by his religious as well as by his moral conviction. My brother was one of the four of my immediate connections whom I had the happiness to bring over to vegetarianism, and he was the means of converting at least three or four of his clerical confreres,as well as (I believe) some of his "secular" friends.
Howard Williams
From The Vegetarian Messenger and Health Review of May 1919 #