Blenkinsopp Coulson (William) Archive

Scope and Content

This collection comprises papers of and relating to William Lisle Blenkinsopp Coulson (1841-1911), army officer and campaigner for animal rights. It includes correspondence, published material relating to Blenkinsopp Coulson, and a number of family items namely a General Pardon granted by Edward IV, an Eighteenth Century recipe book and collections of stamps and postcards.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Lisle Blenkinsopp Coulson (1841-1911), after leaving the army in 1892, served on the boards of many charities concerned with human and animal welfare, including the RSPCA and NSPCC, and wrote numerous works protesting animal cruelty.
He was a founding member of the Humanitarian League which opposed corporal and capital punishment as well as campaigning for the banning of vivisection and all hunting for sport, making it a forerunner to the modern animal rights movement.
Blenkinsopp Coulson became a prominent figure in Newcastle upon Tyne, establishing there the Newcastle Dog and Cat shelter at Spital Tongues.
There is a memorial in Newcastle to Coulson commemorating 'his efforts to assist the weak and defenceless among mankind and the animal world'. Unveiled in 1914, it was originally sited near the Boer War Memorial in Haymarket but was moved to the junction of Horatio Road and City Road in 1950. Created by sculptor Arnold Frédéric Rechberg and Grade II listed, the memorial takes the form of a drinking trough and depicts a double life-size brown bust of Coulson swathed in a cloak.
Blenkinsopp Coulson also restored and extended Blenkinsopp Castle, one of his family's medieval homes, in 1877 (it was destroyed by fire in the 1950s).

Access Information

Open.

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