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Women’s Branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

The ‘Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ was founded in Britain in 1824 by a group of 22 reformers led by Richard Martin MP, William Wilberforce MP, and the Reverend Arthur Broome. In 1840, it was granted its royal status by Queen Victoria to become the ‘Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (RSPCA), as it is known today. Its influential members lobbied Parliament throughout the nineteenth century which resulted in a number of new laws such as the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835.[1]

It took the Colony of New South Wales nearly 50 years before it began to form a similar society and the catalyst was a letter that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on July 3, 1873, observing that

Not a day passes without our being pained, usque ad nauseam, with the most wanton cases of cruelty to animals. In these prosperous times it behoves us surely to devote a little of our time and money to the redress of this grievance.[2]

This letter drew attention to the boast of their ‘go-ahead sister’, colonial Victoria, of the ‘entire absence of such barbarities’ from their colony; a claim due to the existence of an organisation for the prevention of cruelty to animals.[3] In response to this letter, supported by the Sydney Morning Herald[4] and after various small preparatory meetings,[5] a public meeting was called on July 16, 1873, to form such a society in Sydney.

Horse, cabman and cab

Horse, cabman and cab

The society, named the ‘Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (SPCA), had as its patron the Governor Sir Hercules Robinson, Charles AW Lett as the honorary secretary, Alfred Sandeman as the honorary treasurer and Thomas Mitchie as the honorary veterinary surgeon, while the committee was made up of prominent male citizens of Sydney.[6] The primary focus of the SPCA was the detection and prosecution of those guilty of animal cruelty.

At the 1878 annual meeting of the society, where the SPCA was renamed the ‘Animal’s Protection Society’ (APS),[7] the Rev Dr William F Clay expressed the view that measures beyond inspection and prosecution were needed to ensure the protection of animals. He advocated for

the delivery of lectures such as were given in England, and by which the young might be trained to the proper treatment of dumb animals. Prizes had already been given in connection with this subject, and might be given again. Could not the pulpit, he would ask, be brought to deal with this matter.’[8]

In 1885, a letter to the editor of the SMH, signed ‘Beth’ of Hunter’s Hill, was published. It advocated the formation of juvenile branches of the SPCA in connection with the schools along the lines of the Bands of Mercy in England and America.[9] Unknown to ‘Beth’ and the general public, however, such a work had already begun, but knowledge about such Bands of Mercy would only become more widely known after the formation of a woman’s branch of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals[10] in Sydney on December 16, 1886.

Initially, the women’s branch of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (WSPCA) did not use the prefix ‘Royal’ in its title (see Timeline and Terminology of Animal Protection in Britain and NSW), but did so shortly after its formation when it sought and believed it was granted affiliation with the parent body of the RSPCA in Britain.[11] In 1896, a question was raised as to the right of the committee to use the prefix ‘Royal’ and its use was discontinued.[12] While the WSPCA consisted only of women, there was a male honorary secretary, John Sidney,[13] who was also the paid secretary of the APS.[14] Sidney’s membership was obviously at the invitation of the women, and was presumably because the WSPCA saw the need for his knowledge and experience, as well as his being their direct link to the APS and its activities.

time-line-and-terminology-britain-nsw-v3Whereas the male APS was involved in the investigation and prosecution of those who showed cruelty towards animals, the WSPCA had a different function. It was not a ladies committee of the APS, but independent from it and primarily concerned with educating children about animals so they would not engage in cruel behaviours towards them.[15] It is this primary function that explains, in part, its independence from the APS. Prior to the existence of the WSPCA there existed Bands of Mercy, first formed in Sydney in January 1884[16] by Francis Levvy[17] and independently in Newcastle in 1886,[18] as the ‘Newcastle Merciful Brigade or Band of Mercy’, by Marie Ellis.[19]  At the behest of Levvy and Ellis, the WSPCA took the Bands of Mercy that had previously been commenced under their auspices, and also encouraged Levvy and Ellis to form additional groups. Levvy said that

in consequence of the Animal Protection Society having refused any connection with the Bands of Mercy of Sydney, they have been affiliated to England by me, and I received the accredited certificates and badges from the English secretary RSPCA.[20]

Prior to the formation of the women’s group, the male APS had made some attempt to educate children by giving a prize for a school essay competition on ‘kindness to animals’.[21] In the first year of its operation 272 essays were received,[22] and by 1882, the secretary was circulating nearly 1000 notices to schools and clergy about the competition.[23] A member of the APS, J Horbury Hunt, in responding to criticism of the ineffectiveness of the APS, pointed out the enormity of their task and complained that, unlike in England, there was a lack of public and financial support. The APS, he said, had sent 500 circulars to clergy seeking special sermons on ‘kindness and consideration of animals’ all of which had been ignored. He stated that

those having charge over the moral training of the people and general education of the young should occasionally and specially teach the object of our society, thus helping to make it the great executive centre of this noble work.[24]

The education of children was not the primary function of the APS, though it is clear from Hunt’s comments that they realised its value and would be glad of assistance to that end. In January 1887, in the face of limited resources both in financial and public support, the APS welcomed the formation of the women’s group saying that

the committee were gratified to hear that several ladies had held a preliminary meeting for the purpose of forming a woman’s branch; ‘the objects … to take under its auspices the various bands of mercy organised thought the colony, and to undertake the moral training of children, by inculcating the duties of humanity towards animals by means of essay writing and through approved methods of instructing the young’.[25]

Godden sees the formation of the women’s branch in terms of gender roles and power and as a secession from the APS. She comments:

The men recognised work with children as “no doubt … the work of the gentler sex” and praised “those benevolent ladies”. This was not enough for the women. They were conscious of being within their sphere and wished to increase their effectiveness. Such independence was unacceptable to the Society and in the next decade the women seceded, forming their own Women’s Society for the Protection of Animals. For male philanthropists, it was always a danger that once women were granted minor roles in philanthropy that their success would embolden them to demand more power and autonomy.[26]

While there may be some truth in Godden’s view concerning the consciousness of the women (and indeed of the men) of their appropriate sphere, the women did not really secede from the APS for in reality they were not part of it. Apart from the first annual meeting, where there was ‘a very large attendance’ and there were ‘a large number of ladies present’,[27] no women were elected to the committee nor attended APS annual meetings. In fact few men attended them either and the evidence is, and the constant refrain about the annual meetings was, that the ‘attendance was not large’.[28] The analysis of the WSPCA and its work in terms of gender and power is further complicated by the fact that the local committees which administered the Bands of Mercy, the main activity of the WSPCA, consisted of both women and men.[29]

Levvy’s experience with APS and its unwillingness to affiliate the Bands of Mercy, for reasons unknown, but possibly because of the APS’s chronically inadequate resourcing and its desire not to lose its focus on inspection, prosecution and legislation, was clearly prominent in the perceived need for the WSPCA. Hunt, a member of the male APS, put the matter bluntly on the different roles of the two groups when he said:

the Band of Mercy is under the gentle rule of the ladies, and the Animal Protection Society is governed by the stern hand of man. The former is to educate the child to be kind to all dumb creatures, while the other to punish that child when grown up for any acts of cruelty that may be committed. It will therefore be seen that the two organisations are doing the same work for those different stages of our life.[30]

Levvy’s Bands of Mercy were the result of a movement that began in England in 1875 for the purpose of ‘preventing cruelty by inducing the members to study the nature and habits of animals and by showing the affection and devotion of which animals are capable’. This was to be achieved by ‘gathering children together, and, by pleasant recitations and songs illustrative of mercy and benevolence, train them into the practice of kindnesses’.[31] In England, membership was said to be between 40,000 and 50,000 and in America about 90,000. Levvy, with the assistance of her sister Emma,[32] founded some 2,000 branches in Sydney and Ellis founded some 1,500 in the Newcastle district.[33] The bands had a good degree of independence, but all joining members in NSW took the following pledge: ‘I promise to protect the animal creation with all my power. When I am compelled to take the life of any creature I will spare all needless pain’. The Bands of Mercy were, therefore, moderate in their views such that even a butcher, who slaughtered in the ‘most expeditious manner’, could be a member.[34]

Bands of Mercy were often formed in schools with the permission of the Minister for Public Instruction[35] by local school teachers who sought to inculcate the values of kindness and care towards those of the animal kingdom.

The format for a Band of Mercy meeting was as follows[36]:

  1. Sing a Band of Mercy song or hymn and repeat the Pledge together

    Signing the pledge

    Signing the pledge

  2. Remarks by President and reading of Report of last Meeting by Secretary
  3. Readings, Recitations, Anecdotes of good and noble sayings and deeds done to both human and dumb animals with vocal and instrumental music
  4. Sing Band of Mercy Song or hymn
  5. Brief address – members may then tell what they have done to make human and dumb creatures happier and better.
  6. Enrolment of members
  7. Sing Band of Mercy song or hymn.

The pledge referred to above was “We agree to do all in our power to protect animals from cruel usage and to promote as far as we can their humane treatment”

Essay competitions for school children in both public and private schools[37] (including the Ragged Schools)[38] were set and marked by committee members and cash prizes and medals were awarded for the best entries.[39] The essay question set in 1890, for example, was ‘Our duty towards the animal creation, especially to those animals under the care of man.’[40] The essays were set

with the view to awaken interest in the minds of teachers and children in their duties towards animals, the committee decided to again invite competition in essay writing, as the composition or compilation of an essay cannot be accomplished without reading or thinking, and is seldom undertaken without more or less conversation on the subject with all the members of the writer’s family. The subject, this time, will be ‘to describe what is meant by the words “cruelty to animals”, select two animals, and state how to make them happy in a domestic state’.[41]

There was also a Band of Mercy and Humane Journal, edited by Frances Levvy and commenced in July 1887, and a Band of Mercy Advocate, edited by Marie Ellis and in Newcastle commenced in November 1887, and both were circulated in a format that was attractive to children.

Education, while important and its primary focus, was not the only activity of the women’s group for they also collected funds. This was done both to fund the educational work and also to make purchases such as a ‘horse ambulance’ for use in the city and suburbs,[42] dog troughs,[43] encouraging the setting up of a horse rest home[44] or the setting up of the Battersea chamber to euthanise stray dogs[45] and, for a time, the women’s group had its own inspector.[46]

In NSW the male APS was not noted in the newspapers of the day as having any particularly strongly articulated religious motive for their activity. There were occasional references to God and man’s Christian duty to the animals, but this was not a sustained message. Compared to their English counterparts that had begun in the early 1820s, organisations dedicated to the cause of animals had come late to the colonies of Australia. In England, they had developed a Christian discourse as part of the motivation for the movement which was, in general terms,

that God had entrusted human dominion over all living creatures on earth and it therefore was humans’ duty to be kind and merciful to the animal creation just as God was to human beings. Under this theological frame, the superiority of the human over the brute creation and humans’ almost godlike status were accentuated in order to underscore the great trust imposed upon men by the divine design.[47]

In England, in June 1885, Canon Farrar preached at sermon at Westminster Abbey on behalf of their RSPCA. His text was “Blessed are the merciful’ and among other things

his audience was reminded in impressive and powerful language that though man was appointed to lordship over the lower animals, it was a delegated lordship – a trust – the fulfilment of which would be [a] matter of searching enquiry on that day.[48]

The articulated motivation for the WSPCA was somewhat different and was more overtly Christian than that of the APS particularly though the influence of Frances Levvy. It was just such a theological underpinning of the women’s movement in respect of animal protection that Archbishop Barry, whose wife Louisa was a founding member of the WSPCA, gave in a sermon in 1885 at St Andrews Cathedral, Sydney.[49] Notwithstanding the more subdued place of Christian rhetoric, the male APS did circulate the Archbishop’s sermon with its annual report.[50] Also J Horbury Hunt, a committee member, was so impressed with Canon Farrar’s sermon that he organised for 1,000 copies of it to be forwarded to the teachers of the principal schools and clergymen throughout the colony.[51]

In November 1901, the Archbishop of Sydney agreed to the formation of the ‘Society for the Promotion of Kindness to Animals’ (SPKA) with the aim of the aiding of every

humane society throughout New South Wales by the preaching of sermons and by keeping the principles of justice and kindness before the various Sunday schools and members in every parish; to teach the Christian aspect of those sports and fashions which caused needless cruelty to animals.[52]

Before he had formally inaugurated the society, the APS approached the Archbishop and asked him not to proceed with his planned society as it was concerned that the fragmentation of the work would ‘weaken and lessen the influence of the older body [APS], and to contract its pecuniary resources.’ They believed that if ‘the clergy would assist the old society they would be doing more good for the cause than by joining new organisations’. ’The ladies would help the cause more by enlarging the Bands of Mercy … and all these should amalgamate under the old society, as the parent society of the Commonwealth.’ They also sought the Archbishop’s assistance to bring about unity between his group, the WSPCA and the APS by forming one strong organisation.[53] The Archbishop was not able to achieve this, but he did agree to become a vice patron of the APS[54] and he also gave his support to the WSPCA[55] whose honorary secretary, Frances Levvy, joined the SPKA as correspondence secretary and honorary treasurer.[56]

Frances Levvy remained involved with the work of animal protection, editing the Band of Mercy and Humane Journal, a ‘publication, of remarkably even quality, for both children and adults’, until August 1923.[57]

The Kingdom of Love

The Kingdom of Love

Jennifer MacCulloch  sees that Levvy’s magazine is ‘redolent of her deep Christian faith, her strict morality, her ambivalence about scientific developments and, most touchingly, her love for animals’.[58] Her magazine, unlike the APS, articulated a strong Christian rhetoric in which Christian motifs were common. Bible verses, prayers and pictures were often present and alluded to Christian themes. Levvy used lots of engravings as illustrations to give interest and emphasis to her text and some of these were overtly Christian, such as one front cover entitled ‘The Kingdom of Love’.

The title ‘The Kingdom of Love’ clearly was intended to point to a well-known passage in the King James Version of the Bible which speaks of the Kingdom that God will inaugurate. In Isaiah 11:6-9 it says:

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

On another occasion Levvy put a picture,[59] also on the front page of an issue which showed children at prayer, with the words of a prayer, possibly composed by Levvy, asking God to help them be kind to animals:

Children at Prayer

Children at Prayer

‘Oh may we learn with pious awe

Never one cruel deed to do.

Teach us to learn Thy mercy’s law

And then to practice what we know.’

Levvy also wrote poems which were included in the magazine. The example that follows, entitled ‘Ready’, articulates her own perspective which sees her Christian service of God, in the time she has on earth, as rescuing animals and that such work was on the same level as the well accepted evangelical responsibility of rescuing children.


Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?

Let me work in Thy vineyard to-day.

Shall I wander the city or wilderness through

To gather Thy children that stray?

Shall l seek for the wayward and wild

That wander about in the street?

The fatherless, motherless, shelterless child.

And bring them to rest at Thy feet?

Let me rescue Thy children from pain.

From cruelty, hunger and woe;

Let me speak for the dumb, let me shelter the weak,

From the kick, from the whip, from the blow

Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?

Make me ready to work or to wait,

To work in Thy vineyard with heaven in view

Or to wait and to watch at Thy gate. [60]

Even her closing notice for the magazine, written in 1923 in the year before her death, had the Christian hope enfolded in its last lines: ‘But now the time has come to say farewell, and this issue is the last of the little magazine. We bid farewell till we all meet in the Higher Life.’[61] She died in December of 1924 and was appropriately remembered for her ‘devoted service to the cause of the prevention of cruelty to animals’[62] through the journal and the WSPCA. She left instructions in her will that on her gravestone was to be inscribed ‘The Friend of Animals’, which indeed she was.

The question should be asked did the WSPCA achieve any results. Such a question was put by a journalist in 1908 to cabman who had been in business for many years in the city. The conversation went as follows:

Cabman: It doesn’t look as if it did as much now as one time. I remember when five horses were sent off the stand for every one sent now. And it’s the same with every other beast that pulls.

Journalist: Then there’s a falling off in energy?

Cabman: Not at all. You see, it’s this way: Four of the five horses I spoke of as being put off the stand don’t come on the stand now. The owners know it would be no use sending them, and drivers would refuse to work them, so the society’s business doesn’t look as brisk as it one time was.

The journalist as result of the interview concluded that:

The explanation amounts to a very high tribute to the activity of the society. It prevents cruelty in the most effective manner; all the more effective because it acts on owners and drivers before the actual cruelty takes place.[63]

Exactly when the WSPCA ceased to function as a separate body from the APS is uncertain, but it was probably around 1914 when women joined the APS as a Ladies’ Committee.[64] It may well be that from that time on the Band of Mercy magazine’s banner headline, which read ’issued by the Women’s Society Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, NSW’, was more a memory than a reality with the magazine being its only activity and with Levvy as a committee of one.[65]

In 1923, to honour the jubilee of the APS, the King granted approval for the word ‘Royal’ to be prefixed to its name which, in 1919, had been changed to the ‘Society for the Protection of Animals’.[66] Thus, after numerous name changes, the combined societies became known in NSW as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – the RSPCA.[67]

Dr Paul F Cooper  Research Fellow, Christ College, Sydney

The appropriate way to cite this article is as follows:

Paul F Cooper. Women’s Branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Philanthropy and Philanthropists in Australian Colonial History, September 21, 2016. Available at

[1] See The History of the RSPCA at Animal Legal and Historical Center, Michigan State University.  [Accessed 25/05/2016.]

[2] Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, NSW), hereafter SMH, July 3, 1873, 3.

[3] SMH, July 3, 1873, 4.

[4] SMH, July 3, 1873, 4.

[5] SMH, July 11, 1873, 4; July 15, 1873, 4.

[6] Henry T Fox, Benjamin Cocks, CF Burdett, Alfred Sandeman, Charles Lett, George A Lloyd, John Fairfax, George C Dickenson, Richard Wynne, William Tunks, George Pile jun, John Tait, Charles Campbell, Archibald Thompson, Prosper N Trebeck, Randolf C Want, George F Want, Dr James C Cox, Edmund Fosbery and Fredrick M Darley. SMH, July 17. 1873, 4.

[7] See diagram below for evolution of the terminology of animal protection groups in Britain and NSW.

[8] SMH, September 4, 1878, 8.

[9] SMH, February 17, 1885, 9.

[10] Formally named as The Women’s Branch of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

[11] Evening News (Sydney, NSW), May 19, 1896, 6; Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW), June 7, 1896, 12.

[12] John Horbury Hunt had raised the issue arising from the prosecution of an inspector for bribery. The WSPCA established a strong case for its right to use the title but in an eirenic gesture elected to discontinue usage. SMH, May 19, 1896, 2; Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW), June 7, 1896, 12. It was possibly the case that the use of the prefix ‘Royal’ was a misunderstanding on the part of Levvy and that it was only to be applied to the Bands of Mercy and not to the women’s group as a whole. This was, I think, Hunt’s point. SMH, May 22, 1896, 6.

[13] SMH, December 21, 1886, 7; February 28, 1891, 8; Band of Mercy and Humane Journal of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW) January 20, 1898. John Sidney (1846-1916) had been appointed acting secretary of the APS in 1878, paid secretary in 1880 (SMH, August 21, 1880, 5), a position he maintained until 1895 when a dispute arose within the APS involving John Horbury Hunt. At this time the APS was incorporated and Sidney was no longer secretary. SMH, September 27, 1878, 5; October 7, 1880, 12; May 2, 1895, 2. He ceased to be secretary of the WSPCA in May 1891. The Sydney Star (Sydney, NSW), June 1, 1891, 2.

[14] The members of the committee were Mrs Eleanor Riley, Lady Mayoress of Sydney as President, Lady Isabella Martin (wife of Sir James Martin), Louisa Barry (wife of Archbishop Barry), Miss Frances Levvy (Hon Treasurer), Mrs Onslow, Mrs Chadwick, Miss Young, Mrs J Whitton, Ann Goodlet (wife of John Hay Goodlet), Miss Fanny Allwood (daughter of Canon Robert Allwood), Mrs TL Mort, Marie Ellis (Wife of J C Ellis), Mrs Stiles, Mrs Shannon, Elizabeth Sybil Wilkinson (wife of WH Wilkinson and mother of Dr Camac Wilkinson) and Mrs Docker with Mr John Sidney (Hon Secretary).

[15] The Society did however, from 1874, have a prize for the best three essays on the subject of the humane treatment of animals for pupils of public and private schools under the age of 16. SMH, August 7, 1874, 3.

[16] Evening News (Sydney, NSW), December 16, 1889, 2. Levvy had informed the APS that she intended to commence forming such groups. SMH, January 4, 1884, 5. The first Band was formed on January 7, and had 15 members. By October there were 15 separate Bands containing 1350 members. “The members are taught love to God, loyalty to each other and justice and kindness to animal creation’. Bowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer (NSW), November 26, 1884, 2.

[17] Frances Deborah Levvy (1831-1924) (sometimes Levey) was raised in the Jewish faith but became devoutly Christian. Jennifer MacCulloch, ‘Levvy, Frances Deborah (1831–1924),’ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, [accessed June 1, 2016]. Frances Levvy, ‘Report of the Woman’s SPCA of New South Wales, Australia,’ Human Advocate (Illinois, USA), VI, 10, August 1911.

[18] Newcastle Morning Herald and Miner’s Advocate (NSW), February 24, 1886, 2.

[19] Newcastle Morning Herald and Miner’s Advocate (NSW), August 17, 1886, 5.  She affiliated her groups with those of Levvy in August 1887. SMH, August 23, 1887, 4. Marie Ellis (nee Kramer) married James C. Ellis and settled in Newcastle where she was prominent in arts and humanitarian circles. Argus (Melbourne, Vic), June 10, 1864, 4. She was later to move to Ashfield, NSW. J. Ellis and J. Clarke, Belated Applause – a Biography of Marie Kramer Ellis (Lane Cove: WJ Ellis, 1986).

See also

[20] Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW), June 7, 1896, 12.

[21] It was agreed that the low state of income of the society did not allow such a plan to proceed but £5 was donated by committee member Mr A Forsyth, in the hope of encouraging other donations, to commence a fund for this purpose. The Protestant Standard (Sydney, NSW), November 15, 1879, 10; SMH, November 8, 1879, 5.

[22] Illustrated Sydney News and New South Wales Agriculturalist and Grazier (NSW), October 30, 1880, 3.

[23] SMH, March 4, 1882, 5.

[24] SMH, December 6, 1883, 5.

[25] SMH, January 8, 1887, 11.

[26] Judith. Godden, ‘Philanthropy and the Woman’s Sphere, Sydney, 1870-circa 1900.’  PhD thesis Macquarie University, 1983, 177.

[27] Evening News (Sydney, NSW), August 7, 1874, 3.

[28] SMH, August 31, 1875, 3; Evening News (Sydney, NSW), December 15, 1877, 4; SMH, September 4, 1878, 4; October 29, 1879, 6.

[29] See for instance The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (Maitland, NSW), May 2, 1891, 2.

[30] SMH, May 22, 1896, 6.

[31] SMH, February 25, 1885, 10.

[32] Emma Rebecca Levvy (Mrs George Thomas Clarke). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW), December 25, 1886, 13.

[33] SMH, February 25, 1885, 10; December 22, 1886, 7.

[34] SMH, February 25, 1885, 10.

[35] The Newcastle Morning Herald and Miner’s Advocate (NSW), January 7, 1887, 7. The Hon F B Suttor (Minister for Public Instruction) presided at the 1892 annual meeting of the WSPCA. Evening News (Sydney, NSW), November 30, 1892, 3; The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (Maitland, NSW), May 23, 1891, 8.

[36] Band of Mercy Advocate, June 30, 1891.

[37] SMH, February 3, 1887, 4.

[38] SMH, October 16, 1896, 7.

[39] SMH, September 24, 1887, 11.

[40] SMH, March 4, 1890, 5.

[41] SMH, March 2, 1889, 15.

[42] SMH, March 25, 1897, 5.

[43] SMH, September 1, 1894, 10.

[44] SMH, May 30, 1895, 6.

[45] SMH, February 10, 1896, 7.

[46] The Women’s Branch also for a time had its own veterinarian inspector, John Behan, who brought forward prosecutions of offenders. Evening News (Sydney, NSW), August 25, 1893, 6. He was later sentenced to two years jail for obtaining money under false pretences by accepting a bribe. Clarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW), June 6, 1896, 5; The Maitland Weekly Mercury (Maitland, NSW), May 9, 1896, 11.

[47] Chien-hui Li, ‘A Union of Christianity, Humanity, and Philanthropy: The Christian Tradition and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Nineteenth Century England,’ Society & Animals 8:3, (2000), 273.

[48] Christian Colonist (South Australia), August 7, 1885, 5.

[49] SMH, October 26, 1885, 6. The sermon was preached in support of the work of the Animal’s Protection Society.

[50] SMH, November 7, 1885, 10.

[51] SMH, September 12, 1885, 13.

[52] SMH, November 23, 1901, 6.

[53] SMH, December 4, 1901, 13.

[54] SMH, July 27, 1907, 14.

[55] SMH, November 29, 1902, 5. His daughter Miss M Saumarez Smith was a member of the WSPCA. SMH, January 16, 1903, 4.

[56] SMH, January 24, 1903, 4.

[57] Jennifer MacCulloch, ‘Levvy, Frances Deborah (1831–1924)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, [accessed online June 1, 2016].

[58] Jennifer MacCulloch, Creatures of Culture: The Animal Protection and Preservation Movement in Sydney, 1880-1930. (PhD Thesis, University of Sydney, 1993), 83. MacCulloch gives an interesting, perceptive and helpful analysis of Levvy’s themes and approach. It is a great pity this thesis was never published.

[59] Band of Mercy and Humane Journal of New South Wales, March 16, 1903, 1.

[60] Band of Mercy and Humane Journal of New South Wales, February 28, 1916, 4.

[61] Band of Mercy and Humane Journal of New South Wales, August 31, 2.

[62] SMH, December 4, 1924, 6.

[63] Sunday Sun (Sydney, NSW), February 9, 1908, 9.

[64] SMH, September 30, 1914, 12; Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW), November 18, 1917, 15; The Sun (Sydney, NSW), August 29, 1921, 3; September 2, 1921, 4.

[65] Band of Mercy and Humane Journal of New South Wales, July 28, 1923, 1.

[66] Daily Commercial News and Shipping List (Sydney, NSW), September 3, 1919, 8.

[67] SMH, January 3, 1923, 9.

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