A National Temperance Movement

  • Lilian Lewis Shiman
Part of the Studies in Gender History book series


A women’s national temperance movement finally took hold in Britain in the 1870s after decades of false starts.1 It owed its birth partly to the work of the London Temperance League, but more importantly to a newcomer to the British temperance world, the Independent Order of Good Templars. An American fraternal organization, the Good Templars (as it was popularly called) was brought to England in 1868 by a returning English workingman, where it quickly caught hold among the respectable working classes. Even a few middle-class reformers joined. All members had to be pledged teetotalers and committed to fighting the use of drink wherever possible. It was an aggressive association and encouraged its members to take controversial stands in the fight against alcoholic beverages. Within a few years the Good Templars claimed a membership of over 200,000 in Britain.2


Executive Committee Temperance Organization Temperance Movement British Woman Public Platform 
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  1. 79.
    P. Rastrick, ‘The Bradford Temperance Movement’ (unpublished paper, Margaret MacMillan Training College, Bradford, 1969) p. 52.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lilian Lewis Shiman 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lilian Lewis Shiman
    • 1
  1. 1.Nichols CollegeDudleyUSA

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