“Gift, like genius, I often think, only means an infinite capacity for taking pains.”
Ellice Hopkins (October 30, 1836 – August 21, 1904) was a Victorian social campaigner and author, who vigorously advocated moral purity while criticising contemporary sexual double standards.
In 1874 she established the Soldier’s Institute at Portsmouth, and in 1876 toured several British towns, recruiting thousands of women to the Ladies’ Association for the Care of Friendless Girls. Her biographer describes her as “instrumental” in the passing of the Industrial Schools Amendment Act of 1880.
Her works, such as “A plea for the wider action of the Church of England in the prevention of the degradation of women,” criticised the contemporary double standard by which women were disproportionately blamed for sexual immorality.
She co-founded the White Cross Army in 1883. The historian Frank Mort has described her as a “central figure in the feminist agitation for criminal law regulation in the 1880s.”
Sources: Click here to learn more about Ellice Hopkins. And click here to read a more in-depth discussion by biographer and teacher Robert A. Douglas, author of “Ellice Hopkins and Josephine Butler: Two Victorian Reformers.”