Frances Power Cobbe

Frances Power Cobbe

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Frances Power Cobbe

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Frances Power Cobbe (4 December 1822 – 5 April 1904) was an Irish writer, social reformer, and suffragist. She founded a number of animal advocacy groups, including the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) in 1898, and was a member of the executive council of the London National Society for Women's Suffrage.

Frances was a member of the prominent Irish Cobbe family.


Cobbe was born in Newbridge House in the family estate in what is now Donabate, Co. Dublin. She founded the Society for the Protection of Animals Liable to Vivisection (SPALV) in 1875, the world's first organization campaigning against animal experiments, and in 1898 the BUAV, two groups that remain active. Cobbe was a member of the executive council of the London National Society for Women's Suffrage and writer of editorial columns for London newspapers on suffrage, property rights for women, and opposition to vivisection.

She is the author of a number of papers: The Intuitive Theory of Morals (1855), Cities of the Past (1864), Criminals, Idiots, Women and Minors (1869), Darwinism in Morals (1871), and Scientific Spirit of the Age (1888).

Cobbe met the Darwin family during 1868. Emma Darwin liked her, "Miss Cobbe was very agreeable." Cobbe persuaded Charles Darwin to read Immanuel Kant's Metaphysics of Ethics. She met him again during 1869 in Wales, and apparently interrupted him when he was quite ill,<ref...
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