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Emily Williamson Plaque Campaign

Emily Williamson Plaque Campaign is crowdfunding

raised of £1,200 target by 61 supporters

Weʼre raising £1,200 to create the first plaque for a woman in Lancaster to commemorate Emily Williamson, conservationist and feminist.

9 days to go

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Emily Williamson - the Lancaster woman who saved a million birds

There are no plaques to women in Lancaster. It's time to change that.

We want to start by commemorating a woman who saved millions of birds and transformed the lives of countless women.

Emily Williamson was born at Highfield in Lancaster on 17th April 1855. In 1889, she became horrified by the mass slaughter of birds to provide feathers for fashionable ladies' hats. Millions of birds died each year, sometimes having their wings cut off while they were alive.

To stop this cruelty she formed the Society for the Protection of Birds. All of its members were women. By doing this she took on an industry that was worth, at its peak, some £20 million a year. She was fighting fashion and finance in a society in which women couldn’t even vote. That took incredible courage.

The society she founded grew to become the RSPB, the largest conservation organisation in Europe. In 1921, after over 30 years of campaigning, the Plumage Act was passed, ending the trade in exotic bird skins. Over 60 species were saved from extinction.

To mark that centenary, we want to commemorate Emily's conservation achievements and her equally important work supporting education and training for women. She founded the Gentlewomen's Employment Association in Manchester, created the Princess Christian Training College for Nurses and introduced the Loan Training Fund, which helped to subsidise the costs of further education for young women, the first such scheme in the country.

To celebrate this amazing daughter of Lancaster we want to put up a plaque, in conjunction with Lancaster Civic Society, and also arrange a celebratory event and exhibition in the Priory Church, where she was baptised. This will include schools and community events to spread the word about her life, her work and the way her legacy of saving nature continues here in Lancashire - and the world!

We would really appreciate your support to commemorate this remarkable woman. If we exceed our target, the extra funds will go to local community conservation projects.

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  • Emily Williamson Plaque Campaign2 months ago
    Emily Williamson Plaque Campaign

    Emily Williamson Plaque Campaign

    2 months ago

    We only launched the page on Friday 6th August and we have hit 50% of our target already. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us. We are not just commemorating an amazing woman, but also spreading the word about her work, which continues to this day.

    Share this update to help us raise more

3 months ago

Emily Williamson Plaque Campaign started crowdfunding

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Page last updated on: 9/10/2021 15.13



  • Anonymous


    Sep 10, 2021


  • Anonymous


    Aug 31, 2021

  • Anonymous


    Aug 26, 2021

    Just one of the many ways we should be promoting the contribution of women to society.


  • Jon C

    Jon C

    Aug 23, 2021

    Great to celebrate such an inspirational woman and to recognise her immense impact and influence.


  • Jenny @Fabrix Lancaster

    Jenny @Fabrix Lancaster

    Aug 23, 2021

    Very proud to celebrate a female Lancaster Pioneer.


  • Chris Blaylock

    Chris Blaylock

    Aug 22, 2021


  • Steve Graham

    Steve Graham

    Aug 20, 2021

    A worthy legacy for a pioneer in wildlife conservation.


Emily Williamson Plaque Campaign

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Emily Williamson Plaque Campaign

Emily Williamson Plaque Campaign


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