Chidley, William James

Eccentric campaigner for vegetarianism, fresh air, comfortable clothing and 'correct' sex, who spoke in the Domain and was repeatedly committed to mental institutions.

Milestone
Born
probably Victoria
1860
Died
21 Dec 1916
Buried
23 Dec 1916
Occupation
Position
1911
1977

William Chidley at Speakers Corner

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2014

William James Chidley was a regular speaker in the Domain in the early twentieth century. His odd dress and eccentric views led to his repeated arrest and confinement in mental institutions. Considered a social and moral menace by the authorities of the day, Chidley's struggle for freedeom garnered nationwide support, ultimately exposing social conflicts over censorship and freedom of speech, morality and relations between the sexes.