Dr. Halliday Sutherland

"Dr. Halliday Sutherland is a born writer, especially a born story-teller. Dr. Sutherland, who is distinguished in medicine, is an amateur in the sense that he only writes when he has nothing better to do. But when he does, it could hardly be done better” – G.K. Chesterton

HGS Watch

I set up this blog to recall the life and work of Halliday Sutherland and to provide a resource for historians and researchers. Sutherland is sometimes remembered today for the libel action brought against him by Marie Stopes in 1923.

When these events are recalled today, there are two main flaws that I repeatedly find:

  • Firstly, when Sutherland is described in articles relating to Stopes, he is poorly-researched. The result is that a courageous, principled, resourceful and witty man is distorted to a one-dimensional figure who bears no relation to the person who lived.
  • Secondly, when Stopes achievement is described, her eugenic agenda is downplayed or not mentioned at all. The removal of a large part of what it was that he opposed, distorts how the reader of such an article is perceived.

Where I have found articles dealing with these issues that are significantly inaccurate, I contact the author and/or publisher to let them know and enable them to verify that what I have written is correct. I also contact authors of articles where I feel that my research will give them a better understanding of the things they are writing about.

The HGS Watch section provides links to the articles and include my correspondence with the author and/or publisher. My aim is that when articles mention Halliday Sutherland or matters relating to the Stopes v. Sutherland case, they are accurate. Now of course, there are many different views of history, so when I make my points I provide references to material supporting my assertions; this way the facts can be verified and you can form your own opinion.


  1. “Biography Online”.
  2. “Norman Haire and the Study of Sex” by Diana Wyndham.
  3. “The compulsory pregnancy lobby: then and now.” Marie Stopes Memorial Lecture, 1975 by Madeleine Simms.
  4. “The Trial of Marie Stopes” by Muriel Box.
  5. Atlas Obscura article 10 June 2016.
  6. B.B.C. “Historic Figures” article.
  7. Daily Telegraph, London. 16th October 2015.
  8. Museum für Verhütung und Schwangerschaftsabbruch (Museum for Contraception and Abortion).
  9. Scottish Review article “Marie Stopes’s Victory from Libel Defeat”.
  10. Socialist Party of Great Britain.
  11. Spartacus Educational.
  12. The Luther Skald: “Birth Control among the British Working Class, 1900-1930”.
  13. theheroinecollective.com “The Trials of Marie Stopes”.
  14. UKEssays.com “A Sexual Revolution”.
  15. Your Dictionary: “Marie Stopes Facts”.

(List last updated August 2017).

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Centenary of the Stopes v. Sutherland libel trial

February 21st, 2023
5.2 years to go.