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Religion and the New Liberalism: The Rowntree Family, Quakerism, and Social Reform

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1 Regarding the family firm, see Fitzgerald Robert, Rowntree and the Marketing Revolution, 1862–1969 (Cambridge, 1995).

2 See Brown Callum, The Death of Christian Britain: Understanding Secularization, 1800–2000 (London, 2001), for a summary of the secularization debate.

3 The historiography on this debate is enormous. Current trends are ably summarized in Searle Geoffrey, The Liberal Party, 2d ed. (Basingstoke, 2001).

4 The literature is surveyed in Bebbington David, “Nonconformity and Electoral Sociology, 1867–1918,” Historical Journal 27, no. 3 (1984): 633–56.

5 Clarke Peter, “Electoral Sociology of Modern Britain,” History 57 (1972): 3155.

6 Glaser John, “English Nonconformity and the Decline of Liberalism,” American Historical Review 63, no. 2 (1957–58): 352–63.

7 Clarke Peter, Liberals and Social Democrats (Cambridge, 1978); Freeden Michael, The New Liberalism: An Ideology of Social Reform (Oxford, 1978).

8 Clarke, “Electoral Sociology.”

9 Wald Kenneth, Crosses on the Ballot: Patterns of British Voter Alignment since 1885 (Princeton, N.J., 1983).

10 Pelling Henry, Social Geography of British Elections, 1885–1910 (London, 1967), pp. 432–33; Bebbington, “Nonconformity and Electoral Sociology”; Kinnear Michael, The British Voter: An Atlas and Survey since 1885, 2d ed. (London, 1981), pp. 8283, 125–29.

11 Bebbington David, The Nonconformist Conscience: Chapel and Politics, 1870–1914 (London, 1982), pp. 3760.

12 Blewett Neal, The Peers, the Parties, and the People: The British General Elections of 1910 (London, 1972), p. 344.

13 Koss Stephen, Nonconformity and Modern British Politics (London, 1975), pp. 119–20; Clarke Peter, Lancashire and the New Liberalism (Cambridge, 1971), pp. 5758.

14 Bebbington David, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s (London, 1989), pp. 217. Only the Evangelical element in Unitarianism does not fit comfortably into this definition.

15 Hilton Boyd, The Age of Atonement: The Influence of Evangelicalism on Social and Economic Thought, 1795–1865 (Oxford, 1988).

16 Bebbington , Evangelicalism, pp. 211–14; Thompson David, “The Emergence of the Nonconformist Social Gospel in England,” in Protestant Evangelicalism: Britain, Ireland, Germany, and America c.1750–c.1950, ed. Robbins Keith, Studies in Church History: Subsidia, vol. 7 (Oxford, 1990), pp. 255–80.

17 King W. M., “Hugh Price Hughes and the British Social Gospel,” Journal of Religious History (June 1984): 6682; Thompson David, “John Clifford's Social Gospel,” Baptist Quarterly 31 (1986):199217.

18 Hughes Hugh Price, Social Christianity (London, 1889), p. 88.

19 These developments were not confined to British Nonconformists. Regarding Anglicanism, see Walsh Cheryl, “The Incarnation and the Christian Socialist Conscience in the Victorian Church of England,” Journal of British Studies 34, no. 3 (1995): 351–74; for a broader, transatlantic perspective, see Phillips Paul T., A Kingdom on Earth: Anglo-American Social Christianity, 1880–1940 (University Park, Pa., 1996).

20 Helmstadter Richard, “The Nonconformist Conscience,” in Religion in Victorian Britain, 5 vols., ed. Parsons Geoffrey (Manchester, 1988), 4:6195, quotation on p. 91.

21 Bernstein George, “The Limitations of the New Liberalism: The Politics and Political Thought of John Clifford,” Albion 16, no. 1 (1984): 2139.

22 Searle, Liberal Party, pp. 56–57.

23 Cox Jeffrey, The English Churches in a Secular Society: Lambeth, 1870–1930 (New York, 1982), pp. 151–76.

24 Isichei Elizabeth, Victorian Quakers (Oxford, 1970), pp. 316, 188–257.

25 This development has recently been superbly described in Kennedy Thomas, British Quakerism, 1860–1920: The Transformation of a Religious Community (Oxford, 2001), pp. 157210.

26 Allott Stephen, John Wilhelm Rowntree, 1868–1905 (York, 1994); Kennedy Thomas, “What Hath Manchester Wrought? Change in the Religious Society of Friends, 1895–1920,” Journal of the Friends Historical Society 57 (1996): 277305.

27 Rowntree John Wilhelm, “What Has Jesus to Say to the State?” in John Wilhelm Rowntree: Essays and Addresses, ed. Rowntree Joshua (London, 1906), pp. 378, 382.

28 The most recent collection of essays on Rowntree Seebohm, Getting the Measure of Poverty: The Early Legacy of Seebohm Rowntree, ed. Bradshaw Jonathan and Sainsbury Roy (Aldershot, 2000), mentions his Quakerism only in passing.

29 Kennedy , British Quakerism, pp. 138–39; Briggs Asa, Social Thought and Social Action: A Study of the Work of Seebohm Rowntree, 1871–1954 (London, 1961), pp. 1216.

30 Briggs , Social Thought, pp. 1415.

31 Rowntree Benjamin Seebohm, “The Repression of Gambling,” in Betting and Gambling: A National Evil, ed. Rowntree Benjamin Seebohm (London, 1905), p. 188; see also Rowntree Benjamin Seebohm, The Labourer and the Land (London, 1914), p. 57, for another declaration on religion and social reform.

32 On the book and its impact, see Briggs , Social Thought, pp. 2546.

33 Blackburn Sheila, “Ideology and Social Policy: The Origins of the Trade Boards Act,” Historical Journal 34, no. 1 (1991): 4364.

34 Packer Ian, Lloyd George, Liberalism, and the Land: The Land Issue and Party Politics in England, 1906–1914 (Woodbridge, 2001), pp. 8586.

35 Pimlott John, Toynbee Hall: Fifty Years of Social Progress, 1884–1934 (London, 1935), pp. 188–89; E. Richard Cross: A Biographical Sketch with Literary Papers and Religious and Political Addresses, ed. Wilkinson Marion (London, 1917), pp. 2528, 49–51.

36 Land Enquiry Committee, The Land: The Report of the Land Enquiry Committee, 2 vols. (London, 1913), 1:167. Regarding Rowntree's and Cross's crucial role in moving the enquiry toward an urban minimum wage, see E. W. Davies Journal, 5 November 1913, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, E. W. Davies Papers, MS A/7, Journals 1911–14, fol. 95.

37 Packer, Lloyd George, Liberalism, and the Land, pp. 100–104.

38 Edwin Montagu to Lloyd George, 12 June 1914, House of Lords Record Office, London, Lloyd George Papers, C/1/1/18; Packer, Lloyd George, Liberalism, and the Land, pp. 119–48.

39 Briggs, Social Thought, p. 78.

40 Vipont Elfrida, Arnold Rowntree: A Life (London, 1955), pp. 2526, 35–37, 43–44.

41 Arnold Rowntree to Mary Rowntree, 3 July 1907, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York, Rowntree Papers, L/93/29.

42 Vipont, Arnold Rowntree, p. 46.

43 Hansard, 5th ser., 52 (30 April 1913): 1204, “Question on a York Man Dismissed from the War Office”; Hansard, 5th ser., 60 (8 April 1914): 1955, “Question on York Telephone Service”; Arnold Rowntree to Mary Rowntree, 9 August 1911, 15 August 1911, Friends House, London, Tessa Cadbury Papers, Temporary MS 647.

44 Hansard, 5th ser., 51 (11 April 1913): 1562–66, “Speech on Conscription”; Hansard, 5th ser., 58 (24 February 1914): 1586–87, “Question on Fine Defaultors in Prison”; Hansard, 5th ser., 59 (10 March 1914): 1056, “Question on Coastguard Libraries.”

45 Hansard, 5th ser., 47 (30 January 1913): 1599–1604, “Speech on Railways (No. 2) Bill.”

46 Arnold Rowntree to Mary Rowntree, 5, 6, and 28 July 1911; 23 October 1911; and 1, 2, and 7 November 1911, Tessa Cadbury Papers, Temporary MS 647.

47 Hansard, 5th ser., 55 (15 July 1913): 1160–63; Arnold Rowntree to Mary Rowntree, 27 February 1912, 18 June 1912, and 2 July 1912, Friends House, London, Tessa Cadbury Papers, Temporary MS 647.

48 Vipont, Arnold Rowntree, pp. 22, 43–44.

49 Vernon Anne, A Quaker Business Man: The Life of Joseph Rowntree, 1836–1925 (London, 1958), pp. 153–57, 160–63.

50 For the Rowntrees and the Nation, see Havighurst Alfred F., Radical Journalist: H. W. Massingham (Cambridge, 1974), pp. 143–44, 153–55, 250–56, 294–302.

51 Duncum Arthur, The Westminster Press Provincial Newspapers (London, 1952), pp. 35; Koss Stephen, The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain, 2 vols. (London, 1984), 2:4243, 147–48, 172–73.

52 Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust, minutes, 10 December 1907, 1 March 1910, Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, York.

53 Armstrong George, Memoirs of George Gilbert Armstrong: Journalist, Politician, Author, Preacher (London, 1944), pp. 8190; Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust, minutes, 1 October 1907, 10 December 1907, Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, York.

54 Mathers Helen, “Sheffield Municipal Politics, 1893–1926: Parties, Personalities and the Rise of Labour” (Ph.D. diss., University of Sheffield, 1980), pp. 118–55.

55 Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust, minutes, 9 September 1909, Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, York.

56 Sheffield Independent (17 December 1909).

57 Sheffield Independent (2 November 1910).

58 Sheffield Independent (3 November 1913). Oliver Wilson was Henry Wilson's younger son and chairman of the council's health committee.

59 Vipont, Arnold Rowntree, p. 31; Briggs, Social Thought, pp. 44–45; Yorkshire Evening Press (12 July 1904, 28 July 1904); Crichton D. S. et al. , Towards a Municipal Policy for York (York, 1905).

60 See Hills Rodney, The Inevitable March of Labour? Electoral Politics in York, 1900–14, Borthwick Paper, no. 89 (York, 1996), pp. 1221 regarding this process.

61 Yorkshire Gazette (4 July 1914, 18 July 1914, 1 August 1914).

62 Armstrong, Memories, pp. 94–95; North Eastern Daily Gazette (3 November 1913); Wasserstein Bernard, The Secret Lives of Trebitsch Lincoln, 2d ed. (London, 1989), pp. 7581, 84–89.

63 Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust, minutes, 3 April 1912, 8 July 1912, 26 May 1913, 12 October 1914, 19 November 1915, 28 December 1916, Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, York.

64 Arnold Rowntree to Mary Rowntree, 13 February 1908, Rowntree Papers, L/93/29, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York.

65 SirSlesser Henry, Judgement Reserved (London, 1941), pp. 4849.

66 Arnold Rowntree to Herbert Gladstone, 30 June 1903, British Library, London, Herbert Gladstone Papers, MS 46060, fols. 220–21; Northern Echo (4 January 1910).

67 Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust, minutes, 31 May 1910, Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, York.

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