• Title
    Maurice L. Rowntree papers
  • Reference
    TEMP MSS 480
  • Date
  • Scope and Content
    Diaries covering a period from his schooldays right through until adulthood, extensive research notes on a wide variety of topics, correspondence mainly from his time in prison as a conscientious objector during World War I, 1917-1919, minutes, reports and papers from his time on various committees and organisations in the 1930s and early 1940s, including the Peace Committee of the Society of Friends, the National Peace Council, and the Peace Pledge Union, newspaper cuttings, photographs and some personal administrative papers.
  • Extent
    12 boxes
  • Level of description
  • Condition governing access
  • Creator
    • Rowntree, Maurice L., 1882-1944
      Born in Scarborough on 14th Jan 1882, Maurice was the only child of Joshua and Isabella (Tindall) Rowntree. He was educated at Oliver’s Mount School and Sedbergh. He began training as an architect under Fred Rowntree, but dropped this to study Theology at Balliol College, Oxford. It was there he met Stephen Hobhouse and took him to his first Quaker meeting. He completed his education in Germany, at Cassell and at Universities of Marburg and Heidelberg. He traveled for a period after this, going to the countries of the Levant, including a visit to the Friends school at Brummana in Syria. On these travels he met Maud Binns and in 1910 they got married in her home town of Constantinople. They both returned to England and worked as wardens at Swarthmore Settlement for Adult Education in Leeds. In 1916 Maurice underwent his first imprisonment as a conscientious objector, in Wormwood Scrubs, later being taken to Armley Gaol, Leeds. He was sentenced three times in all and served 25 months imprisonment. He took part in some post-war relief work in Vienna, and Budapest before returning to England and taking up the Wardenship of Rowancroft Settlement in Scarborough. In 1923 Maurice, Maud and their three children all went to Constantinople, where Maurice taught in the American School of Religion, and at a Mission School under the American Board of Missions (possibly Robert College). They returned to England in 1927. He worked with the Bedford Institute in East London, as Warden of their Walthamstow Settlement, and later as President of the association. He also held position of a clerk in the Borough Council Offices at Finsbury Town Hall. His membership of the War and Social Order Council of the Society of Friends (later Industrial and Social Order Committee), originally set up during WWI, inspired many of Rowntree’s publications. He published several books on Pacifism, and books, pamphlets and articles on education, labour issues , theology and Quaker biography. Many of these are available in our printed books collection in the Library. He was also a key player in the Peace Pledge Union, acting as treasurer of the PPU through World War II, and in the National Peace Council. It was at a PPU conference, in Spicelands, Devon, in 1944,that Maurice died suddenly. His wife Maud took on the role of treasurer.
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