Joseph Rowntree

1801-1859. Quaker social reformer. Born in Yorkshire, he left school at thirteen, later becoming a grocer and member of the Merchants' Company, with a lifelong interest in education. He was a founder of the York Quarterly Meeting Boys' and Girls' Schools (1828, 1830) at Bootham and The Mount, and of the Friends' School at Rawdon (1832) for children of a different class. A founding trustee of the Flounders' Institute, Ackworth, for training teachers, he with Samuel Tuke helped establish the Friends' Educational Society (1837) and served on the committee of the Friends' Retreat for the insane at York. An alderman from 1853, he declined the mayorship of York in 1858 on conscience. He inaugurated several schemes for municipal reform, wrote pamphlets on colonial slavery and on education, and helped reform the marriage regulations of the Society of Friends, so that marriage to a non-Quaker would no longer mean disownment.