Quaker Studies


Through an examination of the establishment and early grant-making priorities of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, this article explores the development of Quaker philanthropy in Britain in the Victorian and Edwardian periods, especially in the context of the long-standing Quaker interest in adult education. It locates Joseph Rowntree's view of philanthropy in the wider contexts of the changing patterns of Victorian and Edwardian philanthropic theory and practice, the nineteenth-century growth of Quaker social concern, and the changing perceptions of the problem of poverty during Rowntree's lifetime. It argues that the motives underlying the establishment of the Charitable Trust were predicated on an essentially Victorian conception of the role of the philanthropist, modified by Rowntree's own experience of the changes within the Society of Friends during the nineteenth century.



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