Quaker Man Dressed in Simplicity
300 years of Quakers in Tottenham

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Tottenham Quakers

William Allen the philanthropist

William Allen was a welcoming man who always sought to help people out. A young Frenchwoman who stayed with him in 1829 recalled that his house

"to its full extent and often beyond it, was ever open to receive all the strangers who required his aid and protection; and as memory glances over the scenes of that period... I see men of all countries and of all shades of colour; Russians, Germans, Frenchmen, Swedes, Greeks, Italians, and Spaniards, North American Indians, West Indians, and many of the suffering sons of Africa partaking of that hospitality which he knew so well how to bestow without the least ostentation."

He also took a keen interest in education. From 1808 he took an active part in the schools promoted by fellow Quaker Joseph Lancaster. Joseph's vision was not matched by financial or administrative abilities and William was almost solely responsible for setting these schools on a sound footing.

While travelling in Sussex, he "saw that a good system of education for the children of the labouring classes was greatly needed in these districts" and began the agricultural colony at Lindfield, near Haywards Heath, where he created a school farm and other training facilities for the children.

Quaker Woman