Quaker Man Dressed in Simplicity
300 years of Quakers in Tottenham

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Tottenham Quakers

Conscientious objection

The belief that every human being is a child of God has led Friends to oppose all wars and preparation for wars. How can one kill another person, a potential channel of Truth, no matter how misguided he or she may seem at the moment?

George Harding, a Tottenham Friend, was fined in 1810 12 12s for refusing to serve in the militia. On 4/9/1810, 141 pounds of leather was seized from his shoemaking business.

During both the First and Second World Wars, conscription was introduced in Britain, requiring all able-bodied men to sign up for military service. In the Second World War conscription was extended to include some women. Friends' peace testimony meant that they refused to participate in military actions. Many people joined Friends after the Wars as a result of their stand on conscientious objection.

During the First World War, Friends and others had to fight for their right not to take part. Three members of Tottenham Friends Meeting, Stuart Beavis, Fred Murfin, Alfred Taylor and were sentenced to death for their refusal.

Quaker Woman