Quaker Man Dressed in Simplicity
300 years of Quakers in Tottenham

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Tottenham Quakers

Josiah Forster (1782 -1870)

Josiah Forster was born in Tottenham and attended the school established by his grandfather (also Josiah Forster) at Tottenham Green: Forster's School. He "showed intelligence and was quick at acquiring foreign languages" and displayed an early inclination towards teaching. He became an assistant at the school for some years, working under his uncle, Thomas Coar.

When Thomas retired, Josiah took over running of the school, retiring in 1826. He was a successful teacher, and always kind and generous. This sometimes allowed the boys to get the better of him. An amusing incident occurred when he discovered boys with fireworks. They were asked to give them up whereupon Josiah decided the best method of disposing of them was to throw them on the fire, much to his own consternation and the boys' delight.

In 1826, Josiah decided to give up teaching to devote more time to Quaker work. Aside from education, his great passions were the anti-slavery campaign and the British and Foreign Bible Society. He became well known in all these, earning a national reputation. Josiah wrote several books of a religious nature and on the iniquities of the slave trade.

Josiah was a founder member of Grove House School (established in 1828). He became a subscriber to the Lancasterian Boys' School in Tottenham and sat on the management committee .

Quaker Woman