Quaker Man Dressed in Simplicity
300 years of Quakers in Tottenham

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Tottenham Quakers

Mary Elizabeth Phillips (1840-1922)

Mary Elizabeth showed a great interest in social reform from childhood. She attended the Bible Society and Anti-Slavery Committee meetings with her mother. She was a member of the executive of the British Women's Temperance Association and president of the Tottenham Branch for 22 years.

One of Mary's chief aims in life was the abolition of public houses. For many years she attended local Brewster sessions and fearlessly opposed the applications for new licences. In 1894 a publican brought an action against her for "malicious persecution". He lost the case!

The first coffee stall in Tottenham was begun by Mary. It was fixed on wheels. It was so successful that she took over a building for sale of non-intoxicating beverages in a building at the corner of Bruce Grove Railway station.

Mary also set up a public restaurant (the White Ribbon Restaurant) at Tottenham Hale for the benefit of workers of several large manufacturing establishments in the area.

Quaker Woman