2. Quaker aesthetics

Luke Howard, Quaker chemist and co-founder of Allen & Hanburys (1), was the author of a short essay 'On beauty, in the Creation and in the Mind', written in 1829 and published in 1835 in The Yorkshireman (2) (a short-lived Quaker publication) (3). It is one of the earliest statements of a new Quaker aesthetics. For Howard, beauty and truth were congruent:

 

Beauty, then, is in that which is great, in that which is true, in that which is noble, in that which is good, and pleasing to the good--in that which God, when he had found it, pronounced good and blessed it! And it is in this, no longer than while it is that which God made it. We perceive it in created objects, only in proportion as they accord with a sense of truth and fitness, and harmony within: which sense we derive from God himself, and hold it in his image. (4)

Prior to 1843 (5) much of the evidence for Quaker attitudes to the arts is anecdotal. This material will be looked at presently, as cumulatively it is of some interest. But for now only published writing of the period is considered, and it is apparent that aesthetics entered the public Quaker arena very early in the histories of the two periodicals mentioned. In particular, in five successive issues of The Friend, from September 1844, there was a warm debate, initiated by a writer using the name 'Y', who began his article on 'The Fine Arts' by presenting most of the historical and conventional objections to the Arts, concluding that 'they do but minister to the sensuous in man, from which so many of our moral evils flow'. The present author has succeeded in locating the identification of Y as the prominent Quaker philanthropist Samuel Tuke (1784-1857) (6). For Tuke,

 

Certain it is that moral evils have been rampant where the Fine Arts have been largely cultivated; . . . Indeed, we believe there is in the devotion to these more refined pleasures, a species of idolatry or at least of infidelity, which excludes, as effectually as the grosser indulgences, the truly regenerating power of Christianity. (7)

In reply there were no fewer than seven letters, predominantly opposing the negativity shown by Tuke. Though generally the opposition to Tuke is rather apologetic, not claiming much more for the Arts than their status as 'innocent recreations', one asserted that 'While they (the Fine Arts) are at present associated with much that is objectionable, they are essentially and in themselves praiseworthy, and appeal to some of the finest feelings in our nature.' (8) For J.B.A., 'a man who admires the beauties of Nature will admire the beauties of Art. (9) 'P' felt that 'I think we may rest assured, that imaginative and reflecting faculties would not have been equally bestowed upon us, had the latter alone been intended to be cultivated and improved.' (10) The editors, trying to draw a conclusion to the subject in December 1844 by pleasing all parties, but probably failing, gave their opinion 'that the Fine Arts have been and will probably continue to be auxiliaries in the promotion of true civilization, unless it can be shown that they exert a decidedly unfavourable influence on the religious character.' (11)

In 1858 an anonymous review in The Friend, of Ruskin's The Political Economy of Art, noted that 'At some future time we hope to examine the relations, possible or actual, subsisting between Quakerism and art.' (12) Sadly, this doesn't seem to have been forthcoming; it may have been overtaken by events, in the renewed debate that was about to begin.

Influential in Quaker circles, particularly through her influence on the Gurney sisters (including Elizabeth Fry), (13) was Mary Ann Schimmelpenninck. Of Quaker stock, and brought up as a Quaker, she actually joined the Moravian church in 1818. Nonetheless, like Clarkson, and (as we shall see) like Benjamin West, she remained close to Quakerism. Her Principles of Beauty was published posthumously in 1859, and was advertised in The Friend that year. (14) For Schimmelpenninck,

 

Truth, like light, is at once the most ancient, the most joyous, and the brightest of all things. Light is the garment of the Eternal, who is Truth. (15)

On the subject of painting, specifically, she considered that 'The lowest object of painting is mere imitation; its highest, the awakening the heart and imagination.' (16)

The timing of the publication of this work may be of significance. 1859 saw the publication of two prize-winning essays which between them are seen as marking a watershed in the history of the attitudes of Friends to the arts. (17)

The Rev. Thomas Hancock's The Peculium: an Endeavour to throw light on some of the causes of the decline of the Society of Friends considered that the aesthetic tendency of the age was at war with the spirit of Quakerism. For Hancock, 'The tendency of Quakerism is not only to be anti-Aesthetic, but to account a value and virtue to lie in being so.' (18) He concluded that 'by this opposition the Age and Quakerism are pledged to an incessant war—a war of the ghostly strength of the Seventeenth Century against the living strength of the Nineteenth; and that in this war Quakerism must lose.' (19)

More important in changing attitudes—because written by a member of the Society—was John Stephenson Rowntree's Quakerism, Past and Present: being an inquiry into the causes of its decline in Great Britain and Ireland. For Rowntree,

 

The attitude assumed by the Friends towards the Fine Arts, furnishes another evidence (as it appears to the writer) of their imperfect apprehension of the dignity of all the feelings and emotions, originally implanted by the Creator in the constitution of Man. . . . (20)

These two essays, so keenly critical of Quaker deficiencies, triggered much debate within the Society of Friends. Over this issue, as much as any, one can see a marked divergence of opinion between the two main Quaker periodicals of the day. (21) The British Friend predictably deplored their attack on cherished Quaker peculiarities. But, surprisingly, and with hurtful effect to the traditionalists' cause, The Friend gave cautious approval to Rowntree's essay. (22)

In 1867 a new Quaker periodical appeared for the first time: the Friends' Quarterly Examiner. Its first issue included a contribution by Alfred W. Bennett—a Quaker publisher who was one of the first to use photography as a method of book illustration (23)—which foreshadowed the future development of liberal Quaker thought. In a statement referring to the 'creaturely' nature of artistic activities (24) Bennett roundly declared that 'He that dishonoureth the creature dishonoureth the Creator.' (25)

The great Victorian critic John Ruskin—already mentioned in passing—is said to have condemned Quaker aesthetics for denying the beauty of colour. Writing in 1920, the Quaker John W. Graham (26) reported a dialogue he had had with Ruskin on the cause of the decline of the Society of Friends, in which he had had some sympathy with Ruskin's expressed view that '"Your early Friends . . . would have carried all before them if they had not been false to that which is obeyed by the whole of the animal creation, the love of colour."' (27)

A striking illustration that this did not overstate the attitudes of some Friends is given by the story of Anna Botham, whose father encouraged her pencil drawing, but on one occasion actually burnt a brilliant painting of flowers—larkspur, red anemone, and wallflowers—she had done, saying it was 'better not to indulge in colours.' (28)

Quakers, for much of their history up to the second half of the nineteenth century, were a closed community in which Quakers married other Quakers, or faced 'disownment'. This meant a degree of inbreeding, to the extent that Francis Galton (29) argued that Quaker opposition to the fine arts, and dressing in drab, had blunted Quaker visual faculties sufficiently that colour-blindness had become 'a characteristic of their race.' (30) Specifically, he claimed that colour-blindness was then nearly twice as common among Quakers as among the rest of English society. (31) The attribution of causality to Quaker inbreeding is probably now not susceptible of proof, but the association is nonetheless striking. (32)

This should not be over-stated, and there is a modicum of evidence that not all Friends abhorred colour. It was certainly not true of convinced Friends (33): Amelia Opie, for example, decorated her rooms with flowers, and revelled in the iridescence of prisms, which she set in a screen standing at her window. Shortly before her death, at the age of 84, she even noted in her diary:

 

My prisms are quite in their glory. The atmosphere must be very clear, for their radiance is brighter than I ever saw it before. Surely the Mansions in Heaven must be draped with such unparalleled colour. (34)

Before moving away from the general field of aesthetics, it is worth adducing some anecdotal evidence about (exceptional) Quaker artists and art-collecting, and about Quaker appreciation of art.

Early Quaker artists include: Sydney Parkinson, botanical painter aboard the Endeavour, who exhibited flower paintings in London in the 1760s. (35); William & George Graves, colourists for illustrations in the Botanical Magazine (36); and William Miller, engraver of Turner (and, as clerk to his meeting, a respected Friend) (37). Most notable, however, is the case of Benjamin West (1738-1820). Born and raised a Friend in America, he emigrated to England and became a popular and wealthy artist, founder and President of the Royal Academy. Though his own productions—predominantly historical genre work—do not find much favour at the present day, his influence as a teacher is undeniable. Formally, West left the Society of Friends when he became an adult, yet he always passed for a "Quaker" among the higher circles in which he moved, and is on record as having said, in conversation, "I was once a Quaker, and have never left their principles." (38)

There is quite a bit of evidence for amateur artistic activity among Quakers: Hannah Chapman Backhouse (39) wrote in her diary in 1804:

 

My thoughts have been during this week one continued castle in the air--of being an artist; the only reality they were built on, was, having painted Rachel in oils better than I thought I could do . . . I have had many arguments with myself to know if it would be right. I think it would be so, if I make good use of it. (40)

Noting the following week that her father wanted her to give it up, 'because he fears it will take the place of better objects', she also recorded that her mother's objection was merely 'on account of the dirt it makes on me and the house.' 'Opposition has only given me the greater love for it.' (41)

Sarah (Stickney) Ellis (42) enjoyed painting, and in 1836 attempted a portrait of her deceased sister, from memory. Around this time she even attempted sculpting her father's bust, in clay, noting that her father (43) was 'so much pleased to have his likeness taken by me, so willing to sit for the few minutes he thinks himself at liberty, that I thought I should ever afterwards blame myself if I did not make the attempt.' (44)

Mary Howitt (45) recalled that she felt 'a sort of tender pity for Anna and myself when I remember how we were always seeking and struggling after the beautiful, and after artistic production, though we knew nothing of art.' (46)

There is the remarkable upbringing of the Gurney sisters, whose mother Catherine (47) is said to have

 

had little sympathy with their joyless view that condemned as wrong the beautiful and happy things of life. To her it was no departure from the Quaker faith to love music and pictures and even to find pleasure in drawing. (48)

After her death their father engaged the Norfolk artist John Crome as drawing master for her daughters. Crome even accompanied the family on their holidays, when, as Hannah Gurney wrote in her diary in 1802, 'We generally get up early and draw for the first two or three hours in the morning before we set out on our excursions.' But the Gurney girls were quite exceptional in this, and even they were expected to restrict themselves to careful representation of landscape. (49)

In this connection it is worth considering the role of the Quaker schools. Though in general the arts were not taught at these schools, (50) pencil drawing, as an aid to the study of nature, was introduced during the first half of the nineteenth century; and in this, as in their practice of crafts (51), Quaker schools were ahead of both state and private schools. This had certainly been part of Catherine Gurney's motivation: the curriculum for her own children's studies included the acquisition of a 'capacity for drawing from nature, in order to promote that knowledge and facilitate the pursuit of it.' (52) Bootham School appointed a drawing master in 1835. (53) At Ackworth School an extra-curricular Society of Arts was founded in 1836, though it had nearly foundered by 1845, reviving again in 1851. Remembered as having been successful in encouraging a love for art, its stated objective, in 1836, had been 'the encouragement of drawing, mapping, laying down plans, ornamental penmanship, and modelling in card-board, wood, or any other materials,' giving a severely utilitarian and non-aesthetic (almost Gradgrindian) rationale for the project. (54)

To return to looking at individual Quaker amateur artists: Caroline Fox early developed an interest in art and sculpture, through the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society. Her sister Anna Maria Fox (55) 'sketched assiduously, and was a regular prize-winner at the Polytechnic.' (56)

Probably the most notable amateur Quaker painter was Samuel Lucas (57), the Hitchin brewer, of whom it was written that 'Drawing and colouring were to him the natural mode of expressing the feelings nature awoke in his mind, and had his life's bread-winning taken this direction he would probably have risen to distinction in artistic circles'. (58) Lucas created many sketches of people and places in the Hitchin area, and left a number of informal portraits of Quaker friends and acquaintances, either quickly drawn, the subject unaware, or drawn from memory. But, in deference to Quaker tradition, he could not persevere in portrait painting. (59)

Of the appreciation of art, too, there is evidence: William Hazlitt (60) recorded a Quaker visit to the Royal Academy summer exhibition in 1814:

 

We remember having been formerly a good deal amused with seeing a smart, handsome-looking Quaker lad, standing before a picture of Christ as the saviour of the world, with a circle of young female friends around him, and a newspaper in his hand, out of which he read to his admiring auditors a criticism on the picture, ascribing to it every perfection human and divine. (61)

Martin Robinson regarded as a treat the opportunity to spend a few hours at the Royal Academy, when in London for Yearly Meeting. Though the walls of his home displayed just a single framed print (62), his daughter Maude recalled that:

 

Father would say he knew what good pictures were and as he could not afford them he would not spoil his children's taste with the cheap and nasty. But he had in the fifties taken a good 'Magazine of Art' and from its illustrations we got our first ideas of Raphael and Rubens, Greuze and Van der Veld, and the more modern Turner and Sir John Gilbert. (63)

Mary Jane Taylor (64) visited the Royal Academy and National Gallery, with a party of friends, in 1851, and recorded her pleasure at visiting the Dulwich Picture Gallery in 1859. (65)

In May 1858, rather surprisingly, The British Friend reviewed the first number of The Art Review, and Photographic Record. The review noted that the proprietors of the new periodical believed 'that in proportion as art prospers, and is appreciated, the people will be refined and elevated in their more ordinary enjoyments and pursuits.' (66)

In the following year the same periodical gave its seal of approval to John Stewart's Review of the Exhibition of the Royal Academy and Other Galleries. The reviewer quelled his anxieties about reviewing a work related to fine arts, on the tenuous ground that the author was known to him personally. (67)

There were a number of Quaker art-collectors: John Fothergill (68) had a notable collection of English portraits and prints, sold for 200 guineas after his death. (69) Richard Reynolds (70) 'possessed a decided taste for pictures and engravings, and made a small collection of valuable portraits.' (71) Jacob Bell (72) came of a Quaker family and had a Quaker education; he studied art, and was already collecting seriously by the age of 25. (73) Charles Heath Warner (74) had a large collection of pictures by celebrated artists. (75)

An interesting case was that of the poet Bernard Barton (76), said to have been 'rich in pictures', possessing work by Constable, Old Crome, Cotman, &c. (77) There is an interesting letter from Barton, dated 1830, in which the author declares that he sees 'no irreconcilable hostility between the religious principles of Friends and the indulgence of a taste for painting.' However, he is 'quite aware that a Quaker painter would be a still greater novelty than a Quaker poet,' and doubts 'whether the former would not have a still more difficult and delicate task to perform than the latter if he hoped to be regarded by the Body as orthodox and consistent.' For Barton, 'Abstractedly there can be no necessary hostility between Quakerism and painting,' any more than there is between Quakerism and landscape gardening; but in practice the matter is less simple. 'My own nutshell of a house is as full of prints and pictures as I can well hang it; but my indulgence in this respect is at variance with general practice amongst us, and would be regarded, I doubt not, as a species of laxity and latitudinarianism by many excellent and worthy members of our Society. (78)

It may be as well to look a little more deeply into the issue of the display of pictures. Clarkson, again, is the principal source. He wrote that

 

We shall often be disappointed . . . if we expect to find either paintings or prints in frame, such things being looked upon by Friends as indicating a love of display or vain decoration. I seldom remember to have seen above three or four articles of this description in all my intercourse with the Society. Some families had one of these, others a second, and others a third, but none had them all : and in many families neither the one nor the other was to be seen. (79)

The 'articles of this description' were:

Clarkson gave the following elaboration of customary Quaker practice in this regard:

 

It is . . . not in keeping with the Society's profession to decorate their houses in this manner. There are, however, exceptions. Some members have come accidentally into possession of paintings and engravings in frame, which, being innocent in their subject and their lesson, they have thought proper to retain. Prints in frames, if hung up promiscuously in a room, would be considered as ornamental furniture, or as furniture for show. They would therefore come under the denomination of superfluities; and the admission of such, in the way that other people admit them, would be considered as an adoption of the empty customs or fashions of the world.

But though the members of this Society are not in the practice of hanging up prints in frames, yet there are amateurs among them, who have a number and variety of prints in their possession. But these appear chiefly in collections, bound together in books, or preserved in portfolios, and not in frames as ornamental furniture for their rooms. (83)

A very pertinent example of the anxieties—finding the right balance between propriety and taste—felt by wealthy Friends is revealed in a letter from Elizabeth Fry to her brother Joseph John Gurney in 1829: 'I think if the pictures at Earlham (84) were very fine or expensive it would make it an ornamented house highly improper for thee but as they now are and were left by my father, I think removing them from any friendly views would be a pity, though as a matter of taste it would in time perhaps prove a real improvement.' (85)

Before moving on, it may be worth bearing in mind, as a corrective, the view expressed retrospectively by Francis Frith in 1884, looking back at the Quakerism of the 1820s: 'Not only has it not, nor ever had, any of the repulsive and ascetic character which novelists and persons ignorant of the matter have attributed to it, but . . . the doctrines of the Society were even then, in liberality and foresight, in advance even of the average religious intelligences of the present day.' (86)

There was indeed a process of cultural and social liberalisation at work, through which the Society of Friends would pass, though perhaps Frith was locating the start of the process too early in the century. He is certainly right to suggest that puritanism was not confined to the Quakers, and was in many ways a characteristic of the middle-class culture of the age. Yet Quaker puritanism was on the wane by the 1840s, and the process was almost complete by the 1880s. 'The change which took place among Friends was not, of course, uniform, since it depended, not on the church's corporate decision, but on a slow modification of the views of hundreds of individuals and families.' (87)

The impact of the two prize-winning essays of 1859 has already been mentioned. In the social sphere 1859 saw another major watershed: the Society removed the prohibition against Friends' and non-Friends marrying after the manner of the Society. This had the two-fold effect of reducing the unfortunate leakage from Quakerism of many worthy people; and of allowing into the Quaker fold men and women of other backgrounds and traditions, bringing fresh interests and a wider perspective. The following year (1860), Yearly Meeting agreed to drop its traditional fourth Query on plainness in speech, behaviour and apparel, instead counselling members more generally to 'be careful to maintain in your own conduct, and to encourage in your families, that simplicity in deportment and attire, that avoidance of flattery and insincerity of language, that non-conformity to the world, which become the disciples of the Lord Jesus.' The next edition of the Book of Discipline saw no further reference to the ancient formula of plainness, and thenceforth the distinctive Quaker mode of dress lapsed into desuetude. (88)


1. The pharmaceutical firm, still trading under this name. Private communication from John Calland, 3x great-grandnephew of William Allen.

2. Cantor (1999): 20; Howard (1835): 79-80.

3. Luke Howard (1772-1864) is best remembered today not for his contribution to Quaker aesthetics, but for his meteorological nomenclature of cloud types, still used today.

4. Howard (1835): 79-80.

5. When the two main British Quaker monthlies—The Friend and The British Friend—were founded.

6. Tylor (1900): 172. This work, apparently overlooked by earlier researchers, and only examined at this time as part of the general trawl through Quaker memoirs, has a chapter explicitly making the identification.

7. 'Y', 'The Fine Arts', The Friend II.9 (September 1844): 197. Interestingly, Tuke's grandson, Henry Tuke Mennell, wrote that '"It would be a great mistake to suppose that there was anything narrow or puritanical in the home life at York. Several of Samuel Tuke's children, notably Henry, Gulielma, and Esther, possessed artistic talents of no mean order, which they cultivated with the entire approval of their father."'—quoted in Tylor, op. cit.: 177-8.

8. Nicholson (1968): 91-2.

9. J.B.A., 'A Few Considerations in Favour of the Fine Arts, The Friend II.10 (October 1844): 228.

10. 'P', 'On the historical evidence adduced against the fine arts', The Friend II.11 (November 1844): 252.

11. Editorial, The Friend II.12 (December 1844): 275.

12. anon. review, The Friend XVI.181 (January 1858): 56. For this publication to be reviewing Ruskin's work is itself of interest, although this particular review is not especially significant to this dissertation.

13. Corder (1853): 10. Elizabeth Fry was sister to Joseph John Gurney.

14. The Friend XVII (1859), vi (June). 198:117.

15. Schimmelpenninck (1859): 38. This bracketing of truth and light is of particular interest in the context of photography.

16. ibid.: 331.

17. Connett (1979): 7-9; Nicholson (1968): 88-9. The essays had been prompted by the decline in membership described above (p. 7).

18. Hancock (1859): 224.

19. ibid.: 225.

20. Rowntree (1859): 51. He continued: 'Whilst the primitive Quakers did not purpose absolutely to banish these pursuits from the homes of themselves and their successors, they so far restrained the development of the aesthetic element, that acting in conjunction with the general subjective character of the system, Quakerism became (what the French denominate) a Spécialité, without the elastic, adaptive qualities, which fit Christianity for every tribe of man . . . .'

21. Both—monthly publications with a national distribution—were founded in 1843. The Friend tended, in its first two decades, to be seen as the voice of London Friends, while The British Friend, privately owned and published in Glasgow, was by the 1850s more resistant to change. Effectively there was a running debate between the two, and they should be read in parallel. For more on the history of these publications, see anon. (1943), Morton (1993) and Barber (1993).

22. Nicholson (1968): 88-91.

23. Dictionary of Quaker Biography, Wigg (1995): 15-6.

24. But also relevant to Quaker attitudes to portraiture, which had often been thought of as 'exalting the creature'.

25. Nicholson (1968): 92.

26. Then principal of Dalton Hall, in Manchester.

27. Graham (1920): 154-5.

28. Nicholson (1968): 60.

29. The pioneer of eugenics.

30. Galton (1883): 32-3.

31. Famously, of course, the Quaker chemist John Dalton was colour blind, and there is indeed a form of colour-blindness known as 'Daltonism.'

32. loc cit.; Nicholson (1968): 57.

33. The conventional term for converts from other denominations, not brought up as Quakers.

34. Nicholson (1968): 89; Brightwell (1854): 334.

35. Carr (1983): xi; Beck, Wells & Chalkley (1881): 482-3; Cantor (1999): 12-3, 17.

36. Cantor (1999): 12.

37. Beck, Wells & Chalkley (1881): 444-5. The 'clerk' to a Quaker meeting is actually a key post, combining many of the features of the more usual Chair and Secretary; appointed annually, the postholder would need discretion and general standing, in addition to ability.

38. Sandman (1992): viii, 16; Beck, Wells & Chalkley (1881): 691-706. David Sox has expressed the paradox unambiguously: 'The point is, therefore, that despite West's attending Anglican services, marrying according to the Anglican rite and being buried at St Paul's Cathedral, West also thought of himself as a Quaker.'—Sox (2000): 17.

39. 1787-1850.

40. Backhouse (1858): 5. Rachel was her sister.

41. ibid.: 6.

42. 1799-1872.

43. William Ellis, 1764-1848.

44. Ellis (n.d.): 76, 92-3.

45. 1799-1888.

46. Howitt (1889): 57. Anna was her sister.

47. d. 1792.

48. Menzies-Wilson & Lloyd (1937): 6.

49. ibid.: 20; Nicholson (1968): 51-5..

50. Boyce (1889): 78-9.

51. i.e. woodwork &c.

52. Sargeant (1850): 121; Nicholson, loc. cit.

53. Doncaster (1908).

54. Thompson (1879): 212, 245, 276; Beck, Wells & Chalkley (1888): 805.

55. 1816-97.

56. Harris (1944): 300.

57. 1805-70.

58. Beck, Wells & Chalkley (1888): 441.

59. Nicholson (1968): 51-7.

60. The painter and critic.

61. quoted in Denvir (1984): 75. Hazlitt continued: 'Now, in truth, the colouring was anything but solemn, the drawing anything but grand, the expression anything but sublime. The friendly critic had, however, bedaubed it so with praise, that it was not easy to gainsay its wondrous excellence.'

62. A coloured print of Niagara Falls—see Robinson (1938/1947), as cited below..

63. Robinson (1938/1947): 41-2.

64. Born in 1831, and a relation of Samuel Lucas.

65. Taylor (1914): 97-8, 162.

66. anon, The British Friend: XVI, May 1858: 136. The review continued: 'If we may judge from the specimen before us, the desideratum seems in a fair way to be furnished, and in a highly creditable manner . . .'

67. anon., The British Friend, XVII, July 1859:190.

68. 1712-80, the eminent Quaker physician.

69. Beck, Wells & Chalkley (1888): 240.

70. 1735-1816, philanthropist and industrialist.

71. Reynolds (1852): 55.

72. 1810-59, founder of the Pharmaceutical Society and art patron.

73. Beck, Wells & Chalkley (1888): 72.

74. 1811-79, London Quaker druggist.

75. ibid.: 685.

76. 1784-1849, employed for 40 years as a clerk in the bank of Dykes and Samuel Alexander, at Woodbridge.

77. Lucas (1893): 27, 56-7.

78. ibid.: 120-1. To anticipate, somewhat, only a single reference has been found to the serious collecting of photographs by a Quaker, in the Victorian period: Charlotte Sturge (1817-91), it is said, 'had a refined taste for art, which showed itself in the adornments of her house, and in a large collection of valuable photographs which she had acquired from time to time.' (Sturge [1891]: 10.)

79. Clarkson (1869): 81.

80. There is evidence independent of Clarkson, for the popularity of this image among Friends: see advertisements in The Friend V (February 1847): advertisement sheet p. 3, & VI (January 1848): advertisement sheet p. 8; and Boyce (1889): 78-9. It is not clear that any specific engraving of this subject was the norm.

81. The reference is to the still-familiar image of the lower deck of a slave ship, with representations of the cargo of slaves packed in like sardines. This image, according to Clarkson, was not displayed as a monument to Friends' own work in the anti-slavery cause, but for the motive of 'exciting benevolence' and procuring sympathy for the cause.

82. ibid.: 81-2. A number of engravings of Ackworth school can be identified, of which that by T. Stackhouse, Jr, made in 1814, is the likeliest candidate (see above). If 'plan' is intended in its true architectural sense (which seems unlikely), though plans exist, they would surely be exceptionally dry objects of display

Characteristically, it is said that after Clarkson's death a fourth image was often to be found, viz that of the great anti-slavery campaigner himself.—Nicholson (1968): 101.

83. Clarkson (1869): 81-2.

84. The Gurney family estate.

85. Friends House Library, Eddington Gurney Ms I/219, Elizabeth Fry to Joseph John Gurney, 1st January 1829. Evidently Gurney decided in favour of the improvement, as an 1875 letter from Daniel Gurney to John Henry Gurney laments that 'it is a great pity Earlham was stripped of its pictures.'—Eddington Gurney Ms II/63, Daniel Gurney to John Henry Gurney, 8th January 1875.

86. quoted in Jay (1973): 11.

87. Isichei (1970): 152, 154-6.

88. Nicholson (1968): 91-2.


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