Records of Bradford ("Heaton") Friends Adult School

Scope and Content

Trust deeds, memoranda of appointment of trustees and correspondence relating to merger of Adult School with Bradford and District Adult School Union, 1890-1925 (1 bundle) [LL 88]

Administrative / Biographical History

Following the successful operation of a Friends First Day School in Bradford since the 1850s, a separate Adult School was established in 1875 by H. B. Priestman. This met initially in the Female Educational Institute and then at the Mechanics Institute. The school did not have its own savings bank, but instead the teachers acted as agents for the Yorkshire Penny Bank. By 1886, the school was the fourth largest in the country, with an average attendance of 646 and between 1000 and 2000 members on the register. Several classes began to meet separately in local Board Schools from 1883 onwards, and gained autonomy as branch schools. A Women's School began in the late 1880s. A purpose-built central schoolhouse was not acquired until 1890, on a site in Heaton purchased by Walter Priestman. By 1901, the attendance figures had dropped to 347. The schools suffered competition from the popular PSA movement ("Pleasant Sunday Afternoons") and had dispersed themselves too widely across the city. The central school joined the Bradford and District Adult School Union in September 1906 and was known formally as the Bradford Friends Adult School Branch. Its premises were disposed of in 1917 and the proceeds invested. However the Adult School itself continued until 1981.


The records are arranged according to the system used when they were in Carlton Hill Meeting House

Conditions Governing Access

The conditions of deposit include a clause requiring written prior permission from a Friend Custodian for access to consult current legal documents and any material less than fifty years old

Acquisition Information

The collection of archives of the Society of Friends formerly held at the Friends Meeting House at Carlton Hill, Leeds


In English

Other Finding Aids

Contents listed in Handlist 99, Inventory of the records of Brighouse, Knaresborough, Leeds, and Settle Monthly Meetings of the Society of Friends formerly preserved at the Friends Meeting House, Carlton Hill, Leeds, 2nd edition, 1997

Conditions Governing Use

As with access, the photocopying of current legal documents and any material less than fifty years old requires the permission of a Friend Custodian

Related Material

Related material in Leeds University Library: Records of Bradford Preparative Meeting and Bradford Friends First Day School


See Bradford Friends Adult School: a sketch of the first ten years (1885); Jubilee souvenir history of Bradford Friends First Day School 1850-1900 (1900); N. B. Roper, "The contribution of the non-conformists to the development of education in Bradford in the 19th century" (unpublished M.Ed. thesis, University of Leeds, 1967); G. Currie Martin, The Adult School movement: its origin and development (National Adult School Union, 1924), pp. 109-111; J. W. Rowntree & H. B. Binns, A history of the Adult School movement (Headley Brothers, 1903), pp. 27, 47-48, 50-51, 56.

Additional Information

The records are deposited and remain the property of the Society of Friends