Records of Bradford Friends Schools

Scope and Content

Minutes of Bradford Friends School Association, 1830-1832 (1 vol.) [QQ 10]; Minutes of Bradford Friends School, 1829-1832 (1 vol.) [QQ 9]; Minutes of committee, Eastbrook Boys' School, 1832-1879 (1 vol.) [QQ 11]; Financial and property records: Accounts, including for Lancasterian Boys' School, Friends School Association, Eastbrook Girls' School, Eastbrook Infants' School, 1831-1870 (6 items) [QQ 8, 12-14, 21-22]; Register of shares, Eastbrook School, 1832-1878 [QQ 5]; Lease of Eastbrook Schools, 1846 (2 parts) [QQ 1-2]; Specification for work in erecting schools, 1831 [QQ 3]; Miscellaneous: Opinion of JB Braithwaite in case of Eastbrook School, 1878 [QQ 4]; Rules and statement of objects, Eastbrook Infants' School, [1832] (2 items) [QQ 23-24]; Statistics of children [compiled by street canvass], c.1829-1830 (1 bundle) [QQ 15-20]; Correspondence and papers, 1829-1878 (1 bundle) [QQ 7]

Administrative / Biographical History

The origins of the Quaker schools in Bradford date back to a meeting of young Friends at the home of John Priestman in late 1829. It was decided to establish a boys' school managed by Friends 'on the British and Foreign System', and John Priestman and Benjamin Seebohm set out to raise annual subscriptions. The school opened in April 1830 in a rented room in Fawcett Row, with William Dunning appointed as teacher. Its 200 pupils were drawn from amongst 'the children of all labouring people or mechanics residing in the town of Bradford and its neighbourhood'. This was soon followed by a similar school for girls, and in November, by an infants' school. Land was given by Charles Harris in Chapel Street for the erection of new buildings and playgrounds. In order to raise funds, the Bradford Friends School Association was formed and issued 25 shares. The new premises opened in early 1832 and housed all three schools, providing accommodation for about 650 pupils. By 1842 however, average attendance was only 373. Four years later the financial situation was so poor that the schools were leased to the trustees of Eastbrook [Methodist] Chapel. The schools continued under Methodist control, and fulfilled largely the same educational role. This arrangement continued until 1870 when the property was finally sold to the trustees. In 1878, grants of 600 to the Mechanics Institute and 459 to the Bradford Friends First Day School were made out of the proceeds of the sale. It is not known how long the Eastbrook Schools continued after 1870.


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

Access Information

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 materialin Leeds University Library: Records of Bradford Preparative Meeting and Bradford Friends First Day School


H.R. Hodgson, The Society of Friends in Bradford : a record of 270 years (Percy Lund, Humphries & Co., 1926), pp.53-56

Additional Information

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