Records of Leeds Friends Adult Schools Central Committee

Scope and Content

Minutes of Central Committee, 1896-1902 (1 vol.) [O 22]; including minutes of origin; Minutes of United Quarterly Meetings, 1896-1906 (1 vol.) [O 21]; Printed list of Adult Schools of the Society of Friends, no date [O 11/14]

Administrative / Biographical History

By the end of 19th century, there were three times as many Adult School members in Leeds than there were Friends. Over the period 1886 to 1901, the total membership of the five schools in Leeds (based at Burley Road, Carlton Hill, Great Wilson Street, Pontefract Lane and Woodhouse Carr) increased 21% from 585 to 709 members. This is accounted for by the fact that the schools in Burley Road and Woodhouse Carr opened in 1885 and 1887 respectively, both with 100s of members, and a new junior class of 96 members was also started. The Adult School based at the principal Friends Meeting in Leeds, Carlton Hill, peaked at 266 members in 1884/5, and was weakened by the establishment of successful branch schools. In 1896 a Central Committee was formed, on the initiative of Carlton Hill, to bring together the various Adult Schools in Leeds. The committee's main work was to organise United Quarterly Meetings, with each school reporting on attendances and events, followed by a talk on a special subject. The first such meeting was held in September 1896 and was addressed by Arthur Priestman on the Labour Bureau proposed by the Yorkshire District of the Friends First Day School Association. In 1903 a decision was made to form a Leeds and District Adult School Sub Union, on undenominational lines, in an attempt to reinvigorate the movement. United Quarterly Meetings seem to have ended around 1906 due to lack of interest amongst scholars.


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 Housem, 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 Leeds and District Adult School Sub Union, Leeds: Beeston Hill, Fellowship House, and Pontefract Lane Friends Adult Schools, and Leeds Friends First Day Schools


See W. Allott, "Leeds Quaker Meeting", in Thoresby Society Miscellany, vol.14 part 1, 1966, pp. 61-62; J. W. Rowntree & H. B. Binns, A history of the Adult School movement (Headley, 1903), pp. 12, 21-22, 46-47, 56; [S. Southall], The story of the Leeds Adult Schools (Leeds and District Adult School Sub Union, 1909)

Additional Information

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