Mark Frankel

Mark Frankel

T. Edmund Harvey, Liberal Quaker, Quaker Liberal

Edmund Harvey (1875-1955) was the pre-eminent Quaker parliamentarian of the first half of the 20th century. I am attempting to show how he lived his faith as a politician. What does it mean to say he was a liberal Quaker and a Quaker Liberal?


Conscientious objection, Quaker peace testimony, liberal politician


(United Kingdom)

Harvey was a Liberal MP 1910-1918, 1923- 1924 and an Independent Progressive 1937-1945. As well as being a parliamentarian he was active in social reform, as warden of Toynbee Hall 1906-11 and as a prison visitor 1921-51. He published some 90 pieces on Quaker history, faith and practice, together with poems and fiction. His best known achievement was in 1916 when he won exemption from conscription for conscientious objectors doing work of national importance. He was involved in many other issues including Indian independence, the Munich Agreement and was one of the first to speak out against nuclear weapons. Harvey is a neglected figure in Quaker studies and in general history. The aim of my research is to find the link between his religion and politics. What does it mean to say he was a liberal Quaker and a Quaker Liberal?

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