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Forum Home > Other Quakers > Did you know...? Famous Quakers...

Admin (Margo)
Site Owner
Posts: 162

Did you know that early Quaker Elizabeth Fry is the face of the English five pound note?

Did you know that the face will be removed in 2016?

Elizabeth Fry, prison reformer:
# 1780 Born 21 May in Norwich, England to a Quaker banking family
# 1800 Marries London merchant Joseph Fry, a member of the Quaker chocolate-making dynasty
# 1813 Visits Newgate Gaol. Disgusted by the conditions, Fry campaigns for reform
# 1817 Founds association to help women inmates, calling for the sexes to be separated and female warders
# 1845 Dies at Ramsgate having brought about penal reform across Europe

The images on the back of the note are related to the life and work of this social reformer. The main illustration shows Elizabeth Fry reading to prisoners at Newgate. In recognition of her work she was awarded the key to the prison and this is used in the design of the banknote.

Members of the public can put forward suggestions re characters on the bank notes (although the Bank will only consider figures who have made an "indisputable contribution to their particular field of work"). See list of characters. Maybe it's time for Quakers to suggest a new Quaker name?

October 12, 2010 at 3:19 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Admin (Margo)
Site Owner
Posts: 162

There are many famous and infamous Quakers. Among others:




John Dalton (1766-1844) was a British chemist and physicist who developed the atomic theory of matter, hence he is known as one of the fathers of modern physics. John was the son of a Quaker weaver, he was educated and then taught at a Quaker school in Cumberland.




Thomas Young (1773-1829) was a physicist and was the first to show that light acts as a wave. His famous double-slit experiment established that light was a wave motion, although this conclusion was strongly opposed by contemporary scientists who believed that Newton, who had proposed that light was corpuscular in nature, could not possibly be wrong.




James Dean (1931-1955) was brought up by his Quaker relatives in Fairmount, Indiana, following the death of his mother when he was a child. After having a successful career as an actor and showing great potential, he died in a car crash. He was given a Quaker funeral at Friends Church in Fairmount.


 Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington (1882 - 1944) - English astronomer, physicist, and mathematician who did his greatest work in astrophysics, investigating the motion, internal structure, and evolution of stars; the first expositor of the theory of relativity in the English language.


William Cooper (1754–1809), founder of Cooperstown, New York and father of author James Fenimore Cooper (The last of the Moohicans etc)


John Bartram -"Father of American botany." Introduced Linnean nomenclature to North American flora.

George Bradshaw -Inventor of the railway timetable.

Caspar Wistar - Anatomist and early advocate for vaccination. (The plant "Wisteria" named for him.)

William Penn - founder of Pennsylvania

Herbert Hoover - 31st president of the United States

Richard Nixon - 37st president of the United States


Ben Kingsley (born 1943) was a well established Shakespearian actor before his spectacular debut in film, winning the Best Actor Oscar for Gandhi. Since then he has had many successful screen roles.


Jack Larson - actor best known for playing Superman's pal "Jimmy Olsen" in the 1950s Adventures of Superman TV series

Judi Dench - British actress (Academy Award for Shakespeare in Love; nominations for Iris; Chocolat; Mrs. Brown); "M" in James Bond movies since 1995

Ben Kingsley - actor, received Best Actor Academy Award for Gandhi (1982)

Paul Eddington (1927-1995) - British film and television actor ("The Good Life", "Yes, Prime Minister", etc.)

Don Porter - actor; starred as "Prof. Russell Lawrence" on "Gidget" TV series (1965-1966); films include "The Candidate" (1972), "Mame"

Bonnie Raitt - popular singer, guitarist, songwriter - blues, rock, etc. (raised as a Quaker)

Joan Baez - singer and activist (lapsed)

David Byrne - singer, composer

Annie Oakley - entertainer in Wild West shows

Edward R. Murrow - famous news broadcaster

James Fennimore Cooper - writer famous for adventure stories in early America

Walt Whitman - American poet (Leaves of Grass, etc.), humanist

James Michener - novelist (lapsed)

Jorge Luis Borges - poet, essayist


Philip E. Thomas, "Father of American Railways." First president of the B & O Railroad, the first railroad in the United States.




The list is really very long - compare selection on wikipedia.




By the way: The characters of Herman Melville's classic American novel, "Moby Dick," were almost all Quakers. (Not the whale... or maybe? who knows...)



December 22, 2013 at 6:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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