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Politics in York

Though the Liberal party had made a big impact in the city in the 19th century, this was not to continue into the 20th century. The Labour Party emerged in the 1890s, but had no real triumphs either in local or parliamentary elections. By 1906 there were 31 ‘Independents’, 13 ‘Progressives’ and 4 more »< Read More...

Philanthropy, Joseph Rowntree and

The following quotations, some of them from the famous 1904 Memorandum written as guidance to trustees when he was setting up the trusts, gives a flavour of Joseph Rowntree’s ideas on philanthropy: ‘I feel that much of the current philanthropic effort is directed to remedying the more superficial manifestations of weakness or evil, more »< Read More...

Penn (Top) House

This historic building was in Rowntree hands for nearly 70 years, and referred to in Rowntree correspondence as ’38 St Mary’s’. Colloquially it was known as ‘Top House’ (to indicate its situation at the top of St Mary’s and on the corner of Bootham). Joseph Rowntree (Senior) bought the land from the London more »< Read More...

Ouse Lea, Shipton Road

The name of the original house, home of Joseph Rowntree’s daughter Agnes (1870-1961) who married the Haxby Road cocoa works doctor, Peter MacDonald. Originally, a large red brick house Ouse Lea, it lies adjacent to Homestead Park. It was demolished by the Joseph Rowntree Memorial Trust in 1961 in order to build the more »< Read More...

Oscar Rowntree (1879-1947)

Oscar was the youngest of Joseph Rowntree’s four sons and, like his brothers, he worked in the family business.   He was for many years active in the Liberal Party and served on York City Council, taking a strong interest in social affairs. Director and farmer Oscar was a director of Rowntree & Co more »< Read More...

New Earswick Primary School

In 1904, Joseph Rowntree set up the Joseph Rowntree Village Trust to manage the new housing development in New Earswick. The village included a ‘non-provided’ school – a partnership between the local authority (which oversaw the education of the children) and the Trust (which funded, designed and constructed the buildings). New Earswick Elementary more »< Read More...

New Earswick

The foundations of a Garden Village were laid down by Joseph Rowntree in 1901 when he acquired 123 acres of land near the village of Earswick outside York. In 1902, he commissioned the established partnership of Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin to become the architects for the village of New Earswick. Experimental building more »< Read More...

Mr York of York, the animated advert

Made in 1929, this unique film provides an example of Rowntree’s innovative approach to marketing chocolate.  Lasting just over six minutes, the commercial uses sound and animation to promote the flavour of York Milk Bar through a series of amusing incidents starring ‘Mr. York’.  It is the first animated advertisement to be made more »< Read More...

Michael Rowntree (1919 – 2007)

Michael Rowntree was the second youngest of Arnold and May Rowntree’s six children, a family with Quaker Liberal principles and a tradition of public service. He was brought up in York and after Bootham School he went to Oxford, where his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II in 1939. more »< Read More...

Mary Tuke

The Rowntree factory strictly has its origins in the shop in Walmgate that was established by the Quaker Mary Tuke in 1725. She successfully rebelled against trading restrictions of the Merchant Adventurers Company which has become a classic case in company history. Her nephew William joined her as an apprentice and took over more »< Read More...