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Plaque honours Quaker and great man of peace.

A BLUE plaque has been unveiled for a Birmingham man described as "the outstanding Quaker statesman of his generation".

Birmingham Civic Society has honoured John Henry Barlow for his work for peace leading up to the First World War with a plaque at his former home in Bristol Road, Selly Oak.

A committed pacifist, he led Quakers in opposing the 1914 Defence of the Realm Act, which brought in censorship of all publications.

Barlow and fellow Quakers continued to publish pamphlets and were brought to trial for their defiance.

John > Reporting on the trial at The Guildhall, The New York Times wrote: "They retired to consider their verdict and John Henry Barlow, rose and invited friends who were present at the trial to engage in silent prayer.

"For a time, the court then became a Quaker meeting, during which the silence was occasionally broken by vocal prayer. Future historians may record it as a landmark in the relation of the British churches to the state.

"It is probably the first occasion since the Stuart period on which an organized religious body has deliberately challenged the state's authority."

In 1915, Barlow led members of the No-Conscription Fellowship to successfully secure the conscience clause, which enshrined the right to claim exemption from military service in the 1916 Military Service Act.

In addition to his work Barlow for peace, he was also George Cadbury's choice as first director of The Bournville Village Trust in 1900, which he led for 20 years.

Barlow, who was born in 1855, died in 1924.


John Henry Barlow

John Barlow's grandson, Anthony Barlow, unveils the plaque at his old house on Bristol Road near Selly Oak <B
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 19, 2014
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