This book tells the story of the company and the family behind it. In the seventeenth century, the
Jowitts were persecuted for being Quakers. By hard work and moderate habits, they escaped poverty to become leading opinion-formers and benefactors in nineteenth-century Leeds. They backed the Reform Bill, fought tirelessly against the slave trade and were instrumental in setting up the Leeds branch of the Cotton Districts Relief Fund. Th ey were a major force behind the General Infirmary, the Medical School and the
As well as business records and newspaper articles, the book draws upon unpublished diaries which give a fascinating glimpse into the private lives of the Jowitts, in particular John Jowitt junior and Deborah Benson's trip to Europe in 1835, the year before their marriage. The diaries also shed light on the family's central role in the Beaconite controversy which caused many, including the Jowitts, to leave the Society of Friends.
Peter Danckwerts studied at Oxford Polytechnic, the University of Leeds, the Open University and Birkbeck College, University of London.