Arnold Rowntree

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Arnold Stephenson Rowntree
Arnold Rowntree.jpg
Arnold Rowntree in 1911
Member of Parliament
for York
In office
10 January 1910 – 14 December 1918
Serving with John Butcher
Preceded byHamar Greenwood
Denison Faber
Succeeded byJohn Butcher
Personal details
Born(1872-11-28)28 November 1872
Died21 May 1951(1951-05-21) (aged 78)
Political partyLiberal

Arnold Stephenson Rowntree (28 November 1872 – 21 May 1951) was a Quaker and Liberal MP for York, England.


He was the son of John Stephenson Rowntree and Elizabeth Hotham of York. He was the nephew of Joseph Rowntree (1836–1925), philanthropist and chocolate manufacturer. He was educated at Friends' School, Bootham, York. He married in 1907, Mary Katharine Harvey of Leeds. They had three sons and three daughters.[1]


He was Honorary Secretary of the National Adult School Council. He was elected to Parliament at the January 1910 United Kingdom general election as a member for York. As a Quaker he opposed war and early in the First World War was involved in the Union of Democratic Control, a British anti-war group, which he left in response to pressure from the Liberal Party. He was also associated with fellow Liberal MP Thomas Edmund Harvey in an amendment to the provision for conscientious objectors in the Military Service Act 1916. The same year, he took up the cause of the Richmond Sixteen, a group of conscientious objectors who were sent to France after refusing to undertake even non-combatant duties.[2]

Rowntree was defeated in the 1918 post-war election, and thereafter concentrated on his business. However, he was President of the York Liberal Association and also President of the Educational Centres Association.


He was a Director of the family chocolate business, Rowntree and Co. (Limited), cocoa manufacturers. He was a Director of North of England Newspaper Co. (Limited), The Nation, the Westminster Press and Associated Papers.[3]

He was one of the original directors of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, from 1904 to 1951, and the Chair of the trust 1925-1938, following Joseph Rowntree and succeeded by Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree.[4]


  1. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and Judicial Bench, 1916
  2. ^ Silence in castle to honour First World War conscientious objectors dated 25 June 2013 at, accessed 19 October 2014
  3. ^ ‘ROWNTREE, Arnold (Stephenson)’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2007; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 15 Jan 2014
  4. ^ "Directors past and present (October 2008)" (PDF). Joseph Rowntree ReformTrust. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2009.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Denison Faber and
Hamar Greenwood
Member of Parliament for York
Jan. 19101918
With: John Butcher
Succeeded by
John George Butcher
(Representation reduced to one member)