Peace Society

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The Peace Society, International Peace Society or London Peace Society originally known as the Society for the Promotion of Permanent and Universal Peace, was a British pacifist organization that was active from 1816 until the 1930s.


The Society for the Promotion of Permanent and Universal Peace was founded on 14 June 1816. It advocated a gradual, proportionate, and simultaneous disarmament of all nations and the principle of arbitration.[1] The Society in London established Auxiliary Societies in various cities and towns in the United Kingdom: for instance at Doncaster and Leeds.[2]

Lewis Appleton organized the International Arbitration and Peace Association (IAPA) in 1880.[3] Unlike the Peace Society the IAPA accepted defensive war, was not restricted to Christians and claimed to be international.[4] It also allowed women on the executive committee. In the spring of 1882 E.M. Southey, the main founder of the Ladies Peace Association, persuaded her group to disaffiliate from the Peace Society and join the IAPA. The Quaker Priscilla Hannah Peckover played a central role in organizing a new ladies auxiliary of the Peace Society that was launched on 12 July 1882.[5] During the 1880s the Peace Society stagnated. Its Ladies' Peace Association was much more dynamic, and claimed 9,217 members by the summer of 1885, of which 4,000 belonged to Peckover's Wisbech group.[6]

The Society's failure to condemn the outbreak of World War I in 1914 resulted in internal divisions and led to the resignation of its leader, William Evans Darby. His successor, Revd. Herbert Dunnico, led the society's unsuccessful campaign for peace negotiations.[1]

In 1930 the Peace Society merged with the International Christian Peace Fellowship and was renamed the International Peace Society. Assist some time thereafter it became defunct. It published a monthly journal, The Herald of Peace, founded in 1819.[7][8]





Founding members[edit]

  • William Allen- Quaker philanthropist
  • Rev. Thomas Harper - (Obituary in The Herald of Peace 1831, p. 528)[7]
  • Joseph Pease; Uncle of the Joseph Pease above[14]
  • John Scott - Banker (author of the Society's second tract: 'War Inconsistent with the Doctrine and Example of Christ', originally published 1796)

Non-founding members[edit]

Records of the Peace Society[edit]

There are also records at the Savings Bank Museum as the founder of the first parish savings bank Henry Duncan wrote on this subject.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ the British Library Integrated Catalogue list The Unlawfulness of War: a Discourse [on Luke ii. 14] (1832) by John Jefferson of Stoke Newington, together with a large number of other titles by this author. They are likely to be the same person as the Secretary of the Peace Society. Also listed is: The Proceedings of the first General Peace Convention held in London, June, ... 1843. With the Papers laid before the Convention, etc. [Edited by J. J., i.e. John Jefferson, and published by the Society for the promotion of permanent ... Peace, etc.]
  1. ^ a b Peter Barberis, John McHugh, Mike Tyldesley, Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2000, p.345.
  2. ^ Researching Yorkshire Quaker History (2007) p.95, Item 1.5.6: Doncaster Auxiliary Peace Society p.97 1.5.13: Leeds Peace Association
  3. ^ Ceadel 2000, p. 112.
  4. ^ Ceadel 2000, p. 113.
  5. ^ Ceadel 2000, p. 114.
  6. ^ Ceadel 2000, p. 127.
  7. ^ a b Herald of Peace, Volume 8 (1831) available online at Googlebooks.
  8. ^ Cornell University Library has produced a facsimile of The Herald of Peace 1824 (April, May, June) issues (pages on ISBN 978-1-4297-2848-5
  9. ^ Spartacus article on Joseph Pease
  10. ^ The Memoirs of Evan Rees, the first Secretary, were published in 1853. They are available online at GoogleBooks.
  11. ^ details of four published texts by Rev Nun Morgan Harry are to be found in the British Library Integrated Catalogue.
  12. ^ Harry, Jefferson and Richard are all buried at Abney Park Cemetery.
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1895). "Pease, Edward". Dictionary of National Biography. 44. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  15. ^ Researching Yorkshire Quaker History (2007)p.95, Item 1.5.6.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWood, James, ed. (1907). "Peace Society". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne. 


Further reading[edit]

  • Paul Laity The British Peace Movement, 1870-1914, Cambridge University Press, 2001 ISBN 0-19-924835-4, some pages available at GoogleBooks - Chapter 1 concerns the founding of the British Peace Society in 1816.
  • The Times, Wednesday, 23 May 1866; p. 12; Issue 25505; col C: THE PEACE SOCIETY.-The 50th anniversary