More about the History of Quakers in Russia

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and Russia

Roger Bartlett

In the eighth chapter of Alexander Pushkin’s great ‘novel in verse’, Evgenii Onegin (1823), the author describes his hero’s return to St Petersburg after his travels, and invites the reader to speculate on which mask, which social persona Onegin will now adopt:

Tell me, as who has he returned?
Whom will he represent to us for now?
What will he appear as for the moment?
Melmoth the Wanderer? A cosmopolitan?
A patriot? Childe Harold, a Quaker, a bigot?
Or has he found some other mask to display himself in?[1]

Evidently the term ‘Quaker’ must have been a familiar one for Pushkin’s readers: ‘Quaker’ must have been a recognizable concept or phenomenon for the poet’s contemporaries, if he could refer to it so lightly, in passing. The British Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) originated in the years of the English Revolution and the Commonwealth, in the seventeenth century: they were a notable element of the radical religious turmoil of those times. Quakers acknowledged no authority other than God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. They believed that they had direct communion with the divine, and this led them to ‘quake’ with joy and enthusiasm, as their detractors described it: ‘Quaker’ was a pejorative nickname. Although prepared to declare themselves loyal subjects of the realm, they reserved the right to assert their own values: they refused to swear oaths or offer ‘hat-honour’ (take off their hats to social superiors), in particular they declined to bear arms or countenance violence: Quakers are one of the historic Protestant peace churches. They rejected the creed, forms and buildings of the established Church, and above all subordinated Scriptural authority to personal experience: they found truth only in the voice of God which spoke to them directly. Their central tenet was (and is) the idea that a divine element is to be found in every individual; and one should consequently not harm or kill any person, but rather support and succour them whenever possible. So the Society of Friends has not only always been clearly pacifist, but has equally had very strong concerns for social welfare and justice.

The first Quaker attempt at contact with Russia dates from their earliest years. The principal founder of Quakerism, George Fox, sought to take his message to all the great and good of his contemporary world, and in 1656 and again in 1661 he sent an epistle to Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich: ‘Friend!’, he wrote in the first, ‘The Most High rules in the affairs of Men, the Lord God of the spirits of all Flesh’[2] Unfortunately, the rest of the texts is lost; no English Quaker travelled to Russia at that time, nor is there any record of the ‘pious tsar’ responding to this unorthodox approach.

Nevertheless, the term ‘Quaker’ soon found its way into Russia. As far as records go, it was used for the first time in the regency of Aleksei’s daughter Sophia, at the end of the seventeenth century. In the 1690s the unorthodox German mystic Quirinus Kuhlmann arrived in Moscow’s Foreign Quarter, and upset the local Lutheran pastor with his preaching. The latter appealed to the Muscovite authorities, branding Kuhlmann a heretic. Kuhlmann was a ‘Quaker’, it was alleged, because he was an ‘enthusiast’ who would not accept properly constituted social and ecclesiastical authority.[3] Polemics about religious ‘enthusiasm’, the belief in direct divine inspiration, were common in Europe in the late seventeenth century, and the label ‘Quaker’ was often slapped on people accused of denying proper authority in the name of their own religious experience. The English author of the polemical pamphlet The danger of enthusiasm discovered, in an epistle to the Quakers (1674) was attacking the actual Religious Society of Friends in England;[4] but a group of ‘so-called Quakers’ who became the subject of ecclesiastical investigation in Swedish Riga in 1688 were Protestant radicals of a different variety who, like Kuhlmann, were tarred with the Quaker brush.[5] ‘Enthusiasm’ was essentially subversive, since it set alleged direct knowledge of the will of God above any authority of prince, priest or parliament. In the end, Kuhlmann was burnt at the stake in Moscow.

In the eighteenth century the Russian authorities watchfully sought out similar Quakerish heresy among Russian sectarians. Alleged Quakers appear in the protocols of the Secret Chancellery, and the well-known ‘Quaker maidens’, who became a subject for belle-lettres in the writings of Nikolai Leskov, were in fact Russian women who spent long years in Siberian exile for their refusal to conform to Nikonian Orthodox prescriptions.[6] One account of the origins of the Molokane, one of the sectarian groups of southern Russia, traces their origin back to the alleged conversion to Quakerism of Russians sent to London on official business under Catherine II.[7] On the other hand Russian society and the Russian authorities knew of other and quite different Quakers: William Penn’s foundation of a Quaker commonwealth in America, Pennsylvania, gave rise to an image of the Quaker as an admirable, trustworthy, even model member of the social and political community. This image was powerful in Russia as it was elsewhere in Europe. Penn’s religious experiment laid the foundations of Quakerism in America: in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries American Friends would make their own impact upon Russia.

William Penn's Fruits of Solitude, translated from English into German and then into Russian, published in Moscow in 1790.

Until the early nineteenth century, there were almost no actual Quakers in Russia. Tsar Peter I met with Quakers in London, including Penn, during the famous ‘Grand Embassy’: he was curious about their beliefs and practices, and they were eager to present their vision of the world to the maverick princely visitor, but nothing further came of the meeting. When Empress Catherine II had herself inoculated against smallpox in 1768, she chose an English Quaker physician, Thomas Dimsdale: but he was selected for his medical expertise, not his access to the deity, and his affiliation to Quakerism was fortuitous.[8]

The first significant contacts of Quakers with Russia took place in the reign of Alexander I (ruled 1801-1825). During his triumphal visit to London in 1814 Alexander, by then a strong evangelical Christian, twice attended Quaker meetings for worship, and on his return journey to the coast stopped to talk – to their great surprise — with a Quaker family he noticed on the way. He conceived a very high opinion of Quakers.[9] It should be said that by this time, the early nineteenth century, English Quakerism had evolved considerably from its revolutionary roots: the Quakers of the period were strongly evangelical and spiritual in their Christianity, but deeply committed to social stability and order, as well as to the improvement of society: they were pillars of the community and strikingly respectable. They had an impressive track record as opponents of war and of black slavery, and as social reformers interested in education, prison welfare and poor relief: the most famous Quaker figure in this area is Alexander’s contemporary Elizabeth Fry. In religious terms Quakers remained faithful to their original revelation of the spirit of God expressed in every individual, and of the direct communication of the Holy Spirit: these were experiences of Christianity which matched perfectly the religious convictions of the Tsar.

The Quakers for their part viewed Alexander as a vessel of the Holy Spirit, a channel for true Christianity in the East of Europe, and had great hopes of him. They were particularly interested, too, in the philanthropic activities which developed in Russian high society at this time, under the patronage and with the active participation of the Imperial family.[10] It was appropriate that the Russian Society for Care of Prisons (Попечительноe о тюрьмах Обществo), which was set up in St Petersburg in 1819 with the active approval of the Emperor, was inspired by and had contacts with Elizabeth Fry and her brother-in-law Samuel Hoare, Secretary of the London Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline.[11] More direct British Quaker involvement in Russia came through another social activist, William Allen. Allen was a manufacturing chemist, member of the Royal Society, and at the same time extremely exercised by social problems. His concerns extended not only to Russia, but to other parts of Europe (Bavaria), to Africa (Sierra Leone) and the Caribbean (Haiti).[12] Allen made the acquaintance of Alexander in London in 1814, when he presented him with an official address in the name of the Society of Friends. Alexander told Allen and his colleague the American Quaker Stephen Grellet that any Quaker travelling to Russia on religious business should turn directly to him. In 1818-19 Allen and Grellet made an ambitious visit to Russia. They were duly received as personal friends by the Tsar and not only entered into his particular interests and concerns – notably the Bible Society – but also received his blessing for an extended tour of non-Orthodox and sectarian communities in the south of Russia; Allen’s diaries contain much detailed information on these people. He also subsequently supplied plants and seeds to people he had met in the south, not only sectarian villagers, but also the city of Ekaterinoslav, where a memorial was later erected in his honour.[13] Allen was a strong supporter of the Bible Society in Russia, and also interested himself closely in the Lancaster schools being set up there at the time: he was a member of the British & Foreign Schools Society which supported the British Quaker educationalist Joseph Lancaster and his ‘monitorial’ system of mass education which spread into many countries of the world, and he introduced Alexander to the method during their interview in 1814. In the period 1818-28 schools on the ‘British’ or Lancasterian monitorial model were set up across the Russian Empire.[14] They were also widely used in the Russian army, including in the occupation corps in France: the Russian Lancasterian school at Maubeuge was visited in 1818 by Alexander, two of his brothers and the King of Prussia, who were all greatly impressed.[15] In London in 1820 Allen published a set of Scripture texts for the use of these schools, ‘adopted in Russia by order of the emperor Alexander I’, which he and Grellet had put together on the spot in St Petersburg the year before.[16] Alexander was interested in other undertakings of William Allen: the latter was involved in Robert Owen’s social experiment at New Lanark, and himself set up a similar industrial settlement at Lindfield in Sussex, where he built cottages and allocated land to deserving poor workers. [17] In 1827 he sent Emperor Nicholas I a copy of his newly-published tract on the project, because Alexander in 1825 had especially asked for a copy when it should be ready.[18]

This request had been brought to Allen in England in 1825 by two Quaker colleagues returning from Russia. In March of that year Allen noted in his diary:

I have received an account of the arrival of our dear friends Daniel Wheeler and Thomas Shillitoe from Russia. – Afternoon, DW and TS called; the latter brought me a kind message from the Emperor of Russia, with whom he has had two interviews of an hour each. He brings a most comforting account of the state of the Emperor’s mind, but says he is surrounded with great and sore difficulties, but seems supported, and needs the prayers of all who can rightly pray for him.

The Emperor sends his love to Stephen Grellet; also says he has us in his heart, and in his prayers, every day. He desires me to send him an account of the success of my cottage plans. I find that D. Wheeler has succeeded well in draining the morasses near Petersburg. It appears that the check experienced by the Bible cause in Russia is attributed to the injudicious proselyting (sic) zeal of some of the agents there, who mixed up with it missionary schemes.[19]

This text mentions most of Allen’s Russian interests (apart from the sectarians), and also introduces two other interesting Quaker visitors to Russia.

Thomas Shillitoe had travelled to St Petersburg in 1824. Shillitoe was a remarkable character, a tailor by profession, on the one hand sensitive and timid to the extreme, on the other hand utterly – boldly and rashly – obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, which he experienced on a daily basis and which ruled his life. In 1824 he was aged 70, but had come to the Russian capital under divine instruction, not knowing what God’s purpose for him was. He spent three months in the capital waiting for instructions. He witnessed the great flood of that year, almost drowning himself while trying to help a girl in distress. Finally it became clear to him, to his consternation, that he was to seek an interview with the tsar. Terrified, he wrote petitioning for an audience – and Alexander at once sent for him. As Allen recorded, Shillitoe had two interviews with the Emperor, during which he was inspired to preach to him Christ’s love and his responsibilities to his people, especially in the areas of penal reform and serfdom. At the end of the second interview the Tsar presented Shillitoe with a special casket, long preserved in the Shillitoe family.[20]

While in St Petersburg, Shillitoe was greatly helped by the presence and support of another English Quaker, Daniel Wheeler, who had been working in the country for some years.[21] Like Shillitoe, Wheeler always sought to live in obedience to the Holy Spirit. When, for example, he realized that his professional preoccupations as a merchant in Sheffield were hindering his spiritual life, he left the town and became a farmer, although he had no experience in that line. In 1817 the Society of Friends in Britain received a request from the Emperor Alexander.[22] The Russian government had decided to undertake the draining of the marsh landscape around St Petersburg, and to seek a foreign specialist for the purpose; and Alexander had decided that this should, if possible, be a Quaker. Wheeler believed he saw God’s purpose for him here too, and volunteered. After an initial prospecting trip, in 1818 he took his wife, family and a group of workers out to St Petersburg, and settled first in the Okhta region, then at Shushary (now near Pul’kovo airport).

Wheeler’s work was very successful. He used modern English agricultural methods, drained a large area of marshland, and began to grow crops on it for the St Petersburg market.[23] He attempted to intervene in the life of his – very large — Russian workforce by building cottages for workers and giving them plots of land in return for a set payment – a plan probably inspired by the work of his friend William Allen in Sussex; but this project did not develop. Like Allen, Wheeler had personal friendly relations with Alexander, who called when passing in the most simple and informal way: Shushary was on the road from St Petersburg to the Imperial summer residence at Tsarskoe Selo. Both Quakers shared a Christian concern for Alexander’s spiritual and moral well-being, which they felt it their duty to make known to him; though it is not easy to detect any effect of these conversations in Alexander’s actions! During the December 1825 revolt in St Petersburg, a band of cavalry unexpectedly rode up to the family’s home out in the countryside; but it is not clear who the horsemen were. Wheeler was horrified when he learned of the attempt to overthrow the established order.

Wheeler’s visit to England in 1825, recorded in the extract quoted from Allen’s diary, was temporary. He returned to St Petersburg and continued his work under Nicholas I. Over fourteen years, 1818-32, he and his assistants drained 40,000 hectares of land, and were able to cultivate 200 hectares as a farm, which became a model of its kind. But in 1832, at the age of 58, Wheeler again received a divine call to move on: he left for England to prepare himself for mission in the South Seas. His family stayed, and his wife and one daughter died soon after: they were buried near the family home in Shushary. Wheeler’s sons continued the work until 1840, when Daniel Wheeler junior asked to resign on grounds of ill health. Besides draining a large area and making it accessible for agriculture, the Wheelers had notably improved agricultural practice in the region: altogether a considerable achievement. Nicholas I was told that Quakers do not recognize the usual baubles of Imperial patronage, honours and orders, so as a sign of approval and appreciation he ordered the burial place of the members of the Wheeler family to be assigned in perpetuity to the Society of Friends. The Quaker burial ground in Shushary was rediscovered, still intact, in the 1960s, when a “delegation” from the Society visited it,[24] and revisited again in 2002 by participants in a Quaker-organized work-camp at Gatchina.

The final departure of the Wheelers marked the end of the first period of close Quaker engagement with Russia. Alexander’s religious views and readiness to entertain close informal ties with congenial individuals had opened access to high levels of government for Allen, Grellet and Wheeler, who all joined in the social concerns of contemporary Russian society. During the later nineteenth century, the Society of Friends had a number of episodic contacts with Russia. On the eve of the Crimean War, a delegation of British Quakers – good pacifists all — travelled across Europe to urge Nicholas I to avoid war.[25] They were well received, but had little effect, and may in fact have misled the St Petersburg Court as to the state of British public opinion. Later, Quakers had significant contacts with Lev Tolstoi, and worked with him in the matter of the emigration to Canada of the Dukhobors. Tolstoi’s daughter-in-law Olga became a member of the Society of Friends.[26] Individual Quakers travelled to Russia under concerns for the well-being of Russian sectarians and dissenting groups in 1853, 1867, 1883 and 1892.

The Society was also involved in famine and war relief, in Russian Finland in the 1850s after the Crimean War, and in 1892 on the Volga, an action for which £40,000 was raised in Britain and America. The 1892 work proved to be a prelude to much greater involvement in war-time relief. In 1916 the Society undertook a major programme to help refugees in the Buzuluk area of Samara province, a Friends’ Relief Unit of twenty-six volunteers coordinating medical and other assistance – providing food, clothing, education, work, library books — for an area of 1000 square miles. Subsequently they were joined by American Quaker volunteers. They set up a children’s home, ran several hospitals and workshops, and survived through the chaos of revolutions and civil war until 1919, by which time all the original staff had returned to their native countries.

As the existing staff returned home, the British and American Quaker Relief Committees in London and Philadelphia made new efforts to establish a continuing Quaker presence in Western relief efforts in Russia. With much difficulty a new Relief Unit was set up, based in Moscow, which was able to make a solid contribution during the scarcities of War Communism. In March 1920, for instance, it reported that

8,338 children had been supplied with 9,249 articles of clothing in the past eight days, all handed out personally to the applicants, who were selected by the school doctors as the most needy. When the work was fully established, the Unit was making supplementary grants of food to 16,000 children in Moscow, while the iodine given to the hospitals, though only 20 pounds in all, was greater than the quota allocated as a year’s supply by the Government for all the hospitals and pharmacies in the city. Fats, oatmeal and underclothing were sent to the Forest Schools where many of the children of Moscow were housed outside the city; oatmeal and clothing were supplied to maternity homes and to feeding kitchens for infants. Dried milk was reserved for children under one year of age, as it was in short supply; the death rate of babies was reduced by these efforts from 40% to 20%.[27]

Important relief work was also resumed in Buzuluk during 1921, and continued into the mid 1920s.

In 1918 a new British Quaker Council for International Service had been created to further Quaker outreach in all parts of the world. In 1923 it became responsible for Quaker relief in Russia too, and sought to develop the Quaker office in Moscow into an international Quaker centre. The office at this time had a staff of two, in contrast to the previous more numerous Friends’ Relief Unit. Despite tensions with the Communist authorities, they managed to continue working with government agencies in health matters, and the Quaker office remained in operation until 1931, one of (if not the) last foreign NGOs to remain in Stalin’s Russia.[28]

Between 1931 and 1956, at the height of Stalinism, interaction was limited, but a few convinced and energetic Quaker individuals went out to work in Russia. The Quaker engineer Arthur Watts went native, becoming a Communist, marrying a Russian wife and settling permanently in the country. In the mid-30s two American Friends, Harry and Rebecca Timbres, who had been briefly in Buzuluk, succeeded in obtaining permission to work on malaria prevention in the Mari Republic, where however Harry Timbres died of typhus.[29]

In the UK and in America Quaker interest in Russia, in international reconciliation and in improving East-West relations remained alive: pamphlets were published, contacts sustained with Russian diplomats. After the war, in 1950, the British Society of Friends set up a new East-West Relations Committee to further these concerns, which followed the existing tradition of working closely together with the American Friends’ Service Committee. Not surprisingly, their interest was welcomed by the officially-sponsored Soviet Peace Committee and World Peace Council, and from 1951 onwards links were developed on this more bureaucratic and official level. Throughout the later Soviet period Quakers had to balance their concern to foster understanding, peace and reconciliation with the need to remain independent and uncompromised in their dealings with official Soviet bodies. Out of these contacts a variety of programmes emerged as access became easier in the period of “peaceful coexistence” under Khrushchev (ca. 1956-65). International conferences for diplomats were organised annually in Switzerland, and monthly diplomatic dinners in London; youth contacts were established (exchanges, joint work-camps, work-and-study projects);[30] meetings of Soviet and Western philosophers took place – one such group came to the UK just after the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, and had a correspondingly hard time. Contacts were also made with other religious groups in the Soviet Union, for instance the Baptists. All these contacts gave expression to the Quaker belief in “that of God” to be found in all individuals; they maintained personal connections and the possibility of human interaction. Quakers also continued to engage with the philosophical and ethical problems which still gave Communism its appeal for many: the prestigious annual Swarthmore Lecture was devoted in 1964 to “The Moral Challenge of Communism”.[31]

In the Brezhnev years contacts continued, though with greater difficulty; but with the coming of perestroika in the 1980s the East-West Committee and American Friends continued their efforts to renew contacts in the country. Peter Jarman, a physicist by training, spent much time over several years as a Quaker representative liaising with religious and peace groups, and a small number of Russian sympathisers with Quaker ideas emerged in Moscow, notably the late Dr Tat’iana Pavlova of the Academy of Sciences Institute for World History, an historian of England who wrote extensively on the radicals of the English Commonwealth, including Quakers, and who became a member of the Society of Friends. After 1991 a small Meeting (worship community) formed in Moscow, and Quakers from several countries have supported traditional Quaker concerns in Russia through the small, newly-established organization ‘Friends House Moscow’ in the capital: particularly the development of social alternatives to violence, and work with refugees, both in Moscow and in the south. Friends in both America and Britain have been much involved. The Society of Friends in Britain is nowadays a somewhat different body from what it was in the 1820s or even 1950s – smaller, less evangelically committed — and work in Russia has been as dependent as ever on individual concern and initiative: besides the Moscow undertaking, individual British Friends have, for example, helped to set up a hospice for the dying in Yaroslavl, worked for reconciliation in Chechnya and to assist displaced persons in Ingushetia.

To conclude: in conformity with the assumptions of their times, the early Quakers sought to make an impression in Russia by addressing its rulers, and in their relations with Russia, as everywhere, they combined social activism with evangelical religious fervour. From the late 19th century onwards the emphasis shifted more to relief and social work among the Russian people, religious faith expressed less through piety or evangelism than through humane practice. In both the later Imperial and, especially, the Soviet periods practical concerns were joined to the challenge of pacific relations and reconciliation with a country broadly viewed in the UK as hostile or belligerent, and which militantly proclaimed a competing set of values. A difficult task: but one in which the Society of Friends and its representatives have shown the same persistence and engagement – perhaps naïve, perhaps quixotic, even Christ-like, but nevertheless effective on its own level – as Russia’s own non-official intelligentsia. The reign of Alexander I provided a brief and unique conjuncture favouring the Quaker presence and Quaker action in Russia; it is unlikely that any later writer could have expected the public understanding and resonance for the term ‘Quaker’ assumed by Pushkin in Evgenii Onegin

[1] Скажите, чем он возвратился?
Что нам представит он пока?
Чем ныне явится? Мельмотом?
Космополитом? Патриотом?
Гарольдом, квакером, ханжой,
Иль маской щегольнет иной? (VIII,8)

A version of part of the present paper appeared as ‘Британские квакеры в Петербурге в XIX в.’, in T. A. Artem’eva, ed., Петербург на философсофской карте мира, vyp. 2, St Pbg, 2003, pp. 138-44.
[2] Richenda C. Scott, Quakers in Russia, London 1964, p. 29.
[3] O. Tsapina, ‘The Image of the Quaker and Critique of Enthusiasm in Early Modern Russia’, Russian History/Histoire Russe, 24 (1997), 251-78; cp. ‘Антицерковные ереси и вольнодумство конца XVII—начала XVIII вв.: кружки Д. Тверитинова и К. Кульмана’, in: Русская Мысль в Век Просвещения, ред. Н.Ф.Уткина и А.Д. Сухов, Москва 1991, с. 26-37
[4] The danger of enthusiasm discovered, in an epistle to the Quakers […], by one who is no more an enemy to their opinions, than their opinions are enemies to themselves [i.e.William Allen], London 1674. The tract provoked a rebuttal: G. Whitehead, Enthusiasm above atheism [….]. In answer to a book entituled The Danger of Enthusiasm Discovered, London 1674.
[5] „Von den Rigischen so genannten Quäckern. Ex Actis Consistor. Rig. A. 1688“, Latvian State Historical Archive, Riga, f. 214, apr. 6, l. 334.
[6] Arnold McMillin, ‘Quakers in Early Nineteenth-Century Russia’, Slavonic and East European Review, LI, no. 125, 567-79 (567-68); Tsapina, op. cit.
[7] Scott, Quakers in Russia, p. 119.
[8] See in general J. Benson, Quaker Pioneers in Russia, London 1902; Scott, Quakers in Russia.
[9] А.Пыпин, Император Александр I и квакеры, Вестник Европы, 10, SPbg 1869, 751-69; McMillin, op. cit., passim; Scott, op. cit., chaps. 3-5.
[10] См. Janet M. Hartley, ‘Philanthropy in the Reign of Catherine II: Aims and Realities’, in Russia in the Age of Enlightenment. Essays for Isabel de Madariaga, ed. R. Bartlett and J. M. Hartley, Basingstoke-London 1990, c. 167-202; Adele Lindenmeyr, Poverty is not a Vice. Charity, Society and the State in Imperial Russia, Princeton NJ 1996, chap. 5; Judith Cohen Zacek., ‘A Case Study in Russian Philanthropy: The Prison Reform Movement in the Reign of Alexander I’, Canadian Slavic Studies 1 (1967), 196-211; J. C. Zacek, ‘The Lancastrian School Movement in Russia’, Slavonic and East European Review, 45 (1967), 343-67; J.C.Zacek, ‘The Imperial Philanthropic Society in the Reign of Alexander I’, Canadian-American Slavic Studies 9 (1975), 427-36; Wendy Rosslyn, Deeds not Words. The Origins of Women’s Philanthropy in the Russian Empire, Birmingham 2007.
[11] B. Hollingsworth, ‘John Venning and Prison Reform in Russia, 1819-1830’, Slavonic and East European Review XLVIII (1970), 537-56 (547).
[12] See in general The Life of William Allen, with Selections from his Correspondence, 3 vols, London 1846-47 (also 2 vols, Philadelphia 1847); Scott, Quakers in Russia, c. 49-56, 84-98 et al.
[13] Scott, Quakers in Russia, p. 117.
[14] With the Tsar’s approval, a Free Society for the Foundation of Schools of Mutual Instruction (Vol’noe ObshchestvoUchrezhdeniia Uchilishch Vzaimnogo Obucheniia) was created, following the British and Foreign Schools Society of which Allen was Secretary. Its founding Statute (Ustav) was published in Syn Otechestva VII (1819), pp. 3-9.
[15] Lancasterian schools were also set up in Siberia by Decembrist rebels exiled there after the revolt of 1825; the last such schools in Russia were closed in 1858. See Barry Hollingsworth, ‘Lancasterian schools in Russia’, Durham Research Review, 17 (1966), 59-74; Judith Cohen Zacek, ‘The Lancastrian School Movement in Russia’, Slavonic & East European Review, 45 (1967), 343-67; James Muckle, ‘Alexander I and William Allen: a tour of Russian schools in 1819 and some missing reports’, History of Education, 15 (1986), 137-45; Dzh. Makl (Muckle), ‘Shkoly “vzaimnogo obucheniia” v Rossii: Uil’iam Allen, tsar’ Aleksandr I i angliiskie sviazi’, Vestnik Eletskogo gos. un-ta, seriia Pedagogika, vyp. 7, 2005, 104-16; Janet M. Hartley, A Social History of the Russian Empire 1650-1825, Harlow 1999, pp. 135, 140.
[16] Scripture Lessons for Schools on the British System of Mutual Instruction, adopted in Russia, by order of the emperor Alexander 1st, in 3 parts, London 1820; Life, I, 464-65; Scott, Quakers in Russia, 89.
[17] Cf. his Reply on behalf of the London Proprietors to the Address of the Inhabitants of New Lanark, London 1818; Description of the Rural Colony at Lindfield. (With a Plan), London 1834; and Colonies at home: or, the means for rendering the industrious labourer independent of parish relief, and for providing for the poor population of Ireland by the cultivation of the soil. Printed by C. Greene, at the schools of industry, Lindfield, Sussex 1827, 2nd edn 1834.
[18] Life, II, 401-4, 435
[19] Life, II, 395 (18 March 1825). By this time Allen was long since returned to England from his trip to Russia. He had had a further personal meeting with Alexander in Vienna in 1822.
[20] Journal of the Life, Labours and Travels of Thomas Shillitoe in the Service of the Gospels of Jesus Christ, 2nd edn, 2 vols, London 1839, esp. II, 70-119; cp. Scott, Quakers in Russia, p. 98-100; Sarah Graham, ‘The Shillitoe Cabinet’, The Friend, vol. 150 no. 16, 17 April 1992, 497-98; pers. com. Sarah Graham.
[21] Memoirs of the Life and Gospel Labours of the Late Daniel Wheeler, A Minister of the Society of Friends, London, 2nd edn 1842 (1st edn 1837, 3rd edn 1855), pp. 49-232; Scott, Quakers in Russia, pp. 57-83.
[22] This initiative seems to be a continuation of government attempts to establish English farming in Russia, following the initial success and then failure of Capt. Davidson’s English farm at Okhta in which Alexander took personal interest: cp. A. G. Cross, ‘English Prospects on the Vyborg Side of St Petersburg in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries’, paper read to international conference on 450 Years of Anglo-Russian Relations, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, August 2003.
[23] С. Горбатенко, Окрестности Петербурга, Петербургские Чтения 1 (1993), с. 166-67; Г.А. Исаченко, «Окно в Европу»: История и Ландшафт, SPg 1998, pp. 224-26. The official papers on the stay and work of the Wheelers in Russia are held in the Russian State Historical Archive (RGIA), St Petersburg, f. 383, оp. 82, Мин. Сельского Хозяйства, Департамент Земледелия.
[24] Scott, Quakers in Russia, pp. 82-83
[25] Griselda Scott Mason, Sleigh Ride to Russia. An account of the Quaker Mission to St Petersburg in 1854 …, York, 1985.
[26] Scott, p. 265
[27] Scott, pp. 234-35.
[28] Scott, pp. 270-71
[29] Scott, pp. 272-77
[30] Scott, pp. 278-85
[31] William Barton, The Moral Challenge of Communism, Swarthmore Lecture, London 1964.