Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Eli Radley and Society of Friends

It is 1881 and Eli Radley sits on a new garden bench admiring the new stone for George Fox, fixed in the ground in front of the site of the present tree. Where is the tree? Is that it, posed for its photograph on the bench before it is planted? See Quakers and Shireditch 

Joseph Radley was the third son (fourth, child) of Eli and Louisa Radley, of Tottenham, Middlesex, where he was born on the May 23, 1835. He received his earliest religious teaching from his mother who came of Scotch Presbyterian descent. More info @ History of Friends
From The Anual Monitor of Society of Friends

When very young all the children of this large family were sent to the Infant school, founded by the late Elizabeth Forster. From there Joseph Radley passed to the Lancasterian School, and he always recalled with gratitude the sound grounding he there received. In 1847 he went to Croydon School, thus beginning his long and happy association with that Institution, with which, excepting brief intervals of residence at Flounders and at Bootham, York, he was connected until 1871. When just over fifteen years of age he was apprenticed to the Superintendent, John Sharp. In 1861 he returned to Croydon, and was married in July that year at Erith, Hunts, to Phebe Jane Bentley, daughter of the late Thomas Bentley, formerly of Ipswich.

A daughter and three sons were born of this happy union. Phebe Jane Kadley died in 1868, leaving him with three motherles boys, and he used often to refer to this time when he more than ever was able to cast all his care on his Heavenly Father. The strain, however, was too great, and his own and his friends' best judgment indicated that a change would be advisable. After a few months with his brother Alexander, as an accountant, he found an opening at Wigton School, which enabled him to resume the more familiar and congenial work of teaching. During his busy years at Croydon, though not always successful in his management of the boys, he won the attachment of many of them by his kind help and sympathy in their interests and favourite pursuits; he was also very ready in giving assistance in Temperance and other good work in the town. For some years before leaving Croydon he spoke in the ministry, his gift being subsequently acknowledged at Lisburn.

Soon after J. Radley's second marriage, in 1874, to Mary Elizabeth Robinson, of Pardshaw, Cumberland, they removed to Lisburn with their three boys, where he entered upon what may be said to have been his life work at Ulster Provincial School, having for a period of twenty five years carried out the responsible duties of Head Master and Superintendent. In the latter post he was ably assisted by his wife, whose good judgment and prudence helped him through the difficulties inseparable from such a position. A few years after receiving this appointment the increasing success of the School made it apparent that a considerable enlargement and improvement of the premises would be necessary, the original building having become antiquated through its long service as a Friends' School, established about the year 1794.

Joseph Radley's sanguine views as to its future success were not without foundation; and having, by his perseverance and hopefulness, enlisted the warm sympathy of many generous friends, and obtained substantial financial help in England as well as Ireland, a large and handsome addition was made to the building, and further extensions followed at a later period.

The exclusiveness which characterized the Society of Friends in an earlier day having given way to more breadth of view, the Institution has since been the guarded home of many boys and girls of various denominations who have been educated in mixed classes, of which Joseph Radley was a strong advocate before it became so general as it is now, in both elementary and higher education. He was much beloved and esteemed by the parents of the children, as well as by a large circle of Friends; his genial manner and kind sympathy made him a welcome visitor, especially where illness or trouble of any kind existed. His gift in the ministry was exercised with much acceptance in Lisburn Meeting, his remarkable knowledge of Scripture, his retentive memory, and a mind well stored with hymns and poetry of a superior order, rendered his ministry interesting and often very impressive. His duties at the School precluded him from traveling much beyond his own Quarterly Meeting, but he was ever ready to render any service in his power to the Society of which he was a most loyal member.

In 1899 failing health withdrew him from his much loved work of education, for which he had been largely gifted, not so much, however, in the advanced standard now required. His example in daily life and his efforts in the cultivation of religious impressions, and in all that was good and useful in the character of the young people under his care, is seen to be bearing rich fruit in the lives of many of those who can look back with gratitude to the helpful interest he evinced in their welfare, whilst his love for natural history and other studies outside the school routine, endeared him to many of his pupils. As already stated, he retired from the School in 1899, and removed to reside among his wife's relatives at Pardshaw, near Cockermouth, where his health improved, and he found congenial occupation in his garden, and in visiting his neighbors by whom he was much valued. His last illness was short, and ho was gently released from the earthly tabernacle on the First of Second Month, 1903, having been supported all through his varied experience by his deep sense of the love of God, the compassion of his Saviour Christ Jesus, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Grange Meeting House near Charlemont, County Armagh, Ireland Built About 1750  Immigration of the Irish Quakers

The Harvey-Hadley Homestead on the Wilmington-Lebanon Pike, RR #1 in Clinton County, Ohio was built around 1824 From Quaker Genealogy in Southwest Ohio  

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