[ International Arbitration Association, Bristol. ] Album containing material relating to the Association, assembled by honorary secretary E. T. Wedmore: announcements, notices, and cuttings from provincial newspapers.

West of England and South Wales International Arbitration Association, Bristol [ Edmund Tolson Wedmore (1847-1920), Quaker pacifist; Walter Sturge; Allen Greenwell; Rev. Henry Richard; Peace Society ]
Publication details: 
West of England and South Wales International Arbitration Association. 'Offices: 21 College Green, Bristol.'
SKU: 19875

Around 70 items laid down on 36pp. of an 8vo. exercise book with ruled grey-paper pages, in quarter-binding with marbled boards with green cloth spine. With around eight more items loosely inserted. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. The present collection consists of various handbills and other printed communications (constitution and rules, notices and forms) issued by the Association, together with numerous cuttings relating to it, from provincial newspapers (Western Daily Press, Daily Bristol Times, Clifton Chronicle, Bristol Daily Post, Bristol Times and Mirror, Somerset Gazette, Dorset County Chronicle, Cheltenham Examiner), with the cuttings dated in manuscript. Among the Association's own printed communications is a long 'Appeal to the Friends of Peace', dated from London, August 1871, with others headed 'Progress of the Movement', 'Forms of Petition to the House of Commons in Favour of International Arbitration', 'Appeal for Petitions in Support of the Motion of Henry Richard, Esq., M.P.', 'Petition to Parliament in Favour of International Arbitration'. The item is from the papers of one of the Association's honorary secretaries, the Quaker pacifist Edmund Tolson Wedmore (1847-1920), and has a printed label on front cover carrying his ownership inscription in pencil: 'E. T. Wedmore | 11 Oakland Rd | Bristol'. Information regarding the International Arbitration Association is surprisingly hard to come by. It was closely associated with the Peace Society founded by the 'Apostle of Peace' Rev. Henry Richard, MP (1812-1888), and as might be expected received a good deal of Quaker support. There were branches throughout the United Kingdom. The earliest reference to it in The Times is in 1875, and it seems to have ceased to operate under the name by the end of the century. The object of the Association was, according to a printed card laid down on the front free endpaper, 'To urge the adoption of a permanent system of International Law, for the amicable settlement of International Disputes.' A fuller description of the Association's aims is given in the next item in the volume, a notice (2pp., folio) of a meeting held at the White Lion Hotel, Bristol, 16 January 1873, in the opening speech of the president, William Terrell: 'All who attended that meeting, he believed, were in favour of International Arbitration – that was, they were in favour of avoiding warfare to the utmost of their ability, in favour of settling disputes by reason rather than by arms (applause), that they were in favour of avoiding the enormous expenses which nations were now put to, from the immense armaments that they were obliged to maintain. (Hear, hear.) What they wanted was to impress upon the Government the necessity of endeavouring to carry out the principles of Arbitration – to systematise International Arbitration, and make it acceptable, not only to the people of England, but to the people of the whole world. They knew that International Arbitration, so far as this country this country was concerned, had probably saved us within the last year or two, the loss of millions of treasure (hear, hear) – and the higher loss of millions of human beings who might otherwise be a blessing to their families and homes. (Applause.) The principles of International Arbitration had been fully vindicated in the way in which the Arbitration between the United States and ourselves had been carried out.'