A Royal Mail Stamp

A Royal Mail Stamp

Joseph Rowntree – one of six humanitarians celebrated on a set of Royal Mail stamps issued soon 15 March 2016

Joseph Rowntree was chosen to feature alongside two other men and three women for his dedication to improving the lives of people living in York, many of whom worked for his confectionery business, Rowntree & Co.

Liz Grierson, Chair of the Rowntree Society, said:

‘The Royal Mail have given Joseph Rowntree a real ‘stamp of approval’ for his work and legacy by including him in the group of humanitarians honoured in this set of stamps. In his lifetime he worked hard to improve the life of his employees and the people of York. He created a factory with working conditions that presaged the welfare state, a model village (New Earswick) that has thrived for over a century, and a succession of schools, parks and theatres that continue to educate and entertain to this day. 

With his wealth he established the Joseph Rowntree trusts that have taken forward his aim of a fair, democratic and peaceful society. 

Joseph Rowntree was a humanitarian much admired for his work and vision and we hope the stamps will inspire interest and action in humanitarianism wherever they are sent.’

The new set of stamps, British Humanitarians, honours six individuals who have devoted their energies to helping and protecting others in the UK and abroad.

The other Humanitarians are John Boyd Orr, Josephine Butler, Sue Ryder, Eglantyne Jebb, and Nicholas Winton.

The stamps commemorate these individuals’ challenging of the causes of inequality, deprivation and ignorance, repairing shattered bodies and mind, and rescuing the vulnerable. They were driven human beings, sharing two significant characteristics – a natural concern for their fellow citizens of the world, and a single-minded desire to help those in need.


(In celebration, the Rowntree Society hosted an event at the Castle Museum. See text of speech given by Stephen Pittam, Trustee of the Rowntree Society.)

See also Royal Mail’s press release.




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