Antony Barlow

Antony Barlow’s book on his Quaker family is entitled

He is our cousin, Cousin

This is a quote from Shakespeare’s Richard II that refers to the interrelatedness of early Quakers, who only married within the faith.

In this fascinating book, he tells of his Quaker family, stretching back to the very beginning of the Society over 350 years ago. The story starts with George Fox’s right- hand man, James Lancaster, whose Bible is still in the family possession, and which still bears the water stains from when James was fleeing persecution across Morecambe Bay and it was dropped in the sea in 1661. This passed to his daughter Dinah, who married John Nicholson, who came from an old seafaring family from Whitehaven. Their great Granddaughter was Eliza Nicholson, who married Professor John Barlow, the eminent Veterinary scholar at Edinburgh University. Their son was the renowned Quaker peace worker, John Henry Barlow, the pre-eminent Quaker Statesman of his generation, as The Times obituary wrote. The book also tells of other well-known Quaker names, including the author’s cousins from the Carr, Taylor and Cadbury families; his great, great Grandfather, Samuel Bowly, fierce anti-slavery campaigner with Wilberforce, as well as eccentrics such as John Neild, who donated all his money to Queen Victoria which enabled her to buy Balmoral!

Quaker historian Ben Pink Dandelion says in his Foreword “This book is a treasure trove of family and wider Quaker social history….we should be very grateful for Antony’s work and the affirmation it brings of a Quaker way of life and a Quaker set of values that continue to offer so many of us strength and hope.”

Quaker authority Edward Milligan writes: “This book provides glimpses of national Quaker preoccupations during the last four centuries, and deserves a wide readership.”

Richenda Elton Lady-in-Waiting to Her Majesty The Queen: “Her Majesty was interested to learn of your family connection with John Neild who left a considerable part of his estate to Queen Victoria and is most grateful for a copy of your book.”

Sir Derek Jacobi: “Really fascinating and beautifully produced.”

Dame Judi Dench: “What a lovely book …thank you so much.”

Sir Adrian Cadbury: “I am sure it will take its place in the annals of Quaker history.”

Terry Waite CBE: “It deserves every success.”

Promotional newspaper and magazine articles

Birmingham Mail:
Cadbury cousin reveals more about life inside the Quaker movement

Whitehaven News:

Cumberland News:

Quaker Connections:

South London Press:

Birmingham Post:

This book is available from the following sites at £15.00 plus £3.30 p&p:

1. Friends House Bookshop:
Friends House Website:
Friends House tel: 020 7663 1030/1031

2. Quacks Publishers:
Tel: 01904 635967

3. Amazon Books:
Click here

Audio version

Photographs from the recent recording session at Broadoak Studios in Sussex, for an Audio version of "He is my Cousin, Cousin" with well known actor Sam Dastor (National Theatre, RSC, West End, Gandhi in the film Mountbatten, St Paul in BBC TV drama, numerous BBC recorded books).

Audio and Kindle versions are now available:
Click here
Amazon. Kindle e-book 978-1-904446-82-8.

Other Books

Three Remarkable Quakers

Three Remarkable Quakers, was published in 2019, which brings together three members of his old Quaker family, who have recently been publicly honoured with a Blue Plaque on their former home, for their contribution to Quaker life and practice. These are his great, great Grandfather Samuel Bowly, one of the leading campaigners against slavery in the 19th century; his great Grandfather Professor John Barlow, a leading scientist and academic and the first Quaker to be appointed to a University chair; and his Grandfather John Henry Barlow, amongst the leading Quakers of his generation and the foremost proponent of the Quaker message of peace in the early 20th century.

An Exacting Mistress

Antony's new book An Exacting Mistress is now available, published by Quacks of York. This is an account of his father, Ralph Barlow's time as a Conscientious Objector in the Friends Ambulance Unit in WW2 as told through the wartime correspondence of Ralph and his wife Joan Barlow..
For over four years this took Ralph away from his wife and two children, to places all over the world from Egypt and Syria to Ethiopia, India and China, first in charge of the Middle East section and later as Deputy Director, overseeing mobile clinics, housing refugees and tending the wounded in many of the most dangerous theatres of war. Sometimes hilarious as when he is invited into a Bedouin tent in the desert for lunch; sometimes moving, missing wife and children and England; and sometimes tragic, setting up mobile medical units for the wounded of Alamein and Tobruk.
Then there is his mother’s story, of coping with years of separation, living in other people’s houses away from the Blitz, and trying to bring up two children in war-torn Britain. This book reveals a love story against the background of war, when at times, letters didn't get through for weeks at a time, or when my father was at death's door and no news arrived. It is a story recounted through the almost daily letters of my parents to each other and how their love survived despite separation.

These are all published by Quacks of York, obtainable direct from the author (, the publishers (, main bookshops or Amazon.