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Benjamin Lay Suite

Benjamin Lay Suite

Located on the second floor, the Benjamin Lay Suite includes the addition of a 154-seated auditorium with a dedicated breakout catering area. In addition to two break out rooms in Benjamin Lay 1 & 2 Meeting rooms, this versatile suite offers the ideal setting for a wide range of event types. From meetings and conferences to product launches and corporate networking events.

  • Second floor
  • Step-free access via the accessible lift
  • Air-conditioned
  • Natural daylight

All of our meeting rooms include complimentary Wi-Fi access, conference notepads and pens for each delegate*, stationery box, and flipchart pad.

*As part of our commitment to being a sustainable venue, these will be provided on request.

Capacity 72
Capacity 70
Capacity 154
Theatre / Lecture

Benjamin Lay was a 17th century Quaker who dedicated his life to campaigning against slavery at a time when wealthy Quakers ‘owned’ enslaved people. He was also a vegetarian, a feminist and opposed to the death penalty.

Lay stood 4ft tall and was born to Quaker parents near Colchester in England in 1682. Moving to Barbados in 1718, he began advocating against slavery when he saw an enslaved man.
In later life, appalled by what he saw as a degraded society and economy, he lived self-sufficiently in a cave in Pennsylvania. He wrote over 200 pamphlets attacking slavery, the prison system and the wealthy Quaker elite of that state.

Lay used unusual protest techniques: at Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in 1738, he ministered against slavery, ending by plunging a sword into a Bible containing a bladder of blood-red juice, splattering nearby Quakers. On another occasion he (temporarily) kidnapped the child of slaveholders to show them how Africans felt when their relatives were taken.

In 1758 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting agreed to discipline any Quakers who bought, sold or imported slaves. “I can now die in peace,” Lay commented and he did, the following year.


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Events team on 020 7663 1100 or events@quaker.org.uk