Family has great chemistry with Tottenham

12:03pm Thursday 5th August 2010

By Elizabeth Pears

A CHEMIST who pioneered a treatment for malaria was fondly remembered as a plaque outside his former Tottenham home was unveiled.

John Eliot Howard (1807 – 1883) who lived at 1, Lordsmeade Road, near Bruce Castle Park, is the man responsible for developing the use of Quinine as a Malaria treatment.

His life's work was the study of Peruvian cinchona bark and its derivative quinine which successfully treated fevers related to the tropical disease.

In 1874, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and in 1883, during the last months of his life, was presented with the Hanbury Medal of the Pharmaceutical Society for his achievements.

Howard was born and raised in Tottenham, and his body rests in Tottenham Cemetery alongside his wide Maria.

He was the second son of Luke Howard FRS and Mariabella Eliot, and followed his father's footsteps into science.

Luke Howard, also a chemist, is known as the father of meteorology or, in other words, the first weatherman who classified and named the cloud system we use today and lived in Bruce Grove.

At the unveiling was Nick Putz, a descendant of the Howards on his mother's side, who said by complete coincidence he had gravitated to Tottenham.

Mr Putz, of Linley Road, said: "I grew up knowing about my grandfathers, but we never focused on it so much. There has always been the odd 'cloud man' comment, too.

"I grew up in Devon and it was quite by chance that I moved to Tottenham. When the first plaque went up for Luke Howard, it made me feel proud to walk past and see it. I look forward to doing the same thing on Lordsmeade."

Unlike his chemist forefathers, Mr Putz is a circus performer whose trademark skill is riding a unicycle.

But the families religious roots have stayed strong, and the Tottenham resident, like the Howards from days gone by, is a Quaker.

The Howards were an established Quaker family, before John Eliot broke away to found the Tottenham's Brook Street Chapel in 1839 which still functions today as the Tottenham headquarters of the Brethren.

The chapel played an important part in the Brethren movement, whose followers were opposed to the rigid structure of traditional churches.

Mike Pipe, current resident of the Lordsmeade Road house, said: "I grew up in Tottenham and lived here all my life.

"The area is constantly changing and it's nice to be a part of this little bit of history."

Mr Pipe moved into the house as a young man which had been owned by his grandfather. His grandfather later sold it to Haringey Council, and Mr Pipe later bought it back off them.

He added: "It was wonderful to get it back in the family. It's got John Eliot Howard's name on the deed."

Mr Pipe also recalled a leafy lane which had linked Luke Howard's house in Bruce Grove with his son's residence in Lordsmeade.

The plaque erected in Howard's honour is part of a historical project between Haringey Council and heritage enthusiasts in the community.

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