Saturday, July 4, 2009

Rowland Allanson-Winn, 5th Baron Headley

Rowland George Allanson Allanson-Winn, 5th Baron Headley (London, January 19, 1855June 22, 1935, London), also known as Shaikh Rahmatullah al-Farooq, was an Irish peer and a prominent convert to Islam, becoming president of the British Muslim Society.

Lord Headley was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge University.[1][2] He then entered Middle Temple, before commencing studies at King's College London. He subsequently became a civil engineer by profession, a builder of roads in India, and an authority on the protection of intertidal zones.

He was an enthusiastic practitioner of boxing as well as other arts of self defence, and in 1890 co-authored, with C. Phillips-Wolley, the classic Broad-sword and Singlestick. He was solo author of Boxing (introduced by the boxer Bat Mullins) which was reprinted in 2006.[3]

Lord Headley embraced Islam on 16 November 1913 and adopted the Muslim name of Shaikh Rahmatullah al-Farooq. In 1914 he established the British Muslim Society. He was the author of several books on Islam, including A Western Awakening to Islam (1914) and Three Great Prophets of the World.[4] He was a widely traveled man and twice made the Haj.

He inherited his peerage from his cousin in 1913. In 1921 he married the Australian author Barbara Baynton.[5] He became bankrupt in 1922.[6]He was offered the throne of Albania in 1925, along with $500,000 and $50,000 per year[7]Melbourne, where she died in 1929.[5] From 1929 Lord Headley owned and lived at Ashton Gifford House near the village of Codford in Wiltshire. His widow Lady Catherine Headley continued to live at the property until 1940.[8] but refused it - at which point Lady Barbara Headley returned to

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