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Rowland Allanson-Winn, 5th Baron Headley

Rowland George Allanson Allanson-Winn, 5th Baron Headley (19 January 1855 – 22 June 1935), also known as Shaikh Rahmatullah al-Farooq, was an Irish peer and a prominent convert to Islam, who was also one of the leading members of the Woking Muslim Mission alongside Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. He also presided over the British Muslim Society for some time.[1]

The Lord Headley
Rowland George Allanson Allanson-Winn

(1855-01-19)19 January 1855
London, England
Died22 June 1935(1935-06-22) (aged 80)
Codford, Wiltshire, England
OccupationMuslim scholar



Lord Headley with Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din

Rowland George Allanson Allanson-Winn was born in London and educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge University.[2][3] 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. Phillipps-Wolley, the classic Broad-sword and Singlestick (1890).[4] He was solo author of Boxing (1889) in the same "All-England Series" (introduced by the boxer Bat Mullins) which was reprinted in 2006.[5] In 1899 he married Teresa Johnson, daughter of William H. Johnson, former Wazir-wazirat (governor) of Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir), India.[6] She died in 1919.

Headley converted to 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.[7] He was a widely travelled man and twice made the Hajj.

He inherited his peerage from his cousin in 1913. In 1921 he married the Australian author Barbara Baynton.[8] He became bankrupt in 1922.[9] He was offered the throne of Albania in 1925, along with $500,000 and $50,000 per year[10] but refused it, at which point Lady Headley returned to Melbourne, where she died in 1929.[8] From 1929 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.[11] He is buried in the Muslim section of Brookwood Cemetery.

Allanson-Winn's grave in Brookwood Cemetery

Armenian genocide denialEdit

Baron Headley alleged that the Armenian genocide was a case of both sides, Turks and Armenians, killing each other and that the Turks were more numerous as victims than the Armenians.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Winn, Rowland George Allanson (WN874RG)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ The New International Yearbook, 1936
  4. ^ R. G. Allanson-Winn & C. Phillipps-Wolley, Broad-sword and Single-stick: with chapters on quarter-staff, bayonet, cudgel, shillalah, walking-stick, umbrella, and other weapons of self-defence (All-England Series.) London: George Bell, 1890.
  5. ^ for the reprinted version of the book
  6. ^ The Age (Melbourne), 14 Feb. 1921:5 "About People", accessed through Trove, 28 Apr. 2017,
  7. ^ Headley's book: A Western Awakening to Islam at
  8. ^ a b Australian Dictionary of Biography
  9. ^ Baynton, Barbara Jane (1857 - 1929) Biographical Entry - Australian Dictionary of Biography Online at
  10. ^ Time magazine, "London's Mosque" 28 June 1937
  11. ^ Dod's Peerage, 1942
  12. ^ The Bishop of London and Muslims

External linksEdit