Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Society of Friends

The Society of Friends [Quakers]: George Fox founded the Society of Friends during the English Civil War. Fox opposed the Church of England as well as the dissenters. He believed it was possible to have a direct link to Christ without the aid of clergy. Fox traveled throughout England, The Netherlands and Barbados spreading his beliefs.

Fox was brought before the English court on charges of blasphemy in 1650. He stated that one of the magistrates called his followers Quakers because they bade him tremble at the word of the Lord.

Quakerism became quite popular in England and Wales. Persecution of Quakers became equally popular. Together with Margaret Fell, the wife of Thomas Fell, who was the vice-chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and a pre-eminent judge, Fox developed new conceptions of family and community that emphasized "holy conversation": speech and behavior that reflected piety, faith, and love. With the restructuring of the family and household came new roles for women; Fox and Fell viewed the Quaker mother as essential to developing "holy conversation" in her children and husband. Quaker women were also responsible for the spirituality of the larger community, coming together in "meetings" that regulated marriage and domestic behavior. [Wikipedia]

William Penn established the colony of Pennsylvania in 1682. It was designed as a colony to be run by Quaker principals. Philadelphia was its hub. Quakers in the other colonies [excluding Rhode Island] met with persecution much the same as they had in England.

Arthur Howland Sr., brother of Mayflower passenger John Howland, arrived in Plymouth Colony by 1640. Arthur ran afoul of local officials on a regular basis. His son, Arthur Jr., did him one better. He married Elizabeth Prence, daughter of Governor Thomas Prence - an avowed opponent of Quakerism. Gov. Prence had them arrested for refusing to pay church taxes. Arthur Sr.'s daughter Elizabeth married contrary to faith. Mary, daughter of Arthur Jr., married Quaker Henry Goddard. Their daughter, Susanna, married a non-Quaker.

The majority of my Quaker ancestors came in through Philadelphia and migrated to Maryland and Virginia. The Rogers, Evans and Pugh families arrived from Wales during the late 1600s. The Hardings and Ballingers settled in West Jersey. The Wright family rounded out the Quaker immigrants.

John Rogers married Maria Magdelene Rinker in 1787 in Frederick Co., Virginia. Since Maria was not a Quaker, John was removed from the Meeting.

Thanks to the marriage of Elizabeth Rogers [John and Maria] to Henry Wolary, a long line of Quakers morphed into frontier Methodists.

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