George Fox, An Autobiography
AUTHOR: George Fox
PUBLISHED ON: March 13, 2003
PUBLISHED IN: Biographies

                          GEORGE FOX

                      An Autobiography

          Edited with an Introduction and Notes By
                Rufus M. Jones, M.A., Litt. D.
        Professor of Philosophy in Haverford College

            Scanned and edited by Harry Plantinga
              This text is in the public domain.


                  THE DIVINE AND THE HUMAN
                    ARE NOT FAR-SUNDERED

“It (George Fox’s Journal) is one of the most extraordinary and
instructive narratives in the world; which no reader of competent
judgment can peruse without revering the virtue of the writer.”
                                        — Sir James Mackintosh.

“The basis of his [George Fox’s] teaching was the belief that each
soul is in religious matters answerable not to its fellows, but to
God alone, without priestly mediation, because the Holy Spirit is
immediately present in every soul and is thus a direct cause of
illumination. From this central belief flowed two important
practical consequences, both essentially modern; one was complete
toleration, the other was complete equality of human beings before
the law.”
                                        — John Fiske.

“To sum up in fewest possible words the impression made by his
[George Fox’s] words and works upon one who studies them across
the level of two centuries: he was a man of lion-like courage and
adamantine strength of will, absolutely truthful, devoted to the
fulfillment of what he believed to be his God-appointed mission,
and without any of those side-long looks at worldly promotion and
aggrandizement which many sincere leaders of church parties have
cast at intervals of their journey.”
                                        — Thomas Hodgkin.

“I have read through the ponderous folio of George Fox. Pray, how
may I return it to Mr. Skewell at Ipswich? I fear to send such a
treasure by a stagecoach, not that I am afraid of the coachman or
the guard READING it, but it might be lost. Can you put me in a
way of sending it safely? The kind-hearted owner trusted it to me
for six MONTHS; I think I was about as many DAYS in getting
through it, and I do not think that I skipped a word of it.”
                — Charles Lamb to Bernard Barton, Fed., 1823.

“Fox judged truly that the new Protestant scholasticism had not
reached to the heart of things in any image of past experience, or
in any printed book however sacred: that academic learning was not
in itself an adequate passport to the Christian ministry; that the
words of God should not supersede the Word of God. He realized, as
few men have ever realized, that we are placed under the
dispensation of the Spirit: that the power from on high with which
the risen Christ promised to endue His People was no exceptional
or transitory gift, but an Eternal Presence, an unfailing spring
of energy, answering to new wants and new labours. He felt that
the Spirit which had guided the fathers was waiting still to lead
forward their children: that He who spoke through men of old was
not withdrawn from the world like the gods of Epicurus, but ready
in all ages to enter into holy souls and make them friends of God
and prophets.”
                              — Bishop Brooke Foss Westcott.


    The Journal of George Fox is one of the great religious
autobiographies, and has its place with the “Confessions” of St.
Augustine, Saint Teresa’s “Life,” Bunyan’s “Grace Abounding to the
Chief of Sinners,” the “Life of Madam Guyon, Written by Herself,”
and John Wesley’s “Journal.” The great interest which has
developed in recent years in the Psychology of Religion, and in
the study of mysticism, has most naturally given new interest and
prominence to all autobiographical writings which lay bare the
inward states and processes of the seeking, or the triumphant
soul. Professor William James has stated a well-known fact when he
says that religion must be studied in those individuals in whom it
is manifested to an extra-normal degree. In other words, we must
go to those individuals who have a genius for religion — for whom
religion has constituted well nigh the whole of life. George Fox
is eminently a character of this sort, as nearly every recent
student of personal religion has recognized.
    Then, again, his Journal is one of the best sources in
existence for the historical study of the inner life of the
Commonwealth and Restoration periods. There were few hamlets so
obscure, few villages so remote that they did not have their
streets traversed by this strange man in leather who always
travelled with his eyes open. He knew all the sects and shades of
religion which flourished in these prolific times. He never rides
far without having some experience which shows the spirit and
tendencies of the epoch. He never writes for effect, and he would
have failed if he had tried, but he has, though utterly
unconscious of it himself, filled his pages with the homely stuff
out of which the common life of his England was made.
    The world-events which moved rapidly across the stage during
the crowded years of his activity receive but scant description
from his pen. They are never told for themselves. They come in as
byproducts of a narrative, whose main purpose is the story of
personal inward experience. The camera is set for a definite
object, but it catches the whole background with it. So here we
have the picture of a sensitive soul, bent singly and solely on
following a Divine Voice, yet its tasks are done, not in a desert,
but in the setting of great historic events. Here are the soldiers
of Marston Moor and Dunbar; Cromwell and his household; Desborough
and Monk; the quartering of regicides and the “new era” under the
second Charles. At every point we have vivid scenes in courts, in
prisons, in churches, and in inns. People of all classes and sorts
talk in their natural tongue in these pages. Fox has little
dramatic power, but everything which furthers, or hinders his
earthly mission interests him and gets caught in his narrative.
Pepys and Evelyn have readier pens, but Fox had many points of
contact with the England of those days which they lacked.
    In its original, unabridged form, the Journal contains many
epistles, and long, arid passages which are somewhat forbidding,
and it has always required a patient, faithful reader. It has,
however, always had a circle of readers outside the religious body
which was founded by George Fox. This circle has been composed of
those who were somewhat kindred in spirit with him, and the circle
has kept small, mainly owing to the inherent difficulties of the
ponderous, unedited mass of material. Of the Journal, in its
complete form, there have nevertheless been thirteen editions
published — nine in England and four in America.
    The present editor has undertaken the task of abridging and
editing it, in the belief that the time is ripe for such a work.
The parts of the Journal which have been omitted — and they are
many — have gone because they possess no living, present
interest, or because they were repetitions of what is left. The
story, as it stands, is continuous, and in no way suffers by
omissions. The writer of the Journal lacked perspective.
Everything that came was equally important, and his first editors,
in 1694, looked upon these writings as too precious and sacred to
be tampered with or seriously condensed. The original manuscript,
which has never been published (now in the possession of Charles
James Spence, of North Shields, England), shows us that the little
group of early editors contented themselves with improving the
diction, introducing some system into the spelling, and cutting
out an occasional anecdote which they feared might startle the
sober reader. The original manuscript is a little livelier,
fresher and more graphic than any published edition, though in the
main we have in the editions a faithful reproduction of what Fox
    The notes which attend the text in this edition have seemed
necessary for a clear understanding of the passages to which they
refer. They have been made as brief and as few in number as the
situation would warrant. The Introduction is an attempt to put
George Fox in his historical setting, and to develop the central
ideas which he expounded, though all points of detail are
postponed to the notes. This estimate of his religious message is
based on a study of the body of his writings, which are
voluminous, and on the writings of his contemporaries and fellow-
laborers. It is a pleasure for the editor to acknowledge the
valuable assistance which he has received from his friends, Norman
Penney, John Wilhelm Rowntree, Joshua Rowntree and Prof. Allen C.
    Among recent writers the following have been appreciative
students of George Fox: Thomas Hodgkin, in his “George Fox”;
Spurgeon, in his “George Fox”; Bancroft, in his “History of
America”; Barclay, in his “Inner Life of the Religious Societies
of the Commonwealth”; Arthur Gordon’s Articles on George Fox in
the Theological Review; and in the “Dictionary of National
Biography”; Frank Granger, in his “The Soul of a Christian”;
Starbuck, author of “Psychology of Religion”; William James, in
“Varieties of Religious Experience”; Josiah Royce, in “The
Mysticism of George Fox”; Canon Curteis, “Dissent in Its Relation
to the English Church” (see Chapter V., “The Quakers”); Westcott’s
“Social Christianity” (see pp. 119-133, “The Quakers”), and John
Stephenson Rowntree, “Two Lectures on George Fox.”


    There are mysterious moments in the early life of the
individual which we call “budding periods.” They are incubation
crises, when some new power or function is coming into being. The
budding tendency to creep, to walk, to imitate, or to speak, is an
indication that the psychological moment has come for learning the
special operation.
    There are, too, similar periods in the history of the race,
mysterious times of gestation, when something new is coming to be,
however dimly the age itself comprehends the significance of its
travail. These racial “budding periods,” like those others, have
organic connection with the past. They are life-events which the
previous history of humanity has made possible, and so they cannot
be understood by themselves.
    The most notable characteristic of such times is the
simultaneous outbreaking of new aspects of truth in sundered
places and through diverse lives, as though the breath of a new
Pentecost were abroad. This dawning time is generally followed by
the appearance of some person who proves to be able to be the
exponent of what others have dimly or subconsciously felt, and yet
could not explicitly set forth. Such a person becomes by a certain
divine right the prophet of the period because he knows how to
interpret its ideas with such compelling force that he organizes
men, either for action or for perpetuating the truth.
    In the life history of the Anglo-Saxon people few periods are
more significant than that which is commonly called the
Commonwealth period, though the term must be used loosely to cover
the span from 1640 to 1660. It was in high degree one of these
incubation epochs when something new came to consciousness, and
things equally new came to deed. This is not the place to describe
the political struggles which finally produced tremendous
constitutional changes, nor to tell how those who formed the pith
and marrow of a nation rose against an antiquated conception of
kingship and established principles of self-government. The civil
and political commotion was the outcome of a still deeper
commotion. For a century the burning questions had been religious
questions. The Church of that time was the result of compromise.
It had inherited a large stock of mediaeval thought, and had
absorbed a mass of mediaeval traditions. The men of moral and
religious earnestness were bent on some measure of fresh reform. A
spirit was abroad which could not be put down, and which would not
be quiet. The old idea of an authoritative Church was outgrown,
and yet no religious system had come in its place which provided
for a free personal approach to God Himself. It has, in fact,
always been a peculiarly difficult problem to discover some form
of organization which will conserve the inherited truth and
guarantee the stability of the whole, while at the same time it
promotes the personal freedom of the individual.
    The long struggle for religious reforms in England followed
two lines of development. There was on the one hand a well-defined
movement toward Presbyterianism, and on the other a somewhat
chaotic search for freer religious life — a movement towards
Independency. The rapid spread of Presbyterianism increased rather
than diminished the general religious commotion. It soon became
clear that this was another form of ecclesiastical authority, as
inflexible as the old, and lacking the sacred sanction of custom.
Then, too, the Calvinistic theology of the time did violence to
human nature as a whole. Its linked logic might compel
intellectual assent, but there is something in a man as real as
his intellect, which is not satisfied with this clamping of
eternal truth into inflexible propositions. Personal soul-hunger,
and the necessity which many individuals feel for spiritual quest,
must always be reckoned with. It should not be forgotten that
George Fox came to his spiritual crisis under this theology.
    Thus while theology was stiffening into fixed form with one
group, it was becoming ever more fluid among great masses of
people throughout the nation. Religious authority ceased to count
as it had in the past. Existing religious conditions were no
longer accepted as final. There was a widespread restlessness
which gradually produced a host of curious sects. Fox came
directly in contact with at least four of the leading sectarian
movements of the time and there can be no question that they
exerted an influence upon him both positively and negatively. The
first “sect” in importance, and the first to touch the life of
George Fox, was the Baptist — at that time often called
Anabaptist. His uncle Pickering was a member of this sect, and,
though George seems to have been rather afraid of the Baptists, he
must have learned something from them. They already had a long
history, reaching back on the continent to the time of Luther, and
their entire career had been marked by persecution and suffering.
They were “Independents,” i. e., they believed that Church and
State should be separate, and that each local church should have
its own independent life. They stoutly objected to infant baptism,
maintaining that no act could have a religious value unless it
were an act of will and of faith. Edwards, in his “Gangraena,”
1646, reports a doctrine then afloat to the intent that “it is as
lawful to baptize a cat, or a dog, or a chicken as to baptize an
infant.” Their views on ministry were novel and must surely have
interested Fox. They encouraged a lay ministry, and they actually
had cobblers, leather-sellers, tailors, weavers and at least one
brewer, preaching in their meetings. John Bunyan, who was of them,
proved to general satisfaction that “Oxford and Cambridge were not
necessary to fit men to preach.” Still stranger, they had what
their enemies scornfully called “She-preachers.” Edwards has
recorded this dreadful error in his list of one hundred and
ninety-nine “distinct errors, heresies and blasphemies”: “Some say
that ’tis lawful for women to preach, that they have gifts as well
as men; and some of them do actually preach, having great resort
to them”!
    Furthermore, they held that all tithes and all set stipends
were unlawful. They maintained that preachers should work with
their own hands and not “go in black clothes.” This sad error
appears in Edwards’s chaotic list: “It is said that all settled
certain maintenance for ministers of the gospel is unlawful.”
Finally many of the Baptists opposed the use of “steeple houses”
and held the view that no person is fitted to preach or prophesy
unless the Spirit moves him.
    The “Seekers” are occasionally mentioned in the Journal and
were widely scattered throughout England during the Commonwealth.
They were serious-minded people who saw nowhere in the world any
adequate embodiment of religion. They held that there was no true
Church, and that there had been none since the days of the
apostles. They did not celebrate any sacraments, for they held
that there was nobody in the world who possessed an anointing
clearly, certainly and infallibly enough to perform such rites.
They had no “heads” to their assemblies, for they had none among
them who had “the power or the gift to go before one another in
the way of eminency or authority.” William Penn says that they met
together “not in their own wills” and “waited together in silence,
and as anything arose in one of their minds that they thought
favored with a divine spring, so they sometimes spoke.”
    We are able to pick out a few of their characteristic
“errors” from Edwards’s list in the “Gangraena.” “That to read the
Scriptures to a mixed congregation is dangerous.” “That we did
look for great matters from One crucified in Jerusalem 1600 years
ago, but that does no good; it must be a Christ formed in us.”
“That men ought to preach and exercise their gifts without study
and premeditation and not to think what they are to say till they
speak, because it shall be given them in that hour and the Spirit
shall teach them.” “That there is no need of human learning or
reading of authors for preachers, but all books and learning must
go down. It comes from want of the Spirit that men write such
great volumes.”
    The “Seekers” expected that the light was soon to break, the
days of apostasy would end and the Spirit would make new
revelations. In the light of this expectation a peculiar
significance attaches to the frequent assertion of Fox that he and
his followers were living in the same Spirit which gave forth the
Scriptures, and received direct commands as did the apostles. “I
told him,” says Fox of a “priest,” “that to receive and go with a
message, and to have a word from the Lord, as the prophets and
apostles had and did, and as I had done,” was quite another thing
from ordinary experience. A much more chaotic “sect” was that of
the “Ranters.” There was probably a small seed of truth in their
doctrines, but under the excitement of religious enthusiasm they
went to wild and perilous extremes, and in some cases even fell
over the edge of sanity. They started with the belief that God is
in everything, that every man is a manifestation of God, and they
ended with the conclusion which their bad logic gave them that
therefore what the man does God does. They were above all
authority and actually said: “Have not we the Spirit, and why may
not we write scriptures as well as Paul?” They believed the
Scriptures “not because such and such writ it,” but because they
could affirm “God saith so in me.” What Christ did was for them
only a temporal figure, and nothing external was of consequence,
since they had God Himself in them. As the law had been fulfilled
they held that they were free from all law, and might without sin
do what they were prompted to do. Richard Baxter says that “the
horrid villainies of the sect did speedily extinguish it.” Judge
Hotham told Fox in 1651 that “if God had not raised up the
principle of Light and Life which he (Fox) preached, the nation
had been overrun with Ranterism.” Many of the Ranters became
Friends, some of them becoming substantial persons in the new
Society, though there were for a time some serious Ranter
influences at work within the Society, and a strenuous opposition
was made to the establishment of discipline, order and system. The
uprising of the “Fifth-monarchy men” is the only other movement
which calls for special allusion. They were literal interpreters
of Scripture, and had discovered grounds for believing in the near
approach of the millennium. By some system of calculation they had
concluded that the last of the four world monarchies — the
Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Roman — was tottering toward its
fall, and the Fifth universal monarchy — Christ’s — was about to
be set up. The saints were to reign. The new monarchy was so slow
in coming that they thought they might hasten it with carnal
weapons. Perhaps a miracle would be granted if they acted on their
faith. The miracle did not come, but the uprising brought serious
trouble to Fox, who had before told these visionaries in
beautifully plain language that “Christ has come and has dashed to
pieces the four monarchies.”
    The person of genius discovers in the great mass of things
about him just that which is vital and essential. He seizes the
eternal in the temporal, and all that he borrows, he fuses with
creative power into a new whole. This creative power belonged to
George Fox. There was hardly a single truth in the Quaker message
which had not been held by some one of the many sects of the time.
He saw the spiritual and eternal element which was almost lost in
the chaos of half truths and errors. In his message these
scattered truths and ideas were fused into a new whole and
received new life from his living central idea.

    It is a strange fact that, though England had been facing
religious problems of a most complex sort since the oncoming of
the Reformation, it had produced no religious genius. No one had
appeared who saw truth on a new level, or who possessed a
personality and a personal message which compelled the attention
of the nation. There had been long years of ingenious, patchwork
compromise, but no distinct prophet. George Fox is the first real
prophet of the English Reformation, for he saw what was involved
in this great religious movement.[1] Perhaps the most convincing
proof of this is not the remarkable immediate results of his
labors, though these are significant enough, but rather the
easily-verified fact that the progress of religious truth during
the last hundred years has been toward the truth which he made
central in his message.[2] However his age misunderstood him, he
would to-day find a goodly fellowship of believers.
    The purpose of this book is to have him tell his own story,
which in the main he knows how to do. It will, however, be of some
service to the reader to develop in advance the principle of which
he was the exponent. The first period of his life is occupied with
a most painful quest for something which would satisfy his heart.
His celebrated contemporary, Bunyan, possessed much greater power
of describing inward states and experiences, but one is led to
believe on comparing the two autobiographical passages that the
sufferings of Fox, in his years of spiritual desolation, were even
more severe than were those of Bunyan, though it is to be noted
that the former does not suffer from the awful sense of personal
sin as the latter does. “When I came to eleven years of age, I
knew pureness and righteousness,” is Fox’s report of his own early
deliverance from the sense of sin. His “despair,” from which he
could find no comfort, was caused by the extreme sensitiveness of
his soul. The discovery that the world, and even the Church, was
full of wickedness and sin crushed him. “I looked upon the great
professors of the city [London, 1643], and I saw all was dark and
under the chain of darkness.” This settled upon him with a weight,
deep almost as death. Nothing in the whole world seemed to him so
real as the world’s wickedness. “I could have wished,” he cries
out, “I had never been born, or that I had been born blind that I
might never have seen wickedness or vanity; and deaf that I might
never have heard vain and wicked words, or the Lord’s name
    He was overwhelmed, however, not merely because he discovered
that the world was wicked, but much more because he discovered
that priests were “empty hollow casks,” and that religion, as far
as he could discover any in England, was weak and ineffective,
with no dynamic message which moved with the living power of God
behind it. He could find theology enough and theories enough, but
he missed everywhere the direct evidence that men about him had
found God. Religion seemed to him to be reduced to a system of
clever substitutes for God, while his own soul could not rest
until it found the Life itself.
    The turning point of his life is the discovery — through
what he beautifully calls an “opening” — that Christ is not
merely an historic person who once came to the world and then
forever withdrew, but that He is the continuous Divine Presence,
God manifested humanly, and that this Christ can “speak to his
    At first sight, there appears to be nothing epoch-making in
these simple words. But it soon develops that what he really means
is that he has discovered within the deeps of his own personality
a meeting place of the human spirit with the Divine Spirit. He had
never had any doubts about the historical Christ. All that the
Christians of his time believed about Christ, he, too, believed.
His long search had not been to find out something about Christ,
but to find Him. The Christ of the theological systems was too
remote and unreal to be dynamic for him. Assent to all the
propositions about Him left one still in the power of sin. He
emerges from the struggle with an absolute certainty in his own
mind that he has discovered a way by which his soul has immediate
dealings with the living God. The larger truth involved in his
experience soon becomes plain to him, namely, that he has found a
universal principle, that the Spirit of God reaches every man. He
finds this divine-human relation taught everywhere in Scripture,
but he challenges everybody to find the primary evidence of it in
his own consciousness. He points out that every hunger of the
heart, every dissatisfaction with self, every act of self-
condemnation, every sense of shortcoming shows that the soul is
not unvisited by the Divine Spirit. To want God at all implies
some acquaintance with Him. The ability to appreciate the right,
to discriminate light from darkness, the possibility of being
anything more than a creature of sense, living for the moment,
means that our personal life is in contact at some point with the
Infinite Life, and that all things are possible to him who
believes and obeys.
    To all sorts and conditions of men, Fox continually makes
appeal to “that of God” within them. At other times he calls it
indiscriminately the “Light,” or the “Seed,” or the “Principle” of
God within the man. Frequently it is the “Christ within.” In every
instance he means that the Divine Being operates directly upon the
human life, and the new birth, the real spiritual life, begins
when the individual becomes aware of Him and sets himself to obey
Him. He may have been living along with no more explicit
consciousness of a Divine presence than the bubble has of the
ocean on which it rests and out of which it came; but even so, God
is as near him as is the beating of his own heart, and only needs
to be found and obeyed.
    Instead of making him undervalue the historic revelations of
God, the discovery of this principle of truth gave him a new
insight into the revelations of the past and the supreme
manifestations of the Divine Life and Love. He could interpret his
own inward experience in the light of the gathered revelation of
the ages. His contemporaries used to say that, though the Bible
were lost, it might be found in the mouth of George Fox, and there
is not a line in the Journal to indicate that he undervalued
either the Holy Scriptures or the historic work of Christ for
human salvation. Entirely the contrary. As soon as he realized
that the same God who spoke directly to men in earlier ages still
speaks directly, and that to be a man means to have a “seed of
God” within, he saw that there were no limits to the possibilities
of a human life. It becomes possible to live entirely in the power
of the Spirit and to have one’s life made a free and victorious
spiritual life. So to live is to be a “man” — for sin and
disobedience reduce a man. The normal person, then, is the one who
has discovered the infinite Divine resources, and is turning them
into the actual stuff of a human life. That it happens now and
then is no mystery; that it happens so seldom is the real mystery.
“I asked them if they were living in the power of the Spirit that
gave forth the Scriptures” is his frequent and somewhat na•ve
question, as though everybody ought to be doing it.
    The consciousness of the presence of God is the
characteristic thing in George Fox’s religious life. His own life
is in immediate contact with the Divine Life. It is this
conviction which unifies and gives direction to all his
activities. God has found him and he has found God. It is this
experience which puts him among the mystics.
    But here we must not overlook the distinction in types of
mysticism. There is a great group of mystics who have painfully
striven to find God by a path of negation. They believe that
everything finite is a shadow, an illusion — nothing real. To
find God, then, every vestige of the finite must be given up. The
infinite can be reached only by wiping out all marks of the
finite. The Absolute can be attained only when every “thing” and
every “thought” have been reduced to zero. But the difficulty is
that this kind of an Absolute becomes absolutely unknowable. From
the nature of the case He could not be found, for to have any
consciousness of Him at all would be to have a finite and illusory
    George Fox belongs rather among the positive mystics, who
seek to realize the presence of God in this finite human life.
That He transcends all finite experiences they fully realize, but
the reality of any finite experience lies just in this fact, that
the living God is in it and expresses some divine purpose through
it, so that a man may, as George Fox’s friend, Isaac Penington
says, “become an organ of the life and power of God,” and
“propagate God’s life in the world.” The mystic of this type may
feel the light break within him and know that God is there, or he
may equally well discover Him as he performs some clear, plain
duty which lies across his path. His whole mystical insight is in
his discovery that God is near, and not beyond the reach of the
ladders which He has given us.
    But no one has found the true George Fox when he stops with
an analysis of the views which he held. Almost more remarkable
than the truth which he proclaimed was the fervor, the enthusiasm,
the glowing passion of the man. He was of the genuine apostolic
type. He had come through years of despair over the wickedness of
the world, but as soon as the Light really broke, and he knew that
he had a message for the world in its sin and ignorance, there was
after that nothing but the grave itself which could keep him
quiet. He preached in cathedrals, on hay stacks, on cliffs of
rock, from hill tops, under apple trees and elm trees, in barns
and in city squares, while he sent epistles from every prison in
which he was shut up. Wherever he could find men who had souls to
save he told them of the Life and Truth which he had found.
    Whether one is in sympathy with Fox’s mystical view of life
or not, it is impossible not to be impressed with the practical
way in which he wrought out his faith. After all, the view that
God and man are not isolated was not new; the really new thing was
the appearance of a man who genuinely practiced the Divine
presence and lived as though he knew that his life was in a Divine
    We have dwelt upon the fundamental religious principle of Fox
at some length, because his great work as a social reformer and as
the organizer of a new system of Church government proceeds from
this root principle. One central idea moves through all he did.
His originality lies, however, not so much in the discovery, or
the rediscovery, of the principle as in the fearless application
of it. Other men had believed in Divine guidance; other Christians
had proclaimed the impenetration of God in the lives of men. But
George Fox had the courage to carry his conviction to its logical
conclusions. He knew that there were difficulties entailed in
calling men everywhere to trust the Light and to follow the Voice,
but he believed that there were more serious difficulties to be
faced by those who put some external authority in the place of the
soul’s own sight. He was ready for the consequences and he
proceeded to carry out both in the social and in the religious
life of his time the experiment of obeying the Light within. It is
this courageous fidelity to his insight that made him a social
reformer and a religious organizer. He belongs, in this respect,
in the same list with St. Francis of Assisi. They both attempted
the difficult task of bringing religion from heaven to earth.
    1. In the light of his religious discovery Fox reinterpreted
man as a member of society. If man has direct intercourse with God
he is to be treated with noble respect. He met the doctrine of the
divine right of kings with the conviction of the divine right of
man. Every man is to be treated as a man. He was a leveler, but he
leveled up, not down. Every man was to be read in terms of his
possibilities — if not of royal descent, certainly of royal
destiny. This view made Fox an unparalleled optimist. He believed
that a mighty transformation would come as soon as men were made
aware of this divine relationship which he had discovered. They
would go to living as he had done, in the power of this
    He began at once to put in practice his principle of equality
— i. e., equality of privilege. He cut straight through the
elaborate web of social custom which hid man’s true nature from
himself. Human life had become sicklied o’er with a cast of sham,
until man had half forgotten to act as man. Fox rejected for
himself every social custom which seemed to him to be hollow and
to belittle man himself. The honor which belonged to God he would
give to no man, and the honor which belonged to any man he gave to
every man. This was the reason for his “thee” and “thou.” The
plural form had been introduced to give distinction. He would not
use it. The Lord Protector and the humble cotter were addressed
alike. He had an eye for the person of great gifts and he never
wished to reduce men to indistinguishable atoms of society, but he
was resolved to guard the jewel of personality in every individual
— man or woman.
    2. His estimate of the worth of man made him a reformer. In
society as he found it men were often treated more as things than
as persons. For petty offenses they were hung,[3] and if they
escaped this fate they were put into prisons where no touch of
man’s humanity was in evidence. In the never-ending wars the
common people were hardly more than human dice. Their worth as men
was well nigh forgotten. Trade was conducted on a system of
sliding prices — high for this man, low for some other. Dealers
were honest where they had to be; dishonest where thy could be.
The courts of justice were extremely uncertain and irregular, as
the pages of this journal continually show. Against every such
crooked system which failed to recognize the divine right of man
George Fox set himself. He himself had large opportunities of
observing the courts of justice and the inhuman pens which by
courtesy were called jails. But he became a reformer, not to
secure his own rights or to get a better jail to lie in, but to
establish the principle of human rights for all men. He went
calmly to work to carry an out-and-out honesty into all trade
relations, to establish a fixed price for goods of every sort, to
make principles of business square with principles of religion. By
voice or by epistle he called every judge in the realm to “mind
that of God” within him. He refused ever to take an oath, because
he was resolved to make a plain man’s “yea” weigh as heavy as an
oath. He was always in the lists against the barbarity of the
penal system, the iniquity of enslaving men, the wickedness of
war, the wastefulness of fashion and the evils of drunkenness, and
by argument and deed he undertook to lead the way to a new
heroism, better than the heroism of battlefields.
    3. The logic of his principle compelled him to value
education. If all men are to count as men, it is a man’s primal
duty to be all he can be. To be a poor organ of God when one was
meant for a good one belongs among the high sins.[4] If it was
“opened” to him that Oxford and Cambridge could not make men
ministers, his own reason taught him that it is not safe to call
all men to obey the voice and follow the light without broad-
basing them at the same time in the established facts of history
and nature. Fox himself very early set up schools for boys and
girls alike in which “everything civil and useful in creation” was
to be taught. It is, however, quite possible that he undervalued
the aesthetic side of man, and that he suffered by his attempt to
starve it. In this particular he shared the puritan tendency, and
had not learned how to hold all things in proportion, and to make
the culture of the senses at the same time beautify the inner man.
    4. On the distinctive religious side his discovery of a
direct divine-human relationship led to a new interpretation of
worship and ministry. God is not far off. He needs no vicar, no
person of any sort between Himself and the worshipper. Grace no
more needs a special channel than the dew does. There is no
special holy place, as though God were more there than here. He
does not come from somewhere else. He is Spirit, needs only a
responsive soul, an open heart, to be found. Worship properly
begins when the soul discovers Him and enjoys His presence — in
the simplest words it is the soul’s appreciation of God. With his
usual optimism, he believed that all men and women were capable of
this stupendous attainment. He threw away all crutches at the
start and called upon everybody to walk in the Spirit, to live in
the Light. His house of worship was bare of everything but seats.
It had no shrine, for the shekinah was to be in the hearts of
those who worshipped. It had no altar, for God needed no
appeasing, seeing that He Himself had made the sacrifice for sin.
It had no baptismal font, for baptism was in his belief nothing
short of immersion into the life of the Father, Son and Holy
Spirit — a going down into the significance of Christ’s death and
a coming up in newness of life with Him. There was no communion
table, because he believed that the true communion consisted in
partaking directly of the soul’s spiritual bread — the living
Christ. There were no confessionals, for in the silence, with the
noise and din of the outer life hushed, the soul was to unveil
itself to its Maker and let His light lay bare its true condition.
There was no organ or choir, for each forgiven soul was to give
praise in the glad notes that were natural to it. No censer was
swung, for he believed God wanted only the fragrance of sincere
and prayerful spirits. There was no priestly mitre, because each
member of the true Church was to be a priest unto God. No official
robes were in evidence, because the entire business of life, in
meeting and outside, was to be the putting on of the white
garments of a saintly life. From beginning to end worship was the
immediate appreciation of God, and the appropriate activity of the
whole being in response to Him.
    William Penn says of him: “The most awful, living, reverent
frame I ever felt or beheld was his in prayer.” And this was
because he realized that he was in the presence of God when he
prayed. He believed that the ministry of truth is limited to no
class of men and to no sex. As fast and as far as any man
discovers God it becomes his business to make Him known to others.
His ability to do this effectively is a gift from God, and makes
him a minister. The only thing the Church does is to recognize the
gift. This idea carried with it perfect freedom of utterance to
all who felt a call to speak, a principle which has worked out
better than the reader would guess, though it has been often
sorely tested.
    In the Society which he founded there was no distinction of
clergy and laity. He undertook the difficult task of organizing a
Christian body in which the priesthood of believers should be an
actual fact, and in which the ordinary religious exercises of the
Church should be under the directing and controlling power of the
Holy Spirit manifesting itself through the congregation.
    Not the least service of Fox to his age was the important
part which he took in breaking down the intolerable doctrine of
predestination, which hung like an incubus over men’s lives. It
threw a gloom upon every person who found himself forced by his
logic to believe it, and its effect upon sensitive souls was
simply dreadful. Fox met this doctrine with argument, but he met
it also with something better than argument — he set over against
it two facts: that Divine grace and light are free, and that an
inward certainty of God’s favor and acceptance is possible for
every believer. Wherever Quakerism went this inward assurance went
with it. The shadow of dread uncertainty gave place to sunlight
and joy. This was the beginning of a spiritual emancipation which
is still growing, and peaceful faces and fragrant lives are the
    No reader of the Journal can fail to be impressed with the
fact that George Fox believed himself to be an instrument for the
manifestation of miraculous power. Diseases were cured through
him; he foretold coming events; he often penetrated states and
conditions of mind and heart; he occasionally had a sense of what
was happening in distant parts, and he himself underwent on at
least three occasions striking bodily changes, so that he seemed,
for days at a time, like one dead, and was in one of these times
incapable of being bled. These passages need trouble no one, nor
need their truthfulness be questioned. He possessed an unusual
psychical nature, delicately organized, capable of experiences of
a novel sort, but such as are today very familiar to the student
of psychical phenomena. The marvel is that with such a mental
organization he was so sane and practical, and so steadily kept
his balance throughout a life which furnished numerous chances for
    It is very noticeable — rather more so in the complete
Journal than in this Autobiography — that “judgments” came upon
almost everybody who was a malicious opposer of him or his work.
“God cut him off soon after,” is a not infrequent phrase. It is
manifestly impossible to investigate these cases now, and to
verify the facts, but the well-tested honesty of the early Friends
leaves little ground for doubting that the facts were
substantially as they are reported. Fox’s own inference that all
these persons had misfortune as a direct “judgment” for having
harmed him and hindered his cause will naturally seem to us a too
hasty conclusion. It is not at all strange that in this eventful
period many persons who had dealings with him should have suffered
swift changes of fortune, and of course he failed to note how many
there were who did not receive judgment in this direct manner. One
regrets, of course, that this kindly spiritual man should have
come so near enjoying what seemed to him a divine vengeance upon
his enemies, but we must remember that he believed in his soul
that his work was God’s work, and hence to frustrate it was
serious business.
    He founded a Society, as he called it, which he evidently
hoped, and probably believed, would sometime become universal.[5]
The organization in every aspect recognized the fundamentally
spiritual nature of man. Every individual was to be a vital,
organic part of the whole; free, but possessed of a freedom which
had always to be exercised with a view to the interests and
edification of the whole. It was modelled exactly on the
conception of Paul’s universal Church of many members, made a
unity not from without, but by the living presence of the One
Spirit. All this work of organization was effected while Fox
himself was in the saddle, carrying his message to town after
town, interrupted by long absences in jail and dungeon, and
steadily opposed by the fanatical antinomian elements which had
flocked to his standard. It is not the least mark of his genius
that in the face of an almost unparalleled persecution he left his
fifty thousand followers in Great Britain and Ireland formed into
a working and growing body, with equally well-organized meetings
in Holland, New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland,
Virginia and the Carolinas. His personality and his message had
won men from every station of life, and if the rank and file were
from the humbler walks, there were also men and women of
scholarship and fame. Robert Barclay, from the schools of Paris,
gave the new faith its permanent expression in his Apology.
William Penn worked its principles out in a holy experiment in a
Christian Commonwealth, and Isaac Penington, in his brief essays,
set forth in rich and varied phrase the mystical truth which was
at the heart of the doctrine.
    This is the place for exposition, not for criticism. It
requires no searchlight to reveal in this man the limitations and
imperfections which his age and his own personal peculiarities
fixed upon him. He saw in part and he prophesied in part. But,
like his great contemporary, Cromwell, he had a brave sincerity, a
soul absolutely loyal to the highest he saw. The testimony of the
Scarborough jailer is as true as it is unstudied — “as stiff as a
tree and as pure as a bell.” It is fitting that this study of him
should close with the words of the man who knew him best —
William Penn: “I write my knowledge and not report, and my witness
is true, having been with him for weeks and months together on
diverse occasions, and those of the nearest and most exercising
nature, by sea and land, in this country and in foreign countries;
and I can say I never saw him out of his place, or not a match for
every service or occasion. For in all things he acquitted himself
like a man, yea, a strong man, a new and heavenly-minded man; a
divine and a naturalist, and all of God Almighty’s making.”[6]


    The blessed instrument of and in this day of God, and of whom
I am now about to write, was George Fox, distinguished from
another of that name, by that other’s addition of younger to his
name in all his writings; not that he was so in years, but that he
was so in the truth; but he was also a worthy man, witness and
servant of God in his time.
    But this George Fox was born in Leicestershire, about the
year 1624. He descended of honest and sufficient parents, who
endeavoured to bring him up, as they did the rest of their
children, in the way and worship of the nation; especially his
mother, who was a woman accomplished above most of her degree in
the place where she lived. But from a child he appeared of another
frame of mind than the rest of his brethren; being more religious,
inward, still, solid, and observing, beyond his years, as the
answers he would give, and the questions he would put upon
occasion manifested, to the astonishment of those that heard him,
especially in divine things.
    His mother taking notice of his singular temper, and the
gravity, wisdom, and piety that very early shone through him,
refusing childish and vain sports and company when very young, she
was tender and indulgent over him, so that from her he met with
little difficulty. As to his employment, he was brought up in
country business; and as he took most delight in sheep, so he was
very skilful in them; an employment that very well suited his mind
in several respects, both for its innocency and solitude; and was
a just figure of his after ministry and service.
    I shall not break in upon his own account, which is by much
the best that can be given; and therefore desire, what I can, to
avoid saying anything of what is said already, as to the
particular passages of his coming forth; but, in general, when he
was somewhat above twenty, he left his friends, and visited the
most retired and religious people, and some there were at that
time in this nation, especially in those parts, who waited for the
consolation of Israel night and day, as Zacharias, Anna, and good
old Simeon did of old time. To these he was sent, and these he
sought out in the neighboring countries, and among them he
sojourned till his more ample ministry came upon him.
    At this time he taught and was an example of silence,
endeavouring to bring people from self-performances, testifying
and turning to the light of Christ within them, and encouraging
them to wait in patience to feel the power of it to stir in their
hearts, that their knowledge and worship of God might stand in the
power of an endless life, which was to be found in the Light, as
it was obeyed in the manifestation of it in man. “For in the Word
was life, and that life was the light of men.” Life in the Word,
light in men, and life too, as the light is obeyed; the children
of the light living by the life of the Word, by which the Word
begets them again to God, which is the regeneration and new birth,
without which there is no coming unto the kingdom of God; and
which, whoever comes to, is greater than John, that is, than
John’s ministry which was not that of the kingdom, but the
consummation of the legal, and opening of the gospel-dispensation.
Accordingly, several meetings were gathered in those parts; and
thus his time was employed for some years.
    In 1652, he being in his usual retirement to the Lord upon a
very high mountain, in some of the hither parts of Yorkshire, as I
take it, his mind exercised towards the Lord, he had a vision of
the great work of God in the earth, and of the way that he was to
go forth to begin it. He saw people as thick as motes in the sun,
that should in time be brought home to the Lord, that there might
be but one Shepherd and one sheepfold in all the earth. There his
eye was directed northward, beholding a great people that should
receive him and his message in those parts. Upon this mountain he
was moved of the Lord to sound out his great and notable day, as
if he had been in a great auditory, and from thence went north, as
the Lord had shewn him: and in every place where he came, if not
before he came to it, he had his particular exercise and service
shewn to him, so that the Lord was his leader indeed; for it was
not in vain that he travelled, God in most places sealing his
commission with the convincement of some of all sorts, as well
publicans as sober professors of religion. Some of the first and
most eminent of them, which are at rest, were Richard Farnsworth,
James Nayler, William Dewsberry, Francis Howgil, Edward Burrough,
John Camm, John Audland, Richard Hubberthorn, T. Taylor, John
Aldam, T. Holmes, Alexander Parker, William Simpson, William
Caton, John Stubbs, Robert Widders, John Burnyeat, Robert Lodge,
Thomas Salthouse, and many more worthies, that cannot be well here
named, together with diverse yet living of the first and great
convincement, who after the knowledge of God’s purging judgments
in themselves, and some time of waiting in silence upon him, to
feel and receive power from on high to speak in his name (which
none else rightly can, though they may use the same words), felt
the divine motions, and were frequently drawn forth, especially to
visit the publick assemblies, to reprove, inform and exhort them,
sometimes in markets, fairs, streets, and by the highway side,
calling people to repentance, and to turn to the Lord with their
hearts as well as their mouths; directing them to the light of
Christ within them, to see and examine and consider their ways by,
and to eschew the evil and do the good and acceptable will of God.
And they suffered great hardships for this their love and good-
will, being often stocked, stoned, beaten, whipped and imprisoned,
though honest men and of good report where they lived, that had
left wives and children, and houses and lands, to visit them with
a living call to repentance. And though the priests generally set
themselves to oppose them, and write against them, and insinuated
most false and scandalous stories to defame them, stirring up the
magistrates to suppress them, especially in those northern parts,
yet God was pleased so to fill them with his living power, and
give them such an open door of utterance in his service, that
there was a mighty convincement over those parts.
    And through the tender and singular indulgence of Judge
Bradshaw and Judge Fell, in the infancy of things, the priests
were never able to gain the point they laboured for, which was to
have proceeded to blood, and if possible, Herod-like, by a cruel
exercise of the civil power, to have cut them off and rooted them
out of the country. Especially Judge Fell, who was not only a
check to their rage in the course of legal proceedings, but
otherwise upon occasion, and finally countenanced this people; for
his wife receiving the truth with the first, it had that influence
upon his spirit, being a just and wise man, and seeing in his own
wife and family a full confutation of all the popular clamours
against the way of truth, that he covered them what he could, and
freely opened his doors, and gave up his house to his wife and her
friends, not valuing the reproach of ignorant or evilminded
people, which I here mention to his and her honour, and which will
be I believe an honour and a blessing to such of their name and
family as shall be found in that tenderness, humility, love and
zeal for the truth and people of the Lord.
    That house was for some years at first, till the truth had
opened its way in the southern parts of this island, an eminent
receptacle of this people. Others of good note and substance in
those northern countries had also opened their houses with their
hearts to the many publishers, that in a short time the Lord had
raised to declare his salvation to the people, and where meetings
of the Lord’s messengers were frequently held, to communicate
their services and exercises, and comfort and edify one another in
their blessed ministry.
    But lest this may be thought a digression, having touched
upon this before, I return to this excellent man: and for his
personal qualities, both natural, moral, and divine, as they
appeared in his converse with his brethren and in the church of
God, take as follows.
    I. He was a man that God endowed with a clear and wonderful
depth, a discerner of others’ spirits, and very much a master of
his own. And though the side of his understanding which lay next
to the world, and especially the expression of it, might sound
uncouth and unfashionable to nice ears, his matter was
nevertheless very profound, and would not only bear to be often
considered but the more it was so, the more weighty and
instructing it appeared. And as abruptly and brokenly as sometimes
his sentences would fall from him about divine things, it is well
known they were often as texts to many fairer declarations. And
indeed it shewed beyond all contradiction that God sent him, that
no arts or parts had any share in the matter or manner of his
ministry, and that so many great, excellent, and necessary truths
as he came forth to preach to mankind, had therefore nothing of
man’s wit or wisdom to recommend them. So that as to man he was an
original, being no man’s copy. And his ministry and writings shew
they are from one that was not taught of man, nor had learned what
he said by study. Nor were they notional or speculative, but
sensible and practical truths, tending to conversion and
regeneration, and the setting up the kingdom of God in the hearts
of men, and the way of it was his work. So that I have many times
been overcome in myself, and been made to say with my Lord and
Master upon the like occasion, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of
heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise
and prudent of this world, and revealed them to babes”; for many
times hath my soul bowed in an humble thankfulness to the Lord,
that he did not choose any of the wise and learned of this world
to be the first messenger in our age of his blessed truth to men;
but that he took one that was not of high degree, or elegant
speech, or learned after the way of this world, that his message
and work He sent him to do might come with less suspicion or
jealousy of human wisdom and interest, and with more force and
clearness upon the consciences of those that sincerely sought the
way of truth in the love of it. I say, beholding with the eye of
my mind, which the God of heaven had opened in me, the marks of
God’s finger and hand visibly in this testimony from the clearness
of the principle, the power and efficacy of it in the exemplary
sobriety, plainness, zeal, steadiness, humility, gravity,
punctuality, charity, and circumspect care in the government of
church affairs, which shined in his and their life and testimony
that God employed in this work, it greatly confirmed me that it
was of God, and engaged my soul in a deep love, fear, reverence,
and thankfulness for his love and mercy therein to mankind; in
which mind I remain, and shall, I hope, to the end of my days.
    II. In his testimony or ministry he much laboured to open
truth to the people’s understandings, and to bottom them upon the
principle and principal, Christ Jesus, the light of the world,
that by bringing them to something that was of God in themselves,
they might the better know and judge of him and themselves.
    He had an extraordinary gift in opening the Scriptures. He
would go to the marrow of things, and shew the mind, harmony, and
fulfilling of them with much plainness, and to great comfort and
    The mystery of the first and second Adam, of the fall and
restoration, of the law and gospel, of shadows and substance, of
the servant and son’s state, and the fulfilling of the Scriptures
in Christ, and by Christ the true light, in all that are His,
through the obedience of faith, were much of the substance and
drift of his testimonies. In all which he was witnessed to be of
God, being sensibly felt to speak that which he had received of
Christ, and was his own experience in that which never errs nor
    But above all he excelled in prayer. The inwardness and
weight of his spirit, the reverence and solemnity of his address
and behaviour, and the fewness and fullness of his words, have
often struck even strangers with admiration, as they used to reach
others with consolation. The most awful, living, reverent frame I
ever felt or beheld, I must say, was his in prayer. And truly it
was a testimony he knew, and lived nearer to the Lord than other
men; for they that know him most will see most reason to approach
him with reverence and fear.
    He was of an innocent life, no busy-body, nor self-seeker,
neither touchy nor critical: what fell from him was very
inoffensive, if not very edifying. So meek, contented, modest,
easy, steady, tender, it was a pleasure to be in his company. He
exercised no authority but over evil, and that everywhere and in
all; but with love, compassion, and long-suffering. A most
merciful man, as ready to forgive as unapt to take or give
offense. Thousands can truly say, he was of an excellent spirit
and savour among them, and because thereof the most excellent
spirits loved him with an unfeigned and unfading love.
    He was an incessant labourer; for in his younger time, before
his many great and deep sufferings and travels had enfeebled his
body for itinerant services, he laboured much in the word and
doctrine and discipline in England, Scotland, and Ireland, turning
many to God, and confirming those that were convinced of the
truth, and settling good order as to church affairs among them.
And towards the conclusion of his travelling services, between the
years seventy-one and seventy-seven, he visited the churches of
Christ in the plantations in America, and in the United Provinces,
and Germany, as his following Journal relates, to the convincement
and consolation of many. After that time he chiefly resided in and
about the city of London, and besides the services of his
ministry, which were frequent, he wrote much both to them that are
within and those that are without the communion. But the care he
took of the affairs of the church in general was very great.
    He was often where the records of the affairs of the church
are kept, and the letters from the many meetings of God’s people
over all the world, where settled, come upon occasions; which
letters he had read to him, and communicated them to the meeting
that is weekly held there for such services; he would be sure to
stir them up to discharge them, especially in suffering cases:
showing great sympathy and compassion upon all such occasions,
carefully looking into the respective cases, and endeavouring
speedy relief according to the nature of them; so that the
churches and any of the suffering members thereof were sure not to
be forgotten or delayed in their desires if he were there.
    As he was unwearied, so he was undaunted in his services for
God and his people; he was no more to be moved to fear than to
wrath. His behaviour at Derby, Litchfield, Appleby, before Oliver
Cromwell at Launceston, Scarborough, Worcester, and Westminster-
hall, with many other places and exercises, did abundantly
evidence it to his enemies as well as his friends.
    But as in the primitive times some rose up against the
blessed apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, even from among those
that they had turned to the hope of the gospel, and who became
their greatest trouble, so this man of God had his share of
suffering from some that were convinced by him, who through
prejudice or mistake ran against him as one that sought dominion
over conscience; because he pressed, by his presence or epistles,
a ready and zealous compliance with such good and wholesome things
as tended to an orderly conversation about the affairs of the
church, and in their walking before men. That which contributed
much to this ill work, was in some a begrudging of this meek man
the love and esteem he had and deserved in the hearts of the
people, and weakness in others that were taken with their
groundless suggestions of imposition and blind obedience.
    They would have had every man independent, that as he had the
principle in himself, he should only stand and fall to that and
nobody else; not considering that the principle is one in all, and
though the measure of light or grace might differ, yet the nature
of it was the same, and being so they struck at the spiritual
unity, which a people guided by the same principle are naturally
led into: so that what is evil to one is so to all, and what is
virtuous, honest, and of good report to one, is so to all, from
the sense and savour of the one universal principle which is
common to all, and (which the disaffected profess to be) the root
of all true Christian fellowship, and that spirit into which the
people of God drink, and come to be spiritually minded, and of one
heart and one soul.
    Some weakly mistook good order in the government of church
affairs for discipline in worship, and that it was so pressed or
recommended by him and other brethren; and they were ready to
reflect the same things that dissenters had very reasonably
objected upon the national churches, that have coercively pressed
conformity to their respective creeds and worships: whereas these
things related wholly to conversation, and the outward and (as I
may say) civil part of the church, that men should walk up to the
principles of their belief, and not be wanting in care and
charity. But though some have stumbled and fallen through mistakes
and an unreasonable obstinacy, even to a prejudice, yet blessed be
God, the generality have returned to their first love, and seen
the work of the enemy, that loses no opportunity or advantage by
which he may check or hinder the work of God, and disquiet the
peace of His church, and chill the love of His people to the
truth, and one to another; and there is hope of diverse that are
yet at a distance.
    In all these occasions, though there was no person the
discontented struck so sharply at as this good man, he bore all
their weakness and prejudice, and returned not reflection for
reflection; but forgave them their weak and bitter speeches,
praying for them that they might have a sense of their hurt, and
see the subtlety of the enemy to rend and divide, and return into
their first love that thought no ill.
    And truly, I must say, that though God had visibly cloathed
him with a divine preference and authority, and indeed his very
presence expressed a religious majesty, yet he never abused it,
but held his place in the church of God with great meekness, and a
most engaging humility and moderation. For upon all occasions like
his blessed Master, he was a servant to all, holding and
exercising his eldership in the invisible power that had gathered
them, with reverence to the head and care over the body, and was
received only in that spirit and power of Christ, as the first and
chief elder in this age; who as he was therefore worthy of double
honour, so for the same reason it was given by the faithful of
this day; because his authority was inward and not outward, and
that he got it and kept it by the love of God and power of an
endless life. I write my knowledge and not report, and my witness
is true, having been with him for weeks and months together on
diverse occasions, and those of the nearest and most exercising
nature, and that by night and by day, by sea and by land, in this
and in foreign countries: and I can say I never saw him out of his
place, or not a match for every service or occasion.
    For in all things he acquitted himself like a man, yea a
strong man, a new and heavenly-minded man. A divine, and a
naturalist, and all of God Almighty’s making. I have been
surprised at his questions and answers in natural things, that
whilst he was ignorant of useless and sophistical science, he had
in him the foundation of useful and commendable knowledge, and
cherished it everywhere. Civil beyond all forms of breeding in his
behaviour; very temperate, eating little and sleeping less, though
a bulky person.
    Thus he lived and sojourned among us, and as he lived so he
died, feeling the same eternal power that had raised and preserved
him in his last moments. So full of assurance was he that he
triumphed over death; and so even to the last, as if death were
hardly worth notice or a mention: recommending to some with him
the dispatch and dispersion of an epistle, just before written to
the churches of Christ, throughout the world, and his own books;
but above all, friends, and of all friends those in Ireland and
America, twice over: saying, Mind poor friends in Ireland and
    And to some that came in and inquired how he found himself,
he answered, “Never heed, the Lord’s power is over all weakness
and death, the Seed reigns, blessed be the Lord”: which was about
four or five hours before his departure out of this world. He was
at the great meeting near Lombard Street on the first day of the
week, and it was the third following about ten at night when he
left us, being at the house of H. Goldney in the same court. In a
good old age he went, after having lived to see his children’s
children to several generations in the truth. He had the comfort
of a short illness, and the blessing of a clear sense to the last;
and we may truly say with a man of God of old, that “being dead,
he yet speaketh”; and though absent in body, he is present in
Spirit; neither time nor place being able to interrupt the
communion of saints, or dissolve the fellowship of the spirits of
the just. His works praise him, because they are to the praise of
Him that worked by him; for which his memorial is and shall be
blessed. I have done, as to this part of my preface, when I have
left this short epitaph to his name: “Many sons have done
virtuously in this day, but, dear George, thou excellent them




The Testimony of William Penn Concerning that Faithful
    Servant, George Fox

I.    — Boyhood — A Seeker, 1624-1648.
II.    — The First Years of Ministry, 1648-1649.
III.  — The Challenge and the First Taste of Prison, 1648-
IV.    — A Year in Derby Jail, 1650-1651.
V.    — One Man May Shake the Country for Ten Miles, 1651-1652.
VI.    — A New Era Begins, 1652.
VII.  — In Prison Again, 1653.
VIII.  — A Visit to Oliver Cromwell, 1653-1654.
IX.    — A Visit to the Southern Counties, Which Ends in
          Jail, 1655-1656.
X.    — Planting the Seed in Wales, 1656-1657.
XI.    — In the Home of the Covenanters, 1657.
XII.  — Great Events in London, 1658-1659.
XIII.  — In the First Year of King Charles, 1660.
XIV.  — Labors, Dangers and Sufferings, 1661-1662.
XV.    — In Prison for Not Swearing, 1662-1665.
XVI.  — A Year in Scarborough Castle, 1665-1666.
XVII.  — At the Work of Organizing, 1667-1670.
XVIII. — Two Years in America, 1671-1673.
XIX.  — The Last Imprisonment, 1673-1678.
XX.    — The Seed Reigns over Death, 1679-1691.

                          CHAPTER I.
                    Boyhood — A Seeker

    That all may know the dealings of the Lord with me, and the
various exercises, trials, and troubles through which He led me,
in order to prepare and fit me for the work unto which He had
appointed me, and may thereby be drawn to admire and glorify His
infinite wisdom and goodness, I think fit (before I proceed to set
forth my public travels in the service of Truth) briefly to
mention how it was with me in my youth, and how the work of the
Lord was begun, and gradually carried on in me, even from my
    I was born in the month called July, 1624, at Drayton-in-the-
Clay,[7] in Leicestershire. My father’s name was Christopher Fox;
he was by profession a weaver, an honest man; and there was a Seed
of God in him. The neighbours called him Righteous Christer. My
mother was an upright woman; her maiden name was Mary Lago, of the
family of the Lagos, and of the stock of the martyrs.[8]
    In my very young years I had a gravity and stayedness of mind
and spirit not usual in children; insomuch that when I saw old men
behave lightly and wantonly towards each other, I had a dislike
thereof raised in my heart, and said within myself, “If ever I
come to be a man, surely I shall not do so, nor be so wanton.”
    When I came to eleven years of age I knew pureness and
righteousness; for while a child I was taught how to walk to be
kept pure. The Lord taught me to be faithful in all things, and to
act faithfully two ways, viz., inwardly, to God, and outwardly, to
man; and to keep to Yea and Nay in all things. For the Lord showed
me that, though the people of the world have mouths full of
deceit, and changeable affords, yet I was to keep to Yea and Nay
in all things; and that my words should lie few and savoury,
seasoned with grace; and that I might not eat and drink to make
myself wanton, but for health, using the creatures[9] in their
service, as servants in their places, to the glory of Him that
created them.
    As I grew up, my relations thought to have made me a
priest,[10] but others persuaded to the contrary. Whereupon I was
put to a man who was a shoemaker[11] by trade, and dealt in wool.
He also used grazing, and sold cattle; and a great deal went
through my hands. While I was with him he was blessed, but after I
left him he broke and came to nothing.
    I never wronged man or woman in all that time; for the Lord’s
power was with me and over me, to preserve me. While I was in that
service I used in my dealings the word Verily, and it was a common
saying among those that knew me, “If George says verily, there is
no altering him.” When boys and rude persons would laugh at me, I
let them alone and went my way; but people had generally a love to
me for my innocency and honesty.
    When I came towards nineteen years of age, being upon
business at a fair, one of my cousins, whose name was Bradford,
having another professor[12] with him, came and asked me to drink
part of a jug of beer with them. I, being thirsty, went in with
them, for I loved any who had a sense of good, or that sought
after the Lord.
    When we had drunk a glass apiece, they began to drink
healths, and called for more drink, agreeing together that he that
would not drink should pay all. I was grieved that any who made
profession of religion should offer to do so. They grieved me very
much, having never had such a thing put to me before by any sort
of people. Wherefore I rose up, and, putting my hand in my pocket,
took out a groat, and laid it upon the table before them, saying,
“If it be so, I will leave you.”
    So I went away; and when I had done my business returned
home; but did not go to bed that night, nor could I sleep, but
sometimes walked up and down, and sometimes prayed and cried to
the Lord, who said unto me: “Thou seest how young people go
together into vanity, and old people into the earth; thou must
forsake all, young and old, keep out of all, and be as a stranger
unto all.”
    Then, at the command of God, the ninth of the Seventh month,
1643, I left my relations, and broke off all familiarity or
fellowship with young or old. I passed to Lutterworth, where I
stayed some time. From thence I went to Northampton, where also I
made some stay; then passed to Newport-Pagnel, whence, after I had
stayed awhile, I went to Barnet, in the Fourth month, called
June,[13] in the year 1644.
    As I thus traveled through the country, professors took
notice of me, and sought to be acquainted with me; but I was
afraid of them, for I was sensible they did not possess what they
    During the time I was at Barnet a strong temptation to
despair came upon me. I then saw how Christ was tempted, and
mighty troubles I was in. Sometimes I kept myself retired to my
chamber, and often walked solitary in the Chase to wait upon the
fjord. I wondered why these things should come to me. I looked
upon myself, and said, “Was I ever so before?” Then I thought,
because I had forsaken my relations I had done amiss against them.
    So I was brought to call to mind all my time that I had
spent, and to consider whether I had wronged any; but temptations
grew more and more, and I was tempted almost to despair; and when
Satan could not effect his design upon me that way, he laid snares
and baits to draw me to commit some sin, whereof he might take
advantage to bring me to despair.
    I was about twenty years of age when these exercises came
upon me; and some years I continued in that condition, in great
trouble; and fain I would have put it from me. I went to many a
priest to look for comfort, but found no comfort from them.
    From Barnet I went to London, where I took a lodging, and was
under great misery and trouble there; for I looked upon the great
professors of the city of London, and saw all was dark and under
the chain of darkness. I had an uncle there, one Pickering, a
Baptist; the Baptists were tender[14] then; yet I could not impart
my mind to him, nor join with them; for I saw all, young and old,
where they were. Some tender people would have had me stay, but I
was fearful, and returned homeward into Leicestershire, having a
regard upon my mind to my parents and relations, lest I should
grieve them, for I understood they were troubled at my absence.
    Being returned[15] into Leicestershire, my relations would
have had me married; but I told them I was but a lad, and must get
wisdom. Others would have had me join the auxiliary band among the
soldiery,[16] but I refused, and was grieved that they offered
such things to me, being a tender youth. Then I went to Coventry,
where I took a chamber for awhile at a professor’s house, till
people began to be acquainted with me, for there were many tender
people in that town. After some time I went into my own country
again, and continued about a year, in great sorrow and trouble,
and walked many nights by myself.
    Then the priest of Drayton, the town of my birth, whose name
was Nathaniel Stephens, came often to me, and I went often to him;
and another priest sometimes came with him; and they would give
place to me, to hear me; and I would ask them questions, and
reason with them. This priest, Stephens, asked me why Christ cried
out upon the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
and why He said, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me;
yet not my will, but thine, be done”? I told him that at that time
the sins of all mankind were upon Him, and their iniquities and
transgressions, with which He was wounded; which He was to bear,
and to be an offering for, as He was man; but died not, as He was
God; so, in that He died for all men, tasting death for every man,
He was an offering for the sins of the whole world.
    This I spoke, being at that time in a measure sensible of
Christ’s sufferings. The priest said it was a very good, full
answer, and such a one as he had not heard. At that time he would
applaud and speak highly of me to others; and what I said in
discourse to him on week-days, he would preach of on First
days,[17] which gave me a dislike to him. This priest afterwards
became my great persecutor.
    After this I went to another ancient priest[18] at Mancetter,
in Warwickshire, and reasoned with him about the ground of despair
and temptations. But he was ignorant of my condition; he bade me
take tobacco and sing psalms. Tobacco was a thing I did not love,
and psalms I was not in a state to sing; I could not sing. He bade
me come again, and he would tell me many things; but when I came
he was angry and pettish, for my former words had displeased him.
He told my troubles, sorrows, and griefs to his servants, so that
it got out among the milk-lasses. It grieved me that I should have
opened my mind to such a one. I saw they were all miserable
comforters, and this increased my troubles upon me. I heard of a
priest living about Tamworth, who was accounted an experienced
man. I went seven miles to him, but found him like an empty,
hollow cask.
    I heard also of one called Dr. Cradock, of Coventry, and went
to him. I asked him the ground of temptations and despair, and how
troubles came to be wrought in man? He asked me, “Who were
Christ’s father and mother?” I told him, Mary was His mother, and
that He was supposed to be the Son of Joseph, but He was the Son
of God.
    Now, as we were walking together in his garden, the alley
being narrow, I chanced, in turning, to set my foot on the side of
a bed, at which the man was in a rage, as if his house had been on
fire. Thus all our discourse was lost, and I went away in sorrow,
worse than I was when I came. I thought them miserable comforters,
and saw they were all as nothing to me, for they could not reach
my condition.
    After this I went to another, one Macham,[19] a priest in
high account. He would needs give me some physic, and I was to
have been let blood; but they could not get one drop of blood from
me, either in arms or head (though they endeavoured to do so), my
body being, as it were, dried up with sorrows, grief and troubles,
which were so great upon me that I could have wished I had never
been born, or that I had been born blind, that I might never have
seen wickedness or vanity; and deaf, that I might never have heard
vain and wicked words, or the Lord’s name blasphemed.
    When the time called Christmas came, while others were
feasting and sporting themselves I looked out poor widows from
house to house, and gave them some money. When I was invited to
marriages (as I sometimes was), I went to none at all; but the
next day, or soon after, I would go and visit them, and if they
were poor I gave them some money; for I had wherewith both to keep
myself from being chargeable to others and to administer something
to the necessities of those who were in need.[20]
    About the beginning of the year 1646, as I was going to
Coventry, and approaching towards the gate, a consideration arose
in me, how it was said that “All Christians are believers, both
Protestants and Papists”; and the Lord opened[21] to me that if
all were believers, then they were all born of God, and passed
from death to life; and that none were true believers but such;
and, though others said they were believers, yet they were not. At
another time, as I was walking in a field on a First-day morning,
the Lord opened unto me that being bred at Oxford or Cambridge was
not enough to fit and qualify men to be ministers of Christ; and I
wondered at it, because it was the common belief of people. But I
saw it clearly as the Lord opened it unto me, and was satisfied,
and admired the goodness of the Lord, who had opened this thing
unto me that morning. This struck at priest Stephens’s ministry,
namely, that “to be bred at Oxford or Cambridge was not enough to
make a man fit to be a minister of Christ.” So that which opened
in me I saw struck at the priest’s ministry.
    But my relations were much troubled that I would not go with
them to hear the priest; for I would go into the orchard or the
fields, with my Bible, by myself. I asked them, “Did not the
Apostle say to believers that they needed no man to teach them,
but as the anointing teacheth them?” Though they knew this was
Scripture, and that it was true, yet they were grieved because I
could not be subject in this matter, to go to hear the priest with
them. I saw that to be a true believer was another thing than they
looked upon it to be; and I saw that being bred at Oxford or
Cambridge did not qualify or fit a man to be a minister of Christ;
what then should I follow such for? So neither them, nor any of
the dissenting people, could I join with; but was as a stranger to
all, relying wholly upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
    At another time it was opened in me that God, who made the
world, did not dwell in temples made with hands. This at first
seemed a strange word, because both priests and people used to
call their temples, or churches, dreadful places, holy ground, and
the temples of God. But the Lord showed me clearly that He did not
dwell in these temples which men had commanded and set up, but in
people’s hearts; for both Stephen and the apostle Paul bore
testimony that He did not dwell in temples made with hands, not
even in that which He had once commanded to be built, since He put
an end to it; but that His people were His temple, and He dwelt in
    This opened in me as I walked in the fields to my relations’
house. When I came there they told me that Nathaniel Stephens, the
priest, had been there, and told them he was afraid of me, for
going after new lights. I smiled in myself, knowing what the Lord
had opened in me concerning him and his brethren; but I told not
my relations, who, though they saw beyond the priests, yet went to
hear them, and were grieved because I would not go also. But I
brought them Scriptures,[22] and told them there was an anointing
within man to teach him, and that the Lord would teach His people
    I had also great openings concerning the things written in
the Revelations; and when I spoke of them the priests and
professors would say that was a sealed book, and would have kept
me out of it. But I told them Christ could open the seals, and
that they were the nearest things to us; for the epistles were
written to the saints that lived in former ages, but the
Revelations were written of things to come.
    After this I met with a sort of people that held women have
no souls, (adding in a light manner), No more than a goose.[23]
But I reproved them, and told them, that was not right; for Mary
said, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced
in God my Saviour.”
    Removing to another place, I came among a people that relied
much on dreams. I told them, except they could distinguish between
dream and dream, they would confound all together; for there were
three sorts of dreams; multitude of business sometimes caused
dreams, and there were whisperings of Satan in man in the night
season; and there were speakings of God to man in dreams. But
these people came out of these things, and at last became
    Now, though I had great openings, yet great trouble and
temptation came many times upon me; so that when it was day I
wished for night, and when it was night I wished for day; and by
reason of the openings I had in my troubles, I could say as David
said, “Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth
knowledge.” When I had openings they answered one another and
answered the Scriptures; for I had great openings of the
Scriptures: and when I was in troubles, one trouble also answered
to another.
    About the beginning of the year 1647 I was moved of the Lord
to go into Derbyshire, where I met with some friendly people, and
had many discourses with them. Then, passing into the Peak
country,[25] I met with more friendly people, and with some in
empty high notions.[26] Travelling through some parts of
Leicestershire, and into Nottinghamshire, I met with a tender
people and a very tender woman, whose name was Elizabeth
Hooton.[27] With these I had some meetings and discourses; but my
troubles continued, and I was often under great temptations.
    I fasted much, walked abroad in solitary places many days,
and often took my Bible, and sat in hollow trees and lonesome
places till night came on; and frequently in the night walked
mournfully about by myself; for I was a man of sorrows in the time
of the first workings of the Lord in me.
    During all this time I was never joined in profession of
Religion with any, but gave up myself to the Lord, having forsaken
all evil company, taken leave of father and mother, and all other
relations, and travelled up and down as a stranger in the earth,
which way the Lord inclined my heart; taking a chamber to myself
in the town where I came, and tarrying, sometimes more, sometimes
less, in a place. For I durst not stay long in a place, being
afraid both of professor and profane, lest, being a tender young
man, I should be hurt by conversing much with either. For this
reason I kept much as a stranger, seeking heavenly wisdom and
getting knowledge from the Lord, and was brought off from outward
things to rely on the Lord alone.
    Though my exercises and troubles were very great, yet were
they not so continual but that I had some intermissions, and I was
sometimes brought into such an heavenly joy that I thought I had
been in Abraham’s bosom.
    As I cannot declare the misery I was in, it was so great and
heavy upon me, so neither can I set forth the mercies of God unto
me in all my misery. O the everlasting love of God to my soul,
when I was in great distress! When my troubles and torments were
great, then was His love exceeding great. Thou, Lord, makest a
fruitful field a barren wilderness, and a barren wilderness a
fruitful field! Thou bringest down and settest up! Thou killest
and makest alive! all honour and glory be to thee, O Lord of
Glory! The knowledge of Thee in the Spirit is life; but that
knowledge which is fleshly works death.[28]
    While there is this knowledge in the flesh, deceit and self
will conform to anything, and will say Yes, Yes, to that it doth
not know. The knowledge which the world hath of what the prophets
and apostles spake, is a fleshly knowledge; and the apostates from
the life in which the prophets and apostles were have got their
words, the Holy Scriptures, in a form, but not in the life nor
spirit that gave them forth. So they all lie in confusion; and are
making provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof, but
not to fulfil the law and command of Christ in His power and
Spirit. For that they say they cannot do; but to fulfil the lusts
of the flesh, that they can do with delight.
    Now, after I had received that opening from the Lord, that to
be bred at Oxford or Cambridge was not sufficient to fit a man to
be a minister of Christ, I regarded the priests less, and looked
more after the Dissenting people.[29] Among them I saw there was
some tenderness; and many of them came afterwards to be convinced,
for they had some openings.
    But as I had forsaken the priests, so I left the separate
preachers also, and those esteemed the most experienced people;
for I saw there was none among them all that could speak to my
condition. When all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so
that I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could I tell what to
do, then, oh, then, I heard a voice which said, “There is one,
even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition”;[30] and when
I heard it, my heart did leap for joy.
    ‘Then the Lord let me see why there was none upon the earth
that could speak to my condition, namely, that I might give Him
all the glory. For all are concluded under sin, and shut up in
unbelief, as I had been; that Jesus Christ might have the pre-
eminence who enlightens, and gives grace, and faith, and power.
Thus when God doth work, who shall hinder it? and this I knew
    My desire after the Lord grew stronger, and zeal in the pure
knowledge of God, and of Christ alone, without the help of any
man, book, or writing. For though I read the Scriptures that spoke
of Christ and of God, yet I knew Him not, but by revelation, as He
who hath the key did open, and as the Father of Life drew me to
His Son by His Spirit. Then the Lord gently led me along, and let
me see His love, which was endless and eternal, surpassing all the
knowledge that men have in the natural state, or can obtain from
history or books; and that love let me see myself, as I was
without Him.
    I was afraid of all company, for I saw them perfectly where
they were, through the love of God, which let me see myself. I had
not fellowship with any people, priests or professors, or any sort
of separated people, but with Christ, who hath the key, and opened
the door of Light and Life unto me. I was afraid of all carnal
talk and talkers, for I could see nothing but corruptions, and the
life lay under the burthen of corruptions.
    When I myself was in the deep, shut up under all, I could not
believe that I should ever overcome; my troubles, my sorrows, and
my temptations were so great that I thought many times I should
have despaired, I was so tempted. But when Christ opened to me how
He was tempted by the same devil, and overcame him and bruised his
head, and that through Him and His power, light, grace, and
Spirit, I should overcome also, I had confidence in Him; so He it
was that opened to me when I was shut up and had no hope nor
faith. Christ, who had enlightened me, gave me His light to
believe in; He gave me hope, which He Himself revealed in me, and
He gave me His Spirit and grace, which I found sufficient in the
deeps and in weakness.
    Thus, in the deepest miseries, and in the greatest sorrows
and temptations, that many times beset me, the Lord in His mercy
did keep me.
    I found that there were two thirsts in me — the one after
the creatures, to get help and strength there, and the other after
the Lord, the Creator, and His Son Jesus Christ. I saw all the
world could do me no good; if I had had a king’s diet, palace, and
attendance, all would have been as nothing; for nothing gave me
comfort but the Lord by His power. At another time I saw the great
love of God, and was filled with admiration at the infiniteness of
    One day, when I had been walking solitarily abroad, and was
come home, I was taken up in the love of God, so that I could not
but admire the greatness of His love; and while l was in that
condition, it was opened unto me by the eternal light and power,
and I therein clearly saw that all was done and to be done in and
by Christ, and how He conquers and destroys this tempter the
devil, and all his works, and is atop of him; and that all these
troubles were good for me, and temptations for the trial of my
faith, which Christ had given me.
    The Lord opened me, that I saw all through these troubles and
temptations. My living faith was raised, that I saw all was done
by Christ the life, and my belief was in Him.
    When at any time my condition was veiled, my secret belief
was stayed firm, and hope underneath held me, as an anchor in the
bottom of the sea, and anchored my immortal soul to its Bishop,
causing it to swim above the sea, the world, where all the raging
waves, foul weather, tempests and temptations are. But O! then did
I see my troubles, trials, and temptations more clearly than ever
I had done. As the light appeared all appeared that is out of the
light; darkness, death, temptations, the unrighteous, the ungodly;
all was manifest and seen in the light.
    I heard of a woman in Lancashire that had fasted two and
twenty days, and I travelled to see her; but when I came to her I
saw that she was under a temptation. When I had spoken to her what
I had from the Lord, I left her, her father being one high in
    Passing on, I went among the professors at Duckingfield and
Manchester, where I stayed awhile, and declared truth among them.
There were some convinced who received the Lord’s teaching, by
which they were confirmed and stood in the truth. But the
professors were in a rage, all pleading for sin and imperfection,
and could not endure to hear talk of perfection, and of a holy and
sinless life.[31] But the Lord’s power was over all, though they
were chained under darkness and sin, which they pleaded for, and
quenched the tender thing in them.
    About this time there was a great meeting of the Baptists, at
Broughton, in Leicestershire, with some that had separated from
them, and people of other notions went thither, and I went also.
Not many of the Baptists came, but many others were there. The
Lord opened my mouth, and the everlasting truth was declared
amongst them, and the power of the Lord was over them all. For in
that day the Lord’s power began to spring, and I had great
openings in the Scriptures. Several were convinced in those parts
and were turned from darkness to light, from the power of Satan
unto God, and many were raised up to praise God. When I reasoned
with professors and other people, some became convinced.
    I went back into Nottinghamshire, and there the Lord showed
me that the natures of those things, which were hurtful without,
were within, in the hearts and minds of wicked men. The natures of
dogs, swine, vipers, of Sodom and Egypt, Pharaoh, Cain, Ishmael,
Esau, etc.; the natures of these I saw within, though people had
been looking without. I cried to the Lord, saying, “Why should I
be thus,[32] seeing I was never addicted to commit those evils?”
and the Lord answered, “That it was needful I should have a sense
of all conditions, how else should I speak to all conditions!” and
in this I saw the infinite love of God.
    I saw, also, that there was an ocean of darkness and death;
but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the
ocean of darkness. In that also I saw the infinite love of God,
and I had great openings.
    Then came people from far and near to see me; but I was
fearful of being drawn out by them; yet I was made to speak, and
open things to them. There was one Brown, who had great prophecies
and sights upon his death-bed of me. He spoke only of what I
should be made instrumental by the Lord to bring forth And of
others he spoke, that they should come to nothing, which was
fulfilled on some, who then were something in show.
    When this man was buried a great work of the Lord fell upon
me, to the admiration of many, who thought I had been dead, and
many came to see me for about fourteen days. I was very much
altered in countenance and person, as if my body had been new
moulded or changed.[33] My sorrows and troubles began to wear off,
and tears of joy dropped from me, so that I could have wept night
and day with tears of joy to the Lord, in humility and brokenness
of heart.
    I saw into that which was without end, things which cannot be
uttered, and of the greatness and infinitude of the love of God,
which cannot be expressed by words. For I had been brought through
the very ocean of darkness and death, and through and over the
power of Satan, by the eternal, glorious power of Christ; even
through that darkness was I brought, which covered over all the
world, and which chained down all and shut up all in death. The
same eternal power of God, which brought me through these things,
was that which afterwards shook the nations, priests, professors
and people.
    Then could I say I had been in spiritual Babylon, Sodom,
Egypt, and the grave; but by the eternal power of God I was come
out of it, and was brought over it, and the power of it, into the
power of Christ. I saw the harvest white, and the seed of God
lying thick in the ground, as ever did wheat that was sown
outwardly, and none to gather it; for this I mourned with tears.
    A report went abroad of me, that I was a young man that had a
discerning spirit; whereupon many came to me, from far and near,
professors, priests, and people. The Lord’s power broke forth, and
I had great openings and prophecies, and spoke unto them of the
things of God, which they heard with attention and silence, and
went away and spread the fame thereof.
    Then came the tempter and set upon me again, charging me that
I had sinned against the Holy Ghost; but I could not tell in what.
Then Paul’s condition came before me, how after he had been taken
up into the third heaven, and seen things not lawful to be
uttered, a messenger of Satan was sent to buffet him. Thus by the
power of Christ I got over that temptation also.

                        CHAPTER II.
                The First Years of Ministry

    After this[34] I went to Mansfield, where was a great meeting
of professors and people. Here I was moved to pray; and the Lord’s
power was so great that the house seemed to be shaken. When I had
done, some of the professors said it was now as in the days of the
apostles, when the house was shaken where they were.[35] After I
had prayed, one of the professors would pray, which brought
deadness and a veil over them; and others of the professors were
grieved at him and told him it was a temptation upon him. Then he
came to me, and desired that I would pray again; but I could not
pray in man’s will.
    Soon after there was another great meeting of professors, and
a captain, whose name was Amor Stoddard, came in. They were
discoursing of the blood of Christ; and as they were discoursing
of it, I saw, through the immediate opening of the invisible
Spirit, the blood of Christ. And I cried out among them, and said,
“Do ye not see the blood of Christ? See it in your hearts, to
sprinkle your hearts and consciences from dead works, to serve the
living God”; for I saw it, the blood of the New Covenant, how it
came into the heart.[36]
    This startled the professors, who would have the blood only
without them, and not in them. But Captain Stoddard was reached,
and said, “Let the youth speak; hear the youth speak”; when he saw
they endeavoured to bear me down with many words.
    There was also a company of priests, that were looked upon to
be tender; one of their names was Kellett; and several people that
were tender went to hear them. I was moved to go after them, and
bid them mind the Lord’s teaching in their inward parts. That
priest Kellett was against parsonages then; but afterwards he got
a great one, and turned a persecutor.
    Now, after I had had some service in these parts, I went
through Derbyshire into my own county, Leicestershire, again, and
several tender people were convinced.
    Passing thence, I met with a great company of professors in
Warwickshire, who were praying, and expounding the Scriptures in
the fields. They gave the Bible to me, and I opened it on the
fifth of Matthew, where Christ expounded the law; and I opened the
inward state to them, and the outward state; upon which they fell
into a fierce contention, and so parted; but the Lord’s power got
    Then I heard of a great meeting to be at Leicester, for a
dispute, wherein Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists and Common-
prayer-men[37] were said to be all concerned. The meeting was in a
steeple-house; and thither I was moved by the Lord God to go, and
be amongst them. I heard their discourse and reasonings, some
being in pews, and the priest in the pulpit; abundance of people
being gathered together.
    At last one woman asked a question out of Peter, What that
birth was, viz., a being born again of incorruptible seed, by the
Word of God, that liveth and abideth for ever? And the priest said
to her, “I permit not a woman to speak in the church”; though he
had before given liberty for any to speak. Whereupon I was wrapped
up, as in a rapture, in the Lord’s power; and I stepped up and
asked the priest, “Dost thou call this (the steeple-house) a
church? Or dost thou call this mixed multitude a church?” For the
woman asking a question, he ought to have answered it, having
given liberty for any to speak.
    But, instead of answering me, he asked me what a church was?
I told him the church was the pillar and ground of truth, made up
of living stones, living members, a spiritual household, which
Christ was the head of; but he was not the head of a mixed
multitude, or of an old house made up of lime, stones and
    This set them all on fire. The priest came down from his
pulpit, and others out of their pews, and the dispute there was
marred. I went to a great inn, and there disputed the thing with
the priests and professors, who were all on fire. But I maintained
the true church, and the true head thereof, over their heads, till
they all gave out and fled away. One man seemed loving, and
appeared for a while to join with me; but he soon turned against
me, and joined with a priest in pleading for infant-baptism,
though himself had been a Baptist before; so he left me alone.
Howbeit, there were several convinced that day; the woman that
asked the question was convinced, and her family; and the Lord’s
power and glory shone over all.
    After this I returned into Nottinghamshire again, and went
into the Vale of Beavor.[39] As I went, I preached repentance to
the people. There were many convinced in the Vale of Beavor, in
many towns; for I stayed some weeks amongst them.
    One morning, as I was sitting by the fire, a great cloud came
over me, and a temptation beset me; and I sat still. It was said,
“All things come by nature”; and the elements and stars came over
me, so that I was in a manner quite clouded with it. But as I sat
still and said nothing, the people of the house perceived nothing.
And as I sat still under it and let it alone, a living hope and a
true voice arose in me, which said, “There is a living God who
made all things.”[40] Immediately the cloud and temptation
vanished away, and life rose over it all; my heart was glad, and I
praised the living God.
    After some time I met with some people who had a notion that
there was no God, but that all things come by nature. I had a
great dispute with them, and overturned them, and made some of
them confess that there is a living God. Then I saw that it was
good that I had gone through that exercise.[41] We had great
meetings in those parts; for the power of the Lord broke through
in that side of the country.
    Returning into Nottinghamshire, I found there a company of
shattered Baptists, and others. The Lord’s power wrought mightily,
and gathered many of them. Afterwards I went to Mansfield and
thereaway, where the Lord’s power was wonderfully manifested both
at Mansfield and other towns thereabouts.
    In Derbyshire the mighty power of God wrought in a wonderful
manner. At Eton, a town near Derby, there was a meeting of
Friends,[42] where appeared such a mighty power of God that they
were greatly shaken, and many mouths were opened in the power of
the Lord God. Many were moved by the Lord to go to steeple-houses,
to the priests and people, to declare the everlasting truth unto
    At a certain time, when I was at Mansfield, there was a
sitting of the justices about hiring of servants; and it was upon
me from the Lord to go and speak to the justices, that they should
not oppress the servants in their wages. So I walked towards the
inn where they sat; but finding a company of fiddlers there, I did
not go in, but thought to come in the morning, when I might have a
more serious opportunity to discourse with them.
    But when I came in the morning, they were gone, and I was
struck even blind, that I could not see. I inquired of the
innkeeper where the justices were to sit that day; and he told me,
at a town eight miles off. My sight began to come to me again; and
I went and ran thitherward as fast as I could. When I was come to
the house where they were, and many servants with them, I exhorted
the justices not to oppress the servants in their wages, but to do
that which was right and just to them; and I exhorted the servants
to do their duties, and serve honestly.[43] They all received my
exhortation kindly; for I was moved of the Lord therein.
    Moreover, I was moved to go to several courts and steeple-
houses at Mansfield, and other places, to warn them to leave off
oppression and oaths, and to turn from deceit to the Lord, and to
do justly. Particularly at Mansfield, after I had been at a court
there, I was moved to go and speak to one of the most wicked men
in the country, one who was a common drunkard, a noted whore-
master, and a rhyme-maker; and I reproved him in the dread of the
mighty God, for his evil courses.
    When I had done speaking, and left him, he came after me, and
told me that he was so smitten when I spoke to him, that he had
scarcely any strength left in him. So this man was convinced, and
turned from his wickedness, and remained an honest, sober man, to
the astonishment of the people who had known him before.
    Thus the work of the Lord went forward, and many were turned
from the darkness to the light, within the compass of these three
years, 1646, 1647 and 1648. Diverse meetings of Friends, in
several places, were then gathered to God’s teaching, by his
light, Spirit, and power; for the Lord’s power broke forth more
and more wonderfully.
    Now I was come up in spirit through the flaming sword, into
the paradise of God. All things were new; and all the creation
gave unto me another smell than before, beyond what words can
utter. I knew nothing but pureness, and innocency, and
righteousness; being renewed into the image of God by Christ
Jesus, to the state of Adam, which he was in before he fell. The
creation was opened to me; and it was showed me how all things had
their names given them according to their nature and virtue.
    I was at a stand in my mind whether I should practise physic
for the good of mankind, seeing the nature and virtues of things
were so opened to me by the Lord. But I was immediately taken up
in spirit to see into another or more steadfast state than Adam’s
innocency, even into a state in Christ Jesus that should never
fall. And the Lord showed me that such as were faithful to Him, in
the power and light of Christ, should come up into that state in
which Adam was before he fell; in which the admirable works of the
creation, and the virtues thereof, may be known, through the
openings of that divine Word of wisdom and power by which they
were made.
    Great things did the Lord lead me into, and wonderful depths
were opened unto me, beyond what can by words be declared; but as
people come into subjection to the Spirit of God, and grow up in
the image and power of the Almighty, they may receive the Word of
wisdom that opens all things, and come to know the hidden unity in
the Eternal Being.[44]
    Thus I travelled on in the Lord’s service, as He led me. When
I came to Nottingham, the mighty power of God was there among
Friends.[45] From thence I went to Clawson, in Leicestershire, in
the Vale of Beavor; and the mighty power of God appeared there
also, in several towns and villages where Friends were gathered.
    While I was there the Lord opened to me three things relating
to those three great professions in the world, — law, physic, and
divinity (so called). He showed me that the physicians were out of
the wisdom of God, by which the creatures were made; and knew not
the virtues of the creatures, because they were out of the Word of
wisdom, by which they were made. He showed me that the priests
were out of the true faith, of which Christ is the author, — the
faith which purifies, gives victory and brings people to have
access to God, by which they please God; the mystery of which
faith is held in a pure conscience. He showed me also that the
lawyers were out of the equity, out of the true justice, and out
of the law of God, which went over the first transgression, and
over all sin, and answered the Spirit of God that was grieved and
transgressed in man; and that these three, — the physicians, the
priests, and the lawyers, — ruled the world out of the wisdom,
out of the faith, and out of the equity and law of God; one
pretending the cure of the body, another the cure of the soul, and
the third the protection of the property of the people. But I saw
they were all out of the wisdom, out of the faith, out of the
equity and perfect law of God.
    And as the Lord opened these things unto me I felt that His
power went forth over all, by which all might be reformed if they
would receive and bow unto it. The priests might be reformed and
brought into the true faith, which is the gift of God. The lawyers
might be reformed and brought into the law of God, which answers
that [indwelling Spirit] of God[46] which is [in every one, is]
transgressed in every one, and [which yet, if heeded] brings one
to love his neighbour as himself. This lets man see that if he
wrongs his neighbour, he wrongs himself; and teaches him to do
unto others as he would they should do unto him. The physicians
might be reformed and brought into the wisdom of God, by which all
things were made and created; that they might receive a right
knowledge of the creatures, and understand their virtues, which
the Word of wisdom, by which they were made and are upheld, hath
given them.
    Abundance was opened concerning these things; how all lay out
of the wisdom of God, and out of the righteousness and holiness
that man at the first was made in. But as all believe in the
Light, and walk in the Light, — that Light with which Christ hath
enlightened every man that cometh into the world, — and become
children of the Light, and of the day of Christ, all things,
visible and invisible, are seen, by the divine Light of Christ,
the spiritual heavenly man, by whom all things were created.
    Moreover, when I was brought up into His image in
righteousness and holiness, and into the paradise of God He let me
see how Adam was made a living soul; and also the stature of
Christ, the mystery that had been hid from ages and generations:
which things are hard to be uttered, and cannot be borne by many.
For of all the sects in Christendom (so called) that I discoursed
with, I found none who could bear to be told that any should come
to Adam’s perfection, — into that image of God, that
righteousness and holiness, that Adam was in before he fell; to be
clean and pure, without sin, as he was. Therefore how shall they
be able to bear being told that any shall grow up to the measure
of the stature of the fulness of Christ, when they cannot bear to
hear that any shall come, whilst upon earth, into the same power
and Spirit that the prophets and apostles were in? — though it be
a certain truth that none can understand their writings aright
without the same Spirit by which they were written.
    Now the Lord God opened to me by His invisible power that
every man was enlightened by the divine Light of Christ,[47] and I
saw it shine through all; and that they that believed in it came
out of condemnation to the Light of life, and became the children
of it; but they that hated it, and did not believe in it were
condemned by it, though they made a profession of Christ. This I
saw in the pure openings of the Light without the help of any man;
neither did I then know where to find it in the Scriptures; though
afterwards, searching the Scriptures, I found it. For I saw, in
that Light and Spirit which was before the Scriptures were given
forth, and which led the holy men of God to give them forth, that
all, if they would know God or Christ, or the Scriptures aright,
must come to that Spirit by which they that gave them forth were
led and taught.
    On a certain time, as I was walking in the fields, the Lord
said unto me, “Thy name is written in the Lamb’s book of life,
which was before the foundation of the world”: and as the Lord
spoke it, I believed, and saw in it the new birth. Some time after
the Lord commanded me to go abroad into the world, which was like
a briery, thorny wilderness. When I came in the Lord’s mighty
power with the Word of life into the world, the world swelled and
made a noise like the great raging waves of the sea. Priests and
professors, magistrates and people, were all like a sea when I
came to proclaim the day of the Lord amongst them, and to preach
repentance to them.
    I was sent to turn people from darkness to the Light, that
they might receive Christ Jesus; for to as many as should receive
Him in His Light, I saw He would give power to become the sons of
God; which power I had obtained by receiving Christ. I was to
direct people to the Spirit that gave forth the Scriptures, by
which they might be led into all truth, and up to Christ and God,
as those had been who gave them forth.
    Yet I had no slight esteem of the holy Scriptures. They were
very precious to me; for I was in that Spirit by which they were
given forth; and what the Lord opened in me I afterwards found was
agreeable to them. I could speak much of these things, and many
volumes might be written upon them; but all would prove too short
to set forth the infinite love, wisdom, and power of God, in
preparing, fitting, and furnishing me for the service to which He
had appointed me; letting me see the depths of Satan on the one
hand, and opening to me, on the other hand, the divine mysteries
of His own everlasting kingdom.
    When the Lord God and His Son Jesus Christ sent me forth into
the world to preach His everlasting gospel and kingdom, I was glad
that I was commanded to turn people to that inward Light, Spirit,
and Grace, by which all might know their salvation and their way
to God; even that Divine Spirit which would lead them into all
truth, and which I infallibly knew would never deceive any.[48]
    But with and by this divine power and Spirit of God, and the
Light of Jesus, I was to bring people off from all their own ways,
to Christ, the new and living way; and from their churches, which
men had made and gathered, to the Church in God, the general
assembly written in heaven, of which Christ is the head. And I was
to bring them off from the world’s teachers, made by men, to learn
of Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, of whom the
Father said, “This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him”; and off from
all the world’s worships, to know the Spirit of Truth in the
inward parts, and to be led thereby; that in it they might worship
the Father of spirits, who seeks such to worship Him. And I saw
that they that worshipped not in the Spirit of Truth, knew not
what they worshipped.
    And I was to bring people off from all the world’s religions,
which are vain, that they might know the pure religion; might
visit the fatherless, the widows, and the strangers, and keep
themselves from the spots of the world. Then there would not be so
many beggars, the sight of whom often grieved my heart, as it
denoted so much hard-heartedness amongst them that professed the
name of Christ.
    I was to bring them off from all the world’s fellowships, and
prayings, and singings, which stood in forms without power; that
their fellowship might be in the Holy Ghost, and in the Eternal
Spirit of God; that they might pray in the Holy Ghost, and sing in
the Spirit and with the grace that comes by Jesus; making melody
in their hearts to the Lord, who hath sent His beloved Son to be
their Saviour, and hath caused His heavenly sun to shine upon all
the world, and His heavenly rain to fall upon the just and the
unjust, as His outward rain doth fall, and His outward sun doth
shine on all.
    I was to bring people off from Jewish ceremonies, and from
heathenish fables,[49] and from men’s inventions and worldly
doctrines, by which they blew the people about this way and the
other, from sect to sect; and from all their beggarly rudiments,
with their schools and colleges for making ministers of Christ, —
who are indeed ministers of their own making, but not of Christ’s;
and from all their images, and crosses, and sprinkling of infants,
with all their holy-days (so called), and all their vain
traditions, which they had instituted since the Apostles’ days,
against all of which the Lord’s power was set: in the dread and
authority of which power I was moved to declare against them all,
and against all that preached and not freely, as being such as had
not received freely from Christ.
    Moreover, when the Lord sent me forth into the world, He
forbade me to put off my hat to any, high or low; and I was
required to Thee and Thou all men and women, without any respect
to rich or poor, great or small.[50] And as I travelled up and
down I was not to bid people Good morrow, or Good evening; neither
might I bow or scrape with my leg to any one; and this made the
sects and professions to rage. But the Lord’s power carried me
over all to His glory, and many came to be turned to God in a
little time; for the heavenly day of the Lord sprung from on high,
and broke forth apace, by the light of which many came to see
where they were.
    Oh, the blows, punchings, beatings, and imprisonments that we
underwent for not putting off our hats to men! Some had their hats
violently plucked off and thrown away, so that they quite lost
them. The bad language and evil usage we received on this account
are hard to be expressed, besides the danger we were sometimes in
of losing our lives for this matter; and that by the great
professors of Christianity, who thereby discovered they were not
true believers.
    And though it was but a small thing in the eye of man, yet a
wonderful confusion it brought among all professors and priests;
but, blessed be the Lord, many came to see the vanity of that
custom of putting off the hat to men, and felt the weight of
Truth’s testimony[51] against it.
    About this time I was sorely exercised in going to their
courts to cry for justice, in speaking and writing to judges and
justices to do justly; in warning such as kept public houses for
entertainment that they should not let people have more drink than
would do them good; in testifying against wakes, feasts, May-
games, sports, plays, and shows, which trained up people to vanity
and looseness, and led them from the fear of God; and the days set
forth for holidays were usually the times wherein they most
dishonoured God by these things.
    In fairs, also, and in markets, I was made to declare against
their deceitful merchandise, cheating, and cozening; warning all
to deal justly, to speak the truth, to let their yea be yea, and
their nay be nay, and to do unto others as they would have others
do unto them; forewarning them of the great and terrible day of
the Lord, which would come upon them all.
    I was moved, also, to cry against all sorts of music, and
against the mountebanks playing tricks on their stages; for they
burthened the pure life, and stirred up people’s minds to vanity.
I was much exercised, too, with school-masters and school-
mistresses, warning them to teach children sobriety in the fear of
the Lord, that they might not be nursed and trained up in
lightness, vanity, and wantonness. I was made to warn masters and
mistresses, fathers and mothers in private families, to take care
that their children and servants might be trained up in the fear
of the Lord, and that themselves should be therein examples and
patterns of sobriety and virtue to them.
    The earthly spirit of the priests wounded my life; and when I
heard the bell toll to call people together to the steeple-house,
it struck at my life; for it was just like a market-bell, to
gather people together, that the priest might set forth his ware
for sale. Oh, the vast sums of money that are gotten by the trade
they make of selling the Scriptures, and by their preaching, from
the highest bishop to the lowest priest! What one trade else in
the world is comparable to it? notwithstanding the Scriptures were
given forth freely, and Christ commanded His ministers to preach
freely, and the prophets and apostles denounced judgment against
all covetous hirelings and diviners for money.
    But in this free Spirit of the Lord Jesus was I sent forth to
declare the Word of life and reconciliation freely, that all might
come to Christ, who gives freely, and who renews up into the image
of God, which man and woman were in before they fell, that they
might sit down in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

                        CHAPTER III.
        The Challenge and the First Taste of Prison

    Now, as I went towards Nottingham, on a Firstday, in the
morning, going with Friends to a meeting there, when I came on the
top of a hill in sight of the town, I espied the great steeple-
house. And the Lord said unto me, “Thou must go cry against yonder
great idol, and against the worshippers therein.”
    I said nothing of this to the Friends that were with me, but
went on with them to the meeting, where the mighty power of the
Lord was amongst us; in which I left Friends sitting in the
meeting, and went away to the steeple-house. When I came there,
all the people looked like fallow ground; and the priest (like a
great lump of earth) stood in his pulpit above.
    He took for his text these words of Peter, “We have also a
more sure Word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take
heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day
dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.” And he told the
people that this was the Scriptures, by which they were to try all
doctrines, religions, and opinions.
    Now the Lord’s power was so mighty upon me, and so strong in
me, that I could not hold, but was made to cry out and say, “Oh,
no; it is not the Scriptures!” and I told them what it was,
namely, the Holy Spirit, by which the holy men of God gave forth
the Scriptures, whereby opinions, religions, and judgments were to
be tried; for it led into all truth, and so gave the knowledge of
all truth. The Jews had the Scriptures, and yet resisted the Holy
Ghost, and rejected Christ, the bright morning star. They
persecuted Christ and His apostles, and took upon them to try
their doctrines by the Scriptures; but they erred in judgment, and
did not try them aright, because they tried without the Holy
    As I spoke thus amongst them, the officers came and took me
away, and put me into a nasty, stinking prison;[52] the smell
whereof got so into my nose and throat that it very much annoyed
    But that day the Lord’s power sounded so in their ears that
they were amazed at the voice, and could not get it out of their
ears for some time after, they were so reached by the Lord’s power
in the steeple-house. At night they took me before the mayor,
aldermen, and sheriffs of the town; and when I was brought before
them, the mayor was in a peevish, fretful temper, but the Lord’s
power allayed him. They examined me at large; and I told them how
the Lord had moved me to come. After some discourse between them
and me, they sent me back to prison again. Some time after, the
head sheriff, whose name was John Reckless, sent for me to his
house. When I came in, his wife met me in the hall, and said,
“Salvation is come to our house.” She took me by the hand, and was
much wrought upon by the power of the Lord God; and her husband,
and children, and servants were much changed, for the power of the
Lord wrought upon them.
    I lodged at the sheriff’s, and great meetings we had in his
house. Some persons of considerable condition in the world came to
them, and the Lord’s power appeared eminently amongst them.
    This sheriff sent for the other sheriff, and for a woman they
had had dealings with in the way of trade; and he told her, before
the other sheriff, that they had wronged her in their dealings
with her (for the other sheriff and he were partners), and that
they ought to make her restitution. This he spoke cheerfully; but
the other sheriff denied it, and the woman said she knew nothing
of it. But the friendly sheriff said it was so, and that the other
knew it well enough; and having discovered the matter, and
acknowledged the wrong, done by them, he made restitution to the
woman, and exhorted the other sheriff to do the like. The Lord’s
power was with this friendly sheriff, and wrought a mighty change
in him; and great openings he had.
    The next market-day, as he was walking with me in the
chamber, he said, “I must go into the market, and preach
repentance to the people.” Accordingly he went in his slippers
into the market, and into several streets, and preached repentance
to the people. Several others also in the town were moved to speak
to the mayor and magistrates, and to the people exhorting them to
repent. Hereupon the magistrates grew very angry, sent for me from
the sheriff’s house and committed me to the common prison.
    When the assize came on, one person was moved to come and
offer up himself for me, body for body, yea, life also; but when I
should have been brought before the judge, the sheriff’s man being
somewhat long in bringing me to the sessions-house, the judge was
risen before I came. At which I understood the judge was offended,
and said, “I would have admonished the youth if he had been
brought before me”: for I was then imprisoned by the name of a
youth. So I was returned to prison again, and put into the common
    The Lord’s power was great among Friends; but the people
began to be very rude: wherefore the governor of the castle sent
soldiers, and dispersed them. After that they were quiet. Both
priests and people were astonished at the wonderful power that
broke forth. Several of the priests were made tender, and some did
confess to the power of the Lord.
    After I was set at liberty from Nottingham jail, where I had
been kept prisoner a pretty long time I travelled as before, in
the work of the Lord.
    Coming to Mansfield-Woodhouse, I found there a distracted
woman under a doctor’s hand, with her hair loose about her ears.
He was about to let her blood,[53] she being first bound, and many
people about her, holding her by violence; but he could get no
blood from her.
    I desired them to unbind her and let her alone, for they
could not touch the spirit in her by which she was tormented. So
they did unbind her; and I was moved to speak to her, and in the
name of the Lord to bid her be quiet; and she was so. The Lord’s
power settled her mind, and she mended. Afterwards she received
the truth, and continued in it to her death; and the Lord’s name
was honoured.
    Many great and wonderful things were wrought by the heavenly
power in those days; for the Lord made bare His omnipotent arm,
and manifested His power, to the astonishment of many, by the
healing virtue whereby many have been delivered from great
infirmities. And the devils were made subject through His name; of
which particular instances might be given, beyond what this
unbelieving age is able to receive or bear.
    Now while I was at Mansfield-Woodhouse, I was moved to go to
the steeple-house there, and declare the truth to the priest and
people; but the people fell upon me in great rage, struck me down,
and almost stifled and smothered me; and I was cruelly beaten and
bruised by them with their hands, and with Bibles and sticks. Then
they haled me out, though I was hardly able to stand, and put me
into the stocks, where I sat some hours; and they brought dog-
whips and horse-whips, threatening to whip me.
    After some time they had me before the magistrate, at a
knight’s house, where were many great persons; who, seeing how
evilly I had been used, after much threatening, set me at liberty.
But the rude people stoned me out of the town, for preaching the
Word of life to them.
    I was scarcely able to move or stand by reason of the ill
usage I had received; yet with considerable effort I got about a
mile from the town, and then I met with some people who gave me
something to comfort me, because I was inwardly bruised; but the
Lord’s power soon healed me again. That day some people were
convinced of the Lord’s truth, and turned to His teaching, at
which I rejoiced.
    Then I went into Leicestershire, several Friends accompanying
me. There were some Baptists in that country, whom I desired to
see and speak with, because they were separated from the public
worship. So one Oates, who was one of their chief teachers, and
others of the heads of them, with several others of their company,
came to meet us at Barrow; and there we discoursed with them.
    One of them said that what was not of faith was sin,
whereupon I asked them what faith was and how it was wrought in
man. But they turned off from that, and spoke of their baptism in
water. Then I asked them whether their mountain of sin was brought
down and laid low in them and their rough and crooked ways made
smooth and straight in them, — for they looked upon the
Scriptures as meaning outward mountains and ways.[54] But I told
them they must find these things in their own hearts; at which
they seemed to wonder
    We asked them who baptized John the Baptist, and who baptized
Peter, John and the rest of the apostles, and put them to prove by
Scripture that these were baptized in water; but they were silent.
Then I asked them, “Seeing Judas, who betrayed Christ, and was
called the son of perdition, had hanged himself, what son of
perdition was that of which Paul spoke, that sat in the temple of
God, exalted above all that is called God? and what temple of God
was that in which this son of perdition sat?” And I asked them
whether he that betrays Christ within himself be not one in nature
with that Judas that betrayed Christ without. But they could not
tell what to make of this, nor what to say to it. So, after some
discourse, we parted; and some of them were loving to us.
    On the First-day following we came to Bagworth, and went to a
steeple-house, where some Friends were got in, and the people
locked them in, and themselves, too, with the priest. But, after
the priest had done, they opened the door, and we went in also,
and had service for the Lord amongst them. Afterwards we had a
meeting in the town, amongst several that were in high notions.
    Passing thence, I heard of a people in prison at Coventry for
religion. As I walked towards the jail, the word of the Lord came
to me, saying, “My love was always to thee, and thou art in my
love.” And I was ravished with the sense of the love of God, and
greatly strengthened in my inward man. But when I came into the
jail where those prisoners were, a great power of darkness struck
at me; and I sat still, having my spirit gathered into the love of
    At last these prisoners began to rant, vapour, and blaspheme;
at which my soul was greatly grieved. They said that they were
God; but we could not bear such things. When they were calm, I
stood up and asked them whether they did such things by motion, or
from Scripture. They said, “From Scripture.” Then, a Bible lying
by, I asked them for that Scripture; and they showed me that place
where the sheet was let down to Peter; and it was said to him that
what was sanctified he should not call common or unclean. When I
had showed them that that Scripture made nothing for their
purpose, they brought another, which spake of God’s reconciling
all things to Himself, things in heaven and things in earth. I
told them I owned that Scripture also; but showed them that it
likewise was nothing to their purpose.
    Then, seeing they said that they were God, I asked them if
they knew whether it would rain to-morrow. They said they could
not tell. I told them God could tell. I asked them if they thought
they should be always in that condition, or should change. They
answered that they could not tell. “Then,” said I, “God can tell,
and He doth not change. You say you are God, and yet you cannot
tell whether you shall change or no.” So they were confounded, and
quite brought down for the time.
    After I had reproved them for their blasphemous expressions,
I went away; for I perceived they were Ranters. I had met with
none before; and I admired the goodness of the Lord in appearing
so unto me before I went amongst them. Not long after this one of
these Ranters, whose name was Joseph Salmon, published a
recantation; upon which they were set at liberty.

                        CHAPTER IV.
                  A Year in Derby Prison

    As I travelled through markets, fairs, and diverse places, I
saw death and darkness in all people where the power of the Lord
God had not shaken them. As I was passing on in Leicestershire I
came to Twy-Cross, where there were excise-men. I was moved of the
Lord to go to them, and warn them to take heed of oppressing the
poor; and people were much affected with it.
    There was in that town a great man that had long lain sick,
and was given up by the physicians; and some Friends in the town
desired me to go to see him. I went up to him in his chamber, and
spoke the Word of life to him, and was moved to pray by him; and
the Lord was entreated, and restored him to health. But when I was
come down stairs, into a lower room, and was speaking to the
servants, and to some people that were there, a serving-man of his
came raving out of another room, with a naked rapier in his hand,
and set it just to my side. I looked steadfastly on him, and said,
“Alack for thee, poor creature! what wilt thou do with thy carnal
weapon? It is no more to me than a straw.” The bystanders were
much troubled, and he went away in a rage and full of wrath. But
when the news of it came to his master, he turned him out of his
    Thus the Lord’s power preserved me and raised up the weak
man, who afterwards was very loving to Friends; and when I came to
that town again both he and his wife came to see me.
    After this I was moved to go into Derbyshire, where the
mighty power of God was among Friends. And I went to Chesterfield,
where one Britland was priest. He saw beyond the common sort of
priests, for he had been partly convinced, and had spoken much on
behalf of Truth before he was priest there; but when the priest of
that town died, he got the parsonage, and choked himself with it.
I was moved to speak to him and the people in the great love of
God, that they might come off from all men’s teaching unto God’s
teaching; and he was not able to gainsay.
    But they had me before the mayor, and threatened to send me,
with some others, to the house of correction, and kept us in
custody till it was late in the night. Then the officers, with the
watchmen, put us out of the town, leaving us to shift as we could.
So I bent my course towards Derby, having a friend or two with me.
In our way we met with many professors; and at Kidsey Park many
were convinced.
    Then, coming to Derby, I lay at the house of a doctor, whose
wife was convinced; and so were several more in the town. As I was
walking in my chamber, the [steeple-house] bell rang, and it
struck at my life at the very hearing of it; so I asked the woman
of the house what the bell rang for. She said there was to be a
great lecture there that day, and many of the officers of the
army, and priests, and preachers were to be there, and a colonel,
that was a preacher.
    Then was I moved of the Lord to go up to them; and when they
had done I spoke to them what the Lord commanded me, and they were
pretty quiet. But there came an officer and took me by the hand,
and said that I and the other two that were with me must go before
the magistrates. It was about the first hour after noon that we
came before them.
    They asked me why we came thither. I said God moved us so to
do; and I told them, “God dwells not in temples made with hands.”
I told them also that all their preaching, baptism and sacrifices
would never sanctify them, and bade them look unto Christ within
them, and not unto men; for it is Christ that sanctifies. Then
they ran into many words; but I told them they were not to dispute
of God and Christ, but to obey Him.[55]
    The power of God thundered among them, and they did fly like
chaff before it. They put me in and out of the room often,
hurrying me backward and forward, for they were from the first
hour till the ninth at night in examining me. Sometimes they would
tell me in a deriding manner that I was taken up in raptures.
    At last they asked me whether I was sanctified. I answered,
“Yes; for I am in the paradise of God.” Then they asked me if I
had no sin. I answered, “Christ my Saviour has taken away my sin;
and in Him there is no sin.” They asked how we knew that Christ
did abide in us. I said, “By His Spirit, that He hath given us.”
They temptingly asked if any of us were Christ. I answered, “Nay;
we are nothing; Christ is all.” They said, “If a man steal, is it
no sin?” I answered, “All unrighteousness is sin.”[56]
    When they had wearied themselves in examining me, they
committed me and one other man to the house of correction in Derby
for six months, as blasphemers,[57] as may appear by the mittimus,
a copy whereof here followeth:
    “To the master of the house of correction in Derby, greeting:
    “We have sent you herewithal the bodies George Fox, late of
Mansfield, in the county of Nottingham, and John Fretwell, late of
Staniesby, in the county of Derby, husbandman, brought before us
this present day, and charged with the avowed uttering and
broaching of diverse blasphemous opinions, contrary to the late
Act of Parliament; which, upon their examination before us, they
have confessed. These are therefore to require you forthwith, upon
sight hereof, to receive them, the said George Fox and John
Fretwell, into your custody, and them therein safely to keep
during the space of six months, without bail or mainprize, or
until they shall find sufficient security to be of good behaviour,
or be thence delivered by order from ourselves. Hereof you are not
to fail. Given under our hands and seals this 30th day of October,

    While I was here in prison diverse professors carne to
discourse with me. I had a sense, before they spoke, that they
came to plead for sin and imperfection. I asked them whether they
were believers and had faith. They said, “Yes.” I asked them, “In
whom?” They said, “In Christ.” I replied. “If ye are true
believers in Christ, you are passed from death to life; and if
passed from death, then from sin that bringeth death; and if your
faith be true, it will give you victory over sin and the devil,
purify your hearts and consciences (for the true faith is held in
a pure conscience), and bring you to please God, and give you
access to Him again.”
    But they could not endure to hear of purity, and of victory
over sin and the devil. They said they could not believe any could
be free from sin on this side of the grave. I bade them give over
babbling about the Scriptures, which were holy men’s words, whilst
they pleaded for unholiness.
    At another time a company of professors came, who also began
to plead for sin. I asked them whether they had hope. They said,
“Yes: God forbid but we should have hope.” I asked them, “What
hope is it that you have? Is Christ in you the hope of your glory?
Doth it purify you, as He is pure?” But they could not abide to
hear of being made pure here. Then I bade them forbear talking of
the Scriptures, which were the holy men’s words; “for,” said I,
“the holy men that wrote the Scriptures pleaded for holiness in
heart, life, and conversation here; but since you plead for
impurity and sin, which is of the devil, what have you to do with
the holy men’s words?”
    The keeper of the prison, being a high professor, was greatly
enraged against me, and spoke very wickedly of me; but it pleased
the Lord one day to strike him, so that he was in great trouble
and under much terror of mind. And, as I was walking in my chamber
I heard a doleful noise, and, standing still, I heard him say to
his wife, “Wife, I have seen the day of judgment, and I saw George
there; and I was afraid of him, because I had done him so much
wrong, and spoken so much against him to the ministers and
professors, and to the justices, and in taverns and alehouses.”
    After this, towards the evening, he came into my chamber, and
said to me, “I have been as a lion against you; but now I come
like a lamb, and like the jailer that came to Paul and Silas
trembling.” And he desired he might lodge with me. I told him I
was in his power; he might do what he would; but he said, “Nay,”
that he would have my leave, and that he could desire to be always
with me, but not to have me as a prisoner. He said he had been
plagued, and his house had been plagued, for my sake. So I
suffered him to lodge with me.
    Then he told me all his heart, and said that he believed what
I had said of the true faith and hope to be true; and he wondered
that the other man, who was put in prison with me, did not stand
it; and said, “That man was not right, but you are an honest man.”
He confessed also to me that at those times when I had asked him
to let me go forth to speak the word of the Lord to the people,
when he refused to let me go, and I laid the weight thereof upon
him, he used to be under great trouble, amazed, and almost
distracted for some time after, and in such a condition that he
had little strength left him.
    When the morning came he rose and went to the justices, and
told them that he and his house had been plagued for my sake. One
of the justices replied (as he reported to me) that the plagues
were upon them, too, for keeping me. This was Justice Bennet, of
Derby, who was the first that called us Quakers, because I bade
them tremble at the word of the Lord.[58] This was in the year
    After this the justices gave leave that I should have liberty
to walk a mile. I perceived their end, and told the jailer, that
if they would set down to me how far a mile was, I might take the
liberty of walking it sometimes. For I had a sense that they
thought I would go away. And the jailer confessed afterwards they
did it with that intent, to have me go away, to ease them of their
plague; but I told him I was not of that spirit.
    While I was in the house of correction my relations came to
see me; and, being troubled for my imprisonment, they went to the
justices that cast me into prison and desired to have me home with
them, offering to be bound in one hundred pounds, and others of
Derby in fifty pounds apiece with them, that I should come no more
thither to declare against the priests.
    So I was taken up before the justices; and because I would
not consent that they or any should be bound for me (for I was
innocent of any ill behaviour, and had spoken the Word of life and
truth unto them), Justice Bennet rose up in a rage; and, as I was
kneeling down to pray to the Lord to forgive him, he ran upon me,
and struck me with both his hands, crying, “Away with him, jailer;
take him away, jailer.” Whereupon I was taken again to prison, and
there kept till the time of my commitment for six months was
    But I had now the liberty of walking a mile by myself, which
I made use of as I felt freedom. Sometimes I went into the market
and streets, and warned the people to repent of their wickedness,
and returned to prison again. And there being persons of several
sorts of religion in the prison, I sometimes visited them in their
meetings on First-days.
    While I was yet in the house of correction there came unto me
a trooper, and said that as he was sitting in the steeple-house,
hearing the priest, exceeding great trouble fell upon him; and the
voice of the Lord came to him, saying, “Dost thou not know that my
servant is in prison? Go to him for direction.” So I spake to his
condition, and his understanding was opened. I told him that that
which showed him his sins, and troubled him for them, would show
him his salvation; for He that shows a man his sin is the same
that takes it away.
    While I was speaking to him the Lord’s power opened his mind,
so that he began to have a good understanding in the Lord’s truth,
and to be sensible of God’s mercies. He spoke boldly in his
quarters amongst the soldiers, and to others, concerning truth
(for the Scriptures were very much opened to him), insomuch that
he said that his colonel was “as blind as Nebuchadnezzar, to cast
the servant of the Lord into prison.”
    Upon this his colonel conceived a spite against him, and at
Worcester fight, the year after, when the two armies lay near one
another, and two came out from the king’s army and challenged any
two of the Parliament army to fight with them, his colonel made
choice of him and another to answer the challenge. When in the
encounter his companion was slain, he drove both his enemies
within musket-shot of the town without firing a pistol at them.
This, when he returned, he told me with his own mouth. But when
the fight was over he saw the deceit and hypocrisy of the
officers, and, being sensible how wonderfully the Lord had
preserved him, and seeing also to the end of fighting, he laid
down his arms.
    The time of my commitment to the house of correction being
very nearly ended, and there being many new soldiers raised, the
commissioners would have made me captain over them; and the
soldiers cried out that they would have none but me. So the keeper
of the house of correction was commanded to bring me before the
commissioners and soldiers in the market-place, where they offered
me that preferment, as they called it, asking me if I would not
take up arms for the Commonwealth against Charles Stuart. I told
them I knew whence all wars arose, even from the lusts, according
to James’ doctrine; and that I lived in the virtue of that life
and power that took away the occasion of all wars.[59]
    Yet they courted me to accept of their offer, and thought I
did but compliment them. But I told them I was come into the
covenant of peace, which was before wars and strifes were. They
said they offered it in love and kindness to me because of my
virtue; and such-like flattering words they used. But I told them,
if that was their love and kindness, I trampled it under my feet.
    Then their rage got up, and they said, “Take him away,
jailer, and put him into the prison amongst the rogues and
felons.” So I was put into a lousy, stinking place, without any
bed, amongst thirty felons, where I was kept almost half a
year;[60] yet at times they would let me walk to the garden,
believing I would not go away.
    When they had got me into Derby prison, it was the saying of
people that I would never come out; but I had faith in God that I
should be delivered in His time; for the Lord had given me to
believe that I was not to be removed from that place yet, being
set there for a service which He had for me to do.
    While I was here in prison there was a young woman in the
jail for robbing her master. When she was to be tried for her life
I wrote to the judge and jury, showing them how contrary it was to
the law of God in old time to put people to death for stealing,
and moving them to show mercy. Yet she was condemned to die, and a
grave was made for her, and at the time appointed she was carried
forth to execution. Then I wrote a few words, warning all to
beware of greediness or covetousness, for it leads from God; and
that all should fear the Lord, avoid earthly lusts, and prize
their time while they have it; this I gave to be read at the
gallows. And, though they had her upon the ladder, with a cloth
bound over her face, ready to be turned off, yet they did not put
her to death, but brought her back to prison, where she afterwards
came to be convinced of God’s everlasting truth.
    There was also in the jail, while I was there, a wicked,
ungodly man, who was reputed a conjurer. He threatened that he
would talk with me, and boasted of what he would do; but he never
had power to open his mouth to me. And the jailer and he falling
out, he threatened to raise the devil and break his house down; so
that he made the jailer afraid. I was moved of the Lord to go in
His power and rebuke him, and to say to him, “Come, let us see
what thou canst do; do thy worst.” I told him that the devil was
raised high enough in him already; but the power of God chained
him down, so he slunk away from me.
    The time of Worcester fight coming on, Justice Bennet sent
constables to press me for a soldier, seeing I would not
voluntarily accept of a command. I told them that I was brought
off from outward wars. They came again to give me press-money; but
I would take none. Then I was brought up to Sergeant Holes, kept
there awhile, and taken down again. Afterwards the constables
brought me a second time before the commissioners, who said I
should go for a soldier; but I told them I was dead to it. They
said I was alive. I told them that where envy and hatred is there
is confusion. They offered me money twice, but I refused it. Being
disappointed, they were angry, and committed me close prisoner,
without bail or mainprize.
    Great was the exercise and travail in spirit that I underwent
during my imprisonment here, because of the wickedness that was in
this town; for though some were convinced, yet the generality were
a hardened people. I saw the visitation of God’s love pass away
from them. I mourned over them.
    There was a great judgment upon the town, and the magistrates
were uneasy about me; but they could not agree what to do with me.
One while they would have sent me up to the Parliament; another
while they would have banished me to Ireland. At first they called
me a deceiver, a seducer and a blasphemer. Afterwards, when God
had brought his plagues upon them, they styled me an honest,
virtuous man. But their good report and bad report were nothing to
me; for the one did not lift me up, nor the other cast me down;
praised be the Lord! At length they were made to turn me out of
jail, about the beginning of winter, in the year 1651, after I had
been a prisoner in Derby almost a year, — six months in the house
of correction, and the rest of the time in the common jail.

                          CHAPTER V.
        One Man May Shake the Country for Ten Miles

    Being again at liberty, I went on, as before, in the work of
the Lord, passing through the country into Leicestershire, having
meetings as I went; and the Lord’s Spirit and power accompanied
    As I was walking with several Friends, I lifted up my head
and saw three steeple-house spires, and they struck at my life. I
asked them what place that was. They said, “Lichfield.”
Immediately the Word of the Lord came to me that I must go
thither. Being come to the house we were going to, I wished the
Friends to walk into the house, saying nothing to them of whither
I was to go. As soon as they were gone I stepped away, and went by
my eye over hedge and ditch till I came within a mile of
Lichfield, where, in a great field, shepherds were keeping their
    Then was I commanded by the Lord to pull off my shoes. I
stood still, for it was winter; and the Word of the Lord was like
a fire in me. So I put off my shoes, and left them with the
shepherds; and the poor shepherds trembled, and were astonished.
Then I walked on about a mile, and as soon as I was got within the
city, the Word of the Lord came to me again, saying, “Cry, ‘Woe to
the bloody city of Lichfield!'” So I went up and down the streets,
crying with a loud voice, “Woe to the bloody city of Lichfield!”
It being market-day, I went into the market-place, and to and fro
in the several parts of it, and made stands, crying as before,
“Woe to the bloody city of Lichfield!” And no one laid hands on
    As I went thus crying through the streets, there seemed to me
to be a channel of blood running down the streets, and the market-
place appeared like a pool of blood.
    When I had declared what was upon me, and felt myself clear,
I went out of the town in peace, and, returning to the shepherds,
I gave them some money, and took my shoes of them again. But the
fire of the Lord was so in my feet, and all over me, that I did
not matter to put on my shoes again, and was at a stand whether I
should or no, till I felt freedom from the Lord so to do; then,
after I had washed my feet, I put on my shoes again.
    After this a deep consideration came upon me, for what reason
I should be sent to cry against that city, and call it the bloody
city! For, though the Parliament had had the minster one while,
and the King another, and much blood had been shed in the town
during the wars between them, yet that was no more than had
befallen many other places. But afterwards I came to understand,
that in the Emperor Diocletian’s time a thousand Christians were
martyred in Lichfield.[61]
    Passing on, I was moved of the Lord to go to Beverley
steeple-house, which was then a place of high profession; and
being very wet with rain, I went first to an inn. As soon as I
came to the door, a young woman of the house came to the door, and
said, “What, is it you? come in,” as if she had known me before;
for the Lord’s power bowed their hearts. So I refreshed myself and
went to bed; and in the morning, my clothes being still wet, I got
ready, and having paid for what I had had in the inn, I went up to
the steeple-house, where was a man preaching. When he had done, I
was moved to speak to him, and to the people, in the mighty power
of God, and to turn them to their teacher, Christ Jesus. The power
of the Lord was so strong, that it struck a mighty dread amongst
the people. The mayor came and spoke a few words to me; but none
of them had any power to meddle with me.
    So I passed away out of the town, and in the afternoon went
to another steeple-house about two miles off. When the priest had
done, I was moved to speak to him, and to the people very largely,
showing them the way of life and truth, and the ground of election
and reprobation. The priest said he was but a child, and could not
dispute with me. I told him I did not come to dispute, but to hold
forth the Word of life and truth unto them, that they might all
know the one Seed, to which the promise of God was given, both in
the male and in the female. Here the people were very loving, and
would have had me come again on a week-day, and preach among them;
but I directed them to their teacher, Christ Jesus, and so passed
    The next day I went to Cranswick, to Captain Pursloe’s, who
accompanied me to Justice Hotham’s. This Justice Hotham was a
tender man, one that had had some experience of God’s workings in
his heart. After some discourse with him of the things of God, he
took me into his closet, where, sitting with me, he told me he had
known that principle[62] these ten years, and was glad that the
Lord did now publish it abroad to the people. After a while there
came a priest to visit him, with whom also I had some discourse
concerning the Truth. But his mouth was quickly stopped, for he
was nothing but a notionist, and not in possession of what he
talked of.
    While I was here, there came a great woman of Beverley to
speak to Justice Hotham about some business; and in discourse she
told him that the last Sabbath-day (as she called it) there came
an angel or spirit into the church at Beverley, and spoke the
wonderful things of God, to the astonishment of all that were
there; and when it had done, it passed away, and they did not know
whence it came, nor whither it went; but it astonished all, —
priest, professors, and magistrates of the town. This relation
Justice Hotham gave me afterwards, and then I gave him an account
of how I had been that day at Beverley steeple-house, and had
declared truth to the priest and people there.
    I went to another steeple-house about three miles off, where
preached a great high-priest, called a doctor, one of them whom
Justice Hotham would have sent for to speak with me. I went into
the steeple-house, and stayed till the priest had done. The words
which he took for his text were these, “Ho, every one that
thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come
ye, buy and eat, yea come, buy wine and milk without money and
without price.”
    Then was I moved of the Lord God to say unto him, “Come down,
thou deceiver; dost thou bid people come freely, and take of the
water of life freely, and yet thou takest three hundred pounds a
year of them for preaching the Scriptures to them. Mayest thou not
blush for shame? Did the prophet Isaiah, and Christ do so, who
spoke the words, and gave them forth freely? Did not Christ say to
His ministers, whom He sent to preach, ‘Freely ye have received,
freely give’?”
    The priest, like a man amazed, hastened away. After he had
left his flock, I had as much time as I could desire to speak to
the people; and I directed them from the darkness to the Light,
and to the grace of God, that would teach them, and bring them
salvation; to the Spirit of God in their inward parts, which would
be a free teacher unto them.
    Having cleared myself amongst the people, I returned to
Justice Hotham’s house that night. When I came in he took me in
his arms, and said his house was my house; for he was exceedingly
glad of the work of the Lord, and that His power was revealed.
    Thence I passed on through the country, and came at night to
an inn where was a company of rude people. I bade the woman of the
house, if she had any meat, to bring me some; but because I said
Thee and Thou to her, she looked strangely on me. I asked her if
she had any milk. She said, No. I was sensible she spake falsely;
and, being willing to try her further, I asked her if she had any
cream? She denied that she had any.
    There stood a churn in the room, and a little boy, playing
about, put his hands into it and pulled it down, and threw all the
cream on the floor before my eyes. Thus was the woman manifested
to be a liar. She was amazed, blessed herself, took up the child,
and whipped it sorely: but I reproved her for her lying and
deceit. After the Lord had thus discovered her deceit and
perverseness, I walked out of the house, and went away till I came
to a stack of hay, and lay in the hay-stack that night, in rain
and snow, it being but three days before the time called
    The next day I came into York, where were several very tender
people. Upon the First-day following, I was commanded of the Lord
to go and speak to priest Bowles and his hearers in their great
cathedral. Accordingly I went. When the priest had done, I told
them I had something from the Lord God to speak to the priest and
people. “Then say on quickly,” said a professor, for there was
frost and snow, and it was very cold weather. Then I told them
that this was the Word of the Lord God unto them, — that they
lived in words, but God Almighty looked for fruits amongst them.
    As soon as the words were out of my mouth, they hurried me
out, and threw me down the steps. But I got up again without hurt,
and went to my lodging, and several were convinced there. For that
which arose from the weight and oppression that was upon the
Spirit of God in me, would open people, strike them, and make them
confess that the groans which broke forth through me did reach
them, for my life was burthened with their profession without
possession, and their words without fruit.

    [After being thus violently tumbled down the steps of the
great minster, George Fox found his next few days crowded with hot
discussion. Papists and Ranters and Scotch “priests” made him
stand forth for the hope that was in him. The Ranters, he says,
“had spent their portions, and not living in that which they spake
of, were now become dry. They had some kind of meetings, but they
took tobacco and drank ale in their meetings and were grown light
and loose.” After the narrative of an attempt to push him over the
cliffs the account continues.]

    Another priest sent to have a dispute with me, and Friends
went with me to the house where he was; but when he understood we
were come, he slipped out of the house, and hid himself under an
hedge. The people went and found him, but could not get him to
come to us.
    Then I went to a steeple-house hard by, where the priest and
people were in a great rage. This priest had threatened Friends
what he would do; but when I came he fled; for the Lord’s power
came over him and them. Yea, the Lord’s everlasting power was over
the world, and reached to the hearts of people, and made both
priests and professors tremble. It shook the earthly and airy
spirit in which they held their profession of religion and
worship; so that it was a dreadful thing to them when it was told
them, “The man in leathern breeches is come.”[63] At the hearing
thereof the priests in many places got out of the way, they were
so struck with the dread of the eternal power of God; and fear
surprised the hypocrites.

    [At Pickering he stood in “the steeple-house yard” and told
the people what his mission was, with as clear a claim to a divine
commission as a Hebrew prophet would have made.]

    I was sent of the Lord God of heaven and earth to preach
freely, and to bring people off from these outward temples made
with hands, which God dwelleth not in; that they might know their
bodies to become the temples of God and of Christ; and to draw
people off from all their superstitious ceremonies, Jewish and
heathenish customs, traditions, and doctrines of men; and from all
the world’s hireling teachers, that take tithes and great wages,
preaching for hire, and divining for money, whom God and Christ
never sent, as themselves confess when they say that they never
heard God’s nor Christ’s voice. I exhorted the people to come off
from all these things, directing them to the Spirit and grace of
God in themselves, and to the Light of Jesus in their own hearts;
that they might come to know Christ, their free teacher, to bring
them salvation, and to open the Scriptures to them.
    Thus the Lord gave me a good opportunity to open things
largely unto them. All was quiet, and many were convinced; blessed
be the Lord.
    I passed to another town, where was another great meeting,
the old priest being with me; and there came professors of several
sorts to it. I sat on a haystack, and spoke nothing for some
hours; for I was to famish them from words. The professors would
ever and anon be speaking to the old priest, and asking him when I
would begin, and when I would speak? He bade them wait; and told
them that the people waited upon Christ a long while before He
    At last I was moved of the Lord to speak; and they were
struck by the Lord’s power. The Word of life reached to them, and
there was a general convincement amongst them.
    Now I came towards Cranswick, to Captain Pursloe’s and
Justice Hotham’s, who received me kindly, being glad that the
Lord’s power had so appeared; that truth was spread, and so many
had received it. Justice Hotham said that if God had not raised up
this principle of Light and life which I preached, the nation
would have been overrun with Ranterism,[64] and all the justices
in the nation could not have stopped it with all their laws;
“Because,” said he, “they would have said as we said, and done as
we commanded, and yet have kept their own principle still. But
this principle of truth,” said he, “overthrows their principle,
and the root and ground thereof”; and therefore he was glad the
Lord had raised up this principle of life and truth.
    The next day Friends and friendly people having left me, I
travelled alone, declaring the day of the Lord amongst people in
the towns where I came, and warning them to repent. I came towards
night into a town called Patrington. As I walked along the town, I
warned both priest and people (for the priest was in the street)
to repent and turn to the Lord. It grew dark before I came to the
end of the town, and a multitude of people gathered about me, to
whom I declared the Word of life.
    When I had cleared myself I went to an inn, and desired them
to let me have a lodging; but they would not. I desired a little
meat or milk, and said I would pay for it; but they refused. So I
walked out of the town, and a company of fellows followed, and
asked me, “What news?” I bade them repent, and fear the Lord.
    After I was gone a pretty way, I came to another house, and
desired the people to let me have a little meat, drink, and
lodging for my money; but they denied me. I went to another house,
and desired the same; but they refused me also. By this time it
was grown so dark that I could not see the highway; but I
discerned a ditch, and got a little water, and refreshed myself.
Then I got over the ditch; and, being weary with travelling, I sat
down amongst the furze bushes till it was day.
    About break of day I got up, and passed on over the fields. A
man came after me with a great pikestaff and went along with me to
a town; and he raised the town upon me, with the constable and
chief constable, before the sun was up. I declared God’s
everlasting truth amongst them, warning them of the day of the
Lord, that was coming upon all sin and wickedness; and exhorted
them to repent. But they seized me, and had me back to Patrington,
about three miles, guarding me with watch-bills, pikes, staves,
and halberds.
    When I was come to Patrington, all the town was in an uproar,
and the priest and constables were consulting together; so I had
another opportunity to declare the Word of life amongst them, and
warn them to repent. At last a professor, a tender man, called me
into his house, and there I took a little milk and bread, having
not eaten for some days before. Then they guarded me about nine
miles to a justice.
    When I was come near his house, a man came riding after us,
and asked me whether I was the man that was apprehended. I asked
him wherefore he asked. He said, “For no hurt.” I told him I was:
so he rode away to the justice before us. The men that guarded me
said it would be well if the justice were not drunk before we got
to him; for he used to get drunk early.
    When I was brought in before him, because I did not put off
my hat, and because I said Thou to him, he asked the man that rode
thither before me whether I was not mazed or fond.[65] The man
told him, No; it was my principle.
    I warned him to repent, and come to the Light with which
Christ had enlightened him; that by it he might see all his evil
words and actions, and turn to Christ Jesus whilst he had time;
and that whilst he had time he should prize it. “Ay, ay,” said he,
“the Light that is spoken of in the third of John.” I desired he
would mind it, and obey it.
    As I admonished him, I laid my hand upon him, and he was
brought down by the power of the Lord; and all the watchmen stood
amazed. Then he took me into a little parlour with the other man,
and desired to see what I had in my pockets of letters or
intelligence. I plucked out my linen, and showed him I had no
letters. He said, “He is not a vagrant, by his linen”; then he set
me at liberty.
    I went back to Patrington with the man that had rode before
me to the justice: for he lived at Patrington. When I came there,
he would have had me have a meeting at the Cross; but I said it
was no matter; his house would serve. He desired me to go to bed,
or lie down upon a bed; which he did, that they might say they had
seen me in a bed, or upon a bed; for a report had been raised that
I would not lie on any bed, because at that time I lay many times
out of doors.[66] Now when the First-day of the week was come, I
went to the steeple-house, and declared the truth to the priest
and people; and the people did not molest me, for the power of God
was come over them. Presently after I had a great meeting at the
man’s house where I lay, and many were convinced of the Lord’s
everlasting truth, who stand faithful witnesses of it to this day.
They were exceedingly grieved that they had not received me, nor
given me lodging, when I was there before.
    Thence I travelled through the country, even to the furthest
part thereof, warning people, in towns and villages, to repent,
and directing them to Christ Jesus, their teacher.
    On the First-day of the week I came to one Colonel Overton’s
house, and had a great meeting of the prime of the people of that
country; where many things were opened out of the Scriptures which
they had never heard before. Many were convinced, and received the
Word of life, and were settled in the truth of God.
    Then I returned to Patrington again, and visited those
Friends that were convinced there; by whom I understood that a
tailor, and some wild blades in that town, had occasioned my being
carried before the justice. The tailor came to ask my forgiveness,
fearing I would complain of him. The constables also were afraid,
lest I should trouble them. But I forgave them all, and warned
them to turn to the Lord, and to amend their lives.
    Now that which made them the more afraid was this: when I was
in the steeple-house at Oram, not long before, there came a
professor, who gave me a push on the breast in the steeple-house,
and bade me get out of the church. “Alas, poor man!” said I, “dost
thou call the steeple-house the Church? The Church is the people,
whom God hath purchased with His blood, and not the house.” It
happened that Justice Hotham came to hear of this man’s abuse,
sent his warrant for him, and bound him over to the sessions; so
affected was he with the Truth and so zealous to keep the peace.
And indeed this Justice Hotham had asked me before whether any
people had meddled with me, or abused me; but I was not at liberty
to tell him anything of that kind, but was to forgive all.
    The next First-day I went to Tickhill, whither the Friends of
that side gathered together, and a mighty brokenness by the power
of God there was amongst the people. I went out of the meeting,
being moved of God to go to the steeple-house. When I came there,
I found the priest and most of the chief of the parish together in
the chancel.
    I went up to them, and began to speak; but they immediately
fell upon me; the clerk up with his Bible, as I was speaking, and
struck me on the face with it, so that my face gushed out with
blood; and I bled exceedingly in the steeple-house. The people
cried, “Let us have him out of the church.” When they had got me
out, they beat me exceedingly, threw me down, and turned me over a
hedge. They afterwards dragged me through a house into the street,
stoning and beating me as they dragged me along; so that I was all
over besmeared with blood and dirt. They got my hat from me, which
I never had again. Yet when I was got upon my legs, I declared the
Word of life, showed them the fruits of their teacher, and how
they dishonored Christianity.
    After awhile I got into the meeting again amongst Friends,
and the priest and people coming by the house, I went with Friends
into the yard, and there spoke to the priest and people. The
priest scoffed at us, and called us Quakers. But the Lord’s power
was so over them, and the Word of life was declared in such
authority and dread to them, that the priest fell a-trembling
himself; and one of the people said, “Look how the priest trembles
and shakes; he is turned a Quaker also.”
    When the meeting was over, Friends departed; and I went
without my hat to Balby, about seven or eight miles. Friends were
much abused that day by the priest and his people: insomuch that
some moderate justices hearing of it, two or three of them came
and sat at the town to examine the business. He that had shed my
blood was afraid of having his hand cut off for striking me in the
church, as they called it; but I forgave him, and would not appear
against him.
    Thence I went to Wakefield; and on the First-day after, I
went to a steeple-house where James Nayler[67] had been a member
of an Independent church; but upon his receiving truth, he was
excommunicated. When I came in, and the priest had done, the
people called upon me to come up to the priest, which I did; but
when I began to declare the Word of life to them, and to lay open
the deceit of the priest, they rushed upon me suddenly, thrust me
out at the other door, punching and beating me, and cried, “Let us
have him to the stocks.” But the Lord’s power restrained them,
that they were not suffered to put me in.
    So I passed away to the meeting, where were a great many
professors and friendly people gathered, and a great convincement
there was that day; for the people were mightily satisfied that
they were directed to the Lord’s teaching in themselves. Here we
got some lodging; for four of us had lain under a hedge the night
before, there being then few Friends in that place.
    The priest of that church, of which James Nayler had been a
member, whose name was Marshall, raised many wicked slanders about
me, as that I carried bottles with me, and made people drink of
them, which made them follow me; and that I rode upon a great
black horse, and was seen in one country upon it in one hour, and
at the same hour in another country threescore miles off; and that
I would give a fellow money to follow me, when I was on my black
horse. With these lies he fed his people, to make them think evil
of the truth which I had declared amongst them. But by these lies
he preached many of his hearers away from him; for I was then
travelling on foot, and had no horse at that time; which the
people generally knew.
    As we travelled through the country, preaching repentance to
the people, we came into a market-town, where a lecture was held
that day. I went into the steeple-house, where many priests,
professors and people were. The priest that preached took for his
text those words of Jeremiah 5:31, “My people love to have it so”:
leaving out the foregoing words, viz.: “The prophets prophesy
falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means.” I showed the
people his deceit; and directed them to Christ, the true teacher
within; declaring that God was come to teach His people himself,
and to bring them off from all the world’s teachers and hirelings;
that they might come to receive freely from Him. Then, warning
them of the day of the Lord that was coming upon all flesh, I
passed thence without much opposition.
    At night we came to a country place, where there was no
public house near. The people desired us to stay all night; which
we did, and had good service for the Lord, declaring His truth
amongst them.
    The Lord had said unto me that if but one man or woman were
raised by His power to stand and live in the same Spirit that the
prophets and apostles were in who gave forth the Scriptures, that
man or woman should shake all the country in their profession[68]
for ten miles round. For people had the Scripture, but were not in
the same Light, power, and Spirit which those were in who gave
forth the Scripture; so they neither knew God, Christ, nor the
Scriptures aright; nor had they unity one with another, being out
of the power and Spirit of God. Therefore we warned all, wherever
we met them, of the day of the Lord that was coming upon them.

                        CHAPTER VI.
                      A New Era Begins

    As we travelled we came near a very great hill, called Pendle
Hill, and I was moved of the Lord to go up to the top of it; which
I did with difficulty, it was so very steep and high. When I was
come to the top, I saw the sea bordering upon Lancashire. From the
top of this hill the Lord let me see in what places he had a great
people to be gathered. As I went down, I found a spring of water
in the side of the hill, with which I refreshed myself, having
eaten or drunk but little for several days before.[69]
    At night we came to an inn, and declared truth to the man of
the house, and wrote a paper to the priests and professors,
declaring the day of the Lord, and that Christ was come to teach
people Himself, by His power and Spirit in their hearts, and to
bring people off from all the world’s ways and teachers, to His
own free teaching, who had bought them, and was the Saviour of all
them that believed in Him. The man of the house spread the paper
abroad, and was mightily affected with the truth. Here the Lord
opened unto me, and let me see a great people in white raiment by
a river side, coming to the Lord; and the place that I saw them in
was about Wensleydale and Sedbergh.[70]
    The next day we travelled on, and at night got a little fern
or bracken to put under us, and lay upon a common. Next morning we
reached a town, where Richard Farnsworth[71] parted from me; and
then I travelled alone again. I came up Wensleydale, and at the
market-town in that Dale, there was a lecture on the market-day. I
went into the steeple-house; and after the priest had done I
proclaimed the day of the Lord to the priest and people, warning
them to turn from darkness to the Light, and from the power of
Satan unto God, that they might come to know God and Christ
aright, and to receive His teaching, who teacheth freely. Largely
and freely did I declare the Word of life unto them, and had not
much persecution there.
    Afterwards I passed up the Dales, warning people to fear God,
and preaching the everlasting gospel to them. In my way I came to
a great house, where was a schoolmaster; and they got me into the
house. I asked them questions about their religion and worship;
and afterwards I declared the truth to them. They had me into a
parlour, and locked me in, pretending that I was a young man that
was mad, and had run away from my relations; and that they would
keep me till they could send to them. But I soon convinced them of
their mistake, and they let me forth, and would have had me to
stay; but I was not to stay there.
    Then having exhorted them to repentance, and directed them to
the Light of Christ Jesus, that through it they might come unto
Him and be saved, I passed from them, and came in the night to a
little ale-house on a common, where there was a company of rude
fellows drinking. Because I would not drink with them, they struck
me with their clubs; but I reproved them, and brought them to be
somewhat cooler; and then I walked out of the house upon the
common in the night.
    After some time one of these drunken fellows came out, and
would have come close up to me, pretending to whisper to me; but I
perceived he had a knife; and therefore I kept off him, and bade
him repent, and fear God. So the Lord by His power preserved me
from this wicked man; and he went into the house again. The next
morning I went on through other Dales, warning and exhorting
people everywhere as I passed, to repent and turn to the Lord: and
several were convinced. At one house that I came to, the man of
the house (whom I afterwards found to be a kinsman of John
Blakelin’s) would have given me money, but I would not receive it.
    The next day I went to a meeting at Justice Benson’s, where I
met a people that were separated from the public worship. This was
the place I had seen, where a people came forth in white raiment.
A large meeting it was, and the people were generally convinced;
and they continue still a large meeting of Friends near Sedbergh;
which was then first gathered through my ministry in the name of
    In the same week there was a great fair, at which servants
used to be hired; and I declared the day of the Lord through the
fair. After I had done so, I went into the steeple-house yard, and
many of the people of the fair came thither to me, and abundance
of priests and professors. There I declared the everlasting truth
of the Lord and the Word of life for several hours, showing that
the Lord was come to teach His people Himself, and to bring them
off from all the world’s ways and teachers, to Christ, the true
teacher, and the true way to God. I laid open their teachers,
showing that they were like them that were of old condemned by the
prophets, and by Christ, and by the apostles. I exhorted the
people to come off from the temples made with hands; and wait to
receive the Spirit of the Lord, that they might know themselves to
be the temples of God.
    Not one of the priests had power to open his mouth against
what I declared: but at last a captain said, “Why will you not go
into the church? this is not a fit place to preach in.” I told him
I denied their church. Then stood up Francis Howgill, who was
preacher to a congregation. He had not seen me before; yet he
undertook to answer that captain; and he soon put him to silence.
Then said Francis Howgill of me, “This man speaks with authority,
and not as the scribes.”
    After this, I opened to the people that that ground and house
were no holier than another place; and that the house is not the
Church, but the people, of whom Christ is the head. After awhile
the priests came up to me, and I warned them to repent. One of
them said I was mad; so they turned away. But many were convinced
there that day, who were glad to hear the truth declared, and
received it with joy. Amongst these was Captain Ward, who received
the truth in the love of it, and lived and died in it.
    The next First-day I came to Firbank chapel in Westmoreland,
where Francis Howgill and John Audland[72] had been preaching in
the morning. The chapel was full of people, so that many could not
get in. Francis said he thought I looked into the chapel, and his
spirit was ready to fail, the Lord’s power did so surprise him:
but I did not look in. They made haste, and had quickly done, and
they and some of the people went to dinner; but abundance stayed
till they came again. John Blakelin and others came to me, and
desired me not to reprove them publicly; for they were not parish-
teachers, but pretty tender men. I could not tell them whether I
should or no, though I had not at that time any drawings to
declare publicly against them; but I said they must leave me to
the Lord’s movings.
    While others were gone to dinner, I went to a brook, got a
little water, and then came and sat down on the top of a rock hard
by the chapel. In the afternoon the people gathered about me, with
several of their preachers. It was judged there were above a
thousand people; to whom I declared God’s everlasting truth and
Word of life freely and largely for about the space of three
hours. I directed all to the Spirit of God in themselves; that
they might be turned from darkness to Light, and believe in it;
that they might become the children of it, and might be turned
from the power of Satan unto God, and by the Spirit of truth might
be led into all truth, and sensibly understand the words of the
prophets, of Christ, and of the apostles; and might all come to
know Christ to be their teacher to instruct them, their counsellor
to direct them, their shepherd to feed them, their bishop to
oversee them, and their prophet to open divine mysteries to them;
and might know their bodies to be prepared, sanctified, and made
fit temples for God and Christ to dwell in. In the openings of
heavenly life I explained unto them the prophets, and the figures
and shadows, and directed them to Christ, the substance. Then I
opened the parables and sayings of Christ, and things that had
been long hid.
    Now there were many old people who went into the chapel and
looked out at the windows, thinking it a strange thing to see a
man preach on a hill, and not in their church, as they called it;
whereupon I was moved to open to the people that the steeple-
house, and the ground whereon it stood were no more holy than that
mountain; and that those temples, which they called the dreadful
houses of God were not set up by the command of God and of Christ;
nor their priests called, as Aaron’s priesthood was; nor their
tithes appointed by God, as those amongst the Jews were; but that
Christ was come, who ended both the temple and its worship, and
the priests and their tithes; and that all should now hearken unto
Him; for He said, “Learn of me”; and God said of Him, “This is my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.”
    I declared unto them that the Lord God had sent me to preach
the everlasting gospel and Word of life amongst them, and to bring
them off from all these temples, tithes, priests, and rudiments of
the world, which had been instituted since the apostles’ days, and
had been set up by such as had erred from the Spirit and power the
apostles were in. Very largely was I opened at this meeting, and
the Lord’s convincing power accompanied my ministry, and reached
the hearts of the people, whereby many were convinced; and all the
teachers of that congregation (who were many) were convinced of
God’s everlasting truth.
    At Kendal a meeting was held in the Town-hall. Several were
convinced and many were loving. One whose name was Cock met me in
the street and would have given me a roll of tobacco, for people
were then much given to smoking. I accepted his love, but did not
receive his tobacco.
    Thence I went to Underbarrow, and several people going along
with me, great reasonings I had with them, especially with Edward
    At night the priest and many professors came to the house;
and a great deal of disputing I had with them. Supper being
provided for the priest and the rest of the company, I had not
freedom to eat with them; but told them that if they would appoint
a meeting for the next day at the steeple-house, and acquaint the
people with it, I might meet them. They had a great deal of
reasoning about it; some being for, and some against it.
    In the morning, after I had spoken to them again concerning
the meeting, as I walked upon a bank by the house, there came
several poor travellers, asking relief, who I saw were in
necessity; and they gave them nothing, but said they were cheats.
It grieved me to see such hard-heartedness amongst professors;
whereupon, when they were gone in to their breakfast, I ran after
the poor people about a quarter of a mile, and gave them some
    Meanwhile some that were in the house, coming out, and seeing
me a quarter of a mile off, said I could not have gone so far in
such an instant, if I had not had wings. Hereupon the meeting was
like to have been put by; for they were filled with such strange
thoughts concerning me that many of them were against having a
meeting with me.[74]
    I told them that I had run after those poor people to give
them some money; being grieved at the hardheartedness of those who
gave them nothing.
    Then came Miles and Stephen Hubbersty, who, being more
simple-hearted men, would have the meeting held. So to the chapel
I went, and the priest came.
    A great meeting there was, and the way of life and salvation
was opened; and after awhile the priest fled away. Many of Crook
and Underbarrow were convinced that day, received the Word of
life, and stood fast in it under the teaching of Christ Jesus.
    After I had declared the truth to them for some hours, and
the meeting was ended, the chief constable and some other
professors fell to reasoning with me in the chapel yard. Whereupon
I took a Bible and opened the Scriptures, and dealt tenderly with
them, as one would do with a child. They that were in the Light of
Christ and Spirit of God knew when I spake Scripture, though I did
not mention chapter and verse, after the priest’s form, to them.
    Then I went to an ale-house, to which many resorted betwixt
the time of their morning and afternoon preaching, and had a great
deal of reasoning with the people, declaring to them that God was
come to teach His people, and to bring them off from the false
teachers, such as the prophets, Christ, and the apostles cried
against. Many received the Word of life at that time, and abode in
    Thence I went to Ulverstone, and so to Swarthmore[75] to
Judge Fell’s; whither came up one Lampitt, a priest, who was a
high notionist. With him I had much reasoning; for he talked of
high notions and perfection, and thereby deceived the people. He
would have owned me, but I could not own nor join with him, he was
so full of filth.[76] He said he was above John; and made as
though he knew all things. But I told him that death reigned from
Adam to Moses; that he was under death, and knew not Moses, for
Moses saw the paradise of God; but he knew neither Moses nor the
prophets nor John; for that crooked and rough nature stood in him,
and the mountain of sin and corruption; and the way was not
prepared in him for the Lord.
    He confessed he had been under a cross in things; but now he
could sing psalms, and do anything. I told him that now he could
see a thief, and join hand in hand with him; but he could not
preach Moses, nor the prophets, nor John, nor Christ, except he
were in the same Spirit that they were in.
    Margaret Fell had been absent in the day-time; and at night
her children told her that priest Lampitt and I had disagreed,
which somewhat troubled her, because she was in profession with
him; but he hid his dirty actions from them. At night we had much
reasoning, and I declared the truth to her and her family. The
next day Lampitt came again, and I had much discourse with him
before Margaret Fell, who then clearly discerned the priest. A
convincement of the Lord’s truth came upon her and her family.
    Soon after a day was to be observed for a humiliation, and
Margaret Fell asked me to go with her to the steeple-house at
Ulverstone, for she was not wholly come off from them. I replied,
“I must do as I am ordered by the Lord.” So I left her, and walked
into the fields; and the Word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Go
to the steeple-house after them.”
    When I came, Lampitt was singing with his people; but his
spirit was so foul, and the matter they sung so unsuitable to
their states, that after they had done singing, I was moved of the
Lord to speak to him and the people. The word of the Lord to them
was, “He is not a Jew that is one outwardly, but he is a Jew that
is one inwardly, whose praise is not of man, but of God.”
    As the Lord opened further, I showed them that God was come
to teach His people by His Spirit, and to bring them off from all
their old ways, religions, churches, and worships; for all their
religions, worships, and ways were but talking with other men’s
words; but they were out of the life and Spirit which they were in
who gave them forth.
    Then cried out one, called Justice Sawrey, “Take him away”;
but Judge Fell’s wife said to the officers, “Let him alone; why
may not he speak as well as any other?”[77] Lampitt also, the
priest, in deceit said, “Let him speak.” So at length, when I had
declared some time, Justice Sawrey caused the constable to put me
out; and then I spoke to the people in the graveyard.
    From thence I went into the island of Walney; and after the
priest had done I spoke to him, but he got away. Then I declared
the truth to the people, but they were something rude. I went to
speak with the priest at his house, but he would not be seen. The
people said he went to hide himself in the haymow; and they looked
for him there, but could not find him. Then they said he was gone
to hide himself in the standing corn, but they could not find him
there either. I went to James Lancaster’s, in the island, who was
convinced, and from thence returned to Swarthmore, where the
Lord’s power seized upon Margaret Fell, her daughter Sarah, and
several others.
    Then I went to Baycliff, where Leonard Fell was convinced,
and became a minister of the everlasting gospel. Several others
were convinced there, and came into obedience to the truth. Here
the people said they could not dispute; and would fain have put
some other to hold talk with me; but I bade them fear the Lord,
and not in a light way hold a talk of the Lord’s words, but put
the things in practice.[78]
    I directed them to the Divine Light of Christ, and His Spirit
in their hearts, which would let them see all the evil thoughts,
words, and actions that they had thought, spoken, and acted; by
which Light they might see their sin, and also their Saviour
Christ Jesus to save them from their sins. This I told them was
their first step to peace, even to stand still in the Light that
showed them their sins and transgressions; by which they might
come to see they were in the fall of old Adam, in darkness and
death, strangers to the covenant of promise, and without God in
the world; and by the same Light they might see Christ that died
for them to be their Redeemer and Saviour, and their way to God.
    Soon after, Judge Fell being come home, Margaret Fell, his
wife, sent to me, desiring me to return thither; and feeling
freedom from the Lord so to do, I went back to Swarthmore. I found
the priests and professors, and that envious Justice Sawrey, had
much incensed Judge Fell and Captain Sands against the truth by
their lies; but when I came to speak with him I answered all his
objections, and so thoroughly satisfied him by the Scriptures that
he was convinced in his judgment. He asked me if I was that George
Fox of whom Justice Robinson spoke so much in commendation amongst
many of the Parliament men? I told him I had been with Justice
Robinson, and with Justice Hotham in Yorkshire, who were very
civil and loving to me; and that they were convinced in their
judgment by the Spirit of God that the principle to which I bore
testimony was the truth; and they saw over and beyond the priests
of the nation, so that they, and many others, were now come to be
wiser than their teachers.
    After we had discoursed some time together, Judge Fell
himself was satisfied also, and came to see, by the openings of
the Spirit of God in his heart, over all the priests and teachers
of the world, and did not go to hear them for some years before he
died: for he knew it was the truth that I declared, and that
Christ was the teacher of His people, and their Saviour. He
sometimes wished that I were a while with Judge Bradshaw to
discourse with him.
    There came to Judge Fell’s Captain Sands before-mentioned,
endeavouring to incense the Judge against me, for he was an evil-
minded man, and full of envy against me; and yet he could speak
high things, and use the Scripture words, and say, “Behold, I make
all things new.” But I told him, then he must have a new God, for
his God was his belly. Besides him came also that envious justice,
John Sawrey. I told him his heart was rotten, and he was full of
hypocrisy to the brim. Several other people also came, of whose
states the Lord gave me a discerning; and I spoke to their
conditions.[79] While I was in those parts, Richard Farnsworth and
James Nayler came to see me and the family; and Judge Fell, being
satisfied that it was the way of truth, notwithstanding all their
opposition, suffered the meeting to be kept at his house. A great
meeting was settled there in the Lord’s power, which continued
near forty years, until the year 1690, when a new meeting-house
was erected near it.[80]
    On the market-day I went to Lancaster, and spoke through the
market in the dreadful power of God, declaring the day of the Lord
to the people, and crying out against all their deceitful
merchandise. I preached righteousness and truth unto them, which
all should follow after, walk and live in, directing them how and
where they might find and receive the Spirit of God to guide them
    After I had cleared myself in the market, I went to my
lodging, whither several people came; and many were convinced who
have since stood faithful to the truth.
    The First-day following, in the forenoon, I had a great
meeting in the street at Lancaster, amongst the soldiers and
people, to whom I declared the Word of life, and the everlasting
truth. I opened unto them that all the traditions they had lived
in, all their worships and religions, and the profession they made
of the Scriptures, were good for nothing while they lived out of
the life and power which those were in who gave forth the
Scriptures. I directed them to the Light of Christ, the heavenly
man, and to the Spirit of God in their own hearts, that they might
come to be acquainted with God and Christ, receive Him for their
teacher, and know His kingdom set up in them.
    In the afternoon I went to the steeple-house at Lancaster,
and declared the truth to the priest and people, laying open
before them the deceit they lived in, and directing them to the
power and Spirit of God which they wanted. But they haled me out,
and stoned me along the street till I came to John Lawson’s house.
    Another First-day I went to a steeple-house by the waterside,
where one Whitehead was priest. To him and to the people I
declared the truth in the dreadful power of God. There came a
doctor so full of envy that he said he could find it in his heart
to run me through with his rapier, though he were hanged for it
the next day; yet this man came afterwards to be convinced of the
truth so far as to be loving to Friends. Some were convinced
thereabouts who willingly sat down under the ministry of Christ,
their teacher; and a meeting was settled there in the power of
God, which has continued to this day.
    After this I returned into Westmoreland, and spoke through
Kendal on a market-day. So dreadful was the power of God upon me,
that people flew like chaff before me into their houses. I warned
them of the mighty day of the Lord, and exhorted them to hearken
to the voice of God in their own hearts, who was now come to teach
His people Himself. When some opposed, many others took my part.
At last some fell to fighting about me; but I went and spoke to
them, and they parted again. Several were convinced.
    After I had travelled up and down in those countries, and had
had great meetings, I came to Swarthmore again. And when I had
visited Friends in those parts, I heard of a great meeting the
priests were to have at Ulverstone, on a lecture-day. I went to
it, and into the steeple-house in the dread and power of the Lord.
When the priest had done, I spoke among them the Word of the Lord,
which was as a hammer, and as a fire amongst them. And though
Lampitt, the priest of the place, had been at variance with most
of the priests before, yet against the truth they all joined
together. But the mighty power of the Lord was over all; and so
wonderful was the appearance thereof, that priest Bennett said the
church shook, insomuch that he was afraid and trembled. And when
he had spoken a few confused words he hastened out for fear it
should fall on his head. Many priests got together there; but they
had no power as yet to persecute.
    When I had cleared my conscience towards them, I went up to
Swarthmore again, whither came four or five of the priests. Coming
to discourse, I asked them whether any one of them could say he
had ever had the word of the Lord to go and speak to such or such
a people. None of them durst say he had; but one of them burst out
into a passion and said that he could speak his experiences as
well as I.
    I told him experience was one thing; but to receive and go
with a message, and to have a Word from the Lord, as the prophets
and apostles had had and done, and as I had done to them, this was
another thing. And therefore I put it to them again, “Can any of
you say you have ever had a command or word from the Lord
immediately at any time?” but none of them could say so.
    Then I told them that the false prophets, the false apostles,
and the antichrists, could use the words of the true prophets, the
true apostles, and of Christ, and would speak of other men’s
experiences, though they themselves never knew or heard the voice
of God or Christ; and that such as they might obtain the good
words and experiences of others. This puzzled them much, and laid
them open.
    At another time, when I was discoursing with several priests
at Judge Fell’s house, and he was by, I asked them the same
question, — whether any of them had ever heard the voice of God
or Christ, to bid him go to such and such a people, to declare His
word or message unto them. Any one, I told them, that could but
read, might declare the experiences of the prophets and apostles,
which were recorded in the Scriptures. Thereupon Thomas
Taylor,[81] an ancient priest, did ingenuously confess before
Judge Fell that he had never heard the voice of God, nor of
Christ, to send him to any people; but that he spoke his
experiences, and the experiences of the saints in former ages, and
that he preached. This very much confirmed Judge Fell in the
persuasion he had that the priests were wrong; for he had thought
formerly, as the generality of people then did, that they were
sent from God.
    Now began the priests to rage more and more, and as much as
they could to stir up persecution. James Nayler and Francis
Howgill were cast into prison in Appleby jail, at the instigation
of the malicious priests, some of whom prophesied that within a
month we should be all scattered again, and come to nothing. But,
blessed for ever be the worthy name of the Lord, His work went on
and prospered; for about this time John Audland, Francis Howgill,
John Camm, Edward Burrough, Richard Hubberthorn, Miles Hubbersty,
and Miles Halhead, with several others, being endued with power
from on high, came forth in the work of the ministry, and approved
themselves faithful labourers therein, travelling up and down, and
preaching the gospel freely; by means whereof multitudes were
convinced, and many effectually turned to the Lord.
    On a lecture-day I was moved to go to the steeple-house at
Ulverstone, where were abundance of professors, priests, and
people. I went near to priest Lampitt, who was blustering on in
his preaching. After the Lord had opened my mouth to speak, John
Sawrey, the justice, came to me and said that if I would speak
according to the Scriptures, I should speak. I admired him for
speaking so to me, and told him I would speak according to the
Scriptures, and bring the Scriptures to prove what I had to say;
for I had something to speak to Lampitt and to them. Then he said
I should not speak, contradicting himself, for he had said just
before that I should speak if I would speak according to the
Scriptures. The people were quiet, and heard me gladly, till this
Justice Sawrey (who was the first stirrer-up of cruel persecution
in the north) incensed them against me, and set them on to hale,
beat, and bruise me. But now on a sudden the people were in a
rage, and fell upon me in the steeple-house before his face,
knocked me down, kicked me, and trampled upon me. So great was the
uproar, that some tumbled over their seats for fear.
    At last he came and took me from the people, led me out of
the steeple-house, and put me into the hands of the constables and
other officers, bidding them whip me, and put me out of the town.
They led me about a quarter of a mile, some taking hold by my
collar, some by my arms and shoulders; and they shook and dragged
me along.
    Many friendly people being come to the market, and some to
the steeple-house to hear me, diverse of these they knocked down
also, and broke their heads so that the blood ran down from
several; and Judge Fell’s son running after to see what they would
do with me, they threw him into a ditch of water, some of them
crying, “Knock the teeth out of his head.”
    When they had haled me to the common moss-side, a multitude
following, the constables and other officers gave me some blows
over my back with their willow rods, and thrust me among the rude
multitude, who, having furnished themselves with staves, hedge-
stakes, holm or holly bushes, fell upon me, and beat me on my
head, arms, and shoulders, till they had deprived me of sense; so
that I fell down upon the wet common.
    When I recovered again, and saw myself lying in a watery
common, and the people standing about me, I lay still a little
while, and the power of the Lord sprang through me, and the
eternal refreshings revived me; so that I stood up again in the
strengthening power of the eternal God, and stretching out my arms
toward them, I said, with a loud voice, “Strike again; here are my
arms, my head, and my cheeks.”
    There was in the company a mason, a professor, but a rude
fellow, who with his walking rule-staff gave me a blow with all
his might just over the back of my hand, as it was stretched out;
with which blow my hand was so bruised, and my arm so benumbed,
that I could not draw it to me again. Some of the people cried,
“He hath spoiled his hand for ever having the use of it any more.”
But I looked at it in the love of God (for I was in the love of
God to all that persecuted me), and after awhile the Lord’s power
sprang through me again, and through my hand and arm, so that in a
moment I recovered strength in my hand and arm in the sight of
them all.
    Then they began to fall out among themselves. Some of them
came to me, and said that if I would give them money they would
secure me from the rest. But I was moved of the Lord to declare
the Word of life, and showed them their false Christianity, and
the fruits of their priest’s ministry, telling them that they were
more like heathens and Jews than true Christians.
    Then was I moved of the Lord to come up again through the
midst of the people, and go into Ulverstone market. As I went,
there met me a soldier, with his sword by his side. “Sir,” said he
to me, “I see you are a man, and I am ashamed and grieved that you
should be thus abused”; and he offered to assist me in what he
could. I told him that the Lord’s power was over all; and I walked
through the people in the market, none of whom had power to touch
me then. But some of the market people abusing some Friends in the
market, I turned about, and saw this soldier among them with his
naked rapier; whereupon I ran, and, catching hold of the hand his
rapier was in, bid him put up his sword again if he would go along
with me.
    About two weeks after this I went into Walney island, and
James Nayler went with me. We stayed one night at a little town on
this side, called Cockan, and had a meeting there, where one was
    After a while there came a man with a pistol, whereupon the
people ran out of doors. He called for me; and when I came out to
him he snapped his pistol at me, but it would not go off. This
caused the people to make a great bustle about him; and some of
them took hold of him, to prevent his doing mischief. But I was
moved in the Lord’s power to speak to him; and he was so struck by
the power of the Lord that he trembled for fear, and went and hid
himself. Thus the Lord’s power came over them all, though there
was a great rage in the country.
    Next morning I went over in a boat to James Lancaster’s. As
soon as I came to land there rushed out about forty men with
staves, clubs, and fishing-poles, who fell upon me, beating and
punching me, and endeavouring to thrust me backward into the sea.
When they had thrust me almost into the sea, and I saw they would
knock me down in it, I went up into the midst of them; but they
laid at me again, and knocked me down, and stunned me.
    When I came to myself, I looked up and saw James Lancaster’s
wife throwing stones at my face, and her husband, James Lancaster,
was lying over me, to keep the blows and the stones off me. For
the people had persuaded James Lancaster’s wife that I had
bewitched her husband, and had promised her that if she would let
them know when I came thither they would be my death. And having
got knowledge of my coming, many of the town rose up in this
manner with clubs and staves to kill me; but the Lord’s power
preserved me, that they could not take away my life.
    At length I got up on my feet, but they beat me down again
into the boat; which James Lancaster observing, he presently came
into it, and set me over the water from them; but while we were on
the water within their reach they struck at us with long poles,
and threw stones after us. By the time we were come to the other
side, we saw them beating James Nayler; for whilst they had been
beating me, he walked up into a field, and they never minded him
till I was gone; then they fell upon him, and all their cry was,
“Kill him, kill him.”
    When I was come over to the town again, on the other side of
the water, the townsmen rose up with pitchforks, flails, and
staves, to keep me out of the town, crying, “Kill him, knock him
on the head, bring the cart; and carry him away to the
churchyard.” So after they had abused me, they drove me some
distance out of the town, and there left me.
    Then James Lancaster went back to look after James Nayler;
and I being now left alone, went to a ditch of water, and having
washed myself (for they had besmeared my face, hands, and clothes
with miry dirt), I walked about three miles to Thomas Hutton’s
house, where lodged Thomas Lawson, the priest that was convinced.
    When I came in I could hardly speak to them, I was so
bruised; only I told them where I left James Nayler. So they took
each of them a horse, and went and brought him thither that night.
The next day Margaret Fell hearing of it, sent a horse for me; but
I was so sore with bruises, I was not able to bear the shaking of
the horse without much pain.
    When I was come to Swarthmore, Justice Sawrey, and one
Justice Thompson, of Lancaster, granted a warrant against me; but
Judge Fell coming home, it was not served upon me; for he was out
of the country all this time that I was thus cruelly abused. When
he came home he sent forth warrants into the isle of Walney, to
apprehend all those riotous persons; whereupon some of them fled
the country.
    James Lancaster’s wife was afterwards convinced of the truth,
and repented of the evils she had done me; and so did others of
those bitter persecutors also; but the judgments of God fell upon
some of them, and destruction is come upon many of them since.
Judge Fell asked me to give him a relation of my persecution; but
I told him they could do no otherwise in the spirit wherein they
were, and that they manifested the fruits of their priest’s
ministry, and their profession and religion to be wrong. So he
told his wife I made light of it, and that I spoke of it as a man
that had not been concerned; for, indeed, the Lord’s power healed
me again.
    The time for the sessions at Lancaster being come, I went
thither with Judge Fell, who on the way told me he had never had
such a matter brought before him before, and he could not well
tell what to do in the business. I told him, when Paul was brought
before the rulers, and the Jews and priests came down to accuse
him, and laid many false things to his charge, Paul stood still
all that while. And when they had done, Festus, the governor, and
king Agrippa, beckoned to him to speak for himself; which Paul
did, and cleared himself of all those false accusations, so he
might do with me.
    Being come to Lancaster, Justice Sawrey and Justice Thompson
having granted a warrant to apprehend me, though I was not
apprehended by it, yet hearing of it, I appeared at the sessions,
where there appeared against me about forty priests. These had
chosen one Marshall, priest of Lancaster, to be their orator; and
had provided one young priest, and two priests’ sons, to bear
witness against me, who had sworn beforehand that I had spoken
    When the justices were sat, they heard all that the priests
and their witnesses could say and charge against me, their orator
Marshall sitting by, and explaining their sayings for them. But
the witnesses were so confounded that they discovered themselves
to be false witnesses; for when the court had examined one of them
upon oath, and then began to examine another, he was at such loss
he could not answer directly, but said the other could say it.
Which made the justices say to him, “Have you sworn it, and given
it in already upon your oath, and now say that he can say it? It
seems you did not hear those words spoken yourself, though you
have sworn it.”
    There were then in court several who had been at that
meeting, wherein the witnesses swore I spoke those blasphemous
words which the priests accused me of; and these, being men of
integrity and reputation in the country, did declare and affirm in
court that the oath which the witnesses had taken against me was
altogether false; and that no such words as they had sworn against
me were spoken by me at that meeting. Indeed, most of the serious
men of that side of the country, then at the sessions, had been at
that meeting; and had heard me both at that and at other meetings
    This was taken notice of by Colonel West, who, being a
justice of the peace, was then upon the bench; and having long
been weak in body, blessed the Lord and said that He had healed
him that day; adding that he never saw so many sober people and
good faces together in all his life. Then, turning himself to me,
he said in the open sessions, “George, if thou hast anything to
say to the people, thou mayest freely declare it.”
    I was moved of the Lord to speak; and as soon as I began,
priest Marshall, the orator for the rest of the priests, went his
way. That which I was moved to declare was this: that the holy
Scriptures were given forth by the Spirit of God; and that all
people must come to the Spirit of God in themselves in order to
know God and Christ, of whom the prophets and apostles learnt: and
that by the same Spirit all men might know the holy Scriptures.
For as the Spirit of God was in them that gave forth the
Scriptures, so the same Spirit must be in all them that come to
understand the Scriptures. By this Spirit they might have
fellowship with the Father, with the Son, with the Scriptures, and
with one another: and without this Spirit they can know neither
God, Christ, nor the Scriptures, nor have a right fellowship one
with another.
    I had no sooner spoken these words than about half a dozen
priests, that stood behind me, burst into a passion. One of them,
whose name was Jackus, amongst other things that he spake against
the Truth, said that the Spirit and the letter were inseparable. I
replied, “Then every one that hath the letter hath the Spirit; and
they might buy the Spirit with the letter of the Scriptures.”
    This plain discovery of darkness in the priest moved Judge
Fell and Colonel West to reprove them openly, and tell them that
according to that position they might carry the Spirit in their
pockets as they did the Scriptures. Upon this the priests, being
confounded and put to silence, rushed out in a rage against the
justices, because they could not have their bloody ends upon me.
The justices, seeing the witnesses did not agree, and perceiving
that they were brought to answer the priests’ envy, and finding
that all their evidences were not sufficient in law to make good
their charge against me, discharged me.
    After Judge Fell had spoken to Justice Sawrey and Justice
Thompson concerning the warrant they had given forth against me,
and showing them the errors thereof, he and Colonel West granted a
supersedeas[82] to stop the execution of it. Thus I was cleared in
open sessions of those lying accusations which the malicious
priests had laid to my charge: and multitudes of people praised
God that day, for it was a joyful day to many. Justice Benson, of
Westmoreland, was convinced; and Major Ripan, mayor of the town of
Lancaster, also.
    It was a day of everlasting salvation to hundreds of people:
for the Lord Jesus Christ, the way to the Father, the free
Teacher, was exalted and set up; His everlasting gospel was
preached, and the Word of eternal life was declared over the heads
of the priests, and all such lucrative preachers. For the Lord
opened many mouths that day to speak His Word to the priests, and
several friendly people and professors reproved them in their
inns, and in the streets, so that they fell, like an old rotten
house: and the cry was among the people that the Quakers had got
the day, and the priests were fallen.

                        CHAPTER VII.
                      In Prison Again

    About the beginning of the year 1653 I returned to
Swarthmore, and going to a meeting at Gleaston, a professor
challenged to dispute with me. I went to the house where he was,
and called him to come forth; but the Lord’s power was over him,
so that he durst not meddle.
    I departed thence, visited the meetings of Friends in
Lancashire, and came back to Swarthmore. Great openings I had from
the Lord, not only of divine and spiritual matters, but also of
outward things relating to the civil government.
    Being one day in Swarthmore Hall, when Judge Fell and Justice
Benson were talking of the news, and of the Parliament then
sitting (called the Long Parliament), I was moved to tell them
that before that day two weeks the Parliament should be broken up,
and the Speaker plucked out of his chair. That day two weeks
Justice Benson told Judge Fell that now he saw George was a true
prophet; for Oliver had broken up the Parliament.[83]
    About this time I was in a fast for about ten days, my spirit
being greatly exercised on Truth’s behalf: for James Milner and
Richard Myer went out into imaginations, and a company followed
them. This James Milner and some of his company had true openings
at the first; but getting up into pride and exaltation of spirit,
they ran out from Truth. I was sent for to them, and was moved of
the Lord to go and show them their outgoings. They were brought to
see their folly, and condemned it; and came into the way of Truth
    After some time I went to a meeting at Arnside, where was
Richard Myer, who had been long lame of one of his arms. I was
moved of the Lord to say unto him amongst all the people, “Stand
up upon thy legs,” for he was sitting down. And he stood up, and
stretched out his arm that had been lame a long time, and said,
“Be it known unto you, all people, that this day I am healed.”[84]
Yet his parents could hardly believe it; but after the meeting was
done, they had him aside, took off his doublet, and then saw it
was true.
    He came soon after to Swarthmore meeting, and there declared
how the Lord had healed him. Yet after this the Lord commanded him
to go to York with a message from Him, which he disobeyed; and the
Lord struck him again, so that he died about three-quarters of a
year after.
    Now were great threatenings given forth in Cumberland that if
ever I came there they would take away my life. When I heard it I
was drawn to go into Cumberland; and went to Miles Wennington’s,
in the same parish from which those threatenings came: but they
had not power to touch me.
    On a First-day I went into the steeple-house at Bootle;[85]
and when the priest had done, I began to speak. But the people
were exceeding rude, and struck and beat me in the yard; one gave
me a very great blow over my wrist, so that the people thought he
had broken my hand to pieces. The constable was very desirous to
keep the peace, and would have set some of them that struck me by
the heels, if I would have given way to it. After my service
amongst them was over, I went to Joseph Nicholson’s house, and the
constable went a little way with us, to keep off the rude
    In the afternoon I went again. The priest had got to help him
another priest, that came from London, and was highly accounted
of. Before I went into the steeple-house, I sat a little upon the
cross, and Friends with me; but the Friends were moved to go into
the steeple-house, and I went in after them.
    The London priest was preaching. He gathered up all the
Scriptures he could think of that spoke of false prophets, and
antichrists, and deceivers, and threw them upon us; but when he
had done I recollected all those Scriptures, and brought them back
upon himself. Then the people fell upon me in a rude manner; but
the constable charged them to keep the peace, and so made them
quiet again. Then the priest began to rage, and said I must not
speak there. I told him he had his hour-glass, by which he had
preached; and he having done, the time was free for me, as well as
for him, for he was but a stranger there himself.[86]
    So I opened the Scriptures to them, and let them see that
those Scriptures that spoke of the false prophets, and
antichrists, and deceivers, described them and their generation;
and belonged to them who were found walking in their steps, and
bringing forth their fruits; and not unto us, who were not guilty
of such things. I manifested to them that they were out of the
steps of the true prophets and apostles; and showed them clearly;
by the fruits and marks, that it was they of whom those Scriptures
spoke, and not we. And I declared the Truth, and the Word of life
to the people; and directed them to Christ their teacher.
    When I came down again to Joseph Nicholson’s house, I saw a
great hole in my coat, which was cut with a knife; but it was not
cut through my doublet, for the Lord had prevented their mischief.
The next day there was a rude, wicked man who would have done
violence to a Friend, but the Lord’s power stopped him.
    Now was I moved to send James Lancaster to appoint a meeting
at the steeple-house of John Wilkinson, near Cockermouth, — a
preacher in great repute, who had three parishes under him. I
stayed at Milholm, in Bootle, till James Lancaster came back
again. In the meantime some of the gentry of the country had
formed a plot against me, and had given a little boy a rapier,
with which to do me mischief. They came with the boy to Joseph
Nicholson’s to seek me; but the Lord had so ordered it that I was
gone into the fields. They met with James Lancaster, but did not
much abuse him; and not finding me in the house, they went away
again. So I walked up and down in the fields that night, as very
often I used to do, and did not go to bed.
    We came the next day to the steeple-house where James
Lancaster had appointed the meeting. There were at this meeting
twelve soldiers and their wives, from Carlisle; and the country
people came in, as if it were to a fair. I lay at a house somewhat
short of the place, so that many Friends got thither before me.
When I came I found James Lancaster speaking under a yew tree
which was so full of people that I feared they would break it
    I looked about for a place to stand upon, to speak unto the
people, for they lay all up and down, like people at a
leaguer.[87] After I was discovered, a professor asked if I would
not go into the church? I, seeing no place abroad convenient to
speak to the people from, told him, Yes; whereupon the people
rushed in, so that when I came the house and pulpit were so full I
had much ado to get in. Those that could not get in stood abroad
about the walls.
    When the people were settled I stood up on a seat, and the
Lord opened my mouth to declare His everlasting Truth and His
everlasting day. When I had largely declared the Word of life unto
them for about the space of three hours, I walked forth amongst
the people, who passed away well satisfied. Among the rest a
professor followed me, praising and commending me; but his words
were like a thistle to me. Many hundreds were convinced that day,
and received the Lord Jesus Christ and His free teaching, with
gladness; of whom some have died in the Truth, and many stand
faithful witnesses thereof. The soldiers also were convinced, and
their wives.
    After this I went to a village, and many people accompanied
me. As I was sitting in a house full of people, declaring the Word
of life unto them, I cast mine eye upon a woman, and discerned an
unclean spirit in her. And I was moved of the Lord to speak
sharply to her, and told her she was under the influence of an
unclean spirit;[88] whereupon she went out of the room. Now, I
being a stranger there, and knowing nothing of the woman
outwardly, the people wondered at it, and told me afterwards that
I had discovered a great thing; for all the country looked upon
her to be a wicked person.
    The Lord had given me a spirit of discerning, by which I many
times saw the states and conditions of people, and could try their
spirits. For not long before, as I was going to a meeting, I saw
some women in a field, and I discerned an evil spirit in them; and
I was moved to go out of my way into the field to them, and
declare unto them their conditions. At another time there came one
into Swarthmore Hall in the meeting time, and I was moved to speak
sharply to her, and told her she was under the power of an evil
spirit; and the people said afterwards she was generally accounted
so. There came also at another time another woman, and stood at a
distance from me, and I cast mine eye upon her, and said, “Thou
hast been an harlot”; for I perfectly saw the condition and life
of the woman. The woman answered and said that many could tell her
of her outward sins, but none could tell her of her inward. Then I
told her her heart was not right before the Lord, and that from
the inward came the outward. This woman came afterwards to be
convinced of God’s truth, and became a Friend.
    Thence we travelled to Carlisle. The pastor of the Baptists,
with most of his hearers, came to the abbey, where I had a
meeting; and I declared the Word of life amongst them. Many of the
Baptists and of the soldiers were convinced. After the meeting the
pastor of the Baptists, an high notionist and a flashy man, asked
me what must be damned. I was moved immediately to tell him that
that which spoke in him was to be damned. This stopped his mouth;
and the witness of God was raised up in him. I opened to him the
states of election and reprobation; so that he said he never heard
the like in his life. He came afterwards to be convinced.
    Then I went to the castle among the soldiers, who beat a drum
and called the garrison together. I preached the Truth amongst
them, directing them to the Lord Jesus Christ to be their teacher,
and to the measure of His Spirit in themselves, by which they
might be turned from darkness to light, and from the power of
Satan unto God. I warned them all that they should do no violence
to any man, but should show forth a Christian life: telling them
that He who was to be their Teacher would be their condemner if
they were disobedient to Him. So I left them, having no opposition
from any of them, except the sergeants, who afterwards came to be
    On the market-day I went up into the market, to the market-
cross. The magistrates had both threatened, and sent their
sergeants; and the magistrates’ wives had said that if I came
there they would pluck the hair off my head; and the sergeants
should take me up. Nevertheless I obeyed the Lord God, went up on
the cross, and declared unto them that the day of the Lord was
coming upon all their deceitful ways and doings, and deceitful
merchandise; that they should put away all cozening and cheating,
and keep to Yea and Nay, and speak the truth one to another. So
the Truth and the power of God was set over them.
    After I had declared the Word of life to the people, the
throng being so great that the sergeants could not reach me, nor
the magistrates’ wives come at me, I passed away quietly. Many
people and soldiers came to me, and some Baptists, that were
bitter contenders; amongst whom one of their deacons, an envious
man, finding that the Lord’s power was over them, cried out for
very anger. Whereupon I set my eyes upon him, and spoke sharply to
him in the power of the Lord: and he cried, “Do not pierce me so
with thy eyes; keep thy eyes off me.”[89]
    The First-day following I went into the steeple-house: and
after the priest had done, I preached the Truth to the people, and
declared the Word of life amongst them. The priest got away; and
the magistrates desired me to go out of the steeple-house. But I
still declared the way of the Lord unto them, and told them I came
to speak the Word of life and salvation from the Lord amongst
them. The power of the Lord was dreadful amongst them, so that the
people trembled and shook, and they thought the steeple-house
shook; some of them feared it would have fallen down on their
heads. The magistrates’ wives were in a rage, and strove mightily
to get at me: but the soldiers and friendly people stood thick
about me.
    At length the rude people of the city rose, and came with
staves and stones into the steeple-house, crying, “Down with these
round-headed rogues”; and they threw stones. Whereupon the
governor sent a file or two of musketeers into the steeple-house
to appease the tumult, and commanded all the other soldiers out.
So those soldiers took me by the hand in a friendly manner, and
said they would have me along with them.
    When we came into the street the city was in an uproar. The
governor came down; and some of the soldiers were put in prison
for standing by me against the townspeople.
    A lieutenant, who had been convinced, came and brought me to
his house, where there was a Baptist meeting, and thither came
Friends also. We had a very quiet meeting; they heard the Word of
life gladly, and many received it.
    The next day, the justices and magistrates of the town being
gathered together in the town-hall, they granted a warrant against
me, and sent for me before them. I was then gone to a Baptist’s;
but hearing of it, I went up to the hall, where many rude people
were, some of whom had sworn false things against me. I had a
great deal of discourse with the magistrates, wherein I laid open
the fruits of their priests’ preaching, showed them how they were
void of Christianity, and that, though they were such great
professors (for they were Independents and Presbyterians) they
were without the possession of that which they professed. After a
large examination they committed me to prison as a blasphemer, a
heretic, and a seducer,[90] though they could not justly charge
any such thing against me.
    The jail at Carlisle had two jailers, an upper and an under,
who looked like two great bear-wards. When I was brought in the
upper jailer took me up into a great chamber, and told me I should
have what I would in that room. But I told him he should not
expect any money from me, for I would neither lie in any of his
beds, nor eat any of his victuals. Then he put me into another
room, where after awhile I got something to lie upon.
    There I lay till the assizes came, and then all the talk was
that I was to be hanged. The high sheriff, Wilfred Lawson, stirred
them much up to take away my life, and said he would guard me to
my execution himself. They were in a rage, and set three
musketeers for guard upon me, one at my chamber-door, another at
the stairs-foot, and a third at the street door; and they would
let none come at me, except one sometimes, to bring me some
necessary things.
    At night, sometimes as late as the tenth hour, they would
bring up priests to me, who were exceeding rude and devilish.
There were a company of bitter Scotch priests, Presbyterians, made
up of envy and malice, who were not fit to speak of the things of
God, they were so foul-mouthed. But the Lord, by His power, gave
me dominion over them all, and I let them see both their fruits
and their spirits. Great ladies also (as they were called) came to
see the man that they said was to die. While the judge, justices,
and sheriff were contriving together how they might put me to
death, the Lord disappointed their design by an unexpected
    The next day, after the judges were gone out of town, an
order was sent to the jailer to put me down into the prison
amongst the moss-troopers,[92] thieves, and murderers; which
accordingly he did. A filthy, nasty place it was, where men and
women were put together in a very uncivil manner, and never a
house of office to it; and the prisoners were so lousy that one
woman was almost eaten to death with lice. Yet bad as the place
was, the prisoners were all made very loving and subject to me,
and some of them were convinced of the Truth, as the publicans and
harlots were of old; so that they were able to confound any priest
that might come to the grates to dispute.
    But the jailer was cruel, and the under-jailer very abusive
both to me and to Friends that came to see me; for he would beat
with a great cudgel Friends who did but come to the window to look
in upon me. I could get up to the grate, where sometimes I took in
my meat; at which the jailer was often offended. Once he came in a
great rage and beat me with his cudgel, though I was not at the
grate at that time; and as he beat me, he cried, “Come out of the
window,” though I was then far from it. While he struck me, I was
moved in the Lord’s power to sing, which made him rage the more.
Then he fetched a fiddler, and set him to play, thinking to vex
me. But while he played, I was moved in the everlasting power of
the Lord God to sing; and my voice drowned the noise of the
fiddle, struck and confounded them, and made them give over
fiddling and go their way.
    Whilst I was in prison at Carlisle, James Parnell, a little
lad about sixteen years of age, came to see me, and was convinced.
The Lord quickly made him a powerful minister of the Word of life,
and many were turned to Christ by him, though he lived not long.
For, travelling into Essex in the work of the ministry, in the
year 1655, he was committed to Colchester castle, where he endured
very great hardships and sufferings. He was put by the cruel
jailer into a hole in the castle wall, called the oven, so high
from the ground that he went up to it by a ladder, which being six
feet too short, he was obliged to climb from the ladder to the
hole by a rope that was fastened above. When Friends would have
given him a cord and a basket in which to draw up his victuals,
the inhuman jailer would not suffer them, but forced him to go
down and up by that short ladder and rope to fetch his victuals,
which for a long time he did, or else he might have famished in
the hole.
    At length his limbs became much benumbed with lying in that
place; yet being still obliged to go down to take up some
victuals, as he came up the ladder again with his victuals in one
hand, and caught at the rope with the other, he missed the rope,
and fell down from a very great height upon the stones; by which
fall he was so wounded in the head, arms, and body, that he died a
short time after.[93]
    While I thus lay in the dungeon at Carlisle, the report
raised at the time of the assize that I should be put to death was
gone far and near; insomuch that the Parliament then sitting,
which, I think, was called the Little Parliament, hearing that a
young man at Carlisle was to die for religion, caused a letter to
be sent the sheriff and magistrates concerning me.
    Not long after this the Lord’s power came over the justices,
and they were made to set me at liberty. But some time previous
the governor and Anthony Pearson came down into the dungeon, to
see the place where I was kept and understand what usage I had
had. They found the place so bad and the savour so ill, that they
cried shame on the magistrates for suffering the jailer to do such
things. They called for the jailers into the dungeon, and required
them to find sureties for their good behaviour; and the under-
jailer, who had been such a cruel fellow, they put into the
dungeon with me, amongst the moss-troopers.
    Now I went into the country, and had mighty great meetings.
The everlasting gospel and Word of life flourished, and thousands
were turned to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to His teaching.
    The priests and magistrates were in a great rage against me
in Westmoreland, and had a warrant to apprehend me, which they
renewed from time to time, for a long time; yet the Lord did not
suffer them to serve it upon me. I travelled on amongst Friends,
visiting the meetings till I came to Swarthmore, where I heard
that the Baptists and professors in Scotland had sent to have a
dispute with me. I sent them word that I would meet them in
Cumberland, at Thomas Bewley’s house, whither accordingly I went,
but none of them came.
    Some dangers at this time I underwent in my travels; for at
one time, as we were passing from a meeting, and going through
Wigton on a market-day, the people of the town had set a guard
with pitchforks; and although some of their own neighbours were
with us, they kept us out of the town, and would not let us pass
through it, under the pretence of preventing the sickness; though
there was no occasion for any such thing. However, they fell upon
us, and had like to have spoiled us and our horses; but the Lord
restrained them, that they did not much hurt; and we passed away.
    Another time, as I was passing between two Friends’ houses,
some rude fellows lay in wait in a lane, and exceedingly stoned
and abused us; but at last, through the Lord’s assistance, we got
through them, and had not much hurt. But this showed the fruits of
the priest’s teaching, which shamed their profession of
    After I had visited Friends in that county, I went through
the county into Durham, having large meetings by the way. A very
large one I had at Anthony Pearson’s, where many were convinced.
From thence I passed through Northumberland to Derwentwater, where
there were great meetings; and the priests threatened that they
would come, but none came. The everlasting Word of life was freely
preached, and freely received; and many hundreds were turned to
Christ, their teacher.
    In Northumberland many came to dispute, of whom some pleaded
against perfection. Unto these I declared that Adam and Eve were
perfect before they fell; that all that God made was perfect; that
the imperfection came by the devils and the fall; but that Christ,
who came to destroy the devil, said, “Be ye perfect.”
    One of the professors alleged that Job said, “Shall mortal
man be more pure than his Maker? The heavens are not clean in His
sight. God charged His angels with folly.” But I showed him his
mistake, and let him see that it was not Job that said so, but one
of those that contended against Job; for Job stood for perfection,
and held his integrity; and they were called miserable comforters.
    Then these professors said that the outward body was the body
of death and sin. I showed them their mistake in that also; for
Adam and Eve had each of them an outward body, before the body of
death and sin got into them; and that man and woman will have
bodies when the body of sin and death is put off again; when they
are renewed again into the image of God by Christ Jesus, in which
they were before they fell. So they ceased at that time from
opposing further; and glorious meetings we had in the Lord’s
    Then passed we to Hexam, where we had a great meeting on top
of a hill. The priest threatened that he would come and oppose us,
but he came not; so all was quiet. And the everlasting day and
renowned Truth of the ever-living God was sounded over those dark
countries, and His Son exalted over all. It was proclaimed amongst
the people that the day was now come wherein all that made a
profession of the Son of God might receive Him; and that to as
many as would receive Him He would give power to become the sons
of God, as He had done to me.
    It was further declared that he who had the Son of God, had
life eternal; but he that had not the Son of God, though he
professed all the Scriptures from the first of Genesis to the last
of the Revelation, had no life.
    So after all were directed to the light of Christ, by which
they might see Him, receive Him, and know where their true teacher
was, and the everlasting Truth had been largely declared amongst
them, we passed through Hexam peaceably, and came into Gilsland, a
country noted for thieving.
    The next day we came into Cumberland again, where we had a
general meeting of thousands of people on top of an hill near
Langlands. A glorious and heavenly meeting it was; for the glory
of the Lord did shine over all; and there were as many as one
could well speak over,[94] the multitude was so great. Their eyes
were turned to Christ, their teacher; and they came to sit under
their own vine; insomuch that Francis Howgill, coming afterwards
to visit them, found they had no need of words; for they were
sitting under their teacher Christ Jesus; in the sense whereof He
sat down amongst them, without speaking anything.
    A great convincement there was in Cumberland, Bishoprick,
Northumberland, Westmoreland, Lancashire, and Yorkshire; and the
plants of God grew and flourished, the heavenly rain descending,
and God’s glory shining upon them. Many mouths were opened by the
Lord to His praise; yea, to babes and sucklings he ordained

                        CHAPTER VIII.
                  A Visit to Oliver Cromwell

    About this time the priests and professors fell to
prophesying against us afresh. They had said long before that we
should be destroyed within a month; and after that, they prolonged
the time to half a year. But that time being long expired, and we
mightily increased in number, they now gave forth that we would
eat out one another. For often after meetings many tender people,
having a great way to go, tarried at Friends’ houses by the way,
and sometimes more than there were beds to lodge in; so that some
lay on the hay-mows. Hereupon Cain’s fear possessed the professors
and world’s people; for they were afraid that when we had eaten
one another out, we should all come to be maintained by the
parishes, and be chargeable to them.
    But after awhile, when they saw that the Lord blessed and
increased Friends, as he did Abraham, both in the field and in the
basket, at their goings forth and their comings in, at their
risings up and their lyings down, and that all things prospered
with them; then they saw the falseness of all their prophecies
against us, and that it was in vain to curse whom God had blessed.
    At the first convincement, when Friends could not put off
their hats to people, or say You to a single person, but Thou and
Thee; — when they could not bow, or use flattering words in
salutation, or adopt the fashions and customs of the world, many
Friends, that were tradesmen of several sorts, lost their
customers at first, for the people were shy of them, and would not
trade with them; so that for a time some Friends could hardly get
money enough to buy bread.
    But afterwards, when people came to have experience of
Friends’ honesty and faithfulness, and found that their yea was
yea, and their nay was nay; that they kept to a word in their
dealings, and would not cozen and cheat, but that if a child were
sent to their shops for anything, he was as well used as his
parents would have been; — then the lives and conversation of
Friends did preach, and reached to the witness of God in the
    Then things altered so, that all the inquiry was, “Where is
there a draper, or shop-keeper, or tailor, or shoemaker, or any
other tradesman, that is a Quaker?” Insomuch that Friends had more
trade than many of their neighbours, and if there was any trading,
they had a great part of it. Then the envious professors altered
their note, and began to cry out, “If we let these Quakers alone,
they will take the trade of the nation out of our hands.”[95]
    This has been the Lord’s doing to and for His people! which
my desire is that all who profess His holy truth may be kept truly
sensible of, and that all may be preserved in and by His power and
Spirit, faithful to God and man. Faithful first to God, in obeying
Him in all things; and next in doing unto all men that which is
just and righteous in all things, that the Lord God maybe
glorified in their practising truth, holiness, godliness, and
righteousness amongst people in all their lives and conversation.
    While Friends abode in the northern parts, a priest of
Wrexham, in Wales, named Morgan Floyd, having heard reports
concerning us, sent two of his congregation into the north to
inquire concerning us, to try us, and bring him an account of us.
When these triers came amongst us, the power of the Lord seized on
them, and they were both convinced of the truth. So they stayed
some time with us, and then returned to Wales; where afterwards
one of them departed from his convincement; but the other, named
John-ap-John, abode in the truth, and received a part in the
ministry, in which he continued faithful.[96]
    About this time the oath or engagement to Oliver Cromwell was
tendered to the soldiers, many of whom were disbanded because, in
obedience to Christ, they could not swear.[97] John Stubbs, for
one, who was convinced when I was in Carlisle prison, became a
good soldier in the Lamb’s war, and a faithful minister of Christ
Jesus; travelling much in the service of the Lord in Holland,
Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Egypt, and America. And the Lord’s power
preserved him from the hands of the papists, though many times he
was in great danger of the Inquisition. But some of the soldiers,
who had been convinced in their judgment, but had not come into
obedience to the Truth, took Oliver Cromwell’s oath; and, going
afterwards into Scotland, and coming before a garrison there, the
garrison, thinking they had been enemies, fired at them, and
killed diverse of them, which was a sad event.
    When the churches were settled in the north, and Friends were
established under Christ’s teaching, and the glory of the Lord
shined over them, I passed from Swarthmore to Lancaster about the
beginning of the year 1654, visiting Friends, till I came to
Synder-hill green, where a meeting had been appointed three weeks
before. We passed through Halifax, a rude town of professors, and
came to Thomas Taylor’s, who had been a captain, where we met with
some janglers;[98] but the Lord’s power was over all; for I
travelled in the motion of God’s power.
    When I came to Synder-hill green, there was a mighty meeting.
Some thousands of people, as it was judged, were there, and many
persons of note, captains and other officers. There was a general
convincement; for the Lord’s power and Truth was set over all, and
there was no opposition.
    About this time did the Lord move upon the spirits of many
whom He had raised up and sent forth to labour in His vineyard, to
travel southwards, and spread themselves in the service of the
gospel to the eastern, southern, and western parts of the nation.
Francis Howgill and Edward Burrough went to London; John Camm and
John Audland to Bristol; Richard Hubberthorn and George Whitehead
towards Norwich; Thomas Holmes into Wales; and many others
different ways: for above sixty ministers had the Lord raised up,
and did now send abroad out of the north country. The sense of
their service was very weighty upon me.[99]
    About this time Rice Jones, of Nottingham, (who had been a
Baptist, and was turned Ranter), and his company, began to
prophesy against me; giving out that I was then at the highest,
and that after that time I should fall down as fast. He sent a
bundle of railing papers from Nottingham to Mansfield Clawson, and
the towns thereabouts, judging Friends for declaring the Truth in
the markets and in steeple-houses; which papers I answered. But
his and his company’s prophecies came upon themselves; for soon
after they fell to pieces, and many of his followers became
Friends, and continued so.
    And through the Lord’s blessed power, Truth and Friends have
increased, and do increase in the increase of God: and I, by the
same power, have been and am preserved, and kept in the
everlasting Seed, that never fell, nor changes. But Rice Jones
took the oaths that were put to him, and so disobeyed the command
of Christ.
    Many such false prophets have risen up against me, but the
Lord hath blasted them, and will blast all who rise against the
blessed Seed, and me in that. My confidence is in the Lord; for I
saw their end, and how the Lord would confound them, before He
sent me forth.
    I travelled up and down in Yorkshire, as far as Holderness,
and to the land’s end that way, visiting Friends and the churches
of Christ; which were finely settled under Christ’s teaching. At
length I came to Captain Bradford’s house, whither came many
Ranters from York to wrangle; but they were confounded and
stopped. Thither came also she who was called the Lady Montague,
who was then convinced, and lived and died in the Truth.
    Thence I went to Drayton in Leicestershire to visit my
relations. As soon as I was come in, Nathaniel Stephens, the
priest, having got another priest, and given notice to the
country, sent to me to come to them, for they could not do
anything till I came. Having been three years away from my
relations, I knew nothing of their design. But at last I went into
the steeple-house yard, where the two priests were; and they had
gathered abundance of people.
    When I came there, they would have had me go into the
steeple-house. I asked them what I should do there; and they said
that Mr. Stephens could not bear the cold. I told them he might
bear it as well as I. At last we went into a great hall, Richard
Farnsworth being with me; and a great dispute we had with these
priests concerning their practices, how contrary they were to
Christ and His apostles.
    The priests would know where tithes were forbidden or ended.
I showed them out of the seventh chapter to the Hebrews that not
only tithes, but the priesthood that took tithes, was ended; and
the law by which the priesthood was made, and tithes were
commanded to be paid, was ended and annulled. Then the priests
stirred up the people to some lightness and rudeness.
    I had known Stephens from a child, therefore I laid open his
condition, and the manner of his preaching; and how he, like the
rest of the priests, did apply the promises to the first birth,
which must die. But I showed that the promises were to the Seed,
not to many seeds, but to one Seed, Christ; who was one in male
and female; for all were to be born again before they could enter
into the kingdom of God.
    Then he said, I must not judge so; but I told him that He
that was spiritual judged all things. Then he confessed that that
was a full Scripture; “but, neighbours,” said he, “this is the
business; George Fox is come to the light of the sun, and now he
thinks to put out my star-light.”
    I told him that I would not quench the least measure of God
in any, much less put out his star-light, if it were true star-
light — light from the Morning Star. But, I told him, if he had
anything from Christ or God, he ought to speak it freely, and not
take tithes from the people for preaching, seeing that Christ
commanded His ministers to give freely, as they had received
freely. So I charged him to preach no more for tithes or any hire.
But he said he would not yield to that.
    After a while the people began to be vain and rude, so we
broke up; yet some were made loving to the Truth that day. Before
we parted I told them that if the Lord would, I intended to be at
the town again that day week. In the interim I went into the
country, and had meetings, and came thither again that day week.
    Against that time this priest had got seven priests to help
him; for priest Stephens had given notice at a lecture on a
market-day at Adderston, that such a day there would be a meeting
and a dispute with me. I knew nothing of it; but had only said I
should be in town that day week again. These eight priests had
gathered several hundreds of people, even most of the country
thereabouts, and they would have had me go into the steeple-house;
but I would not go in, but got on a hill, and there spoke to them
and the people.
    There were with me Thomas Taylor, who had been a priest,
James Parnell, and several other Friends. The priests thought that
day to trample down Truth; but the Truth overcame them. Then they
grew light, and the people rude; and the priests would not stand
trial with me; but would be contending here a little and there a
little, with one Friend or another. At last one of the priests
brought his son to dispute with me; but his mouth was soon
stopped. When he could not tell how to answer, he would ask his
father; and his father was confounded also, when he came to answer
for his son.
    So, after they had toiled themselves, they went away in a
rage to priest Stephens’s house to drink. As they went away, I
said, “I never came to a place where so many priests together
would not stand the trial with me.” Thereupon they and some of
their wives came about me, laid hold of me, and fawningly said,
“What might you not have been, if it had not been for the Quakers!

    Then they began to push Friends to and fro, to thrust them
from me, and to pluck me to themselves. After a while several
lusty fellows came, took me up in their arms, and carried me into
the steeple-house porch, intending to carry me into the steeple-
house by force; but the door being locked they fell down in a
heap, having me under them. As soon as I could, I got up from
under them, and went to the hill again. Then they took me from
that place to the steeple-house wall, and set me on something like
a stool; and all the priests being come back, stood under with the
    The priests cried, “Come, to argument, to argument.” I said
that I denied all their voices, for they were the voices of
hirelings and strangers. They cried, “Prove it, prove it.” Then I
directed them to the tenth of John, where they might see what
Christ said of such. He declared that He was the true Shepherd
that laid down His life for His sheep, and His sheep heard His
voice and followed Him; but the hireling would fly when the wolf
came, because he was a hireling. I offered to prove that they were
such hirelings. Then the priests plucked me off the stool again;
and they themselves got all upon stools under the steeple-house
    Then I felt the mighty power of God arise over all, and I
told them that if they would but give audience, and hear me
quietly, I would show them by the Scriptures why I denied those
eight priests, or teachers, that stood before me, and all the
hireling teachers of the world whatsoever; and I would give them
Scriptures for what I said. Whereupon both priests and people
consented. Then I showed them out of the prophets Isaiah,
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah, Malachi, and others, that they were in
the steps of such as God sent His true prophets to cry against.
    When I appealed to that of God in their consciences, the
Light of Christ Jesus in them, they could not abide to hear it.
They had been all quiet before; but then a professor said,
“George, what! wilt thou never have done?” I told him I should
have done shortly. I went on a little longer, and cleared myself
of them in the Lord’s power. When I had done, all the priests and
people stood silent for a time.
    At last one of the priests said that they would read the
Scriptures I had quoted. I told them I desired them to do so with
all my heart. They began to read the twenty-third of Jeremiah,
where they saw the marks of the false prophets that he cried
against. When they had read a verse or two I said, “Take notice,
people”; but the priests said, “Hold thy tongue, George.” I bade
them read the whole chapter, for it was all against them. Then
they stopped, and would read no further.
    My father, though a hearer and follower of the priest, was so
well satisfied that he struck his cane upon the ground, and said,
“Truly, I see that he that will but stand to the truth, it will
bear him out.”[100]
    After this I went into the country, had several meetings, and
came to Swannington, where the soldiers came; but the meeting was
quiet, the Lord’s power was over all, and the soldiers did not
    Then I went to Leicester; and from Leicester to Whetstone.
There came about seventeen troopers of Colonel Hacker’s regiment,
with his marshal, and took me up before the meeting, though
Friends were beginning to gather together; for there were several
Friends from diverse parts.[101] I told the marshal he might let
all the Friends go; that I would answer for them all. Thereupon he
took me, and let all the Friends go; only Alexander Parker went
along with me.
    At night they had me before Colonel Hacker, his major, and
captains, a great company of them; and a great deal of discourse
we had about the priests, and about meetings; for at this time
there was a noise of a plot against Oliver Cromwell. Much
reasoning I had with them about the Light of Christ, which
enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world. Colonel Hacker
asked whether it was not this Light of Christ that made Judas
betray his Master, and afterwards led him to hang himself? I told
him, “No; that was the spirit of darkness, which hated Christ and
His Light.”
    Then Colonel Hacker said I might go home, and keep at home,
and not go abroad to meetings. I told him I was an innocent man,
free from plots, and denied all such work. His son Needham said,
“Father, this man hath reigned too long; it is time to have him
cut off.” I asked him, “For what? What have I done? Whom have I
wronged? I was bred and born in this country, and who can accuse
me of any evil, from childhood up?” Colonel Hacker asked me again
if I would go home, and stay at home. I told him that if I should
promise him this, it would manifest that I was guilty of
something, to make my home a prison; and if I went to meetings
they would say I broke their order. Therefore I told them I should
go to meetings as the Lord should order me, and could not submit
to their requirings; but I said we were a peaceable people.
    “Well, then,” said Colonel Hacker, “I will send you to-morrow
morning by six o’clock to my Lord Protector, by Captain Drury, one
of his life-guard.”
    That night I was kept prisoner at the Marshalsea; and the
next morning by the sixth hour I was delivered to Captain Drury. I
desired that he would let me speak with Colonel Hacker before I
went; and he took me to his bedside. Colonel Hacker again
admonished me to go home, and keep no more meetings. I told him I
could not submit to that; but must have my liberty to serve God,
and to go to meetings. “Then,” said he, “you must go before the
Protector.” Thereupon I kneeled at his bedside, and besought the
Lord to forgive him; for he was as Pilate, though he would wash
his hands; and I bade him remember, when the day of his misery and
trial should come upon him, what I had said to him. But he was
stirred up and set on by Stephens,[102] and the other priests and
professors, wherein their envy and baseness was manifest. When
they could not overcome me by disputes and arguments, nor resist
the Spirit of the Lord that was in me, they got soldiers to take
me up.
    Afterwards, when Colonel Hacker was imprisoned in London, a
day or two before his execution, he was put in mind of what he had
done against the innocent; and he remembered it, and confessed it
to Margaret Fell, saying he knew well whom she meant; and he had
trouble upon him for it.
    Now I was carried up a prisoner by Captain Drury from
Leicester; and when we came to Harborough he asked me if I would
go home and stay a fortnight? I should have my liberty, he said,
if I would not go to, nor keep meetings. I told him I could not
promise any such thing. Several times upon the road did he ask and
try me after the same manner, and still I gave him the same
answers. So he brought me to London, and lodged me at the
Mermaid[103] over against the Mews at Charing-Cross.
    As we travelled I was moved of the Lord to warn people at the
inns and places where I came of the day of the Lord that was
coming upon them. William Dewsbury and Marmaduke Storr being in
prison at Northampton, Captain Drury let me go and visit them.
    After Captain Drury had lodged me at the Mermaid, he left me
there, and went to give the Protector an account of me. When he
came to me again, he told me that the Protector required that I
should promise not to take up a carnal sword or weapon against him
or the government, as it then was, and that I should write it in
what words I saw good, and set my hand to it. I said little in
reply to Captain Drury.
    The next morning I was moved of the Lord to write a paper to
the Protector, Oliver Cromwell; wherein I did, in the presence of
the Lord God, declare that I denied the wearing or drawing of a
carnal sword, or any other outward weapon, against him or any man;
and that I was sent of God to stand a witness against all
violence, and against the works of darkness; and to turn people
from darkness to light; and to bring them from the causes of war
and fighting, to the peaceable gospel. When I had written what the
Lord had given me to write, I set my name to it, and gave it to
Captain Drury to hand to Oliver Cromwell, which he did.
    After some time Captain Drury brought me before the Protector
himself at Whitehall.[104] It was in a morning, before he was
dressed, and one Harvey, who had come a little among Friends, but
was disobedient, waited upon him. When I came in I was moved to
say, “Peace be in this house”; and I exhorted him to keep in the
fear of God, that he might receive wisdom from Him, that by it he
might be directed, and order all things under his hand to God’s
    l spoke much to him of Truth, and much discourse I had with
him about religion; wherein he carried himself very moderately.
But he said we quarrelled with priests, whom he called ministers.
I told him I did not quarrel with them, but that they quarrelled
with me and my friends. “But,” said I, “if we own the prophets,
Christ, and the apostles, we cannot hold up such teachers,
prophets, and shepherds, as the prophets, Christ, and the apostles
declared against; but we must declare against them by the same
power and Spirit.”
    Then I showed him that the prophets, Christ, and the apostles
declared freely, and against them that did not declare freely;
such as preached for filthy lucre, and divined for money, and
preached for hire, and were covetous and greedy, that could never
have enough; and that they that have the same spirit that Christ,
and the prophets, and the apostles had, could not but declare
against all such now, as they did then. As I spoke, he several
times said, it was very good, and it was truth. I told him that
all Christendom (so called) had the Scriptures, but they wanted
the power and Spirit that those had who gave forth the Scriptures;
and that was the reason they were not in fellowship with the Son,
nor with the Father, nor with the Scriptures, nor one with
    Many more words I had with him; but people coming in, I drew
a little back. As I was turning, he caught me by the hand, and
with tears in his eyes said, “Come again to my house; for if thou
and I were but an hour of a day together, we should be nearer one
to the other”; adding that he wished me no more ill than he did to
his own soul. I told him if he did he wronged his own soul; and
admonished him to hearken to God’s voice, that he might stand in
his counsel, and obey it; and if he did so, that would keep him
from hardness of heart; but if he did not hear God’s voice, his
heart would be hardened. He said it was true.
    Then I went out; and when Captain Drury came out after me he
told me the Lord Protector had said I was at liberty, and might go
whither I would.
    Then I was brought into a great hall, where the Protector’s
gentlemen were to dine. I asked them what they brought me thither
for. They said it was by the Protector’s order, that I might dine
with them. I bid them let the Protector know that I would not eat
of his bread, nor drink of his drink. When he heard this he said,
“Now I see there is a people risen that I cannot win with gifts or
honours, offices or places; but all other sects and people I can.”
It was told him again that we had forsaken our own possessions;
and were not like to look for such things from him.
    Being set at liberty, I went to the inn where Captain Drury
at first lodged me. This captain, though he sometimes carried it
fairly, was an enemy to me and to Truth, and opposed it. When
professors came to me, while I was under his custody, and he was
by, he would scoff at trembling, and call us Quakers, as the
Independents and Presbyterians had nicknamed us before.[105] But
afterwards he came and told me that, as he was lying on his bed to
rest himself in the daytime, a sudden trembling seized on him;
that his joints knocked together, and his body shook so that he
could not rise from his bed. He was so shaken that he had not
strength enough left to rise. But he felt the power of the Lord
was upon him; and he tumbled off his bed, and cried to the Lord,
and said he would never speak more against the Quakers, such as
trembled at the word of God.
    During the time I was prisoner at Charing-Cross, there came
abundance to see me, almost of all sorts, priests, professors,
officers of the army, etc. Once a company of officers, being with
me, desired me to pray with them. I sat still, with my mind
retired to the Lord. At last I felt the power and Spirit of God
move in me; and the Lord’s power did so shake and shatter them
that they wondered, though they did not live in it.
    Among those that came was Colonel Packer, with several of his
officers. While they were with me, there came in one Cob, and a
great company of Ranters with him. The Ranters began to call for
drink and tobacco; but I desired them to forbear it in my room,
telling them if they had such a mind to it, they might go into
another room. One of them cried, “All is ours”; and another of
them said, “All is well.” I replied, “How is all well, while thou
art so peevish envious, and crabbed?” for I saw he was of a
peevish nature. I spake to their conditions, and they were
sensible of it, and looked one upon another, wondering.
    Then Colonel Packer began to talk with a light, chaffy mind,
concerning God, and Christ, and the Scriptures. It was a great
grief to my soul and spirit when I heard him talk so lightly; so
that I told him he was too light to talk of the things of God, for
he did not know the solidity of a man. Thereupon the officers
raged, and were wroth that I should speak so of their colonel.
    This Packer was a Baptist, and he and the Ranters bowed and
scraped to one another very much; for it was the manner of the
Ranters to be exceedingly complimentary (as they call it), so that
Packer bade them give over their compliments. But I told them they
were fit to go together, for they were both of one spirit.
    This Colonel Packer lived at Theobald’s, near Waltham, and
was made a justice of the peace. He set up a great meeting of the
Baptists at Theobald’s Park; for he and some other officers had
purchased it. They were exceedingly high, and railed against
Friends and Truth, and threatened to apprehend me with their
warrants if ever I came there.
    Yet after I was set at liberty, I was moved of the Lord God
to go down to Theobald’s, and appoint a meeting hard by them; to
which many of his people came, and diverse of his hearers were
convinced of the way of Truth, and received Christ, the free
teacher, and came off from the Baptist; and that made him rage the
more. But the Lord’s power came over him, so that he had not power
to meddle with me.
    Then I went to Waltham, close by him, and had a meeting
there; but the people were very rude, and gathered about the house
and broke the windows. Thereupon I went out to them, with the
Bible in my hand, and desired them to come in; and told them that
I would show them Scripture both for our principles and practices.
When I had done so, I showed them also that their teachers were in
the steps of such as the prophets, and Christ, and the apostles
testified against. Then I directed them to the Light of Christ and
Spirit of God in their own hearts, that by it they might come to
know their free teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ.
    The meeting being ended, they went away quieted and
satisfied, and a meeting hath since been settled in that town. But
this was some time after I was set at liberty by Oliver Cromwell.
    When I came from Whitehall to the Mermaid at Charing-Cross, I
stayed not long there, but went into the city of London, where we
had great and powerful meetings. So great were the throngs of
people that I could hardly get to and from the meetings for the
crowds; and the Truth spread exceedingly. Thomas Aldam, and Robert
Craven, who had been sheriff of London, and many Friends, came up
to London after me; but Alexander Parker abode with me.[106]
    After a while I went to Whitehall again, and was moved to
declare the day of the Lord amongst them, and that the Lord was
come to teach His people Himself. So I preached Truth, both to the
officers, and to them that were called Oliver’s gentlemen, who
were of his guard. But a priest opposed while I was declaring the
Word of the Lord amongst them; for Oliver had several priests
about him, of which this was his newsmonger, an envious priest,
and a light, scornful, chaffy man. I bade him repent, and he put
it in his newspaper the next week that I had been at Whitehall and
had bidden a godly minister there to repent.
    When I went thither again I met with him; and abundance of
people gathered about me. I manifested the priest to be a liar in
several things that he had affirmed; and he was put to silence. He
put in the news that I wore silver buttons; which was false, for
they were but alchemy.[107] Afterwards he put in the news that I
hung ribands on people’s arms, which made them follow me. This was
another of his lies, for I never used nor wore ribands in my life.
    Three Friends went to examine this priest, that gave forth
this false intelligence, and to know of him where he had had that
information. He said it was a woman that told him so, and that if
they would come again he would tell them the woman’s name. When
they came again he said it was a man, but would not tell them his
name then, but said that if they would come again he would tell
them his name and where he lived.
    They went the third time; and then he would not say who told
him; but offered, if I would give it under my hand that there was
no such thing he would put that into the news. Thereupon the
Friends carried it to him under my hand; but when they came he
broke his promise, and would not put it in: but was in a rage, and
threatened them with the constable.
    This was the deceitful doing of this forger of lies; and
these lies he spread over the nation in the news, to render Truth
odious and to put evil into people’s minds against Friends and
Truth; of which a more large account may be seen in a book printed
soon after this time, for the clearing of Friends and Truth from
the slanders and false reports raised and cast upon them.
    These priests, the newsmongers, were of the Independent sect,
like them in Leicester; but the Lord’s power came over all their
lies, and swept them away; and many came to see the naughtiness of
these priests. The God of heaven carried me over all in His power,
and His blessed power went over the nation; insomuch that many
Friends about this time were moved to go up and down to sound
forth the everlasting gospel in most parts of this nation, and
also in Scotland; and the glory of the Lord was felt over all, to
His everlasting praise.
    A great convincement there was in London; some in the
Protector’s house and family. I went to see him again, but could
not get to him, the officers were grown so rude.

                        CHAPTER IX.
A Visit to the Southern Counties Which Ends in Launceston Jail

    It came upon me about this time from the Lord to write a
short paper and send it forth as an exhortation and warning to the
Pope, and to all kings and rulers in Europe.
    Besides this I was moved to write a letter to the Protector
(so called) to warn him of the mighty work the Lord hath to do in
the nations, and the shaking of them; and to beware of his own
wit, craft, subtilty, and policy, and of seeking any by-ends to
    I travelled till I came to Reading, where I found a few that
were convinced of the way of the Lord. I stayed till the First-
day, and had a meeting in George Lamboll’s orchard; and a great
part of the town came to it. A glorious meeting it proved; great
convincement there was, and the people were mightily satisfied.
Thither came two of Judge Fell’s daughters to me, and George
Bishop, of Bristol, with his sword by his side, for he was a
    After the meeting many Baptists and Ranters came privately,
reasoning and discoursing; but the Lord’s power came over them.
The Ranters pleaded that God made the devil. I denied it, and told
them I was come into the power of God, the seed Christ, which was
before the devil was, and bruised his head; and he became a devil
by going out of truth; and so became a murderer and a destroyer. I
showed them that God did not make him a devil; for God is a God of
truth, and made all things good, and blessed them; but God did not
bless the devil. And the devil is bad, and was a liar and a
murderer from the beginning, and spoke of himself, and not from
    So the Truth stopped and bound them, and came over all the
highest notions in the nation, and confounded them. For by the
power of the Lord I was manifest, and sought to be made manifest
to the Spirit of God in all, that by it they might be turned to
God; as many were turned to the Lord Jesus Christ by the Holy
Spirit, and were come to sit under His teaching.
    After this I passed to London, where I stayed awhile, and had
large meetings; then went into Essex, and came to Cogshall, where
was a meeting of about two thousand people, as it was judged,
which lasted several hours, and a glorious meeting it was. The
Word of life was freely declared, and people were turned to the
Lord Jesus Christ their Teacher and Saviour, the Way, the Truth,
and the Life.
    On the Sixth-day I had a large meeting near Colchester, to
which many professors and the Independent teachers came. After I
had done speaking, and was stepped down from the place on which I
stood, one of the Independent teachers began to make a jangling;
which Amor Stoddart perceiving, said, “Stand up again, George”;
for I was going away, and did not at first hear them. But when I
heard the Independent, I stood up again, and after awhile the
Lord’s power came over him and his company; they were confounded
and the Lord’s Truth went over all. A great flock of sheep hath
the Lord in that country, that feed in His pastures of life.
    On the First-day following we had a very large meeting not
far from Colchester, wherein the Lord’s power was eminently
manifested, and the people were very well satisfied; for, being
turned to the Lord Jesus Christ’s free teaching, they received it
gladly. Many of these people were of the stock of the martyrs.
    As I passed through Colchester, I went to visit James Parnell
in prison; but the jailer would hardly let us come in or stay with
him. Very cruel they were to him. The jailer’s wife threatened to
have his blood; and in that jail they did destroy him, as the
reader may see in a book printed soon after his death, giving an
account of his life and death; and also in an epistle printed with
his collected books and writings.
    We came to Yarmouth, where there was a Friend, Thomas Bond,
in prison for the Truth of Christ, and there stayed a while. There
we had some service; and some were turned to the Lord in that
    Thence we rode to another town, about twenty miles off, where
were many tender people; and I was moved of the Lord to speak to
them, as I sat on my horse, in several places as I passed along.
We went to another town about five miles beyond, and put up our
horses at an inn, Richard Hubberthorn and I having travelled five
and forty miles that day. There were some Friendly people in the
town; and we had a tender, broken meeting amongst them, in the
Lord’s power.
    We bade the hostler have our horses ready by three in the
morning; for we intended to ride to Lynn, about three and thirty
miles, next morning. But when we were in bed at our inn, about
eleven at night, the constable and officers came, with a great
rabble of people, into the inn. They said they were come with a
hue-and-cry from a justice of the peace that lived near the town,
about five miles off, where I had spoken to the people in the
streets, as I rode along. They had been told to search for two
horsemen, that rode upon gray horses, and in gray clothes; a house
having been broken into the Seventh-day before at night. We told
them we were honest, innocent men, and abhorred such things; yet
they apprehended us, and set a guard with halberts and pikes upon
us that night, calling upon some of those Friendly people, with
others, to watch us.
    Next morning we were up betimes, and the constable, with his
guard, carried us before a justice of the peace about five miles
off. We took with us two or three of the sufficient men of the
town, who had been with us at the great meeting at Captain
Lawrence’s, and could testify that we lay both the Seventh-day
night and the First-day night at Captain Lawrence’s; and it was on
the Seventh-day night that they said the house was broken into.
    During the time that I was a prisoner at the Mermaid at
Charing-Cross, this Captain Lawrence brought several Independent
justices to see me there, with whom I had much discourse, at which
they took offence. For they pleaded for imperfection, and to sin
as long as they lived; but did not like to hear of Christ teaching
His people Himself, and making people as clear, whilst here upon
the earth, as Adam and Eve were before they fell. These justices
had plotted together this mischief against me in the country,
pretending that a house was broken into, that they might send
their hue-and-cry after me. They were vexed, also, and troubled,
to hear of the great meeting at John Lawrence’s aforesaid; for a
colonel was there convinced that day who lived and died in the
    But Providence so ordered that the constable carried us to a
justice about five miles onward in our way towards Lynn, who was
not an Independent, as the rest were. When we were brought before
him he began to be angry because we did not put off our hats to
him. I told him I had been before the Protector, and he was not
offended at my hat; and why should he be offended at it, who was
but one of his servants? Then he read the hue-and-cry; and I told
him that that night wherein the house was said to have been broken
into, we were at Captain Lawrence’s house and that we had several
men present who could testify the truth thereof.
    Thereupon the justice, having examined us and them, said he
believed we were not the men that had broken into the house; but
he was sorry, he said, that he had no more against us. We told him
he ought not to be sorry for not having evil against us, but ought
rather to be glad; for to rejoice when he got evil against people,
as for housebreaking or the like, was not a good mind in him.
    It was a good while, however, before he could resolve whether
to let us go or send us to prison, and the wicked constable
stirred him up against us, telling him we had good horses and that
if it pleased him he would carry us to Norwich jail. But we took
hold of the justice’s confession that he believed we were not the
men that had broken into the house; and, after we had admonished
him to fear the Lord in his day, the Lord’s power came over him,
so that he let us go; so their snare was broken.
    A great people was afterwards gathered to the Lord in that
town, where I was moved to speak to them in the street, and whence
the hue-and-cry came.
    Being set at liberty, we passed on to Cambridge. When I came
into the town the scholars, hearing of me, were up, and were
exceeding rude. I kept on my horse’s back, and rode through them
in the Lord’s power; but they unhorsed Amor Stoddart before he
could get to the inn. When we were in the inn they were so rude in
the courts and in the streets that the miners, colliers and
carters could not be ruder. The people of the house asked us what
we would have for supper. “Supper!” said I, “were it not that the
Lord’s power is over them, these rude scholars look as if they
would pluck us in pieces and make a supper of us.” They knew I was
so against the trade of preaching, which they were there as
apprentices to learn, that they raged as greatly as ever Diana’s
craftsmen did against Paul.
    At this place John Crook met us.[109] When it was night the
mayor of the town being friendly, came and fetched me to his
house;[110] and as we walked through the streets there was a
bustle in the town; but they did not know me, it being darkish.
They were in a rage, not only against me, but against the mayor
also; so that he was almost afraid to walk the streets with me for
the tumult. We sent for the Friendly people, and had a fine
meeting in the power of God; and I stayed there all night.
    Next morning, having ordered our horses to be ready by the
sixth hour, we passed peaceably out of town. The destroyers were
disappointed: for they thought I would have stayed longer in the
town, and intended to have done us mischief; but our passing away
early in the morning frustrated their evil purposes against us.
    At Evesham I heard that the magistrates had cast several
Friends into diverse prisons, and that, hearing of my coming, they
made a pair of high stocks. I sent for Edward Pittaway, a Friend
that lived near Evesham, and asked him the truth of the thing. He
said it was so. I went that night with him to Evesham; and in the
evening we had a large, precious meeting, wherein Friends and
people were refreshed with the Word of life, the power of the
    Next morning I rode to one of the prisons, and visited
Friends there, and encouraged them. Then I rode to the other
prison, where were several prisoners. Amongst them was Humphry
Smith, who had been a priest, but was now become a free minister
of Christ. When I had visited Friends at both prisons, and was
turned to go out of the town, I espied the magistrates coming up
the town, intending to seize me in prison. But the Lord frustrated
their intent, the innocent escaped their snare, and God’s blessed
power came over them all. But exceeding rude and envious were the
priests and professors about this time in these parts.
    I went from Evesham to Worcester, and had a quiet and a
precious meeting there. From Worcester we went to Tewkesbury,
where in the evening we had a great meeting, to which came the
priest of the town with a great rabble of rude people.
    Leaving Tewkesbury, we passed to Warwick, where in the
evening we had a meeting with many sober people at a widow-woman’s
house. A precious meeting we had in the Lord’s power; several were
convinced and turned to the Lord. After the meeting a Baptist in
the company began to jangle; and the bailiff of the town, with his
officers, came in and said, “What do these people here at this
time of night?” So he secured John Crook, Amor Stoddart, Gerrard
Roberts and me; but we had leave to go to our inn, and to be
forthcoming in the morning.
    The next morning many rude people came into the inn, and into
our chambers, desperate fellows; but the Lord’s power gave us
dominion over them. Gerrard Roberts and John Crook went to the
bailiff to know what he had to say to us. He said we might go our
ways, for he had little to say to us. As we rode out of town it
lay upon me to ride to his house to let him know that, the
Protector having given forth an instrument of government in which
liberty of conscience was granted, it was very strange that,
contrary to that instrument of government, he would trouble
peaceable people that feared God.
    The Friends went with me, but the rude people gathered about
us with stones. One of them took hold of my horse’s bridle and
broke it; but the horse, drawing back, threw him under him. Though
the bailiff saw this, yet he did not stop, nor so much as rebuke
the rude multitude; so that it was strange we were not slain or
hurt in the streets; for the people threw stones and struck at us
as we rode along the town.
    When we were quite out of the town I told Friends that it was
upon me from the Lord that I must go back into the town again; and
if any one of them felt anything upon him from the Lord he might
follow me; the rest, that did not, might go on to Dun-Cow. So I
passed through the market in the dreadful power of God, declaring
the Word of life to them; and John Crook followed me. Some struck
at me; but the Lord’s power was over them, and gave me dominion
over all. I showed them their unworthiness to claim the name of
Christians, and the unworthiness of their teachers, that had not
brought them into more sobriety; and what a shame they were to
    Having cleared myself, I turned out of the town again, and
passed to Coventry, where we found the people closed up with
darkness. I went to the house of a professor, where I had formerly
been, and he was drunk; which grieved my soul so that I did not go
into any house in the town; but rode into some of the streets, and
into the market-place. I felt that the power of the Lord was over
the town.
    Then I went on to Dun-Cow, and had a meeting in the evening,
and some were turned to the Lord by His Spirit, as some also were
at Warwick and at Tewkesbury. We lay at Dun-Cow that night; we met
with John Camm, a faithful minister of the everlasting gospel. In
the morning there gathered a rude company of priests and people
who behaved more like beasts than men, for some of them came
riding on horseback into the room where we were; but the Lord gave
us dominion over them.
    Thence we passed into Leicestershire, and after that to
Baddesley in Warwickshire. Here William Edmundson, who lived in
Ireland, having some drawings upon his spirit to come into England
to see me, met with me; by whom I wrote a few lines to Friends
then convinced in the north of Ireland.[111]

    In that which convinced you, wait; that you may have that
removed you are convinced of. And all my dear Friends, dwell in
the life, and love, and power, and wisdom of God, in unity one
with another, and with God; and the peace and wisdom of God fill
all your hearts that nothing may rule in you but the life which
stands in the Lord God. G.F.

    When these few lines were read amongst the Friends in Ireland
at their meeting, the power of the Lord came upon all in the room.
    From Baddesley we passed to Swannington and Higham, and so
into Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire, having great meetings; and
many were turned to the Lord by His power and Spirit.
    When we came to Baldock in Hertfordshire, I asked if there
was nothing in that town, no profession; and it was answered me
that there were some Baptists, and a Baptist woman who was sick.
John Rush, of Bedfordshire, went with me to visit her.
    When we came in there were many tender people about her. They
told me she was not a woman for this world, but if I had anything
that would comfort her concerning the world to come, I might speak
to her. I was moved of the Lord God to speak to her; and the Lord
raised her up again, to the astonishment of the town and country.
This Baptist woman and her husband, whose name was Baldock, came
to be convinced, and many hundreds of people have met at their
house since. Great meetings and convincements were in those parts
afterwards; many received the Word of life, and sat down under the
teaching of Christ, their Saviour.
    When we had visited this sick woman we returned to our inn,
where were two desperate fellows fighting so furiously that none
durst come nigh to part them. But I was moved, in the Lord’s
power, to go to them; and when I had loosed their hands, I held
one of them by one hand and the other by the other, showed them
the evil of their doings, and reconciled them one to the other;
and they were so loving and thankful to me that people marveled at
    Now, after I had tarried some time in London, and had visited
Friends in their meetings, I went out of town, leaving James
Nayler in the city. As I passed from him I cast my eyes upon him,
and a fear struck me concerning him; but I went away and rode down
to Ryegate, in Surrey, where I had a little meeting.[113] There
the Friends told me of one Thomas Moore, a justice of the peace,
that lived not far from Ryegate, a Friendly, moderate man. I went
to visit him at his house, and he came to be a serviceable man in
    Thence we went to Dorchester, and alighted at an inn, a
Baptist’s house. We sent into the town to the Baptists, to ask
them to let us have their meeting-house to assemble in, and to
invite the sober people to the meeting; but they denied it us. We
sent to them again, to know why they would deny us their meeting-
house, so the thing was noised about in the town. Then we sent
them word that if they would not let us come to their house, they,
or any people that feared God, might come to our inn, if they
pleased; but they were in a great rage. Their teacher and many of
them came up, and slapped their Bibles on the table.
    I asked them why they were so angry, — “Were they angry with
the Bible?” But they fell into a discourse about their water-
baptism. I asked them whether they could say they were sent of God
to baptize people, as John was, and whether they had the same
Spirit and power that the apostles had? They said they had not.
    Then I asked them how many powers there are, — whether there
are any more than the power of God and the power of the devil.
They said there was not any other power than those two. Then said
I, “If you have not the power of God that the apostles had, you
act by the power of the devil.” Many sober people were present,
who said they have thrown themselves on their backs. Many
substantial people were convinced that night; a precious service
we had there for the Lord, and His power came over all.
    Next morning, as we were passing away, the Baptists, being in
a rage, began to shake the dust off their feet after us. “What,”
said I, “in the power of darkness! We, who are in the power of
God, shake off the dust of our feet against you.”
    Leaving Dorchester, we came to Weymouth; where also we
inquired after sober people; and about fourscore of them gathered
together at a priest’s house. Most of them received the Word of
life and were turned to their teacher, Christ Jesus, who had
enlightened them with His divine Light, by which they might see
their sins, and Him who saveth from sin. A blessed meeting we had
with them, and they received the Truth in the love of it, with
gladness of heart.
    The meeting held several hours. The state of their teachers,
and their apostasy was opened to them; and the state of the
apostles, and of the Church in their days; and the state of the
law and of the prophets before Christ, and how Christ came to
fulfill them; that He was their teacher in the apostles’ days; and
that He was come now to teach His people Himself by His power and
spirit. All was quiet, the meeting broke up peaceably, the people
were very loving; and a meeting is continued in that town to this
day. Many are added to them; and some who had been Ranters came to
own the Truth, and to live very soberly.
    There was a captain of horse in the town, who sent to me, and
would fain have had me stay longer; but I was not to stay. He and
his man rode out of town with me about seven miles; Edward Pyot
also being with me. This captain was the fattest, merriest,
cheerfullest man, and the most given to laughter, that ever I met
with: insomuch that I was several times moved to speak in the
dreadful power of the Lord to him; yet it was become so customary
to him that he would presently laugh at anything he saw. But I
still admonished him to come to sobriety, and the fear of the Lord
and sincerity.
    We lay at an inn that night, and the next morning I was moved
to speak to him again, when he parted from us. The next time I saw
him he told me that when I spoke to him at parting, the power of
the Lord so struck him that before he got home he was serious
enough, and discontinued his laughing. He afterwards was
convinced, and became a serious and good man, and died in the
    After this we passed to Totness, a dark town. We lodged there
at an inn; and that night Edward Pyot was sick, but the Lord’s
power healed him, so that the next day we got to Kingsbridge, and
at our inn inquired for the sober people of the town. They
directed us to Nicholas Tripe and his wife; and we went to their
house. They sent for the priest, with whom we had some discourse;
but he, being confounded, quickly left us. Nicholas Tripe and his
wife were convinced; and since that time there has been a good
meeting of Friends in that country.
    In the evening we returned to our inn. There being many
people drinking in the house, I was moved of the Lord to go
amongst them, and to direct them to the Light with which Christ,
the heavenly man, had enlightened them; by which they might see
all their evil ways, words, and deeds, and by the same Light might
also see Christ Jesus their Saviour.
    The innkeeper stood uneasy, seeing it hindered his guests
from drinking; and as soon as the last words were out of my mouth
he snatched up the candle, and said, “Come, here is a light for
you to go into your chamber.” Next morning, when he was cool, I
represented to him what an uncivil thing it was for him so to do;
then, warning him of the day of the Lord, we got ready and passed
    We came next day to Plymouth, refreshed ourselves at our inn,
and went to Robert Cary’s, where we had a very precious meeting.
At this meeting was Elizabeth Trelawny, daughter to a baronet. She
being somewhat thick of hearing, came close up to me, and clapped
her ear very nigh me while I spake; and she was convinced. After
this meeting came in some jangling Baptists; but the Lord’s power
came over them, and Elizabeth Trelawny gave testimony thereto. A
fine meeting was settled there in the Lord’s power, which hath
continued ever since, where many faithful Friends have been
    Thence we passed into Cornwall, and came to an inn in the
parish of Menheriot. At night we had a meeting at Edward
Hancock’s, to which came Thomas Mounce and a priest, with many
people. We brought the priest to confess that he was a minister
made by the state, and maintained by the state; and he was
confounded and went his way; but many of the people stayed.
    I directed them to the Light of Christ, by which they might
see their sins; and their Saviour Christ Jesus, the way to God,
their Mediator, to make peace betwixt God and them; their Shepherd
to feed them, and their Prophet to teach them. I directed them to
the Spirit of God in themselves, by which they might know the
Scriptures, and be led into all Truth; and by the Spirit might
know God, and in it have unity one with another. Many were
convinced at that time, and came under Christ’s teaching; and
there are fine gatherings in the name of Jesus in those parts at
this day.
    When we came to Ives, Edward Pyot’s horse having cast a shoe,
we stayed to have it set; and while he was getting his horse shod,
I walked down to the seaside. When I returned I found the town in
an uproar. They were haling Edward Pyot and the other Friend
before Major Peter Ceely, a major in the army and a justice of the
peace. I followed them into the justice’s house, though they did
not lay hands upon me.
    When we came in, the house was full of rude people; whereupon
I asked if there were not an officer among them to keep the people
civil. Major Ceely said that he was a magistrate. I told him that
he should then show forth gravity and sobriety, and use his
authority to keep the people civil; for I never saw any people
ruder; the Indians were more like Christians than they.
    After a while they brought forth a paper, and asked whether I
would own it.[114] I said, Yes. Then he tendered the oath of
abjuration to us; whereupon I put my hand in my pocket and drew
forth the answer to it which I had given to the Protector. After I
had given him that, he examined us severally, one by one. He had
with him a silly young priest, who asked us many frivolous
questions; and amongst the rest he desired to cut my hair, which
was then pretty long; but I was not to cut it, though many times
many were offended at it. I told them I had no pride in it, and it
was not of my own putting on.
    At length the justice put us under a guard of soldiers, who
were hard and wild, like the justice himself; nevertheless we
warned the people of the day of the Lord, and declared the Truth
to them. The next day he sent us, guarded by a party of horse with
swords and pistols, to Redruth. On First-day the soldiers would
have taken us away; but we told them it was their Sabbath, and it
was not usual to travel on that day.
    Several of the townspeople gathered about us, and whilst I
held the soldiers in discourse, Edward Pyot spoke to the people;
and afterwards he held the soldiers in discourse, whilst I spoke
to the people. In the meantime the other Friend got out the back
way, and went to the steeple-house to speak to the priest and
people. The people were exceedingly desperate, in a mighty rage
against him, and they sorely abused him. The soldiers also,
missing him, were in a great rage, ready to kill us; but I
declared the day of the Lord and the Word of eternal life to the
people that gathered about us.
    In the afternoon the soldiers were resolved to take us away,
so we took horse. When we were come to the town’s end I was moved
of the Lord to go back again, to speak to the old man of the
house. The soldiers drew out their pistols, and swore I should not
go back. I heeded them not, but rode back, and they rode after me.
I cleared myself to the old man and the people, and then returned
with them, and reproved them for being so rude and violent.
    At night we were brought to a town then called Smethick, but
since known as Falmouth. It being the evening of the First-day,
there came to our inn the chief constable of the place, and many
sober people, some of whom began to inquire concerning us. We told
them we were prisoners for Truth’s sake; and much discourse we had
with them concerning the things of God. They were very sober and
loving to us. Some were convinced, and stood faithful ever after.
    When the constable and these people were gone, others came
in, who were also very civil, and went away very loving. When all
were gone, we went to our chamber to go to bed; and about the
eleventh hour Edward Pyot said, “I will shut the door; it may be
some may come to do us mischief.” Afterwards we understood that
Captain Keat, who commanded the party, had intended to do us some
injury that night; but the door being bolted, he missed his
    Next morning Captain Keat brought a kinsman of his, a rude,
wicked man, and put him into the room; himself standing without.
This evil-minded man walked huffing up and down the room; I bade
him fear the Lord. Thereupon he ran upon me, struck me with both
his hands, and, clapping his leg behind me, would have thrown me
down if he could; but he was not able, for I stood stiff and
still, and let him strike.
    As I looked towards the door, I saw Captain Keat look on, and
see his kinsman thus beat and abuse me. I said to him, “Keat, dost
thou allow this?” He said he did. “Is this manly or civil,” said
I, “to have us under a guard, and then put a man to abuse and beat
us? Is this manly, civil, or Christian?” I desired one of our
friends to send for the constables, and they came.
    Then I desired the Captain to let the constables see his
warrant or order, by which he was to carry us; which he did. His
warrant was to conduct us safe to Captain Fox, governor of
Pendennis Castle; and if the governor should not be at home, he
was to convey us to Launceston jail. I told him he had broken his
order concerning us; for we, who were his prisoners, were to be
safely conducted; but he had brought a man to beat and abuse us;
so he having broken his order, I wished the constable to keep the
warrant. Accordingly he did, and told the soldiers they might go
their ways, for he would take charge of the prisoners; and if it
cost twenty shillings in charges to carry us up, they should not
have the warrant again. I showed the soldiers the baseness of
their carriage towards us; and they walked up and down the house,
pitifully blank and down.
    The constables went to the castle, and told the officers what
they had done. The officers showed great dislike of Captain Keat’s
base carriage towards us; and told the constables that Major-
General Desborough was coming to Bodmin, and that we should meet
him; and it was likely he would free us. Meanwhile our old guard
of soldiers came by way of entreaty to us, and promised that they
would be civil to us if we would go with them.
    Thus the morning was spent till about the eleventh hour; and
then, upon the soldiers’ entreaty, and their promise to be more
civil, the constables gave them the order again; and we went with
    Great was the civility and courtesy of the constables and
people of that town towards us. They kindly entertained us, and
the Lord rewarded them with His truth; for many of them have since
been convinced thereof, and are gathered into the name of Jesus,
and sit under Christ, their Teacher and Saviour.
    Captain Keat, who commanded our guard, understanding that
Captain Fox, who was governor of Pendennis Castle, was gone to
meet Major-General Desborough,[115] did not carry us thither; but
took us directly to Bodmin, in the way to Launceston. We met
Major-General Desborough on the way. The captain of his troop, who
rode before him, knew me, and said, “Oh, Mr. Fox, what do you
here?” I replied, “I am a prisoner.” “Alack,” he said, “for what?”
I told him I was taken up as I was travelling. “Then,” said he, “I
will speak to my lord, and he will set you at liberty.”
    So he came from the head of his troop, and rode up to the
coach, and spoke to the Major-General. We also gave him an account
of how we were taken. He began to speak against the Light of
Christ; against which I exhorted him. Then he told the soldiers
that they might carry us to Launceston; for he could not stay to
talk with us, lest his horses should take cold.
    To Bodmin we were taken that night; and when we came to our
inn Captain Keat, who was in before us, put me into a room and
went his way. When I was come in, there stood a man with a naked
rapier in his hand. Whereupon I turned out again, called for
Captain Keat, and said, “What now, Keat; what trick hast thou
played now, to put me into a room where there is a man with his
naked rapier? What is thy end in this?” “Oh,” said he, “pray hold
your tongue; for if you speak to this man, we cannot rule him, he
is so devilish.” “Then,” said I, “dost thou put me into a room
where there is such a man with a naked rapier that thou sayest you
cannot rule him? What an unworthy, base trick is this? and to put
me single into this room, away from my friends that were fellow-
prisoners with me?” Thus his plot was discovered and the mischief
they intended was prevented.
    Afterward we got another room, where we were together all
night; and in the evening we declared the Truth to the people; but
they were dark and hardened. The soldiers, notwithstanding their
fair promises, were very rude and wicked to us again, and sat up
drinking and roaring all night.
    Next day we were brought to Launceston, where Captain Keat
delivered us to the jailer. Now was there no Friend, nor Friendly
people, near us; and the people of the town were a dark, hardened
people. The jailer required us to pay seven shillings a week for
our horse-meat,[116] and seven shillings a week apiece for our
diet. After some time several sober persons came to see us, and
some people of the town were convinced, and many friendly people
out of several parts of the country came to visit us, and were
    Then got up a great rage among the professors and priests
against us. They said, “This people ‘Thou’ and ‘Thee’ all men
without respect and will not put off their hats, nor bow the knee
to any man; but we shall see, when the assize comes, whether they
will dare to ‘Thou’ and ‘Thee’ the judge, and keep on their hats
before him.” They expected we should be hanged at the assize.
    But all this was little to us; for we saw how God would stain
the world’s honour and glory; and were commanded not to seek that
honour, nor give it; but knew the honour that cometh from God
only, and sought that.
    It was nine weeks from the time of our commitment to the time
of the assizes, to which abundance of people came from far and
near to hear the trial of the Quakers. Captain Bradden lay there
with his troop of horse. His soldiers and the sheriff’s men
guarded us to the court through the multitude that filled the
streets; and much ado they had to get us through. Besides, the
doors and windows were filled with people looking upon us.
    When we were brought into the court, we stood a while with
our hats on, and all was quiet. I was moved to say, “Peace be
amongst you.”
    Judge Glynne, a Welshman, then Chief-Justice of England, said
to the jailer, “What be these you have brought here into the
court?” “Prisoners, my lord,” said he.
    “Why do you not put off your hats?” said the Judge to us. We
said nothing.
    “Put off your hats,” said the Judge again. Still we said
nothing. Then said the Judge, “The Court commands you to put off
your hats.”
    Then I spoke, and said, “Where did ever any magistrate, king,
or judge, from Moses to Daniel, command any to put off their hats,
when they came before him in his court, either amongst the Jews,
the people of God, or amongst the heathen?[117] and if the law of
England doth command any such thing, show me that law either
written or printed.”
    Then the Judge grew very angry, and said, “I do not carry my
law-books on my back.” “But,” said I, “tell me where it is printed
in any statute-book, that I may read it.”
    Then said the Judge, “Take him away, prevaricator! I’ll ferk
him.” So they took us away, and put us among the thieves.
    Presently after he calls to the jailer, “Bring them up
again.” “Come,” said he, “where had they hats, from Moses to
Daniel; come, answer me: I have you fast now.”
    I replied, “Thou mayest read in the third of Daniel, that the
three children were cast into the fiery furnace by
Nebuchadnezzar’s command, with their coats, their hose, and their
hats on.”
    This plain instance stopped him: so that, not having anything
else to say to the point, he cried again, “Take them away,
    Accordingly we were taken away, and thrust in among the
thieves, where we were kept a great while; and then, without being
called again, the sheriff’s men and the troopers made way for us
(but we were almost spent) to get through the crowd of people, and
guarded us to the prison again, a multitude of people following
us, with whom we had much discourse and reasoning at the jail.
    We had some good books to set forth our principles, and to
inform people of the Truth. The Judge and justices hearing of
this, they sent Captain Bradden for them. He came into the jail to
us, and violently took our books from us, some out of Edward
Pyot’s hands, and carried them away; so we never got them again.

    [While in the jail Fox addressed a paper “against swearing”
to the grand and petty juries.]

    This paper passing among them from the jury to the justices,
they presented it to the Judge; so that when we were called before
the Judge, he bade the clerk give me that paper, and then asked me
whether that seditious paper was mine. I said to him, “If they
will read it out in open court, that I may hear it, if it is mine
I will own it, and stand by it.” He would have had me take it and
look upon it in my own hand; but I again desired that it might be
read, that all the country might hear it, and judge whether there
was any sedition in it or not; for if there were, I was willing to
suffer for it.
    At last the clerk of the assize read it, with an audible
voice, that all the people might hear it. When he had done I told
them it was my paper; that I would own it, and so might they too,
unless they would deny the Scripture: for was not this Scripture
language, and the words and commands of Christ, and the Apostle,
which all true Christians ought to obey?
    Then they let fall that subject; and the Judge fell upon us
about our hats again, bidding the jailer take them off; which he
did, and gave them to us; and we put them on again. Then we asked
the Judge and the justices, for what cause we had lain in prison
these nine weeks, seeing they now objected to nothing but our
hats. And as for putting off our hats, I told them that that was
the honour which God would lay in the dust, though they made so
much ado about it; the honour which is of men, and which men seek
one of another, and is a mark of unbelievers. For “How can ye
believe,” saith Christ, “who receive honour one of another, and
seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” Christ saith, “I
receive not honour from men”; and all true Christians should be of
His mind.
    Then the Judge began to make a pompous speech, how he
represented the Lord Protector’s person, who made him Lord Chief-
Justice of England, and sent him to come that circuit, etc. We
desired him, then, that he would do us justice for our false
imprisonment which we had suffered nine weeks wrongfully. But
instead of that, they brought an indictment framed against us; so
full of lies that I thought it had been against some of the
thieves, — “that we came by force and arms, and in a hostile
manner, into the court”; who were brought as aforesaid. I told
them it was all false; and still we cried for justice for our
false imprisonment, being taken up in our journey without cause by
Major Ceely.
    Then Peter Ceely said to the Judge, “May it please you, my
lord, this man (pointing to me) went aside with me, and told me
how serviceable I might be for his design; that he could raise
forty thousand men at an hour’s warning, involve the nation in
blood, and so bring in King Charles. I would have aided him out of
the country, but he would not go. If it please you, my lord, I
have a witness to swear it.”
    So he called upon his witness; but the Judge not being
forward to examine the witness, I desired that he would be pleased
to let my mittimus be read in the face of the court and the
country, in which the crime was signified for which I was sent to
prison. The Judge said it should not be read. I said, “It ought to
be, seeing it concerned my liberty and my life.” The Judge said
again, “It shall not be read.” I said, “It ought to be read; for
if I have done anything worthy of death, or of bonds, let all the
country know it.”
    Then seeing they would not read it, I spoke to one of my
fellow-prisoners: “Thou hast a copy of it; read it up.” “It shall
not be read,” said the Judge; “jailer, take him away. I’ll see
whether he or I shall be master.”
    So I was taken away, and awhile after called for again. I
still called to have the mittimus read; for that signified the
cause of my commitment. I again spoke to the Friend, my fellow-
prisoner, to read it up; which he did. The Judge, justices, and
the whole court were silent; for the people were eager to hear it.
It was as followeth:

    “Peter Ceely, one of the justices of the peace of this
county, to the keeper of His Highness’s jail at Launceston, or his
lawful deputy in that behalf, greeting:

    “I send you here withal by the bearers hereof, the bodies of
Edward Pyot, of Bristol, and George Fox, of Drayton-in-the-Clay,
in Leicestershire, and William Salt, of London, which they pretend
to be the places of their habitations, who go under the notion of
Quakers, and acknowledge themselves to be such; who have spread
several papers tending to the disturbance of the public peace, and
cannot render any lawful cause of coming into those parts, being
persons altogether unknown, having no pass for travelling up and
down the country, and refusing to give sureties for their good
behaviour, according to the law in that behalf provided; and
refuse to take oath of abjuration, etc. These are, therefore, in
the name of his highness the Lord Protector, to will and command
you, that when the bodies of the said Edward Pyot, George Fox, and
William Salt, shall be unto you brought, you them receive, and in
His Highness’s prison aforesaid you safely keep them, until by due
course of law they shall be delivered. Hereof fail you not, as you
will answer the contrary at your perils. Given under my hand and
seal, at St. Ives, the 18th day of January, 1655.
    P. CEELY.”

    When it was read I spoke thus to the Judge and justices:
    “Thou that sayest thou art Chief-Justice of England, and you
justices, know that, if I had put in sureties, I might have gone
whither I pleased, and have carried on the design (if I had had
one) with which Major Ceely hath charged me. And if I had spoken
those words to him, which he hath here declared, judge ye whether
bail or mainprize could have been taken in that case.”
    Then, turning my speech to Major Ceely, I said:
    “When or where did I take thee aside? Was not thy house full
of rude people, and thou as rude as any of them, at our
examination; so that I asked for a constable or some other officer
to keep the people civil? But if thou art my accuser, why sittest
thou on the bench? It is not the place of accusers to sit with the
judge. Thou oughtest to come down and stand by me, and look me in
the face.
    “Besides, I would ask the Judge and justices whether Major
Ceely is not guilty of this treason, which he charges against me,
in concealing it so long as he hath done? Does he understand his
place, either as a soldier or a justice of the peace? For he tells
you here that I went aside with him, and told him what a design I
had in hand, and how serviceable he might be for my design: that I
could raise forty thousand men in an hour’s time, bring in King
Charles, and involve the nation in blood. He saith, moreover, that
he would have aided me out of the country, but I would not go; and
therefore he committed me to prison for want of sureties for the
good behaviour, as the mittimus declares.
    “Now, do you not see plainly that Major Ceely is guilty of
this plot and treason he talks of, and hath made himself a party
to it by desiring me to go out of the country, demanding bail of
me, and not charging me with this pretended treason till now, nor
discovering it? But I deny and abhor his words, and am innocent of
his devilish design.”
    So that business was let fall; for the Judge saw clearly
enough that instead of ensnaring me, Major Ceely had ensnared
    Major Ceely got up again, and said, “If it please you, my
lord, to hear me: this man struck me, and gave me such a blow as I
never had in my life.” At this I smiled in my heart, and said,
“Major Ceely, art thou a justice of the peace, and a major of a
troop of horse, and tellest the Judge, in the face of the court
and country, that I, a prisoner, struck thee and gave thee such a
blow as thou never hadst the like in thy life? What! art thou not
ashamed? Prithee, Major Ceely,” said I, “where did I strike thee?
and who is thy witness for that? who was by?”
    He said it was in the Castle-Green, and Captain Bradden was
standing by when I struck him. I desired the Judge to let him
produce his witness for that; and called again upon Major Ceely to
come down from the bench, telling him that it was not fit that the
accuser should sit as judge over the accused. When I called again
for his witness he said that Captain Bradden was his witness.
    Then I said, “Speak, Captain Bradden, didst thou see me give
him such a blow, and strike him as he saith?” Captain Bradden made
no answer; but bowed his head towards me. I desired him to speak
up, if he knew any such thing; but he only bowed his head again.
“Nay,” said I, “speak up, and let the court and country hear, and
let not bowing of the head serve the turn. If I have done so, let
the law be inflicted on me; I fear not sufferings, nor death
itself, for I am an innocent man concerning all this charge.”
    But Captain Bradden never testified to it; and the Judge,
finding those snares would not hold, cried, “Take him away,
jailer;” and then, when we were taken away, he fined us twenty
marks apiece for not putting off our hats; and sentenced us to be
kept in prison till we paid it; so he sent us back to the jail.
    At night Captain Bradden came to see us, and seven or eight
justices with him, who were very civil to us, and told us they
believed neither the Judge nor any in the court gave credit to the
charges which Major Ceely had brought forward against me in the
face of the country. And Captain Bradden said that Major Ceely had
an intent to take away my life if he could have got another
    “But,” said I, “Captain Bradden, why didst not thou witness
for me, or against me, seeing Major Ceely produced thee for a
witness, that thou saw me strike him? and when I desired thee to
speak either for me or against me, according to what thou saw or
knew, thou wouldst not speak.”
    “Why,” said he, “when Major Ceely and I came by you, as you
were walking in the Castle-Green, he put off his hat to you, and
said, ‘How do you do, Mr. Fox? Your servant, Sir.’ Then you said
to him, ‘Major Ceely, take heed of hypocrisy, and of a rotten
heart: for when came I to be thy master, and thou my servant? Do
servants cast their masters into prison?’ This was the great blow
he meant you gave him.”
    Then I called to mind that they walked by us, and that he
spoke so to me, and I to him; which hypocrisy and rotten-
heartedness he manifested openly, when he complained of this to
the Judge in open court, and in the face of the country; and would
have made them all believe that I struck him outwardly with my
    There came also to see us one Colonel Rouse a justice of the
peace, and a great company with him. He was as full of words and
talk as ever I heard any man in my life, so that there was no
speaking to him. At length I asked him whether he had ever been at
school, and knew what belonged to questions and answers; (this I
said to stop him).
    “At school!” said he, “Yes.”
    “At school!” said the soldiers; “doth he say so to our
colonel, that is a scholar?”
    “Then,” said I, “if he be so, let him be still and receive
answers to what he hath said.”
    Then I was moved to speak the Word of life to him in God’s
dreadful power; which came so over him that he could not open his
mouth. His face swelled, and was red like a turkey; his lips
moved, and he mumbled something; but the people thought he would
have fallen down. I stepped up to him, and he said he was never so
in his life before: for the Lord’s power stopped the evil power in
him; so that he was almost choked.
    The man was ever after very loving to Friends, and not so
full of airy words to us; though he was full of pride; but the
Lord’s power came over him, and the rest that were with him.
    Another time there came an officer of the army, a very
malicious, bitter professor whom I had known in London. He was
full of his airy talk also, and spoke slightingly of the Light of
Christ, and against the Truth, and against the Spirit of God being
in men, as it was in the apostles’ days; till the power of God,
that bound the evil in him, had almost choked him as it did
Colonel Rouse: for he was so full of evil that he could not speak,
but blubbered and stuttered. But from the time that the Lord’s
power struck him and came over him, he was ever after more loving
to us.
    The assizes being over, and we settled in prison upon such a
commitment that we were not likely to be soon released, we broke
off from giving the jailer seven shillings a week apiece for our
horses, and seven shillings a week for ourselves, and sent our
horses into the country. Upon which he grew very wicked and
devilish, and put us down into Doomsdale, a nasty, stinking place,
where they used to put murderers after they were condemned. [118]
    The place was so noisome that it was observed few that went
in did ever come out again in health. There was no house of office
in it; and the excrement of the prisoners that from time to time
had been put there had not been carried out (as we were told) for
many years. So that it was all like mire, and in some places to
the tops of the shoes in water and urine; and he would not let us
cleanse it, nor suffer us to have beds or straw to lie on.
    At night some friendly people of the town brought us a candle
and a little straw; and we burned a little of our straw to take
away the stink. The thieves lay over our heads, and the head
jailer in a room by them, over our heads also. It seems the smoke
went up into the room where the jailer lay; which put him into
such a rage that he took the pots of excrement from the thieves
and poured them through a hole upon our heads in Doomsdale, till
we were so bespattered that we could not touch ourselves nor one
another. And the stink increased upon us; so that what with stink,
and what with smoke, we were almost choked and smothered. We had
the stink under our feet before, but now we had it on our heads
and backs also; and he having quenched our straw with the filth he
poured down, had made a great smother in the place. Moreover, he
railed at us most hideously, calling us hatchet-faced dogs, and
such strange names as we had never heard of. In this manner we
were obliged to stand all night, for we could not sit down, the
place was so full of filthy excrement.
    A great while he kept us after this manner before he would
let us cleanse it, or suffer us to have any victuals brought in
but what we got through the grate. One time a girl brought us a
little meat; and he arrested her for breaking his house, and sued
her in the town-court for breaking the prison. A great deal of
trouble he put the young woman to; whereby others were so
discouraged that we had much ado to get water, drink, or victuals.
Near this time we sent for a young woman, Ann Downer, from London,
who could write and take things well in short-hand, to buy and
dress our meat for us; which she was very willing to do, it being
also upon her spirit to come to us in the love of God; and she was
very serviceable to us.
    The head-jailer, we were informed, had been a thief, and was
burnt both in the hand and in the shoulder; his wife, too, had
been burnt in the hand. The under-jailer had been burnt both in
the hand and in the shoulder: his wife had been burnt in the hand
also. Colonel Bennet, a Baptist teacher, having purchased the jail
and lands belonging to the castle, had placed this head-jailer
there. The prisoners and some wild people would be talking of
spirits that haunted Doomsdale, and how many had died in it,
thinking perhaps to terrify us therewith. But I told them that if
all the spirits and devils in hell were there, I was over them in
the power of God, and feared no such thing; for Christ, our
Priest, would sanctify the walls of the house to us, He who had
bruised the head of the devil.[119] The priest was to cleanse the
plague out of the walls of the house under the law, which had been
ended by Christ, our Priest, who sanctifies both inwardly and
outwardly the walls of the house, the walls of the heart, and all
things to his people.
    By this time the general quarter-sessions drew nigh; and the
jailer still carrying himself basely and wickedly towards us, we
drew up our suffering case, and sent it to the sessions at Bodmin.
On the reading thereof, the justices gave order that Doomsdale
door should be opened, and that we should have liberty to cleanse
it, and to buy our meat in the town. We also sent a copy of our
sufferings to the Protector, setting forth how we had been taken
and committed by Major Ceely; and abused by Captain Keat as
aforesaid, and the rest in order. The Protector sent down an order
to Captain Fox, governor of Pendennis Castle, to examine the
matter about the soldiers abusing us, and striking me.
    There were at that time many of the gentry of the country at
the Castle; and Captain Keat’s kinsman, that struck me, was sent
for before them, and much threatened. They told him that if I
should change my principles, I might take the extremity of the law
against him, and might recover sound damages of him. Captain Keat
also was checked, for suffering the prisoners under his charge to
be abused.
    This was of great service in the country; for afterwards
Friends might speak in any market or steeple-house thereabouts,
and none would meddle with them. I understood that Hugh Peters,
one of the Protector’s chaplains, told him they could not do
George Fox a greater service for the spreading of his principles
in Cornwall, than to imprison him there.
    And indeed my imprisonment there was of the Lord, and for His
service in those parts; for after the assizes were over, and it
was known that we were likely to continue prisoners, several
Friends from most parts of the nation came in to the country to
visit us. Those parts of the west were very dark countries at that
time but the Lord’s light and truth broke forth, shone over all,
and many were turned from darkness to light, and from Satan’s
power unto God. Many were moved to go to the steeple-houses; and
several were sent to prison to us; and a great convincement began
in the country. For now we had liberty to come out, and to walk in
the Castle-Green; and many came to us on First-days, to whom we
declared the Word of life.
    Great service we had among them, and many were turned to God,
up and down the country; but great rage possessed the priests and
professors against the Truth and us. One of the envious professors
had collected many Scripture sentences to prove that we ought to
put off our hats to the people; and he invited the town of
Launceston to come into the castle-yard to hear him read them.
Amongst other instances that he there brought, one was that Saul
bowed to the witch of Endor. When he had done, we got a little
liberty to speak; and we showed both him and the people that Saul
was gone from God, and had disobeyed God when he went to the witch
of Endor: that neither the prophets, nor Christ, nor the apostles
ever taught people to bow to a witch.
    Another time, about eleven at night, the jailer, being half
drunk, came and told me that he had got a man now to dispute with
me: (this was when we had leave to go a little into the town). As
soon as he spoke these words I felt there was mischief intended to
my body. All that night and the next day I lay down on a grass-
plot to slumber, and felt something still about my body: I started
up, and struck at it in the power of the Lord, and still it was
about my body.
    Then I rose and walked into the Castle-Green, and the under-
keeper came and told me that there was a maid would speak with me
in the prison. I felt a snare in his words, too, therefore I went
not into the prison, but to the grate; and looking in, I saw a man
that was lately brought to prison for being a conjurer, who had a
naked knife in his hand. I spoke to him, and he threatened to cut
my chaps; but, being within the jail he could not come at me. This
was the jailer’s great disputant.
    I went soon after into the jailer’s house, and found him at
breakfast; he had then got his conjurer out with him. I told the
jailer his plot was discovered. Then he got up from the table, and
cast his napkin away in a rage; and I left them, and went to my
chamber; for at this time we were out of Doomsdale.
    At the time the jailer had said the dispute should be, I went
down and walked in the court (the place appointed) till about the
eleventh hour; but nobody came. Then I went up to my chamber
again; and after awhile heard one call for me. I stepped to the
stairshead, where I saw the jailer’s wife upon the stairs, and the
conjurer at the bottom of the stairs, holding his hand behind his
back, and in a great rage.
    I asked him, “Man, what hast thou in thy hand behind thy
back? Pluck thy hand before thee,” said I; “let’s see thy hand,
and what thou hast in it.”
    Then he angrily plucked forth his hand, with a naked knife in
it. I showed the jailer’s wife their wicked design against me; for
this was the man they brought to dispute of the things of God. But
the Lord discovered their plot, and prevented their evil design;
and they both raged, and the conjurer threatened.
    Then I was moved of the Lord to speak sharply to him in the
dreadful power of the Lord; and the Lord’s power came over him,
and bound him down; so that he never after durst appear before me,
to speak to me. I saw it was the Lord alone that had preserved me
out of their bloody hands; for the devil had a great enmity to me,
and stirred up his instruments to seek my hurt. But the Lord
prevented them; and my heart was filled with thanksgivings and
praises to him.[120]
    In Cornwall, Devonshire, Dorsetshire, and Somersetshire,
Truth began mightily to spread. Many were turned to Christ Jesus
and His free teaching: for many Friends that came to visit us were
drawn to declare the Truth in those counties. This made the
priests and professors rage, and they stirred up the magistrates
to ensnare Friends. They set up watches in the streets and
highways, on pretence of taking up suspicious persons, under which
colour they stopped and took up Friends coming to visit us in
prison; which was done that these Friends might not pass up and
down in the Lord’s service.
    But that by which they thought to have stopped the Truth was
the means of spreading it so much the more; for then Friends were
frequently moved to speak to one constable and to another officer,
and to the justices before whom they were brought; which caused
the Truth to spread the more in all their parishes. And when
Friends were got among the watches, it would be a fortnight or
three weeks before they could get out of them again; for no sooner
had one constable taken and carried them before the justices, and
these had discharged them, but another would take them up and
carry them before other justices: which put the country to a great
deal of needless trouble and charges.
    As Thomas Rawlinson was coming out of the north to visit us,
a constable in Devonshire took him up, and at night took twenty
shillings out of his pocket: and after being thus robbed he was
cast into Exeter jail. They cast into prison in Devonshire, under
pretence of his being a Jesuit, Henry Pollexfen, who had been a
justice of the peace for almost forty years. Many Friends were
cruelly beaten by them; nay, some clothiers that were but going to
mill with their cloth, and others about their outward occasions,
they took up and whipped; though men of about eighty or an hundred
pounds by the year, and not above four or five miles from their
    The mayor of Launceston took up all he could, and cast them
into prison. He would search substantial, grave women, their
petticoats and their head-cloths. A young man coming to see us, I
drew up all the gross, inhuman, and unchristian actions of the
mayor, gave it him, and bade him seal it up, and go out again the
back way; and then come into the town through the gates. He did
so, and the watch took him up and carried him before the mayor;
who presently searched his pockets and found the letter. Therein
he saw all his actions characterized; which shamed him so that
from that time he meddled little with the Lord’s servants.
    While I was in prison here, the Baptists and Fifth-monarchy
men prophesied that this year Christ should come, and reign upon
earth a thousand years. And they looked upon this reign to be
outward: when He was come inwardly in the hearts of His people, to
reign and rule; where these professors would not receive Him. So
they failed in their prophecy and expectation, and had not the
possession of Him. But Christ is come, and doth dwell and reign in
the hearts of His people.[121] Thousands, at the door of whose
hearts He hath been knocking have opened to Him, and He is come
in, and doth sup with them, and they with Him; the heavenly supper
with the heavenly and spiritual man. So many of these Baptists and
Monarchy-people turned the greatest enemies to the followers of
Christ; but He reigns in the hearts of His saints over all their
    At the assize diverse justices came to us, and were pretty
civil, and reasoned of the things of God soberly; expressing a
pity to us. Captain Fox, governor of Pendennis Castle, came and
looked me in the face, and said never a word; but went to his
company and told them he never saw a simpler man in his life. I
called after him, and said, “Stay, man; we will see who is the
simpler man.” But he went his way. A light, chaffy person.
    Thomas Lower[122] also came to visit us, and offered us
money, which we refused; accepting nevertheless of his love. He
asked us many questions concerning our denying the Scriptures to
be the Word of God; concerning the sacraments, and such like: to
all which he received satisfaction. I spoke particularly to him;
and he afterwards said my words were as a flash of lightning, they
ran so through him. He said he had never met with such men in his
life, for they knew the thoughts of his heart; and were as the
wise master-builders of the assemblies that fastened their words
like nails. He came to be convinced of the truth, and remains a
Friend to this day.
    When he came home to his aunt Hambley’s, where he then lived,
and made report to her concerning us, she, with her sister Grace
Billing, hearing the report of Truth, came to visit us in prison,
and was convinced also. Great sufferings and spoiling of goods
both he and his aunt have undergone for the Truth’s sake.
    After the assizes, the sheriff, with some soldiers, came to
guard to execution a woman that was sentenced to die; and we had
much discourse with them. One of them wickedly said, “Christ was
as passionate a man as any that lived upon the earth;” for which
we rebuked him. Another time we asked the jailer what doings there
were at the sessions; and he said, “Small matters; only about
thirty for bastardy.” We thought it very strange that they who
professed themselves Christians should make small matters of such
    But this jailer was very bad himself; I often admonished him
to sobriety; but he abused people that came to visit us. Edward
Pyot had a cheese sent him from Bristol by his wife; and the
jailer took it from him, and carried it to the mayor, to search it
for treasonable letters, as he said; and though they found no
treason in the cheese, they kept it from us.[123] This jailer
might have been rich — if he had carried himself civilly; but he
sought his own ruin, which soon after came upon him.
    The next year he was turned out of his place, and for some
wickedness cast into the jail himself; and there begged of our
Friends. And for some unruliness in his conduct he was, by the
succeeding jailer, put into Doomsdale, locked in irons, and
beaten, and bidden to remember how he had abused those good men
whom he had wickedly, without any cause, cast into that nasty
dungeon; and told that now he deservedly should suffer for his
wickedness; and the same measure he had meted to others, should be
meted out to himself. He became very poor, and died in prison; and
his wife and family came to misery.
    While I was in prison in Launceston, a Friend went to Oliver
Cromwell, and offered himself, body for body, to lie in Doomsdale
in my stead; if he would take him, and let me have liberty. Which
thing so struck him, that he said to his great men and council,
“Which of you would do as much for me if I were in the same
condition?” And though he did not accept of the Friend’s offer,
but said he could not do it, for that it was contrary to law, yet
the Truth thereby came mightily over him. A good while after this
he sent down Major-General Desborough, pretending to set us at
liberty. When he came, he offered us our liberty if we would say
we would go home and preach no more; but we could not promise him.
Then he urged that we should promise to go home, if the Lord
    After this[124] Major-General Desborough came to the Castle-
Green, and played at bowls with the justices and others. Several
Friends were moved to go and admonish them not to spend their time
so vainly, desiring them to consider, that though they professed
themselves to be Christians, yet they gave themselves up to their
pleasures, and kept the servants of God meanwhile in prison; and
telling them that the Lord would plead with them and visit them
for such things. But notwithstanding what was written or said to
him, he went away, and left us in prison.
    We understood afterwards that he left the business to Colonel
Bennet, who had the command of the jail. For some time after
Bennet would have set us at liberty if we would have paid his
jailer’s fees. But we told him we could give the jailer no fees,
for we were innocent sufferers; and how could they expect fees of
us, who had suffered so long wrongfully? After a while Colonel
Bennet coming to town, sent for us to an inn, and insisted again
upon fees, which we refused. At last the power of the Lord came so
over him, that he freely set us at liberty on the 13th day of the
Seventh month, 1656. We had been prisoners nine weeks at the first
assize, called the Lent-assize, which was in the spring of the

                          CHAPTER X.
                  Planting the Seed in Wales.

    Being released from our imprisonment, we got horses, rode
towards Humphrey Lower’s, and met him upon the road. He told us he
was much troubled in his mind concerning us, and could not rest at
home, but was going to Colonel Bennet to seek our liberty. When we
told him we were set at liberty, and were going to his house, he
was exceeding glad. To his house we went, and had a fine, precious
meeting; many were convinced, and turned by the Spirit of the Lord
to the Lord Jesus Christ’s teaching.
    Soon after we came to Exeter, where many Friends were in
prison; and amongst the rest James Nayler. For a little before we
were set at liberty, James had run out into imaginations, and a
company with him, who raised a great darkness in the nation. He
came to Bristol, and made a disturbance there.[125] From thence he
was coming to Launceston to see me; but was stopped by the way,
and imprisoned at Exeter; as were several others, one of whom, an
honest, tender man, died in prison there. His blood lieth on the
heads of his persecutors.
    The night that we came to Exeter I spoke with James Nayler:
for I saw he was out, and wrong, and so was his company. The next
day, being First-day, we went to visit the prisoners, and had a
meeting with them in the prison; but James Nayler, and some of
them, could not stay the meeting. There came a corporal of horse
into the meeting, who was convinced, and remained a very good
    The next day I spoke to James Nayler again; and he slighted
what I said, was dark, and much out; yet he would have come and
kissed me. But I said that since he had turned against the power
of God, I could not receive his show of kindness. The Lord moved
me to slight him, and to set the power of God over him. So after I
had been warring with the world, there was now a wicked spirit
risen amongst Friends to war against. I admonished him and his
    When he was come to London, his resisting the power of God in
me, and the Truth that was declared to him by me, became one of
his greatest burdens. But he came to see his out-going, and to
condemn it; and after some time he returned to Truth again;[126]
as in the printed relation of his repentance, condemnation, and
recovery may be more fully seen.
    On First-day morning I went to the meeting in Broadmead at
Bristol, which was large and quiet. Notice was given of a meeting
to be in the afternoon in the orchard.
    There was at Bristol a rude Baptist, named Paul Gwin, who had
before made great disturbance in our meetings, being encouraged
and set on by the mayor, who, it was reported, would sometimes
give him his dinner to encourage him. Such multitudes of rude
people he gathered after him, that it was thought there had been
sometimes ten thousand people at our meeting in the orchard.
    As I was going into the orchard, the people told me that Paul
Gwin was going to the meeting. I bade them never heed, for it was
nothing to me who went to it.
    When I was come into the orchard, I stood upon the stone that
Friends used to stand on when they spoke; and I was moved of the
Lord to put off my hat, and to stand a while, and let the people
look at me; for some thousands of people were there. While I thus
stood silent, this rude Baptist began to find fault with my hair;
but I said nothing to him. Then he ran on into words; and at last,
“Ye wise men of Bristol,” said he, “I marvel at you, that you will
stand here, and hear a man speak and affirm that which he cannot
make good.”
    Then the Lord opened my mouth (for as yet I had not spoken a
word), and I asked the people whether they had ever heard me
speak, or had ever seen me before; and I bade them take notice
what kind of man this was amongst them that should so impudently
say that I spoke and affirmed that which I could not make good;
and yet neither he nor they had ever heard me or seen me before.
Therefore that was a lying, envious, malicious spirit that spoke
in him; and it was of the devil, and not of God. I charged him in
the dread and power of the Lord to be silent: and the mighty power
of God came over him, and all his company.
    Then a glorious, peaceable meeting we had, and the Word of
life was divided amongst them; and they were turned from darkness
to the Light, — to Jesus their Saviour. The Scriptures were
largely opened to them; and the traditions, rudiments, ways, and
doctrines of men were laid open before the people; and they were
turned to the Light of Christ, that with it they might see these
things, and see Him to lead them out of them.
    I opened also to them the types, figures, and shadows of
Christ in the time of the law; and showed them that Christ was
come, and had ended the types, shadows, tithes, and oaths, and put
down swearing; and had set up yea and nay instead of it, and a
free ministry. For He was now come to teach the people Himself,
and His heavenly day was springing from on high.
    For many hours did I declare the Word of life amongst them in
the eternal power of God, that by Him they might come up into the
beginning, and be reconciled to Him. And having turned them to the
Spirit of God in themselves, that would lead into all Truth, I was
moved to pray in the mighty power of God; and the Lord’s power
came over all. When I had done, this fellow began to babble again;
and John Audland was moved to bid him repent, and fear God. So his
own people and followers being ashamed of him, he passed away, and
never came again to disturb the meeting. The meeting broke up
quietly, and the Lord’s power and glory shone over all: a blessed
day it was, and the Lord had the praise. After a while this Paul
Gwin went beyond the seas; and many years after I met him in
    Soon after we rode to London. When we came near Hyde Park we
saw a great concourse of people, and, looking towards them, espied
the Protector coming in his coach. Whereupon I rode to his coach
side. Some of his life-guard would have put me away; but he
forbade them. So I rode by his coach side with him, declaring what
the Lord gave me to say to him, of his condition, and of the
sufferings of Friends in the nation, showing him how contrary this
persecution was to the words of Christ and His apostles, and to
    When we were come to James’s Park Gate, I left him; and at
parting he desired me to come to his house. The next day one of
his wife’s maids, whose name was Mary Sanders, came to me at my
lodging, and told me that her master came to her, and said he
would tell her some good news. When she asked him what it was, he
told her, “George Fox is come to town.” She replied “That is good
news indeed” (for she had received Truth), but she said she could
hardly believe him till he told her how I met him, and rode from
Hyde Park to James’s Park with him.
    After a little time Edward Pyot and I went to Whitehall to
see Oliver Cromwell; and when we came before him, Dr. Owen, vice-
chancellor of Oxford, was with him. We were moved to speak to him
concerning the sufferings of Friends, and laid them before him:
and we directed him to the Light of Christ, who had enlightened
every man that cometh into the world. He said it was a natural
light; but we showed him the contrary; and proved that it was
divine and spiritual, proceeding from Christ the spiritual and
heavenly man; and that that which was called the life in Christ
the Word, was called the Light in us.
    The power of the Lord God arose in me, and I was moved in it
to bid him lay down his crown at the feet of Jesus. Several times
I spoke to him to the same effect. I was standing by the table,
and he came and sat upon the table’s side by me, saying he would
be as high as I was. So he continued speaking against the Light of
Christ Jesus; and went his way in a light manner. But the Lord’s
power came over him so that when he came to his wife and other
company, he said, “I never parted so from them before”; for he was
judged in himself.
    After this I travelled into Yorkshire, and returned out of
Holderness, over Humber, visiting Friends; and then returning into
Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, and Warwickshire,
among Friends, I had a meeting at Edge-Hill. There came to it
Ranters, Baptists, and several sorts of rude people; for I had
sent word about three weeks before to have a meeting there, so
that hundreds of people were gathered thither, and many Friends
came to it from afar. The Lord’s everlasting Truth and Word of
life reached over all; the rude and unruly spirits were chained
down; and many that day were turned to the Lord Jesus Christ, by
His power and Spirit, and came to sit under His blessed, free
teaching, and to be fed with His eternal, heavenly food. All was
peaceable; the people passed quietly away, and some of them said
it was a mighty, powerful meeting; for the presence of the Lord
was felt, and His power and Spirit was amongst them.
    Thence I passed to Warwick and to Bagley, having precious
meetings; and then into Gloucestershire, and so to Oxford, where
the scholars were very rude; but the Lord’s power came over them.
Great meetings we had as we travelled up and down.
    Thus having travelled over most of the nation, I returned to
London again, having cleared myself of that which lay upon me from
the Lord. For after I was released out of Launceston jail, I was
moved of the Lord to travel over the nation, the Truth being now
spread in most places, that I might answer, and remove out of the
minds of the people, some objections which the envious priests and
professors had raised and spread abroad concerning us.
    In this year the Lord’s Truth was finely planted over the
nation, and many thousands were turned to the Lord; insomuch that
there were seldom fewer than one thousand in prison in this nation
for Truth’s testimony; some for tithes, some for going to the
steeple-houses, some for contempts (as they called them), some for
not swearing, and others for not putting off their hats.
    Having stayed some time in London, and visited the meetings
of Friends in and about the city, and cleared myself of what
services the Lord had at that time laid upon me there, I left the
town and travelled into Kent, Sussex, and Surrey, visiting
Friends. I had great meetings, and often met with opposition from
Baptists and other jangling professors; but the Lord’s power went
over them.
    We lay one night at Farnham, where we had a little meeting.
The people were exceeding rude; but at last the Lord’s power came
over them. After meeting we went to our inn, and gave notice that
any who feared God might come to our inn to us. There came
abundance of rude people, the magistrates of the town, and some
professors. I declared the Truth to them; and those people that
behaved themselves rudely, the magistrates put out of the room.
    When they were gone, another rude company of professors came
up, and some of the chief of the town. They called for faggots and
drink, though we forbade them, and were as rude a people as ever I
met. The Lord’s power chained them, that they had not power to do
us any mischief; but when they went away they left all the faggots
and beer, for which they had called, in the room, for us to pay
for in the morning. We showed the innkeeper what an unworthy thing
it was; but he told us we must pay it; and pay it we did.
    Before we left the town I wrote to the magistrates and heads
of the town, and to the priest, showing them how he had taught his
people, and laying before them their rude and uncivil carriage to
strangers that sought their good.
    Leaving that place we came to Basingstoke, a very rude town;
where they had formerly very much abused Friends. There I had a
meeting in the evening, which was quiet; for the Lord’s power
chained the unruly. At the close of the meeting I was moved to put
off my hat and to pray to the Lord to open their understandings;
upon which they raised a report that I put off my hat to them and
bade them good night, which was never in my heart.
    After the meeting, when we came to our inn, I sent for the
innkeeper, as I was used to do; and he came into the room to us,
and showed himself a very rude man. I admonished him to be sober,
and fear the Lord; but he called for faggots and a pint of wine,
and drank it off himself; then called for another, and called up
half a dozen men into our chamber. Thereupon I bade him go out of
the chamber, and told him he should not drink there; for we called
him up to speak to him concerning his eternal good.
    He was exceeding mad, rude, and drunk. When he continued his
rudeness and would not be gone, I told him that the chamber was
mine for the time I lodged in it; and called for the key. Then he
went away in a rage. In the morning he would not be seen; but I
told his wife of his unchristian carriage towards us.
    We then travelled to Exeter; and at the sign of the Seven
Stars, an inn at the bridge foot, had a general meeting of Friends
out of Cornwall and Devonshire; to which came Humphrey Lower,
Thomas Lower, and John Ellis from the Land’s End; Henry Pollexfen,
and Friends from Plymouth; Elizabeth Trelawny, and diverse other
Friends. A blessed heavenly meeting we had, and the Lord’s
everlasting power came over all, in which I saw and said that the
Lord’s power had surrounded this nation round about as with a wall
and bulwark, and His seed reached from sea to sea. Friends were
established in the everlasting Seed of life, Christ Jesus, their
Life, Rock, Teacher, and Shepherd.
    Next morning Major Blackmore sent soldiers to apprehend me;
but I was gone before they came. As I was riding up the street I
saw the officers going down; so the Lord crossed them in their
design, and Friends passed away peaceably and quietly. The
soldiers examined some Friends after I was gone, asking them what
they did there; but when they told them that they were in their
inn, and had business in the city, they went away without meddling
any further with them.
    We passed through the countries,[127] having meetings, and
gathering people in the name of Christ, their heavenly teacher,
till we came to Brecknock, where we put up our horses at an inn.
There went with me Thomas Holmes and John ap-John, who was moved
of the Lord to speak in the streets. I walked out but a little
into the fields; and when I returned the town was in an uproar.
When I came into the chamber in the inn, it was full of people,
and they were speaking in Welsh. I desired them to speak in
English, which they did; and much discourse we had. After a while
they went away.
    Towards night the magistrates gathered in the streets with a
multitude of people, and they bade them shout, and gathered up the
town; so that, for about two hours together, there was a noise the
like of which we had not heard; and the magistrates set them on to
shout again when they had given over. We thought it looked like
the uproar amongst Diana’s craftsmen. This tumult continued till
night, and if the Lord’s power had not limited them, they would
likely have pulled down the house, and torn us to pieces.
    At night the woman of the house would have had us go to
supper in another room; but we, discerning her plot, refused. Then
she would have had half a dozen men come into the room to us,
under the pretence of discoursing with us. We told her, “No person
shall come into our room this night, neither will we go to them.”
Then she said we should sup in another room; but we told her we
would have no supper if we had it not in our own room. At length,
when she saw she could not get us out, she brought up our supper.
    So she and they were crossed in their design; for they had an
intent to do us mischief, but the Lord prevented them. Next
morning I wrote a paper to the town concerning their unchristian
carriage, showing the fruits of their priests and magistrates; and
as I passed out of town I spoke to the people, and told them they
were a shame to Christianity and religion.
    After this we returned to England, and came to Shrewsbury,
where we had a great meeting, and visited Friends all over the
countries in their meetings, till we came to William Gandy’s, in
Cheshire, where we had a meeting of between two and three thousand
people, as it was thought; and the everlasting Word of life was
held forth, and received that day. A blessed meeting it was, for
Friends were settled by the power of God upon Christ Jesus, the
Rock and Foundation.
    At this time there was a great drought; and after this
general meeting was ended, there fell so great a rain that Friends
said they thought we could not travel, the waters would be so
risen. But I believed the rain had not extended as far as they had
come that day to the meeting. Next day, in the afternoon, when we
turned back into some parts of Wales again, the roads were dusty,
and no rain had fallen there.
    When Oliver Cromwell sent forth a proclamation for a fast
throughout the nation, for rain, when there was a very great
drought, it was observed that as far as Truth had spread in the
north, there were pleasant showers and rain enough, while in the
south, in many places, the fields were almost spoiled for want of
rain. At that time I was moved to write an answer to the
Protector’s proclamation, wherein I told him that if he had come
to own God’s Truth, he should have had rain; and that the drought
was a sign unto them of their barrenness, and their want of the
water of life.
    We passed through Montgomeryshire into Wales, and so into
Radnorshire, where there was a meeting like a leaguer,[128] for
multitudes. I walked a little aside whilst the people were
gathering: and there came to me John ap-John, a Welshman, whom I
asked to go to the people; and if he had anything upon him from
the Lord to them, he might speak in Welsh, and thereby gather more
together. Then came Morgan Watkins to me, who was become loving to
Friends, and said, “The people lie like a leaguer, and the gentry
of the country are come in.” I bade him go up also, and leave me;
for I had a great travail upon me for the salvation of the people.
    When they were well gathered, I went into the meeting, and
stood upon a chair about three hours. I stood a pretty while
before I began to speak. After some time I felt the power of the
Lord over the whole assembly: and His everlasting life and Truth
shone over all. The Scriptures were opened to them, and the
objections they had in their minds answered. They were directed to
the Light of Christ, the heavenly man; that by it they might see
their sins, and Christ Jesus to be their Saviour, their Redeemer,
their Mediator; and come to feed upon Him, the bread of life from
    Many were turned to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to His free
teaching that day; and all were bowed down under the power of God;
so that though the multitude was so great that many sat on
horseback to hear, there was no opposition. A priest sat with his
wife on horseback, heard attentively, and made no objection.
    The people parted peaceably, with great satisfaction; many of
them saying they had never heard such a sermon before, nor the
Scriptures so opened. For the new covenant was opened, and the
old, and the nature and terms of each; and the parables were
explained. The state of the Church in the apostles’ days was set
forth, and the apostasy since was laid open; the free teaching of
Christ and the apostles was set atop of all the hireling teachers;
and the Lord had the praise of all, for many were turned to Him
that day.[129]
    I went thence to Leominster, where was a great meeting in a
close, many hundreds of people being gathered together. There were
about six congregational preachers and priests amongst the people;
and Thomas Taylor, who had been a priest, but was now become a
minister of Christ Jesus, was with me. I stood up and declared
about three hours; and none of the priests were able to open their
mouths in opposition; the Lord’s power and Truth so reached and
bound them.
    At length one priest went off about a bow-shot from me, drew
several of the people after him, and began to preach to them. So I
kept our meeting, and he kept his. After awhile Thomas Taylor was
moved to go and speak to him, upon which he gave over: and he,
with the people he had drawn off, came to us again; and the Lord’s
power went over all.
    From this place I travelled on in Wales, having several
meetings, till I came to Tenby, where, as I rode up the street, a
justice of the peace came out to me, asked me to alight, and
desired that I would stay at his house, which I did. On First-day
the mayor, with his wife, and several others of the chief people
of the town, came in about the tenth hour, and stayed all the time
of the meeting. A glorious meeting it was.
    John ap-John being then with me, left the meeting, and went
to the steeple-house; and the governor cast him into prison. On
Second-day morning the governor sent one of his officers to the
justice’s to fetch me; which grieved the mayor and the justice;
for they were both with me in the justice’s house when the officer
came. The mayor and the justice went to the governor before me;
and awhile after I went with the officer. When I came in I said,
“Peace be unto this house,” and before the governor could examine
me I asked him why he cast my friend into prison. He said, “For
standing with his hat on in the church.”
    I said, “Had not the priest two caps on his head, a black one
and a white one? Cut off the brims of the hat, and then my friend
would have but one: and the brims of the hat were but to defend
him from weather.”
    “These are frivolous things,” said the governor.
    “Why, then,” said I, “dost thou cast my friend into prison
for such frivolous things?”
    He asked me whether I owned election and reprobation. “Yes,”
said I, “and thou art in the reprobation.”
    At that he was in a rage and said he would send me to prison
till I proved it. I told him I would prove that quickly if he
would confess Truth. I asked him whether wrath, fury, rage and
persecution were not marks of reprobation; for he that was born of
the flesh persecuted him that was born of the Spirit; but Christ
and His disciples never persecuted nor imprisoned any.
    He fairly confessed that he had too much wrath, haste and
passion in him. I told him that Esau was up in him, the first
birth; not Jacob, the second birth. The Lord’s power so reached
the man and came over him that he confessed to Truth; and the
other justice came and shook me kindly by the hand.
    As I was passing away I was moved to speak to the governor
again; and he invited me to dinner with him, and set my friend at
liberty. I went back to the other justice’s house; and after some
time the mayor and his wife, and the justice and his wife, and
diverse other Friends of the town, went about half a mile out of
town with us, to the water-side, when we went away; and there,
when we parted from them, I was moved of the Lord to kneel down
with them, and pray to the Lord to preserve them. So, after I had
recommended them to the Lord Jesus Christ, their Saviour and free
Teacher, we passed away in the Lord’s power; and He had the glory.
    We travelled to Pembrokeshire, and in Pembroke had some
service for the Lord. Thence we passed to Haverford West, where we
had a great meeting, and all was quiet. The Lord’s power came over
all, and many were settled in the new covenant, Christ Jesus, and
built upon Him, their Rock and Foundation; and they stand a
precious meeting to this day. Next day, being their fair-day, we
passed through it, and sounded the day of the Lord, and His
everlasting Truth, amongst them.
    After this we passed into another county, and at noon came
into a great market-town, and went into several inns before we
could get any meat for our horses. At last we came to one where we
got some. Then John ap-John being with me, went and spoke through
the town, declaring the Truth to the people; and when he came to
me again, he said he thought all the town were as people asleep.
After awhile he was moved to go and declare Truth in the streets
again; then the town was all in an uproar, and they cast him into
    Presently after several of the chief people of the town came,
with others, to the inn where I was, and said, “They have cast
your man into prison.”
    “For what?” said I.
    “He preached in our streets,” said they.
    Then I asked them, “What did he say? Had he reproved some of
the drunkards and swearers, and warned them to repent, and leave
off their evil doings, and turn to the Lord?” I asked them who
cast him into prison. They said, the high-sheriff and justices,
and the mayor. I asked their names, and whether they understood
themselves; and whether that was their conduct to travellers that
passed through their town, and strangers that admonished and
exhorted them to fear the Lord, and reproved sin in their gates.
    These went back, and told the officers what I had said; and
after awhile they brought down John ap-John, guarded with
halberts, in order to put him out of the town. Being at the inn
door, I bade the officers take their hands off him. They said that
the mayor and justices had commanded them to put him out of town.
I told them I would talk with their mayor and justices concerning
their uncivil and unchristian carriage towards him.
    So I spoke to John to go look after the horses, and get them
ready, and charged the officers not to touch him. After I had
declared the Truth to them, and showed them the fruits of their
priests, and their incivility and unchristian carriage, they left
us. They were a kind of Independents; a very wicked town, and
false. We bade the innkeeper give our horses a peck of oats; and
no sooner had we turned our backs than the oats were stolen from
our horses.
    After we had refreshed ourselves a little, and were ready, we
took horse, and rode up to the inn, where the mayor, sheriff, and
justices were. I called to speak with them, and asked them why
they had imprisoned John ap-John, and kept him in prison two or
three hours. But they would not answer me a word; they only looked
out at the windows upon me. So I showed them how unchristian was
their carriage to strangers and travellers, and how it manifested
the fruits of their teachers; and I declared the truth unto them,
and warned them of the day of the Lord, that was coming upon all
evil-doers; and the Lord’s power came over them, that they looked
ashamed; but not a word could I get from them in answer.
    So when I had warned them to repent, and turn to the Lord, we
passed away. At night we came to a little inn, very poor, but very
cheap; for our own provision and that for our two horses cost but
eight pence; but the horses would not eat their oats. We declared
the Truth to the people of the place, and sounded the day of the
Lord through the countries.[130]
    Passing thence we came to a great town, and went to an inn.
Edward Edwards went into the market, and declared the Truth
amongst the people; and they followed him to the inn, and filled
the yard, and were exceedingly rude. Yet good service we had for
the Lord amongst them; for the life of Christianity and the power
of it tormented their chaffy spirits, and came over them, so that
some were reached and convinced; and the Lord’s power came over
all. The magistrates were bound; they had no power to meddle with
    After this we came to another great town on a market-day; and
John ap-John declared the everlasting Truth through the streets,
and proclaimed the day of the Lord amongst them. In the evening
many people gathered about the inn; and some of them, being drunk,
would fain have had us come into the street again. But seeing
their design, I told them that if there were any that feared God
and desired to hear the Truth, they might come into our inn; or
else we might have a meeting with them next morning.
    Some service for the Lord we had amongst them, both over
night and in the morning; and though the people were slow to
receive the Truth, yet the seed was sown; and thereabouts the Lord
hath a people gathered to Himself.
    In that inn, also, I but turned my back to the man that was
giving oats to my horse, and, looking round again, I observed he
was filling his pockets with the provender. A wicked, thievish
people, to rob the poor, dumb creature of his food. I would rather
they had robbed me.
    Thence we went to Beaumaris, a town wherein John ap-John had
formerly been a preacher. After we had put up our horses at an
inn, John went and spoke through the street; and there being a
garrison in the town, they took him and put him into prison. The
innkeeper’s wife came and told me that the governor and
magistrates were sending for me, to commit me to prison also. I
told her that they had done more than they could answer already;
and had acted contrary to Christianity in imprisoning him for
reproving sin in their streets and gates, and for declaring the
Truth. Soon after came other friendly people, and told me that if
I went into the street, the governor and magistrates would
imprison me also; therefore they desired me to keep within the
    Upon this I was moved to go and walk up and down in the
streets.[131] And I told the people what an uncivil, unchristian
thing they had done in casting my friend into prison. And they
being high professors, I asked them if this was the entertainment
they had for strangers; if they would willingly be so served
themselves; and whether they, who looked upon the Scriptures to be
their rule, had any example in the Scriptures from Christ or His
apostles for what they had done. So after awhile they set John ap-
John at liberty.
    Next day, being market-day, we were to cross a great
water;[132] and not far from the place where we were to take boat,
many of the market-people drew to us. Amongst these we had good
service for the Lord, declaring the Word of Life and everlasting
Truth unto them, proclaiming amongst them the day of the Lord,
which was coming upon all wickedness; and directing them to the
Light of Christ, with which He, the heavenly man, had enlightened
them, by which they might see all their sins, and all their false
ways, religions, worships and teachers; and by the same Light
might see Christ Jesus, who was come to save them, and lead them
to God
    After the Truth had been declared to them in the power of
God, and Christ the free teacher set over all the hireling
teachers, I made John ap-John get his horse into the boat, which
was then ready. But there being a company of wild “gentlemen,” as
they were called, gotten into it (whom we found very rude, and far
from gentleness), they, with others kept his horse out of the
boat. I rode to the boat’s side, and spoke to them, showing them
what an unmanly and unchristian carriage it was; and told them
that they showed an unworthy spirit, below Christianity or
    As I spoke, I leaped my horse into the boat amongst them,
thinking John’s horse would follow when he had seen mine go in
before him. But the water being pretty deep, John could not get
his horse into the boat. Therefore I leaped out again on horseback
into the water, and stayed with John on that side till the boat
    There we tarried, from the eleventh hour of the forenoon to
the second in the afternoon, before the boat came to fetch us; and
then had forty-two miles to ride that evening; and by the time we
had paid for our passage, we had but one groat left between us in
    We rode about sixteen miles, and then got a little hay for
our horses. Setting forward again, we came in the night to a
little ale-house, where we thought to have stayed and baited. But,
finding we could have neither oats nor hay there, we travelled all
night; and about the fifth hour in the morning got to a place
within six miles of Wrexham, where that day we met with many
Friends, and had a glorious meeting. The Lord’s everlasting power
and Truth was over all; and a meeting is continued there to this
    Next day we passed thence into Flintshire, sounding the day
of the Lord through the towns; and came into Wrexham at night.
Here many of Floyd’s people came to us; but very rude, wild, and
airy they were, and little sense of truth they had; yet some were
convinced in that town. Next morning one called a lady sent for
me, who kept a preacher in her house. I went, but found both her
and her preacher very light and airy; too light to receive the
weighty things of God. In her lightness she came and asked me if
she should cut my hair; but I was moved to reprove her, and bade
her cut down the corruptions in herself with the sword of the
Spirit of God. So after I had admonished her to be more grave and
sober, we passed away; and afterwards, in her frothy mind, she
made her boast that she came behind me and cut off the curl of my
hair;[133] but she spoke falsely.
    From Wrexham we came to Chester; and it being the fair time,
we stayed a while, and visited Friends. For I had travelled
through every county in Wales, preaching the everlasting gospel of
Christ; and a brave people there is now, who have received it, and
sit under Christ’s teaching. But before I left Wales I wrote to
the magistrates of Beaumaris concerning the imprisoning of John
ap-John; letting them see their conditions, and the fruits of
their Christianity, and of their teachers. Afterwards I met with
some of them near London; but, oh, how ashamed they were of their
    Soon we came to Manchester, and the sessions being there that
day many rude people were come out of the country. In the meeting
they threw at me coals, clods, stones, and water; yet the Lord’s
power bore me up over them that they could not strike me down. At
last, when they saw they could not prevail by throwing water,
stones, and dirt at me, they went and informed the justices in the
sessions, who thereupon sent officers to fetch me before them.
    The officers came in while I was declaring the Word of life
to the people, plucked me down, and haled me into their court.
When I came there all the court was in a disorder and a noise. I
asked, “Where are the magistrates that they do not keep the people
civil?” Some of the justices said that they were magistrates. I
asked them why, then, they did not appease the people, and keep
them sober, for one cried, “I’ll swear,” and another cried, “I’ll
    I declared to the justices how we were abused in our meeting
by the rude people, who threw stones, clods, dirt, and water; and
how I was haled out of the meeting and brought thither, contrary
to the instrument of government, which said that none should be
molested in their meetings that professed God, and owned the Lord
Jesus Christ; which I did. The Truth so came over them that when
one of the rude followers cried, “I’ll swear,” one of the justices
checked him, saying “What will you swear? hold your tongue.”
    At last they bade the constable take me to my lodging, and
there secure me till they sent for me again to-morrow morning. So
the constable took me to my lodging.
    As we went the people were exceedingly rude; but I let them
see the fruits of their teachers, how they shamed Christianity,
and dishonored the name of Jesus which they professed.
    At night we went to see a justice in the town who was pretty
moderate, and I had a great deal of discourse with him. Next
morning we sent to the constable to know if he had anything more
to say to us. He sent us word that he had nothing to say to us; we
might go whither we would.
    The Lord hath since raised up a people to stand for His name
and Truth in that town over those chaffy professors.
    We passed from Manchester, having many precious meetings in
several places, till we came to Preston. Between Preston and
Lancaster I had a general meeting, from which I went to Lancaster.
There at our inn I met with Colonel West, who was very glad to see
me, and meeting with Judge Fell he told him that I was mightily
grown in the Truth; when, indeed, he was come nearer to the Truth,
and so could better discern it.
    We came from Lancaster to Robert Widders’s. On the First-day
after I had a general meeting of Friends of Westmoreland and
Lancashire near Sandside, when the Lord’s everlasting power was
over all. In this meeting the Word of eternal life was declared,
and Friends were settled upon the foundation Christ Jesus, under
His free teaching; and many were convinced, and turned to the
    Next day I came over the Sands to Swarthmore, where Friends
were glad to see me. I stayed there two First-days, visiting
Friends in their meetings thereabouts. They rejoiced with me in
the goodness of the Lord, who by His eternal power had carried me
through and over many difficulties and dangers in His service; to
Him be the praise for ever!

                        CHAPTER XI.
              In the Home of the Covenanters.

    After I had tarried two First-days at Swarthmore,[134] and
had visited Friends in their meetings thereabouts, I passed into
Westmoreland, in the same work, till I came to John Audland’s,
where there was a general meeting.
    The night before I had had a vision of a desperate creature
that was coming to destroy me, but I got victory over it. And next
day in meeting-time came one Otway, with some rude fellows. He
rode round about the meeting with his sword or rapier, and would
fain have got in through the Friends to me; but the meeting being
great, the Friends stood close, so that he could not easily come
at me. When he had ridden about several times raging, and found he
could not get in, being limited by the Lord’s power, he went away.
    It was a glorious meeting, ended peaceably, and the Lord’s
everlasting power came over all. This wild man went home, became
distracted, and not long after died. I sent a paper to John
Blakelin to read to him, while he lay ill, showing him his
wickedness, and he acknowledged something of it.
    I had for some time felt drawings on my spirit to go into
Scotland, and had sent to Colonel William Osburn of Scotland,
desiring him to meet me; and he, with some others, came out of
Scotland to this meeting.[135] After it was over (which, he said,
was the most glorious meeting that ever he saw in his life), I
passed with him and his company into Scotland, having with me
Robert Widders, a thundering man against hypocrisy, deceit, and
the rottenness of the priests.
    The first night we came into Scotland we lodged at an inn.
The innkeeper told us an earl lived about a quarter of a mile off,
who had a desire to see me; and had left word at the inn that if
ever I came into Scotland, he should be told of it. The innkeeper
told us there were three drawbridges to the earl’s house; and that
it would be nine o’clock before the third bridge was drawn.
    Finding we had time in the evening, we walked to his house.
He received us very lovingly, and said he would have gone with us
on our journey, but that he was before engaged to go to a funeral.
After we had spent some time with him, we parted very friendly,
and returned to our inn. Next morning we travelled on, and passing
through Dumfries, came to Douglas, where we met with some Friends.
Thence we passed to the Heads, where we had a blessed meeting in
the name of Jesus, and felt Him in the midst.
    Leaving Heads, we went to Badcow, and had a meeting there, to
which abundance of people came, and many were convinced. Amongst
them was one called a lady. From thence we passed towards the
Highlands to William Osburn’s, where we gathered up the sufferings
of Friends, and the principles of the Scotch priests, which may be
seen in a book called “The Scotch Priests’ Principles.”
    Afterwards we returned to Heads, Badcow, and Garshore, where
the said lady, Margaret Hambleton, was convinced; who afterwards
went to warn Oliver Cromwell and Charles Fleetwood of the day of
the Lord that was coming upon them.
    On First-day we had a great meeting, and several professors
came to it. Now, the priests had frightened the people with the
doctrine of election and reprobation, telling them that God had
ordained the greatest part of men and women for hell; and that,
let them pray, or preach, or sing, or do what they would, it was
all to no purpose, if they were ordained for hell. Also that God
had a certain number elected for heaven, let them do what they
would; as David was an adulterer, and Paul a persecutor, yet still
they were elected vessels for heaven. So the priests said the
fault was not at all in the creature, less or more, but that God
had ordained it so.
    I was led to open to the people the falseness and folly of
their priests’ doctrines, and showed how they, the priests, had
abused those Scriptures they quoted. Now all that believe in the
Light of Christ, as He commands, are in the election, and sit
under the teaching of the grace of God, which brings their
salvation. But such as turn this grace into wantonness, are in the
reprobation; and such as hate the Light, are in the condemnation.
    So I exhorted all the people to believe in the Light, as
Christ commands, and to own the grace of God, their free teacher;
and it would assuredly bring them their salvation; for it is
sufficient. Many Scriptures were opened concerning
reprobation,[136] and the eyes of the people were opened; and a
spring of life rose up among them.
    These things soon came to the priest’s ears; for the people
that sat under their dark teachings began to see light, and to
come into the covenant of light. The noise was spread over
Scotland, amongst the priests, that I was come thither; and a
great cry went up among them that all would be spoiled; for, they
said, I had spoiled all the honest men and women in England
already; so, according to their own account, the worst were left
to them.
    Upon this they gathered great assemblies of priests together,
and drew up a number of curses to be read in their several
steeple-houses, that all the people might say “Amen” to them. Some
few of these I will here set down; the rest may be read in the
book before mentioned, of “The Scotch Priests’ Principles.”
    The first was, “Cursed is he that saith, Every man hath a
light within him sufficient to lead him to salvation; and let all
the people say, Amen.”
    The second, “Cursed is he that saith, Faith is without sin;
and let all the people say, Amen.”
    The third, “Cursed is he that denieth the Sabbath-day; and
let all the people say, Amen.”
    In this last they make the people curse themselves; for on
the Sabbath-day (which is the seventh day of the week, which the
Jews kept by the command of God to them) they kept markets and
fairs, and so brought the curse upon their own heads.[137]
    Now were the priests in such a rage that they posted to
Edinburgh to Oliver Cromwell’s Council there, with petitions
against me. The noise was that “all was gone”; for several Friends
were come out of England and spread over Scotland, sounding the
day of the Lord, preaching the everlasting gospel of salvation,
and turning people to Christ Jesus, who died for them, that they
might receive His free teaching.
    After I had gathered the principles of the Scotch priests,
and the sufferings of Friends, and had seen the Friends in that
part of Scotland settled by the Lord’s power, upon Christ their
foundation, I went to Edinburgh, and in the way came to
Linlithgow, where lodging at an inn, the innkeeper’s wife, who was
blind, received the Word of life, and came under the teaching of
Christ Jesus, her Saviour.
    At night there came in abundance of soldiers and some
officers, with whom we had much discourse; and some were rude. One
of the officers said he would obey the Turk’s or Pilate’s command,
if they should command him to guard Christ to crucify Him. So far
was he from all tenderness, or sense of the Spirit of Christ, that
he would rather crucify the just than suffer for or with them;
whereas many officers and magistrates have lost their places
before they would turn against the Lord and His Just One.
    When I had stayed a while at Edinburgh, I went to Leith,
where many officers of the army came in with their wives, and many
were convinced. Among these Edward Billings’s wife was one. She
brought a great deal of coral in her hand, and threw it on the
table before me, to see whether I would speak against it or not. I
took no notice of it, but declared the Truth to her, and she was
reached. There came in many Baptists, who were very rude; but the
Lord’s power came over them, so that they went away confounded.
    Then there came in another sort, and one of them said he
would dispute with me; and for argument’s sake would deny there
was a God. I told him he might be one of those fools that said in
his heart, “There is no God,” but he would know Him in the day of
His judgment. So he went his way.
    A precious time we had afterwards with several people of
account; and the Lord’s power came over all. William Osburn was
with me. Colonel Lidcot’s wife, and William Welch’s wife, and
several of the officers themselves, were convinced. Edward
Billings and his wife at that time lived apart; and she being
reached by Truth, and become loving to Friends, we sent for her
husband, who came. The Lord’s power reached unto them both, and
they joined in it, and agreed to live together in love and unity
as man and wife.
    After this we returned to Edinburgh where many thousands were
gathered together, with abundance of priests among them, about
burning a witch, and I was moved to declare the day of the Lord
amongst them. When I had done, I went thence to our meeting,
whither came many rude people and Baptists.
    The Baptists began to vaunt with their logic and syllogisms;
but I was moved in the Lord’s power to thresh their chaffy, light
minds. I showed the people that, after that fallacious way of
discoursing, they might make white seem black, and black seem
white; as, that because a cock had two legs, and each of them had
two legs, therefore they were all cocks.[138] Thus they might turn
anything into lightness and vanity; but it was not the way of
Christ, or His apostles, to teach, speak, or reason after that
    Hereupon those Baptists went their way; and after they were
gone we had a blessed meeting in the Lord’s power, which was over
    I mentioned before that many of the Scotch priests, being
greatly disturbed at the spreading of Truth, and the loss of their
hearers thereby, were gone to Edinburgh to petition the Council
against me. When I came from the meeting to the inn where I
lodged, an officer belonging to the Council brought me the
following order:

    “Thursday, the 8th of October, 1657, at his Highness’ Council
in Scotland:
    “Ordered, That George Fox do appear before the Council on
Tuesday, the 13th of October next, in the forenoon.
    “E. Downing, Clerk of the Council.”

    When he had delivered me the order, he asked me whether I
would appear or not. I did not tell him; but asked him if he had
not forged the order. He said “No”; that it was a real order from
the Council, and he was sent as their messenger with it.
    When the time came I appeared, and was taken into a great
room, where many persons came and looked at me. After awhile the
doorkeeper took me into the council-chamber; and as I was going he
took off my hat. I asked him why he did so, and who was there that
I might not go in with my hat on. I told him I had been before the
Protector with my hat on. But he hung up my hat and took me in
before them.
    When I had stood awhile, and they said nothing to me, I was
moved of the Lord to say, “Peace be amongst you. Wait in the fear
of God, that ye may receive His wisdom from above, by which all
things were made and created; that by it ye may all be ordered,
and may order all things under your hands to God’s glory.”
    They asked me what was the occasion of my coming into that
nation. I told them I came to visit the Seed of God, which had
long lain in bondage under corruption, so that all in the nation
who professed the Scriptures, the words of Christ, of the prophets
and apostles, might come to the Light, Spirit and power, which
they were in who gave them forth. I told them that in and by the
Spirit they might understand the Scriptures, and know Christ and
God aright, and might have fellowship with them, and one with
    They asked me whether I had any outward business there. I
said, “Nay.” Then they asked me how long I intended to stay in
that country. I told them I should say little to that; my time was
not to be long; yet in my freedom in the Lord I stood, in the will
of Him that sent me.
    Then they bade me withdraw, and the doorkeeper took me by the
hand and led me forth. In a little time they sent for me again,
and told me that I must depart the nation of Scotland by that day
sevennight. I asked them, “Why? What have I done? What is my
transgression that you pass such a sentence upon me to depart out
of the nation?” They told me they would not dispute with me. I
desired them to hear what I had to say to them. They said they
would not hear me. I told them, “Pharaoh heard Moses and Aaron,
yet he was an heathen; and Herod heard John the Baptist; and you
should not be worse than these.” But they cried, “Withdraw,
withdraw.” Thereupon the doorkeeper took me again by the hand and
led me out.
    I returned to my inn, and continued still in Edinburgh;
visiting Friends there and thereabouts, and strengthening them in
the Lord. After a little time I wrote a letter to the Council to
lay before them their unchristian dealings in banishing me, an
innocent man, that sought their salvation and eternal good.
    After I had spent some time among Friends at Edinburgh and
thereabouts, I passed thence to Heads again, where Friends had
been in great sufferings. For the Presbyterian priests had
excommunicated them, and given charge that none should buy or sell
or eat or drink with them. So they could neither sell their
commodities nor buy what they wanted; which made it go very hard
with some of them; for if they had bought bread or other victuals
of any of their neighbors, the priests threatened them so with
curses that they would run and fetch it from them again. But
Colonel Ashfield, being a justice of the peace in that country,
put a stop to the priests’ proceedings. This Colonel Ashfield was
afterwards convinced himself, had a meeting settled at his house,
declared the Truth, and lived and died in it.
    After I had visited Friends at and about Heads, and
encouraged them in the Lord, I went to Glasgow, where a meeting
was appointed; but not one of the town came to it. As I went into
the city, the guard at the gates took me before the governor, who
was a moderate man. A great deal of discourse I had with him. He
was too light to receive the Truth; yet he set me at liberty; so I
passed to the meeting.
    Seeing none of the town’s people came to the meeting, we
declared Truth through the town; then passed away, visited
Friends’ meetings thereabouts, and returned towards Badcow.
Several Friends declared Truth in the steeple-houses and the
Lord’s power was with them.
    Once as I was going with William Osburn to his house there
lay a company of rude fellows by the wayside, hid under the hedges
and in bushes. Seeing them, I asked him what they were. “Oh,” said
he “they are thieves.” Robert Widders, being moved to go and speak
to a priest, was left behind, intending to come after. So I said
to William Osburn, “I will stay here in this valley, and do thou
go and look after Robert Widders”; but he was unwilling to go,
being afraid to leave me there alone, because of those fellows,
till I told him I feared them not.
    Then I called to them, asking them what they lay lurking
there for, and I bade them come to me; but they were loath to
come. I charged them to come up to me, or else it might be worse
with them; then they came trembling, for the dread of the Lord had
struck them. I admonished them to be honest, and directed them to
the Light of Christ in their hearts that by it they might see what
an evil it was to follow after theft and robbery; and the power of
the Lord came over them.
    I stayed there till William Osburn and Robert Widders came
up, then we passed on together. But it is likely that, if we two
had gone away before, they would have robbed Robert Widders when
he had come after alone, there being three or four of them.
    We went to William Osburn’s house, where we had a good
opportunity to declare the Truth to several people that came in.
Then we went among the Highlanders, who were so devilish they were
like to have spoiled us and our horses; for they ran at us with
pitchforks. But through the Lord’s goodness we escaped them, being
preserved by His power.
    Thence we passed to Stirling, where the soldiers took us up,
and had us to the main guard. After a few words with the officers,
the Lord’s power coming over them, we were set at liberty; but no
meeting could we get amongst them in the town, they were so closed
up in darkness. Next morning there came a man with a horse that
was to run a race, and most of the townspeople and officers went
to see it. As they came back from the race, I had a brave
opportunity to declare the day of the Lord and His Word of life
amongst them. Some confessed to it, and some opposed; but the
Lord’s truth and power came over them all.
    Leaving Stirling, we came to Burntisland, where I had two
meetings at one Captain Pool’s house; one in the morning, the
other in the afternoon. Whilst they went to dine I walked to the
seaside, not having freedom to eat with them. Both he and his wife
were convinced, and became good Friends afterward; and several
officers of the army came in and received the Truth.
    We passed thence through several other places, till we came
to Johnstons, where were several Baptists that were very bitter,
and came in a rage to dispute with us. Vain janglers and disputers
indeed they were. When they could not prevail by disputing they
went and informed the governor against us; and next morning he
raised a whole company of foot, and banished me and Alexander
Parker, also James Lancaster and Robert Widders, out of the town.
    As they guarded us through the town, James Lancaster was
moved to sing with a melodious sound in the power of God; and I
was moved to proclaim the day of the Lord, and preach the
everlasting gospel to the people. For the people generally came
forth, so that the streets were filled with them, and the soldiers
were so ashamed that they said they would rather have gone to
Jamaica than guarded us so.
    But we were put into a boat with our horses, carried over the
water, and there left. The Baptists who were the cause of our
being thus put out of this town, were themselves, not long after,
turned out of the army; and he that was then governor was
discarded also when the king came in.
    Being thus thrust out of Johnstons, we went to another
market-town, where Edward Billings and many soldiers were
quartered. We went to an inn, and desired to have a meeting in the
town, that we might preach the everlasting gospel amongst them.
The officers and soldiers said we should have it in the town-hall;
but the Scotch magistrates in spite appointed a meeting there that
day for the business of the town.
    When the officers of the soldiery understood this, and
perceived that it was done in malice, they would have had us go
into the town-hall nevertheless. But we told them, “No; by no
means; for then the magistrates might inform the governor against
us and say, ‘They took the town-hall from us by force, when we
were to do our town-business therein.'” We told them we would go
to the market-place. They said it was market-day. We replied, “It
is so much the better; for we would have all people to hear the
Truth and know our principles.”
    Alexander Parker went and stood upon the market-cross, with a
Bible in his hand, and declared the Truth amongst the soldiers and
market-people; but the Scots, being a dark, carnal people, gave
little heed, and hardly took notice what was said. After awhile I
was moved of the Lord to stand up at the cross, and to declare
with a loud voice the everlasting Truth, and the day of the Lord
that was coming upon all sin and wickedness. Thereupon the people
came running out of the town-hall and gathered so together that at
last we had a large meeting; for they only sat in the court for a
colour to hinder us from having the hall to meet in.
    When the people were come away the magistrates followed them.
Some walked by, but some stayed and heard; and the Lord’s power
came over all and kept all quiet. The people were turned to the
Lord Jesus Christ, who died for them, and had enlightened them,
that with His Light they might see their evil deeds, be saved from
their sins by Him, and might come to know Him to be their teacher.
But if they would not receive Christ, and own Him, it was told
them that this Light which came from Him would be their
    We travelled from this town to Leith, warning and exhorting
people, as we went, to turn to the Lord. At Leith the innkeeper
told me that the Council had granted warrants to apprehend me,
because I was not gone out of the nation after the seven days were
expired that they had ordered me to depart in. Several friendly
people also came and told me the same; to whom I said, “Why do ye
tell me of their warrants against me? If there were a cart-load of
them I would not heed them, for the Lord’s power is over them
    I went from Leith to Edinburgh again, where they said the
warrants from the Council were out against me. I went to the inn
where I had lodged before, and no man offered to meddle with me.
After I had visited Friends in the city, I desired those that
travelled with me to get ready their horses in the morning, and we
rode out of town together. There were with me at that time Thomas
Rawlinson, Alexander Parker, and Robert Widders.
    When we were out of town they asked me whither I would go. I
told them it was upon me from the Lord to go back again to
Johnstons (the town out of which we had been lately thrust), to
set the power of God and His Truth over them also. Alexander
Parker said he would go along with me; and I wished the other two
to stay at a town about three miles from Edinburgh till we
    Then Alexander and I got over the water, about three miles
across, and rode through the country; but in the afternoon, his
horse being weak and not able to hold up with mine, I rode on
ahead and got into Johnstons just as they were drawing up the
bridges, the officers and soldiers never questioning me. I rode up
the street to Captain Davenport’s house, from which we had been
banished. There were many officers with him; and when I came
amongst them they lifted up their hands, wondering that I should
come again. But I told them the Lord God had sent me amongst them
again; so they went their way.
    The Baptists sent me a letter, by way of challenge, to
discourse with me next day. I sent them word that I would meet
them at such a house, about half a mile out of the town, at such
an hour. For I considered that if I should stay in town to
discourse with them they might, under pretence of discoursing with
me, raise men to put me out of the town again, as they had done
    At the time appointed I went to the place, Captain Davenport
and his son accompanying me. There I stayed some hours, but not
one of them came. While I stayed there waiting for them, I saw
Alexander Parker coming. Not being able to reach the town, he had
lain out the night before; and I was exceedingly glad that we were
met again.
    This Captain Davenport was then loving to Friends; and
afterwards, coming more into obedience to Truth, he was turned out
of his place for not putting off his hat, and for saying Thou and
Thee to them.
    When we had waited beyond reasonable ground to expect any of
them coming, we departed; and Alexander Parker being moved to go
again to the town, where we had the meeting at the market-cross, I
passed alone to Lieutenant Foster’s quarters, where I found
several officers that were convinced. Thence I went up to the
town, where I had left the other two Friends, and we went back to
Edinburgh together.
    When we were come to the city, I bade Robert Widders follow
me; and in the dread and power of the Lord we came up to the two
first sentries. The Lord’s power came so over them that we passed
by them without any examination. Then we rode up the street to the
market-place and by the main-guard, out at the gate by the third
sentry, and so clear out into the suburbs; and there we came to an
inn and put up our horses, it being Seventh-day. I saw and felt
that we had ridden as it were against the cannon’s mouth or the
sword’s point; but the Lord’s power and immediate hand carried us
over the heads of them all.
    Next day I went to the meeting in the city, Friends having
had notice that I would attend it. There came many officers and
soldiers to it, and a glorious meeting it was; the everlasting
power of God was set over the nation, and His Son reigned in His
glorious power. All was quiet, and no man offered to meddle with
    When the meeting was ended, and I had visited Friends, I came
out of the city to my inn again. The next day, being Second-day,
we set forward towards the borders of England.
    As we travelled along the country I espied a steeple-house,
and it struck at my life. I asked what steeple-house it was, and
was told that it was Dunbar. When I came thither, and had put up
at an inn, I walked to the steeple-house, having a Friend or two
with me.
    When we came to the steeple-house yard, one of the chief men
of the town was walking there. I asked one of the Friends that was
with me to go to him and tell him that about the ninth hour next
morning there would be a meeting there of the people of God called
Quakers; of which we desired he would give notice to the people of
the town. He sent me word that they were to have a lecture there
by the ninth hour; but that we might have our meeting there by the
eighth hour, if we would. We concluded to do so, and desired him
to give notice of it.
    Accordingly, in the morning both poor and rich came; and
there being a captain of horse quartered in the town, he and his
troopers came also, so that we had a large concourse; and a
glorious meeting it was, the Lord’s power being over all. After
some time the priest came, and went into the steeple-house; but we
being in the yard, most of the people stayed with us. Friends were
so full and their voices so high in the power of God, that the
priest could do little in the house, but quickly came out again,
stood awhile, and then went his way.
    I opened to the people where they might find Christ Jesus,
and turned them to the Light with which He had enlightened them,
that in the Light they might see Christ who died for them, turn to
Him, and know him to be their Saviour and Teacher. I let them see
that the teachers they had hitherto followed were hirelings, who
made the gospel chargeable; showed them the wrong ways they had
walked in the night of apostasy; directed them to Christ, the new
and living way to God, and manifested unto them how they had lost
the religion and worship which Christ set up in spirit and truth,
and had hitherto been in the religions and worships of men’s
making and setting up.
    After I had turned the people to the Spirit of God which led
the holy men of God to give forth the Scriptures, and showed them
that they must also come to receive and be led by the same Spirit
in themselves (a measure of which was given unto every one of
them) if ever they would come to know God and Christ and the
Scriptures aright, perceiving the other Friends to be full of
power and the Word of the Lord, I stepped down, giving way for
them to declare what they had from the Lord to the people.
    Towards the latter end of the meeting some professors began
to jangle, whereupon I stood up again, and answered their
questions, so that they seemed to be satisfied, and our meeting
ended in the Lord’s power quiet and peaceable.
    This was the last meeting I had in Scotland; the Truth and
the power of God was set over that nation and many, by the power
and Spirit of God, were turned to the Lord Jesus Christ, their
Saviour and Teacher, whose blood was shed for them; and there is
since a great increase and great there will be in Scotland. For
when first I set my horse’s feet upon Scottish ground I felt the
Seed of God to sparkle about me, like innumerable sparks of fire.
    Not but that there is abundance of the thick, cloddy earth of
hypocrisy and falseness above, and a briery, brambly nature, which
is to be burnt up with God’s Word, and ploughed up with His
spiritual plough, before God’s Seed brings forth heavenly and
spiritual fruit to His glory. But the husbandman is to wait in

                        CHAPTER XII.
                  Great Events in London.

    We came into Bedfordshire, where we had large gatherings in
the name of Jesus.[141] After some time we came to John Crook’s,
where a general yearly meeting for the whole nation was appointed
to be held.[142] This meeting lasted three days, and many Friends
from most parts of the nation came to it; so that the inns and
towns round thereabouts were filled, for many thousands of people
were at it. And although there was some disturbance by some rude
people that had run out from Truth, yet the Lord’s power came over
all, and a glorious meeting it was. The everlasting gospel was
preached, and many received it, which gospel brought life and
immortality to light in them, and shined over all.
    Now these things were upon me to open unto all, that they
might mind and see what it is they sit down in.[143]
    “First, They that sit down in Adam in the fall, sit down in
misery, in death, in darkness and corruption.
    “Secondly, They that sit down in the types, figures, and
shadows, and under the first priesthood, law, and covenant, sit
down in that which must have an end, and which made nothing
    “Thirdly, They that sit down in the apostasy that hath got up
since the Apostles’ days, sit down in spiritual Sodom and Egypt;
and are drinking of the whore’s cup, under the beast’s and
dragon’s power.
    “Fourthly, They that sit down in the state in which Adam was
before he fell, sit down in that which may be fallen from; for he
fell from that state, though it was perfect.
    “Fifthly, They that sit down in the prophets, sit down in
that which must be fulfilled; and they that sit down in the
fellowship of water, bread, and wine, these being temporal things,
they sit down in that which is short of Christ, and of His
    “Sixthly, To sit down in a profession of all the Scriptures,
from Genesis to the Revelations, and not be in the power and
Spirit which those were in that gave them forth; — that was to be
turned away from by them that came into the power and Spirit which
those were in that gave forth the Scriptures.
    “Seventhly, They that sit down in the heavenly places in
Christ Jesus, sit down in Him that never fell, nor ever changed.”
    After this meeting was over, and most of the Friends gone
away, as I was walking in John Crook’s garden, there came a party
of horse, with a constable, to seize me. I heard them ask, “Who is
in the house?” Somebody made answer that I was there. They said
that I was the man they looked for; and went forthwith into the
house, where they had many words with John Crook and some few
Friends that were with him. But the Lord’s power so confounded
them that they came not into the garden to look for me; but went
their way in a rage.
    When I came into the house, Friends were very glad to see
that I had escaped them. Next day I passed thence; and, after I
had visited Friends in several places, came to London, the Lord’s
power accompanying me, and bearing me up in His service.
    During the time I was at London I had many services laid upon
me, for it was a time of much suffering. I was moved to write to
Oliver Cromwell, and lay before him the sufferings of Friends both
in this nation and in Ireland. There was also a talk about this
time of making Cromwell king; whereupon I was moved to go to him
and warn him against accepting it; and of diverse dangers which,
if he did not avoid them, would, I told him, bring shame and ruin
upon himself and his posterity. He seemed to take well what I said
to him, and thanked me; yet afterwards I was moved to write to him
more fully concerning that matter.
    About this time the Lady Claypole (so called) was sick, and
much troubled in mind, and could receive no comfort from any that
came to her. When I heard of this I was moved to write to
    About this time came forth a declaration from Oliver
Cromwell, the Protector, for a collection towards the relief of
diverse Protestant churches, driven out of Poland; and of twenty
Protestant families, driven out of the confines of Bohemia. And
there having been a like declaration published some time before,
to invite the nation to a day of solemn fasting and humiliation,
in order to a contribution being made for the suffering
Protestants of the valleys of Lucerne, Angrona, etc., who were
persecuted by the Duke of Savoy,[145] I was moved to write to the
Protector and chief magistrates on this occasion, both to show
them the nature of a true fast (such as God requires and accepts),
and to make them sensible of their injustice and self-condemnation
in blaming the Papists for persecuting the Protestants abroad,
while they themselves, calling themselves Protestants, were at the
same time persecuting their Protestant neighbours and friends at
    Diverse times, both in the time of the Long Parliament and of
the Protector (so called) and of the Committee of Safety, when
they proclaimed fasts, I was moved to write to them, and tell them
their fasts were like unto Jezebel’s; for commonly, when they
proclaimed fasts, there was some mischief contrived against us. I
knew their fasts were for strife and debate, to smite with the
fist of wickedness; as the New England professors soon after did;
who, before they put our Friends to death, proclaimed a fast also.
    Now it was a time of great suffering; and many Friends being
in prisons, many other Friends were moved to go to the Parliament,
to offer themselves up to lie in the same prisons where their
friends lay, that those in prison might go forth, and not perish
in the stinking jails. This we did in love to God and our
brethren, that they might not die in prison; and in love to those
that cast them in, that they might not bring innocent blood upon
their own heads, which we knew would cry to the Lord, and bring
His wrath, vengeance, and plagues upon them.
    But little favour could we find from those professing
Parliaments; instead thereof, they would rage, and sometimes
threaten Friends that attended them, to whip and send them home.
Then commonly soon after the Lord would turn them out, and send
them home; who had not an heart to do good in the day of their
power. But they went not off without being forewarned; for I was
moved to write to them, in their several turns, as I did to the
Long Parliament, unto whom I declared, before they were broken up,
“that thick darkness was coming over them all, even a day of
darkness that should be felt.”
    And because the Parliament that now sat was made up mostly of
high professors, who, pretending to be more religious than others,
were indeed greater persecutors of those that were truly
religious, I was moved to send them the following lines, as a
reproof of their hypocrisy:[146]
    “O friends, do not cloak and cover yourselves; there is a God
that knoweth your hearts, and that will uncover you. He seeth your
way. ‘Wo be unto him that covereth, but not with my Spirit, saith
the Lord.’ Do ye act contrary to the law, and then put it from
you! Mercy and true judgment ye neglect. Look, what was spoken
against such. My Saviour spoke against such; ‘I was sick, and ye
visited me not; I was hungry, and ye fed me not; I was a stranger,
and ye took me not in; I was in prison, and ye visited me not.’
But they said, ‘When saw we thee in prison, and did not come to
thee?’ ‘Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of these little ones,
ye did it not unto me.’ Friends, ye imprison them that are in the
life and power of Truth, and yet profess to be the ministers of
Christ; but if Christ had sent you, ye would bring out of prison,
out of bondage, and receive strangers. Ye have lived in pleasure
on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as
in a day of slaughter; ye have condemned and killed the just, and
he doth not resist you.
    G. F.”

    After this, as I was going out of town, having two Friends
with me, when we were little more than a mile out of the city,
there met us two troopers belonging to Colonel Hacker’s regiment,
who took me, and the Friends that were with me, and brought us
back to the Mews, and there kept us prisoners. But the Lord’s
power was so over them that they did not take us before any
officer; but shortly after set us at liberty again.
    The same day, taking boat, I went to Kingston, and thence to
Hampton Court, to speak with the Protector about the sufferings of
Friends. I met him riding in Hampton Court Park, and before I came
to him, as he rode at the head of his life-guard, I saw and felt a
waft [or apparition] of death go forth against him; and when I
came to him he looked like a dead man.
    After I had laid the sufferings of Friends before him, and
had warned him, according as I was moved to speak to him, he bade
me come to his house. So I returned to Kingston, and next day went
to Hampton Court, to speak further with him. But when I came he
was sick, and Harvey,[147] who was one that waited on him, told me
the doctors were not willing I should speak with him. So I passed
away, and never saw him more.[148]
    From Kingston I went to Isaac Penington’s,[149] in
Buckinghamshire, where I had appointed a meeting, and the Lord’s
Truth and power were preciously manifested amongst us. After I had
visited Friends in those parts, I returned to London, and soon
after went into Essex, where I had not been long before I heard
that the Protector was dead, and his son Richard made Protector in
his room. Thereupon I came up to London again.
    Before this time the church faith (so called) was given
forth, which was said to have been made at the Savoy in eleven
days’ time.[150] I got a copy before it was published, and wrote
an answer to it; and when their book of church faith was sold in
the streets, my answer to it was sold also. This angered some of
the Parliament men, so that one of them told me, “We must have you
to Smithfield.” I told him, “I am above your fires, and fear them
not.” And, reasoning with him, I wished him to consider, had all
people been without a faith these sixteen hundred years, that now
the priests must make them one? Did not the apostle say that Jesus
was the author and finisher of their faith? And since Christ Jesus
was the author of the Apostles’ faith, of the Church’s faith in
primitive times, and of the martyrs’ faith, should not all people
look unto Him to be the author and finisher of their faith, and
not to the priests? Much work we had about the priest-made faith.
    There was great persecution in many places, both by
imprisoning, and by breaking up of meetings. At a meeting about
seven miles from London, the rude people usually came out of
several parishes round about, to abuse Friends, and often beat and
bruised them exceedingly. One day they abused about eighty Friends
that went to that meeting out of London, tearing their coats and
cloaks from off their backs, and throwing them into ditches and
ponds; and when they had besmeared them with dirt, they said they
looked like witches.
    The next First-day I was moved of the Lord to go to that
meeting, though I was then very weak. When I came there I bade
Friends bring a table, and set it in the close, where they used to
meet, to stand upon. According to their wonted course, the rude
people came; and I, having a Bible in my hand, showed them theirs
and their teachers’ fruits; and the people became ashamed, and
were quiet.
    But it was a time of great sufferings; for, besides
imprisonments, through which many died, our meetings were greatly
disturbed. They have thrown rotten eggs and wild-fire into our
meetings, and brought in drums beating, and kettles to make noises
with, that the Truth might not be heard; and, among these, the
priests were as rude as any, as may be seen in the book of the
fighting priests, wherein a list is given of some priests that had
actually beaten and abused Friends.
    Many Friends were brought prisoners to London, to be tried
before the Committee; where Henry Vane, being chairman, would not
suffer Friends to come in, except they would put off their
hats.[151] But at last the Lord’s power came over him, so that,
through the mediation of others, they were admitted. Many of us
having been imprisoned upon contempts (as they called them) for
not putting off our hats, it was not a likely thing that Friends,
who had suffered so long for it from others, should put off their
hats to him. But the Lord’s power came over all, and wrought so
that several were set at liberty by them.
    I wrote to Oliver several times, and let him know that while
he was persecuting God’s people, they whom he accounted his
enemies were preparing to come upon him. When some forward spirits
that came amongst us would have bought Somerset-House, that we
might have meetings in it, I forbade them to do so: for I then
foresaw the King’s coming in again. Besides, there came a woman to
me in the Strand, who had a prophecy concerning King Charles’s
coming in, three years before he came: and she told me she must go
to him to declare it. I advised her to wait upon the Lord, and
keep it to herself; for if it should be known that she went on
such a message, they would look upon it to be treason — but she
said she must go, and tell him that he should be brought into
England again.
    I saw her prophecy was true, and that a great stroke must
come upon them in power; for they that had then got possession
were so exceeding high, and such great persecution was acted by
them, who called themselves saints, that they would take from
Friends their copyhold lands, because they could not swear in
their courts.
    Sometimes when we laid these sufferings before Oliver
Cromwell, he would not believe it. Therefore Thomas Aldam and
Anthony Pearson were moved to go through all the jails in England,
and to get copies of Friends’ commitments under the jailer’s
hands, that they might lay the weight of their sufferings upon
Oliver Cromwell. And when he would not give order for the
releasing of them, Thomas Aldam was moved to take his cap from off
his head, and to rend it in pieces before him, and to say unto
him, “So shall thy government be rent from thee and thy house.”
    Another Friend also, a woman, was moved to go to the
Parliament (that was envious against Friends) with a pitcher in
her hand, which she broke into pieces before them, and told them
that so should they be broken to pieces: which came to pass
shortly after.
    In my great suffering and travail of spirit for the nation,
being grievously burdened with their hypocrisy, treachery, and
falsehood, I saw God would bring that over them which they had
been above; and that all must be brought down to that which
convinced them, before they could get over that bad spirit within
and without: for it is the pure, invisible Spirit, that doth and
only can work down all deceit in people.
    Now was there a great pother made about the image or effigy
of Oliver Cromwell lying in state; men standing and sounding with
trumpets over his image, after he was dead. At this my spirit was
greatly grieved, and the Lord, I found, was highly offended.
    About this time great stirs were in the nation, the minds of
people being unsettled. Much plotting and contriving there was by
the several factions, to carry on their several interests. And a
great care being upon me, lest any young or ignorant people, that
might sometimes come amongst us, should be drawn into that snare,
I was moved to give forth an epistle[152] as a warning unto all

                        CHAPTER XIII.
              In the First Year of King Charles.

    I entered Bristol on the Seventh day of the week.[153] The
day before, the soldiers came with their muskets into the meeting,
and were exceedingly rude, beating and striking Friends with them,
and drove them out of the orchard in a great rage, threatening
what they would do if Friends came there again. For the mayor and
the commander of the soldiers had, it seems, combined together to
make a disturbance amongst Friends.
    When Friends told me what a rage there was in the town, how
they were threatened by the mayor and soldiers, and how unruly the
soldiers had been the day before, I sent for several Friends, as
George Bishop, Thomas Gouldney, Thomas Speed, and Edward Pyot, and
desired them to go to the mayor and aldermen, and request them,
seeing he and they had broken up our meetings, to let Friends have
the town-hall to meet in. For the use of it Friends would give
them twenty pounds a year, to be distributed amongst the poor and
when the mayor and aldermen had business to do in it, Friends
would not meet in it, but only on First-days.
    These Friends were astonished at this, and said the mayor and
aldermen would think that they were mad. I said, Nay; for this
would be a considerable benefit to the poor. And it was upon me
from the Lord to bid them go. At last they consented, and went,
though in the cross to their own wills.
    When they had laid the thing before the mayor, he said, “For
my part I could consent to it, but I am but one”; and he told
Friends of another great hall they might have; but that they did
not accept, it being inconvenient.
    So Friends came away, leaving the mayor in a very loving
frame towards them; for they felt the Lord’s power had come over
him. When they came back, I spoke to them to go also to the
colonel that commanded the soldiers, and lay before him the rude
conduct of his soldiers, how they came armed amongst innocent
people, who were waiting upon and worshipping the Lord; but they
were backward to go to him.
    Next morning, being First-day, we went to the meeting in the
orchard, where the soldiers had lately been so rude. After I had
declared the Truth some time in the meeting, there came in many
rude soldiers and people, some with drawn swords. The innkeepers
had made some of them drunk; and one had bound himself with an
oath to cut down and kill the man that spoke. He came pressing in,
through all the crowd of people, to within two yards of me, and
stopped at those four Friends before mentioned (who should have
gone to the colonel as I would have had them), and began jangling
with them. Suddenly I saw his sword was put up and gone: for the
Lord’s power came over all, and chained him with the rest. We had
a blessed meeting, and the Lord’s everlasting power and presence
were felt amongst us.
    On the day following, the four Friends went and spoke with
the colonel, and he sent for the soldiers, and cut and slashed
some of them before the Friends’ faces. When I heard of this I
blamed the Friends for letting him do so, and also that they did
not go on the Seventh-day, as I would have had them, which might
have prevented this cutting of the soldiers, and the trouble they
gave at our meeting. But thus the Lord’s power came over all those
persecuting, bloody minds, and the meeting there was held in peace
for a good while after without disturbance.
    I had then also a general meeting at Edward Pyot’s, near
Bristol, at which it was judged were several thousands of
people:[154] for besides Friends from many parts thereabouts, some
of the Baptists and Independents, with their teachers, came to it,
and many of the sober people of Bristol; insomuch that the people
who stayed behind said the city looked naked, so many were gone
out of it to this meeting. It was very quiet, and many glorious
truths were opened to the people.
    As we had much work with priests and professors who pleaded
for imperfection, I was opened to declare and manifest to them
that Adam and Eve were perfect before they fell, and all that God
made He saw was good, and He blessed it; but the imperfection came
in by the fall, through man’s and woman’s hearkening to the devil
who was out of Truth. And though the law made nothing perfect, yet
it made way for the bringing in of the better hope, which hope is
Christ, who destroys the devil and his works, which made man and
woman imperfect.
    Christ saith to His disciples, “Be ye perfect, even as your
heavenly Father is perfect”: and He, who Himself was perfect,
comes to make man and woman perfect again, and brings them again
to the state in which God made them. So He is the maker-up of the
breach, and the peace betwixt God and man.
    That this might the better be understood by the lowest
capacities, I used a comparison of two old people who had their
house broken down by an enemy, so that they, with all their
children, were liable to all storms and tempests. And there came
to them some that pretended to be workmen, and offered to build up
their house again, if they would give them so much a year; but
when they had got the money they left the house as they found it.
    After this manner came a second, third, fourth, fifth, and
sixth, each with his several pretence to build up the old house,
and each got the people’s money, and then cried that they could
not rear up the house, the breach could not be made up; for there
is no perfection here. They tell the old people that the house can
never be perfectly built up again in this life, though they have
taken the people’s money for doing it.
    So all the sect-masters in Christendom (so called) have
pretended to build up Adam’s and Eve’s fallen house; and when they
have got the people’s money, they tell them the work cannot be
perfectly done here; so their house lies as it did. But I told the
people Christ was come to do it freely, who by one offering hath
perfected for ever all them that are sanctified, and renews them
up into the image of God, which man and woman were in before they
fell, and makes man’s and woman’s house as perfect again as God
made them at the first; and this Christ, the heavenly Man, doth
freely. Therefore all are to look unto Him, and all that have
received Him are to walk in Him, the Life, the Substance, the
First, and the Last, the Rock of Ages, the Foundation of many
    About this time the soldiers under General Monk’s command
were rude and troublesome at Friends’ meetings in many places,
whereof complaint being made to him he gave forth the following
order, which somewhat restrained them:

    “St. James’s, the 9th of March, 1659.

    “I do require all officers and soldiers to forbear to disturb
the peaceable meetings of the Quakers, they doing nothing
prejudicial to the Parliament or Commonwealth of England.
George Monk.”

    We passed thence to Tewkesbury and so to Worcester, visiting
Friends in their meetings as we went. And in all my time I never
saw such drunkenness as in the towns, for they had been choosing
Parliament men. At Worcester the Lord’s Truth was set over all,
people were finely settled therein, and Friends praised the Lord;
nay, I saw the very earth rejoiced.
    Yet great fears and troubles were in many people, and a
looking for the King’s coming in, and all things being altered.
They would ask me what I thought of times and things. I told them
the Lord’s power was over all, and His light shone over all; that
fear would take hold only on the hypocrites, such as had not been
faithful to God, and on our persecutors.
    In my travail and sufferings at Reading, when people were at
a stand, and could not tell what might come in, and who might
rule, I told them the Lord’s power was over all (for I had
travelled through in it), and His day shined, whosoever should
come in; and whether the King came in or not, all would be well to
them that loved the Lord, and were faithful to Him. Therefore I
bade all Friends fear none but the Lord, and keep in His power.
    From Worcester I visited Friends in their meetings, till I
came to Badgley, and thence I went to Drayton, in Leicestershire,
to visit my relations. While there, one Burton, a justice, hearing
I had a good horse, sent a warrant to search for me and my horse;
but I was gone before they came; and so he missed of his wicked
    I passed on to Twy-Cross, Swannington, and Derby, where I
visited Friends, and found amongst them my old jailer, who had
formerly kept me in the house of correction there, now convinced
of the Truth which I then suffered under him for.
    Passing into Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, I came to
Synderhill-Green, visiting Friends through all those parts in
their meetings, and so on to Balby in Yorkshire, where our Yearly
Meeting at that time was held in a great orchard of John Killam’s,
where it was supposed some thousands of people and Friends were
gathered together.
    In the morning I heard that a troop of horse was sent from
York to break up our meeting, and that the militia, newly raised,
was to join them. I went into the meeting, and stood up on a great
stool, and after I had spoken some time two trumpeters came up,
sounding their trumpets near me, and the captain of the troop
cried, “Divide to the right and left, and make way.” Then they
rode up to me.
    I was declaring the everlasting Truth and Word of life in the
mighty power of the Lord. The captain bade me come down, for he
was come to disperse our meeting. After some time I told him they
all knew we were a peaceable people, and used to have such great
meetings; but if he apprehended that we met in a hostile way, I
desired him to make search among us, and if he found either sword
or pistol about any there, let such suffer.
    He told me he must see us dispersed, for he came all night on
purpose to disperse us. I asked him what honour it would be to him
to ride with swords and pistols amongst so many unarmed men and
women as there were. If he would be still and quiet our meeting
probably might not continue above two or three hours; and when it
was done, as we came peaceably together, so we should part; for he
might perceive the meeting was so large, that all the country
thereabouts could not entertain them, but that they intended to
depart towards their homes at night.
    He said he could not stay to see the meeting ended, but must
disperse them before he went. I desired him, then, if he himself
could not stay, that he would let a dozen of his soldiers stay,
and see the order and peaceableness of our meeting. He said he
would permit us an hour’s time, and left half a dozen soldiers
with us. Then he went away with his troop, and Friends of the
house gave the soldiers that stayed, and their horses, some meat.
    When the captain was gone the soldiers that were left told us
we might stay till night if we would. But we stayed but about
three hours after, and had a glorious, powerful meeting; for the
presence of the living God was manifest amongst us, and the Seed,
Christ, was set over all. Friends were built upon Him, the
foundation, and settled under His glorious, heavenly teaching.
    After the meeting Friends passed away in peace, greatly
refreshed with the presence of the Lord, and filled with joy and
gladness that the Lord’s power had given them such dominion. Many
of the militia-soldiers stayed also, much vexed that the captain
and troopers had not broken up our meeting; and cursed the captain
and his troopers. It was reported that they intended evil against
us that day; but the troopers, instead of assisting them, were
rather assistant to us, in not joining them as they expected, but
preventing them from doing the mischief they designed.
    This captain was a desperate man; for it was he that said to
me in Scotland that he would obey his superior’s commands; if it
were to crucify Christ he would do it, or would execute the great
Turk’s commands against the Christians if he were under him. So
that it was an eminent power of the Lord which chained both him
and his troopers, and those envious militia-soldiers also, who
went away, not having power to hurt any of us, nor to break up our
    Next day we had an heavenly meeting at Warmsworth of Friends
in the ministry, with several others; and then Friends parted. As
they passed through the country several were taken up; for on the
day on which our first meeting was held, Lambert was routed, and
it made great confusion in the country; but Friends were not kept
long in prison at that time.
    As I went to this meeting there came to me several at Skegby,
in Nottinghamshire, who were going to be soldiers under Lambert,
and would have bought my horse of me. Because I would not sell
him, they were in a great rage against me, using many threatening
words: but I told them that God would confound and scatter them;
and within two or three days after they were scattered indeed.
    From Warmsworth I passed, in the Lord’s power, to Barton
Abbey, where I had a great meeting; thence to Thomas Taylor’s; and
so on to Skipton, where was a general meeting of men Friends out
of many counties concerning the affairs of the Church.[155]
    A Friend went naked through the town, declaring Truth, and
was much beaten.[156] Some other Friends also came to me all
bloody. As I walked in the street, a desperate fellow had an
intent to do me mischief; but he was prevented, and our meeting
was quiet.
    To this meeting came many Friends out of most parts of the
nation; for it was about business relating to the Church both in
this nation and beyond the seas. Several years before, when I was
in the north, I was moved to recommend to Friends the setting up
of this meeting for that service; for many Friends had suffered in
diverse parts of the nation, their goods were taken from them
contrary to law, and they understood not how to help themselves,
or where to seek redress.[157] But after this meeting was set up,
several Friends who had been magistrates, and others that
understood something of the law, came thither, and were able to
inform Friends, and to assist them in gathering up the sufferings,
that they might be laid before the justices, judges, or
    This meeting had stood several years, and diverse justices
and captains had come to break it up, but when they understood the
business Friends met about, and saw their books and accounts of
collections for relief of the poor, how we took care one county to
help another, and to help our Friends beyond the seas, and provide
for our poor, that none of them should be chargeable to their
parishes, etc., the justices and officers confessed we did their
work and passed away peaceably and lovingly, commending Friends’
    Sometimes there would come two hundred of the poor of other
people, and wait there till the meeting was done (for all the
country knew we met about the poor), and after the meeting Friends
would send to the bakers for bread, and give every one of these
poor people a loaf, how many soever there were of them; for we
were taught to “do good unto all; though especially to the
household of faith.”
    After this meeting I visited Friends in their meetings till I
came to Lancaster; whence I went to Robert Widders’s, and so on to
Arnside, where I had a general meeting for all the Friends in
Westmoreland, Cumberland, and Lancashire. It was quiet and
peaceable, and the living presence of the Lord was amongst us. I
went back with Robert Widders; and Friends all passed away, fresh
in the life and power of Christ, in which they had dominion, being
settled upon Him, the heavenly Rock and Foundation.
    I went next day to Swarthmore, Francis Howgill and Thomas
Curtis being with me. I had not been long there before Henry
Porter, a justice, sent a warrant by the chief constable and three
petty constables to apprehend me. I had a sense of this
beforehand; and being in the parlor with Richard Richardson and
Margaret Fell, her servants came and told her there were some come
to search the house for arms; and they went up into the chambers
under that pretence.
    It came upon me to go out to them; and as I was going by some
of them I spoke to them; whereupon they asked me my name. I
readily told them my name; and then they laid hold on me, saying
that I was the man they looked for, and led me away to Ulverstone.
    They kept me all night at the constable’s house, and set a
guard of fifteen or sixteen men to watch me; some of whom sat in
the chimney, for fear I should go up it; such dark imaginations
possessed them. They were very rude and uncivil, and would neither
suffer me to speak to Friends, nor suffer them to bring me
necessaries; but with violence thrust them out, and kept a strong
guard upon me. Very wicked and rude they were, and a great noise
they made about me. One of the constables, whose name was
Ashburnham, said he did not think a thousand men could have taken
me. Another of the constables, whose name was Mount, a very wicked
man, said he would have served Judge Fell himself so, if he had
been alive, and he had had a warrant for him.
    Next morning, about six, I was putting on my boots and spurs
to go with them before some justice; but they pulled off my spurs,
took my knife out of my pocket, and hurried me away through the
town, with a party of horse and abundance of people, not suffering
me to stay till my own horse came down.
    When I was gone about a quarter of a mile with them, some
Friends, with Margaret Fell and her children, came towards me; and
then a great party of horse gathered about me in a mad rage and
fury, crying out, “Will they rescue him? Will they rescue him?”
Thereupon I said unto them, “Here is my hair; here is my back;
here are my cheeks; strike on!” With these words their heat was a
little assuaged.
    Then they brought a little horse, and two of them took up one
of my legs and put my foot in the stirrup, and two or three
lifting over my other leg, set me upon it behind the saddle, and
so led the horse by the halter; but I had nothing to hold by. When
they were come some distance out of the town they beat the little
horse, and made him kick and gallop. Thereupon I slipped off him.
I told them they should not abuse the creature. They were much
enraged at my getting off, and took me by the legs and feet, and
set me upon the same horse, behind the saddle again; and so led it
about two miles till they came to a great water called the Carter-
    By this time my own horse was come to us, and the water being
deep, and their little horse scarcely able to carry me through,
they let me get upon my own, through the persuasion of some of
their own company, leading him through the water. One wicked
fellow kneeled down, and, lifting up his hands, blessed God that I
was taken.
    When I was come over the Sands, I told them that I heard I
had liberty to choose what justice I would go before; but Mount
and the other constables cried, “No, you shall not.” Then they led
me to Lancaster, about fourteen miles, and a great triumph they
thought to have had; but as they led me I was moved to sing
praises to the Lord, in His power triumphing over all.
    When I was come to Lancaster, the spirits of the people being
mightily up, I stood and looked earnestly upon them, and they
cried, “Look at his eyes!”[158] After a while I spoke to them, and
they were pretty sober. Then came a young man who took me to his
house, and after a little time the officers took me to the house
of Major Porter, the justice who had sent the warrant against me,
and who had several others with him.
    When I came in, I said, “Peace be amongst you.” Porter asked
me why I came into the country at that troublesome time.[159] I
told him, “To visit my brethren.” “But,” said he, “you have great
meetings up and down.” I told him that though we had, our meetings
were known throughout the nation to be peaceable, and we were a
peaceable people.
    He said that we saw the devil in people’s faces. I told him
that if I saw a drunkard, or a swearer, or a peevish heady man, I
could not say I saw the Spirit of God in him. And I asked him if
he could see the Spirit of God. He said we cried against their
ministers. I told him that while we were as Saul, sitting under
the priests, and running up and down with their packets of
letters, we were never called pestilent fellows nor makers of
sects; but when we were come to exercise our consciences towards
God and man, we were called pestilent fellows, as Paul was.
    He said we could express ourselves well enough, and he would
not dispute with me; but he would restrain me. I desired to know
for what, and by whose order he had sent his warrant for me; and I
complained to him of the abuse of the constables and other
officers after they had taken me, and in their bringing me
thither. He would not take notice of that, but told me he had an
order, but would not let me see it; for he would not reveal the
Ring’s secrets; and besides, “A prisoner,” he said, “is not to see
for what he is committed.” I told him that was not reason; for
how, then, should he make his defense? I said I ought to have a
copy of it. But he said there was a judge once that fined one for
letting a prisoner have a copy of his mittimus; “and,” said he, “I
have an old clerk, though I am a young justice.”
    Then he called to his clerk, saying, “Is it not ready yet?
Bring it”; meaning the mittimus. But it not being ready, he told
me I was a disturber of the nation. I told him I had been a
blessing to the nation, in and through the Lord’s power and Truth;
and that the Spirit of God in all consciences would answer it.
Then he charged me as an enemy to the King, that I endeavoured to
raise a new war, and imbrue the nation in blood again. I told him
I had never learned the postures of war, but was clear and
innocent as a child concerning those things; and therefore was
    Then came the clerk with the mittimus, and the jailer was
sent for and commanded to take me, put me into the Dark-house, and
let none come at me, but to keep me there close prisoner till I
should be delivered by the King or Parliament. Then the justice
asked the constables where my horse was. “For I hear,” said he,
“he hath a good horse; have ye brought his horse?” I told him
where my horse was, but he did not meddle with him.
    As they had me to the jail the constable gave me my knife
again, and then asked me to give it to him. I told him, Nay; he
had not been so civil to me. So they put me into the jail, and the
under-jailer, one Hardy, a very wicked man, was exceeding rude and
cruel, and many times would not let me have meat brought in but as
I could get it under the door. Many came to look at me, some in a
rage, and very uncivil and rude.
    Being now a close prisoner in the common jail at Lancaster, I
desired Thomas Cummins and Thomas Green to go to the jailer, and
desire of him a copy of my mittimus, that I might know what I
stood committed for. They went and the jailer answered that he
could not give a copy of it, for another had been fined for so
doing; but he gave them liberty to read it over. To the best of
their remembrance the matters therein charged against me were that
I was a person generally suspected to be a common disturber of the
peace of the nation, an enemy to the King, and a chief upholder of
the Quakers’ sect; and that, together with others of my fanatic
opinion, I had of late endeavoured to raise insurrections in these
parts of the country, and to embroil the whole kingdom in blood.
Wherefore the jailer was commanded to keep me in safe custody
until I should be released by order of the King and Parliament.
    When I had thus got the heads of the charge contained in the
mittimus, I wrote a plain answer in vindication of my innocency in
each particular; as follows:

    “I am a prisoner at Lancaster, committed by Justice Porter. A
copy of the mittimus I cannot get, but such expressions I am told
are in it as are very untrue; as that I am generally suspected to
be a common disturber of the nation’s peace, an enemy to the King,
and that I, with others, endeavour to raise insurrections to
embroil the nation in blood; all of which is utterly false, and I
do, in every part thereof, deny it.
    “For I am not a person generally suspected to be a disturber
of the nation’s peace, nor have I given any cause for such
suspicion; for through the nation I have been tried for these
things formerly. In the days of Oliver I was taken up on pretence
of raising arms against him, which was also false; for I meddled
not with raising arms at all. Yet I was then carried up a prisoner
to London, and brought before him; when I cleared myself, and
denied the drawing of a carnal weapon against him, or any man upon
the earth; for my weapons are spiritual, which take away the
occasion of war, and lead into peace. Upon my declaring this to
Oliver, I was set at liberty by him.
    “After this I was taken and sent to prison by Major Ceely in
Cornwall, who, when I was brought before the judge, informed
against me that I took him aside, and told him that I could raise
forty thousand men in an hour’s time, to involve the nation in
blood, and bring in King Charles. This also was utterly false, and
a lie of his own inventing as was then proved upon him for I never
spoke any such word to him.
    “I never was found in any plot; I never took any engagement
or oath; nor have I ever learned war-postures. As those were false
charges against me then, so are these now which come from Major
Porter, who is lately appointed to be justice, but formerly wanted
power to exercise his cruelty against us; which is but the
wickedness of the old enemy. The peace of the nation I am not a
disturber of, nor ever was; but I seek the peace of it, and of all
men, and stand for all nations’ peace, and all men’s peace upon
the earth, and wish all knew my innocency in these things.
    “And whereas Major Porter saith I am an enemy to the King,
this is false; for my love is to him and to all men, even though
they be enemies to God, to themselves, and to me. And I can say it
is of the Lord that the King is come in, to bring down many
unrighteously set up; of which I had a sight three years before he
came in. It is much Major Porter should say I am an enemy to the
King; for I have no reason so to be, he having done nothing
against me.
    “But I have been often imprisoned and persecuted these eleven
or twelve years by those that have been both against the King and
his father, even the party by whom Porter was made a major and for
whom he bore arms; but not by them that were for the King. I was
never an enemy to the King, nor to any man’s person upon the
earth. I am in the love that fulfils the law, which thinks no
evil, but loves even enemies; and would have the King saved, and
come to the knowledge of the Truth, and be brought into the fear
of the Lord, to receive His wisdom from above, by which all things
were made and created; that with that wisdom he may order all
things to the glory of God.
    “Whereas he calleth me ‘A chief upholder of the Quakers’
sect,’ I answer: The Quakers are not a sect,[160] but are in the
power of God, which was before sects were, and witness the
election before the world began, and are come to live in the life
in which the prophets and apostles lived, who gave forth the
Scriptures; therefore are we hated by envious, wrathful, wicked,
persecuting men. But God is the upholder of us all by His mighty
power, and preserves us from the wrath of the wicked that would
swallow us up.
    “And whereas he saith that I, together with others of my
fanatic opinion, as he calls it, have of late endeavoured to raise
insurrections, and to embroil the whole kingdom in blood, I
answer, This is altogether false. To these things I am as a child;
I know nothing of them. The postures of war I never learned; my
weapons are spiritual and not carnal, for with carnal weapons I do
not fight. I am a follower of Him who said, ‘My kingdom is not of
this world,’ and though these lies and slanders are raised upon
me, I deny drawing any carnal weapon against the King or
Parliament, or any man upon the earth. For I am come to the end of
the Law, but am in that which saves men’s lives. A witness I am
against all murderers, plotters, and all such as would imbrue the
nation in blood; for it is not in my heart to have any man’s life
    “And as for the word fanatic, which signifies furious,
foolish, mad, etc., he might have considered himself before he had
used that word, and have learned the humility which goes before
honour. We are not furious, foolish, or mad; but through patience
and meekness have borne lies, slanders and persecutions many
years, and have undergone great sufferings. The spiritual man,
that wrestles not with flesh and blood, and the Spirit that
reproves sin in the gate, which is the Spirit of Truth, wisdom,
and sound judgment, is not mad, foolish, furious, which fanatic
signifies; but all are of a mad, furious, foolish spirit that in
their furiousness, foolishness and rage wrestle with flesh and
blood, with carnal weapons. This is not the Spirit of God, but of
error, that persecutes in a mad, blind zeal, like Nebuchadnezzar
and Saul.
    “Inasmuch as I am ordered to be kept prisoner till I be
delivered by order from the King or Parliament, therefore I have
written these things to be laid before you, the King and
Parliament, that ye may consider of them before ye act anything
therein; that ye may weigh, in the wisdom of God, the intent and
end of men’s spirits, lest ye act the thing that will bring the
hand of the Lord upon you and against you, as many who have been
in authority have done before you, whom God hath overthrown. In
Him we trust whom we fear and cry unto day and night, who hath
heard us, doth hear us, and will hear us, and avenge our cause.
Much innocent blood hath been shed. Many have been persecuted to
death by such as were in authority before you, whom God hath
vomited out because they turned against the just. Therefore
consider your standing now that ye have the day, and receive this
as a warning of love to you.
    “From an innocent sufferer in bonds, and close prisoner in
Lancaster Castle, called
    “George Fox.”

    After this Margaret Fell determined to go to London, to speak
with the King about my being taken, and to show him the manner of
it, and the unjust dealing and evil usage I had received.[161]
When Justice Porter heard of this, he vapoured that he would go
and meet her in the gap. But when he came before the King, having
been a zealous man for the Parliament against the King, several of
the courtiers spoke to him concerning his plundering their houses;
so that he quickly had enough of the court, and soon returned into
the country.
    Meanwhile the jailer seemed very fearful, and said he was
afraid Major Porter would hang him because he had not put me in
the dark-house. But when the jailer waited on him after his return
from London, he was very blank and down, and asked how I did,
pretending he would find a way to set me at liberty. But having
overshot himself in his mittimus by ordering me “to be kept a
prisoner till I should be delivered by the King or Parliament,” he
had put it out of his power to release me if he would.
    He was the more down also upon reading a letter which I sent
him; for when he was in the height of his rage and threats against
me, and thought to ingratiate himself into the King’s favour by
imprisoning me, I was moved to write to him and put him in mind
how fierce he had been against the King and his party, though now
he would be thought zealous for the King.
    Among other things in my letter I called to his remembrance
that when he held Lancaster Castle for the Parliament against the
King, he was so rough and fierce against those that favoured the
King that he said he would leave them neither dog nor cat, if they
did not bring him provision to the Castle. I asked him also whose
great buck’s horns were those that were in his house; and whence
he had both them and the wainscot with which he ceiled his house;
had he them not from Hornby Castle?
    About this time Ann Curtis, of Reading, came to see me; and
understanding how I stood committed, it was upon her also to go to
the King about it. Her father, who had been sheriff of Bristol,
was hanged near his own door for endeavouring to bring the King
in; upon which consideration she had some hopes the King might
hear her on my behalf. Accordingly, when she returned to London,
she and Margaret Fell went to the King together; who, when he
understood whose daughter she was, received her kindly. Her
request to him being to send for me up, and hear the cause
himself, he promised her he would; and he commanded his secretary
to send an order for bringing me up.
    But when they came to the secretary for the order he said it
was not in his power; he must go according to law; and I must be
brought up by a writ of habeas corpus before the judges. So he
wrote to the Judge of the King’s Bench, signifying that it was the
King’s pleasure I should be sent up by a writ of habeas corpus.
Accordingly a writ was sent and delivered to the sheriff; but
because it was directed to the chancellor of Lancaster the sheriff
put it off to him; on the other hand, the chancellor would not
make the warrant upon it, but said the sheriff must do that.
    At length both chancellor and sheriff were got together; but
being both enemies to Truth, they sought occasion for delay, and
found an error in the writ, which was that, being directed to the
chancellor, it said, “George Fox in prison under your custody,”
whereas the prison I was in was not in the chancellor’s custody,
but the sheriff’s; so the word your should have been his. Upon
this they returned the writ to London again, only to have that one
word altered.
    When it was altered and brought down again, the sheriff
refused to carry me up unless I would seal a writing to him and
become bound to pay for the sealing and the charge of carrying me
up: which I denied, telling them I would not seal anything.
    I was moved also to write to the King to exhort him to
exercise mercy and forgiveness towards his enemies and to warn him
to restrain the profaneness and looseness that was risen up in the
nation upon his return.


    “King Charles:

    “Thou camest not into this nation by sword, nor by victory of
war, but by the power of the Lord. Now, if thou dost not live in
this power, thou wilt not prosper.
    “If the Lord hath showed thee mercy and forgiven thee, and
thou dost not show mercy and forgive, God will not hear thy
prayers, nor them that pray for thee. If thou dost not stop
persecution and persecutors, and take away all laws that hold up
persecution about religion; if thou persist in them, and uphold
persecution, that will make thee as blind as those that have gone
before thee: for persecution hath always blinded those that have
gone into it. Such God by his power overthrows, doeth His valiant
acts upon, and bringeth salvation to His oppressed ones.
    “If thou bear the sword in vain, and let drunkenness, oaths,
plays, May-games, as setting up of May-poles, with the image of
the crown atop of them, with such like abominations and vanities,
be encouraged or go unpunished, the nation will quickly turn like
Sodom and Gomorrah, and be as bad as those men of the old world,
who grieved the Lord till He overthrew them. So He will overthrow
you if these things be not suppressed.
    “Hardly ever before has there been so much wickedness at
liberty as there is at this day, as though there were no terror
nor sword of magistracy. Such looseness doth not grace a
government, nor please them that do well. Our prayers are for them
that are in authority, that under them we may live a godly life in
peace, and that we may not be brought into ungodliness by them.
Hear and consider, and do good in thy time, whilst thou hast
power; be merciful and forgive; that is the way to overcome and
obtain the kingdom of Christ.
    G. F.”

    It was long before the sheriff would yield to remove me to
London unless I would seal a bond to him, and bear the charges;
which I still refused to do. Then they consulted how to convey me
up, and first concluded to send up a party of horse with me. I
told them, “If I were such a man as you have represented me to be,
you would have need to send a troop or two of horse to guard me.”
    When they considered what a charge it would be to them to
send up a party of horse with me, they altered their purpose, and
concluded to send me up guarded only by the jailer and some
bailiffs. But upon farther consideration they found that this also
would be a great charge to them, and therefore they sent for me to
the jailer’s house, and told me that if I would put in bail that I
would be in London on such a day of the term, I should have leave
to go up with some of my own friends.
    I told them I would neither put in bail, nor give one piece
of silver to the jailer; for I was an innocent man, — that they
had imprisoned me wrongfully, and laid a false charge upon me.
Nevertheless, I said, if they would let me go up with one or two
of my friends to bear me company, I might go up and be in London
on such a day, if the Lord should permit; and if they desired it,
I or any of my friends that went with me would carry up their
charge against myself.
    When they saw they could do no otherwise with me, the sheriff
consented that I should come up with some of my friends, without
any other engagement than my word, to appear before the judges at
London such a day of the term, if the Lord should permit.
    Thereupon I was let out of prison, and went to Swarthmore,
where I stayed two or three days; and thence went to Lancaster,
and so to Preston, having meetings amongst Friends till I came
into Cheshire, to William Gandy’s, where was a large meeting
without doors, the house not being sufficient to contain it. That
day the Lord’s everlasting Seed, which is the heir of the promise,
was set over all, and Friends were turned to it.
    Thence I came into Staffordshire and Warwickshire, to Anthony
Bickliff’s, and at Nuneaton,[162] at a priest’s widow’s house, we
had a blessed meeting, wherein the everlasting Word of life was
powerfully declared, and many were settled in it. Then, travelling
on, visiting Friends’ meetings, in about three weeks’ time from my
coming out of prison I reached London, Richard Hubberthorn and
Robert Withers being with me.
    When we came to Charing-Cross, multitudes of people were
gathered together to see the burning of the bowels of some of the
old King’s judges, who had been hanged, drawn and quartered.
    We went next morning to Judge Mallet’s chamber. He was
putting on his red gown to sit in judgment upon some more of the
King’s judges. He was then very peevish and froward, and said I
might come another time.
    We went again to his chamber when there was with him Judge
Foster, who was called the Lord Chief-Justice of England. With me
was one called Esquire Marsh, who was one of the bedchamber to the
King. When we had delivered to the judges the charge that was
against me, and they had read to those words, “that I and my
friends were embroiling the nation in blood,” etc., they struck
their hands on the table. Whereupon I told them that I was the man
whom that charge was against, but I was as innocent of any such
thing as a new-born child, and had brought it up myself; and some
of my friends came up with me, without any guard.
    As yet they had not minded my hat, but now seeing it on, they
said, “What, do you stand with your hat on!” I told them I did not
so in any contempt of them. Then they commanded it to be taken
off; and when they called for the marshal of the King’s Bench,
they said to him, “You must take this man and secure him; but let
him have a chamber, and not be put amongst the prisoners.”
    “My lord,” said the marshal, “I have no chamber to put him
into; my house is so full I cannot tell where to provide a room
for him but amongst the prisoners.”
    “Nay,” said the judge, “you must not put him amongst the
    But when the marshal still answered that he had no other
place wherein to put me, Judge Foster said to me, “Will you appear
to-morrow about ten o’clock at the King’s Bench bar in
    I said, “Yes, if the Lord gives me strength.”
    Then said Judge Foster to the other judge, “If he says Yes,
and promises it, you may take his word;” so I was dismissed.
    Next day I appeared at the King’s Bench bar at the hour
appointed, Robert Widders, Richard Hubberthorn, and Esquire Marsh
going with me. I was brought into the middle of the court; and as
soon as I came in, was moved to look round, and, turning to the
people, say, “Peace be among you.” The power of the Lord spread
over the court.
    The charge against me was read openly. The people were
moderate, and the judges cool and loving; and the Lord’s mercy was
to them. But when they came to that part which said that I and my
friends were embroiling the nation in blood, and raising a new
war, and that I was an enemy to the King, etc., they lifted up
their hands.
    Then, stretching out my arms, I said, “I am the man whom that
charge is against; but I am as innocent as a child concerning the
charge, and have never learned any war-postures. And,” said I, “do
ye think that, if I and my friends had been such men as the charge
declares, I would have brought it up myself against myself? Or
that I should have been suffered to come up with only one or two
of my friends with me? Had I been such a man as this charge sets
forth, I had need to be guarded with a troop or two of horse. But
the sheriff and magistrates of Lancashire thought fit to let me
and my friends come up with it ourselves, nearly two hundred
miles, without any guard at all; which, ye may be sure, they would
not have done, had they looked upon me to be such a man.”
    Then the Judge asked me whether it should be filed, or what I
would do with it. I answered, “Ye are judges, and able, I hope, to
judge in this matter; therefore, do with it what ye will; for I am
the man these charges are against, and here ye see I have brought
them up myself. Do ye what ye will with them; I leave it to you.”
    Then, Judge Twisden beginning to speak some angry words, I
appealed to Judge Foster and Judge Mallet, who had heard me over-
night. Thereupon they said they did not accuse me, for they had
nothing against me. Then stood up Esquire Marsh, who was of the
King’s bedchamber, and told the judges it was the King’s pleasure
that I should be set at liberty, seeing no accuser came up against
me. They asked me whether I would put it to the King and Council.
I said, “Yes, with a good will.”
    Thereupon they sent the sheriff’s return, which he had made
to the writ of habeas corpus, containing the matter charged
against me in the mittimus, to the King, that he might see for
what I was committed. The return of the sheriff of Lancaster was
as follows:
    “By virtue of His Majesty’s writ, to me directed, and
hereunto annexed, I certify that before the receipt of the said
writ George Fox, in the said writ mentioned, was committed to His
Majesty’s jail at the Castle of Lancaster, in my custody, by a
warrant from Henry Porter, Esq., one of His Majesty’s justices of
peace within the county palatine aforesaid, bearing date the fifth
of June now last past; for that he, the said George Fox, was
generally suspected to be a common disturber of the peace of this
nation, an enemy of our sovereign lord the King, and a chief
upholder of the Quakers’ sect; and that he, together with others
of his fanatic opinion, have of late endeavoured to make
insurrections in these parts of the country, and to embroil the
whole kingdom in blood. And this is the cause of his taking and
detaining. Nevertheless, the body of the said George Fox I have
ready before Thomas Mallet, knight, one of His Majesty’s justices,
assigned to hold pleas before His Majesty, at his chamber in
Sergeants’ Inn, in Fleet Street, to do and receive those things
which his Majesty’s said justice shall determine concerning him in
this behalf, as by the aforesaid writ is required.
    “George Chetham, Esq., Sheriff.”

    On perusal of this, and consideration of the whole matter,
the King, being satisfied of my innocency, commanded his secretary
to send an order to Judge Mallet for my release, which he did
    “It is his Majesty’s pleasure that you give order for
releasing, and setting at full liberty the person of George Fox,
late a prisoner in Lancaster jail, and commanded hither by an
habeas corpus. And this signification of his Majesty’s pleasure
shall be your sufficient warrant. Dated at Whitehall, the 24th of
October, 1660.
    Edward Nicholas.
    “For Sir Thomas Mallet, knight,
    one of the justices of the King’s Bench.”

    When this order was delivered to Judge Mallet, he forthwith
sent his warrant to the marshal of the King’s Bench for my
release; which warrant was thus worded:
    “By virtue of a warrant which this morning I have received
from the Right Honorable Sir Edward Nicholas, knight, one of his
Majesty’s principal secretaries, for the releasing and setting at
liberty of George Fox, late a prisoner in Lancaster jail, and
thence brought hither by habeas corpus, and yesterday committed
unto your custody; I do hereby require you accordingly to release
and set the said prisoner George Fox at liberty: for which this
shall be your warrant and discharge. Given under my hand the 25th
day of October, in the year of our Lord God 1660.

    “To Sir John Lenthal, knight,
    marshal of the King’s Bench,
    or his deputy.”

    Thus, after I had been a prisoner somewhat more than twenty
weeks, I was freely set at liberty by the King’s command, the
Lord’s power having wonderfully wrought for the clearing of my
innocency, and Porter, who committed me, not daring to appear to
make good the charge he had falsely suggested against me. But,
after it was known I was discharged, a company of envious, wicked
spirits were troubled, and terror took hold of Justice Porter; for
he was afraid I would take the advantage of the law against him
for my wrong imprisonment, and thereby undo him, his wife and
children. And indeed I was pressed by some in authority to make
him and the rest examples; but I said I should leave them to the
Lord; if the Lord forgave them I should not trouble myself with

                        CHAPTER XIV.
                Labors, Dangers and Sufferings.

    Now did I see the end of the travail which I had in my sore
exercise at Reading;[163] for the everlasting power of the Lord
was over all, and His blessed Truth, life, and light shined over
the nation. Great and glorious meetings we had, and very quiet;
and many flocked unto the Truth. Richard Hubberthorn had been with
the King, who said that none should molest us so long as we lived
peaceably and promised this upon the word of a king; telling
Richard that we might make use of his promise.[164]
    Some Friends were also admitted in the House of Lords, to
declare their reasons why they could not pay tithes, swear, go to
the steeple-house worship, or join with others in worship; and the
Lords heard them moderately. There being about seven hundred
Friends in prison, who had been committed under Oliver’s and
Richard’s government, upon contempts (so called) when the King
came in, he set them all at liberty.
    There seemed at that time an inclination and intention in the
government to grant Friends liberty, because those in authority
were sensible that we had suffered as well as they under the
former powers. But still, when anything was going forward in order
thereto, some dirty spirits or other,[165] that would seem to be
for us, threw something in the way to stop it. It was said there
was an instrument drawn up for confirming our liberty, and that it
only wanted signing; when suddenly that wicked attempt of the
Fifth-monarchy people broke out, and put the city and nation in an
uproar. This was on a First-day night, and very glorious meetings
we had had that day, wherein the Lord’s Truth shone over all, and
His power was exalted above all; but about midnight, or soon
after, the drums beat, and the cry was, “Arm, Arm!”
    I got up out of bed, and in the morning took boat, and,
landing at Whitehall-stairs, walked through Whitehall. The people
there looked strangely at me, but I passed through them, and went
to Pall-Mall, where diverse Friends came to me, though it had now
become dangerous to pass through the streets; for by this time the
city and suburbs were up in arms. Exceedingly rude the people and
soldiers were. Henry Fell, going to a Friend’s house, was knocked
down by the soldiers, and he would have been killed had not the
Duke of York come by.
    Great mischief was done in the city this week; and when the
next first-day came, as Friends went to their meetings, many were
taken prisoners. I stayed at Pall-Mall, intending to be at the
meeting there; but on Seventh-day night a company of troopers came
and knocked at the door. The servant let them in. They rushed into
the house, and laid hold of me; and, there being amongst them one
that had served under the Parliament, he put his hand to my pocket
and asked whether I had any pistol. I told him, “You know I do not
carry pistols, why, therefore, ask such a question of me, whom you
know to be a peaceable man?”
    Others of the soldiers ran into the chambers, and there found
in bed Esquire Marsh, who, though he was one of the King’s
bedchamber, out of his love to me came and lodged where I did.
When they came down again they said, “Why should we take this man
away with us. We will let him alone.”
    “Oh,” said the Parliament soldier, “he is one of the heads,
and a chief ringleader.”
    Upon this the soldiers were taking me away, but Esquire
Marsh, hearing of it, sent for him that commanded the party, and
desired him to let me alone, for he would see me forthcoming in
the morning.
    In the morning, before they could fetch me, and before the
meeting was gathered, there came a company of foot soldiers to the
house, and one of them, drawing his sword, held it over my head. I
asked him why he drew his sword at an unarmed man, at which his
fellows, being ashamed, bade him put up his sword.
    These foot soldiers took me away to Whitehall before the
troopers came for me.
    As I was going out several Friends were coming in to the
meeting. I commended their boldness and cheerfulness, and
encouraged them to persevere therein.
    When I was brought to Whitehall, the soldiers and people were
exceedingly rude, yet I declared Truth to them. But some great
persons came by, who were very full of envy. “Why,” said they, “do
ye let him preach? Put him into a place where he may not stir.”
    So into such a place they put me, and the soldiers watched
over me. I told them that, though they could confine my body and
shut that up, yet they could not stop the Word of life. Some came
and asked me what I was. I told them, “A preacher of
    After I had been kept there two or three hours, Esquire Marsh
spoke to Lord Gerrard, and he came and bade them set me at
liberty. The marshal, when I was discharged, demanded fees. I told
him I could not give him any, neither was it our practice; and I
asked him how he could demand fees of me, who was innocent.
    Then I went through the guards, the Lord’s power being over
them; and, after I had declared Truth to the soldiers, I went up
the streets with two Irish colonels that came from Whitehall to an
inn where many Friends were at that time prisoners under a guard.
I desired these colonels to speak to the guard to let me go in to
visit my friends that were prisoners there; but they would not.
Then I stepped up to the sentry, and desired him to let me go up;
and he did so.
    While I was there the soldiers went again to Pall-Mall to
search for me; but not finding me they turned towards the inn, and
bade all come out that were not prisoners; so they went out. But I
asked the soldiers that were within whether I might not stay there
a while with my friends. They said, “Yes.” I stayed, and so
escaped their hands again. Towards night I went to Pall-Mall, to
see how it was with the Friends there; and, after I had stayed a
while, I went up into the city.
    Great rifling of houses there was at this time to search for
people. I went to a private Friend’s house, and Richard
Hubberthorn was with me. There we drew up a declaration against
plots and fightings, to be presented to the King and Council; but
when finished, and sent to print, it was taken in the press.
    On this insurrection of the Fifth-monarchy men, great havoc
was made both in city and country, so that it was dangerous for
sober people to stir abroad for several weeks after. Men or women
could hardly go up and down the streets to buy provisions for
their families without being abused. In the country they dragged
men and women out of their houses, and some sick men out of their
beds by the legs. Nay, one man in a fever, the soldiers dragged
out of bed to prison, and when he was brought there he died. His
name was Thomas Pachyn.
    Margaret Fell went to the King and told him what sad work
there was in the city and nation, and showed him we were an
innocent, peaceable people, and that we must keep our meetings as
heretofore, whatever we suffered; but that it concerned him to see
that peace was kept, that no innocent blood might be shed.
    The prisons were now everywhere filled with Friends and
others, in the city and country, and the posts were so laid for
the searching of letters that none could pass unsearched. We heard
of several thousands of our Friends that were cast into prison in
several parts of the nation, and Margaret Fell carried an account
of them to the King and Council. The next week we had an account
of several thousands more that were cast into prison, and she went
and laid them also before the King and Council. They wondered how
we could have such intelligence, seeing they had given such strict
charge for the intercepting of all letters; but the Lord did so
order it that we had an account notwithstanding all their
    Soon after the King gave forth a proclamation that no
soldiers should search any house without a constable. But the
jails were still full, many thousands of Friends being in prison;
which mischief was occasioned by the wicked rising of the Fifth-
monarchy men. But when those that were taken came to be executed,
they did us the justice to clear us openly from having any hand in
or knowledge of their plot.
    After that, the King being continually importuned thereunto,
issued a declaration that Friends should be set at liberty without
paying fees. But great labour, travail, and pains were taken
before this was obtained; for Thomas Moore and Margaret Fell went
often to the King about it.
    Much blood was shed this year, many of the old King’s judges
being hung, drawn and quartered. Amongst them that so suffered,
Colonel Hacker was one. He had sent me prisoner from Leicester to
London in Oliver’s time, of which an account is given before. A
sad day it was, and a repaying of blood with blood. For in the
time of Oliver Cromwell, when several men were put to death by
him, being hung, drawn and quartered for pretended treasons, I
felt from the Lord God that their blood would be required; and I
said as much then to several.
    And now, upon the King’s return, several that had been
against him were put to death, as the others that were for him had
been before by Oliver. This was sad work, destroying people;
contrary to the nature of Christians, who have the nature of lambs
and sheep. But there was a secret hand in bringing this day upon
that hypocritical generation of professors, who, being got into
power, grew proud, haughty, and cruel beyond others, and
persecuted the people of God without pity.
    When Friends were under cruel persecutions and sufferings in
the Commonwealth’s time, I was moved of the Lord to write to
Friends to draw up accounts of their sufferings, and lay them
before the justices at their sessions; and if they would not do
justice, then to lay them before the judges at the assize; and if
they would not do justice, then to lay them before the Parliament,
the Protector and his Council, that they might all see what was
done under their government; and if they would not do justice,
then to lay it before the Lord, who would hear the cries of the
oppressed, and of the widows and fatherless whom they had made so.
    For that for which we suffered, and for which our goods were
spoiled, was our obedience to the Lord in His Power and His
Spirit. He was able to help and to succour, and we had no helper
in the earth but Him. And He heard the cries of His people, and
brought an overflowing scourge over the heads of all our
persecutors, which brought a dread and a fear amongst and on them
all. So that those who had nicknamed us (who are the children of
Light) and in scorn called us Quakers, the Lord made to quake; and
many of them would have been glad to hide themselves amongst us;
and some of them, through the distress that came upon them, did at
length come to confess to the Truth.
    Many ways were these professors warned, by word, by writing,
and by signs; but they would believe none till it was too late.
William Sympson was moved of the Lord to go at several times for
three years naked and barefooted before them, as a sign to them,
in markets, courts, towns, cities, to priests’ houses, and to
great men’s houses, telling them, “So shall ye be stripped naked
as I am stripped naked!” And sometimes he was moved to put on
hair-sackcloth, and to besmear his face, and to tell them, “So
will the Lord God besmear all your religion as I am besmeared.”
    Great sufferings did that poor man undergo, sore whippings
with horse-whips and coach-whips on his bare body, grievous
stoning and imprisonments, in three years’ time, before the King
came in, that they might have taken warning; but they would not,
and rewarded his love with cruel usage. Only the mayor of
Cambridge did nobly to him, for he put his gown about him and took
him into his house.
    Another Friend, Robert Huntingdon, was moved of the Lord to
go into Carlisle steeple-house with a white sheet about him,
amongst the great Presbyterians and Independents there, to show
them that the surplice was coming up again; and he put an halter
about his neck to show them that an halter was coming upon them;
which was fulfilled upon some of our persecutors not long after.
    Another, Richard Sale, living near Westchester, being
constable of the place where he lived, had sent to him with a pass
a Friend whom those wicked professors had taken up for a vagabond,
because he travelled up and down in the work of the ministry. This
constable, being convinced by the Friend thus brought to him, gave
him his pass and liberty, and was afterwards himself cast into
    After this, on a lecture-day, Richard Sale was moved to go to
the steeple-house in the time of their worship, and to carry those
persecuting priests and people a lantern and candle, as a figure
of their darkness. But they cruelly abused him, and like dark
professors as they were put him into their prison called Little
Ease, and so squeezed his body therein that not long after he
    Although those Friends that had been imprisoned on the rising
of the Fifth-monarchy men were set at liberty, meetings were much
disturbed, and great sufferings Friends underwent. For besides
what was done by officers and soldiers, many wild fellows and rude
people often came in.
    One time when I was at Pall-Mall there came an ambassador
with a company of Irishmen and rude fellows. The meeting was over
before they came, and I was gone into a chamber, where I heard one
of them say that he would kill all the Quakers. I went down to
him, and was moved in the power of the Lord to speak to him. I
told him, “The law said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a
tooth’; but thou threateneth to kill all the Quakers, though they
have done thee no hurt. But,” said I, “here is gospel for thee:
here is my hair, here is my cheek, and here is my shoulder,”
turning it to him.
    This so overcame him that he and his companions stood as men
amazed, and said that if that was our principle, and if we were as
we said, they never saw the like in their lives. I told them that
what I was in words, I also was in my life. Then the ambassador
who stood without, came in; for he said that this Irish colonel
was a desperate man that he durst not come in with him for fear he
should do us some mischief. But Truth came over the Irish colonel,
and he carried himself lovingly towards us; as also did the
ambassador; for the Lord’s power was over them all.
    At Mile-End Friends were kept out of their meeting-place by
soldiers, but they stood nobly in the Truth, valiant for the
Lord’s name; and at last the Truth gave them dominion.
    About this time we had an account that John Love, a Friend
that was moved to go and bear testimony against the idolatry of
the Papists, was dead in prison at Rome; it was suspected he was
privately put to death. Also before this time we received account
from New England that the government there had made a law to
banish the Quakers out of their colonies, upon pain of death in
case they returned; that several of our Friends, having been so
banished and returning, were thereupon taken and actually hanged,
and that diverse more were in prison, in danger of the like
sentence being executed upon them. When those were put to death I
was in prison at Lancaster, and had a perfect sense of their
sufferings as though it had been myself, and as though the halter
had been put about my own neck, though we had not at that time
heard of it.[168]
    As soon as we heard of it, Edward Burrough went to the King
and told him that there was a vein of innocent blood opened in his
dominions which, if it were not stopped, would overrun all. To
this the King replied, “But I will stop that vein.” Edward
Burrough said, “Then do it speedily for we know not how many may
soon be put to death.” The King answered, “As speedily as ye will.
Call,” (said he to some present) “the secretary, and I will do it
    The secretary being called, a mandamus was forthwith granted.
A day or two after, Edward Burrough going again to the King to
desire the matter might be expedited, the King said he had no
occasion at present to send a ship thither, but if we would send
one we might do it as soon as we would. Edward then asked the King
if it would please him to grant his deputation to one called a
Quaker to carry the mandamus to New England. He said, “Yes, to
whom ye will.”
    Whereupon Edward Burrough named Samuel Shattuck, who, being
an inhabitant of New England, was banished by their law, to be
hanged if he came again; and to him the deputation was granted.
Then he sent for Ralph Goldsmith, an honest Friend, who was master
of a good ship, and agreed with him for three hundred pounds
(goods or no goods) to sail in ten days. He forthwith prepared to
set sail, and with a prosperous gale, in about six weeks’ time,
arrived before the town of Boston in New England, upon a First-day
    With him went many passengers, both of New and Old England,
Friends, whom the Lord moved to go to bear their testimony against
those bloody persecutors, who had exceeded all the world in that
age in their bloody persecutions.
    The townsmen at Boston, seeing a ship come into the bay with
English colours, soon came on board and asked for the captain.
Ralph Goldsmith told them he was the commander. They asked him if
he had any letters. He said, “Yes.” They asked if he would deliver
them. He said, “No; not to-day.”
    So they went ashore and reported that there was a ship full
of Quakers, and that Samuel Shattuck, who they knew was by their
law to be put to death if he came again after banishment, was
among them, but they knew not his errand nor his authority.
    So all were kept close that day, and none of the ship’s
company suffered to go on shore. Next morning Samuel Shattuck, the
King’s deputy, and Ralph Goldsmith, went on shore, and, sending
back to the ship the men that landed them, they two went through
the town to Governor John Endicott’s door, and knocked. He sent
out a man to know their business. They sent him word that their
business was from the King of England, and that they would deliver
their message to no one but the Governor himself.
    Thereupon they were admitted, and the Governor came to them;
and having received the deputation and the mandamus, he put off
his hat and looked upon them. Then, going out, he bade the Friends
follow him. He went to the deputy-governor, and after a short
consultation came out to the Friends, and said, “We shall obey his
majesty’s commands.”
    After this the master gave liberty to the passengers to come
on shore, and presently the noise of the business flew about the
town; and the Friends of the town and the passengers of the ship
met together to offer up their praises and thanksgivings to God,
who had so wonderfully delivered them from the teeth of the
    While they were thus met, in came a poor Friend, who, being
sentenced by their bloody law to die, had lain some time in irons
expecting execution. This added to their joy, and caused them to
lift up their hearts in high praise to God, who is worthy for ever
to have the praise, the glory, and the honour; for He only is able
to deliver, to save, and support all that sincerely put their
trust in Him. Here follows a copy of the mandamus.

    “Charles R.
    “Trusty and well-beloved, We greet you well. Having been
informed that several of our subjects amongst you, called Quakers,
have been and are imprisoned by you, whereof some have been
executed, and others (as hath been represented unto us) are in
danger to undergo the like, we have thought fit to signify our
pleasure in that behalf for the future; and do hereby require that
if there be any of those people called Quakers amongst you, now
already condemned to suffer death or other corporal punishment, or
that are imprisoned and obnoxious to the like condemnation, you
are to forbear to proceed any further therein; but that you
forthwith send the said persons (whether condemned or imprisoned)
over into this our kingdom of England, together with the
respective crimes or offenses laid to their charge, to the end
that such course may be taken with them here as shall be agreeable
to our laws and their demerits. And for so doing, these our
letters shall be your sufficient warrant and discharge. Given at
our court at Whitehall the ninth day of September, 1661, in the
13th year of our reign.”
    Subscribed: “To our trusty and well-beloved John Endicott,
Esquire, and to all and every other the Governor or governors of
our plantations of New England, and of all the colonies thereunto
belonging, that now are or hereafter shall be, and to all and
every the ministers and officers of our plantations and colonies
whatsoever within the continent of New England. ” By his majesty’s
    “William Morris.”[169]

    Some time after this several New England magistrates came
over, with one of their priests. We had several discourses with
them concerning their murdering our Friends, the servants of the
Lord; but they were ashamed to stand to their bloody actions.
    On one of these occasions I asked Simon Broadstreet, one of
the New England magistrates, whether he had not had a hand in
putting to death those four servants of God, whom they hung only
for being Quakers, as they had nicknamed them. He confessed that
he had. I then asked him and the rest of his associates that were
present whether they would acknowledge themselves to be subject to
the laws of England; and if they did, by what laws they had put
our Friends to death. They said they were subject to the laws of
England, and had put our Friends to death by the same law that the
Jesuits were put to death in England.
    I asked them then whether they believed those Friends of ours
whom they had put to death were Jesuits or jesuitically affected.
They said, “Nay.” “Then,” said I, “ye have murdered them, if ye
have put them to death by the law by which Jesuits are put to
death here in England, and yet confess they were no Jesuits. By
this it plainly appears ye have put them to death in your own
wills, without any law.”
    Then Simon Broadstreet, finding himself and his company
ensnared by their own words, asked if we came to catch them. I
told them they had caught themselves and might justly be
questioned for their lives; and if the father of William Robinson,
one of them that were put to death, were in town, it was probable
he would question them, and bring their lives into jeopardy.
    Here they began to excuse themselves, saying, “There is no
persecution now amongst us.” But next morning we had letters from
New England telling us that our Friends were persecuted there
afresh. We went again and showed them our letters, which put them
both to silence and to shame; and in great fear they seemed to be
lest some one should call them to account and prosecute them for
their lives. Especially was Simon Broadstreet fearful; for he had
before so many witnesses confessed that he had a hand in putting
our Friends to death, that he could not get off from it; though he
afterwards through fear shuffled, and would have unsaid it again.
After this, he and the rest soon returned to New England again.
    I went also to Governor Winthrop, and discoursed with him on
these matters. He assured me that he had no hand in putting our
Friends to death, or in any way persecuting them; but was one of
them that protested against it.
    About this time I lost a very good book, being taken in the
printer’s hands; it was a useful teaching work, containing the
signification and explanation of names, parables, types, and
figures in the Scriptures. They who took it were so affected with
it, that they were loth to destroy it; but thinking to make a
great advantage of it, they would have let us have it again, if we
would have given them a great sum of money for it; which we were
not free to do.
    Before this, while I was prisoner in Lancaster Castle, the
book called the “Battledore” was published, which was written to
show that in all languages Thou and Thee is the proper and usual
form of speech to a single person; and You to more than one. This
was set forth in examples or instances taken from the Scriptures,
and books of teaching, in about thirty languages. J. Stubbs and
Benjamin Furly took great pains in compiling it, which I set them
upon; and some things I added to it.[170]
    When it was finished, copies were presented to the King and
his Council, to the Bishops of Canterbury and London, and to the
two universities one each; and many purchased them. The King said
it was the proper language of all nations; and the Bishop of
Canterbury, being asked what he thought of it, was at a stand, and
could not tell what to say to it. For it did so inform and
convince people, that few afterwards were so rugged toward us for
saving Thou and Thee to a single person, for which before they
were exceedingly fierce against us.
    Thou and Thee was a sore cut to proud flesh, and them that
sought self-honour, who, though they would say it to God and
Christ, could not endure to have it said to themselves. So that we
were often beaten and abused, and sometimes in danger of our
lives, for using those words to some proud men, who would say,
“What! you ill-bred clown, do you Thou me?” as though Christian
breeding consisted in saying You to one; which is contrary to all
their grammars and teaching books, by which they instructed their
    About this time many Papists and Jesuits began to fawn upon
Friends, and talked up and down where they came, that of all the
sects the Quakers were the best and most self-denying people; and
they said it was great pity that they did not return to the Holy
Mother Church. Thus they made a buzz among the people, and said
they would willingly discourse with Friends. But Friends were loth
to meddle with them, because they were Jesuits, looking upon it to
be both dangerous and scandalous.
    But when I understood it, I said to Friends, “Let us
discourse with them, be they what they will.” So a time being
appointed at Gerrard Roberts’s, there came two of them like
courtiers. They asked our names, which we told them; but we did
not ask their names, for we understood they were called Papists,
and they knew we were called Quakers.
    I asked them the same question that I had formerly asked a
Jesuit, namely, whether the Church of Rome was not degenerated
from the Church in the primitive times, from the Spirit, power,
and practice that they were in in the Apostles’ times? He to whom
I put this question, being subtle, said he would not answer it. I
asked him why. But he would show no reason. His companion said he
would answer me; and said that they were not degenerated from the
Church in the primitive times. I asked the other whether he was of
the same mind. He said, “Yes.”
    Then I replied that, for the better understanding one of
another, and that there might be no mistake, I would repeat my
question over again after this manner: “Is the Church of Rome now
in the same purity, practice, power, and Spirit that the Church in
the Apostles’ time was in?” When they saw we would be exact with
them, they flew off and denied that, saying it was presumption in
any to say they had the same power and Spirit which the Apostles
    I told them it was presumption in them to meddle with the
words of Christ and His Apostles, and make people believe they
succeeded the Apostles, yet be forced to confess they were not in
the same power and Spirit that the Apostles were in. “This,” said
I, “is a spirit of presumption, and rebuked by the Apostles’
    I showed them how different their fruits and practices were
from the fruits and practices of the Apostles.
    Then got up one of them, and said, “Ye are a company of
dreamers.” “Nay,” said I, “ye are the filthy dreamers, who dream
ye are the Apostles’ successors, and yet confess ye have not the
same power and Spirit which the Apostles were in. And are not they
defilers of the flesh who say it is presumption for any to say
they have the same power and Spirit which the Apostles had? Now,”
said I, “if ye have not the same power and Spirit which the
Apostles had, then it is manifest that ye are led by another power
and spirit than that by which the Apostles and Church in the
primitive times were led.”
    Then I began to tell them how that evil spirit by which they
were led had led them to pray by beads and to images, and to set
up nunneries, friaries, and monasteries, and to put people to
death for religion; which practices I showed them were below the
law, and far short of the gospel, in which is liberty.
    They were soon weary of this discourse, and went their way,
and gave a charge, as we heard, to the Papists, that they should
not dispute with us, nor read any of our books.
    So we were rid of them; but we had reasonings with all the
other sects, Presbyterians, Independents, Seekers, Baptists,
Episcopal men, Socinians, Brownists, Lutherans, Calvinists,
Arminians, Fifth-monarchy men, Familists, Muggletonians, and
Ranters; none of which would affirm that they had the same power
and Spirit that the Apostles had and were in; so in that power and
Spirit the Lord gave us dominion over them all.
    As for the Fifth-monarchy men I was moved to give forth a
paper, to manifest their error to them; for they looked for
Christ’s personal coming in an outward form and manner, and fixed
the time to the year 1666; at which time some of them prepared
themselves when it thundered and rained, thinking Christ was then
come to set up His kingdom, and they imagined they were to kill
the whore without them.
    But I told them that the whore was alive in them, and was not
burned with God’s fire, nor judged in them with the same power and
Spirit the Apostles were in; and that their looking for Christ’s
coming outwardly to set up His kingdom was like the Pharisees’ “Lo
here,” and “Lo there.” But Christ was come, and had set up His
kingdom above sixteen hundred years ago, according to
Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and Daniel’s prophecy, and He had dashed to
pieces the four monarchies, the great image, with its head of
gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs
of iron, and its feet part of iron part of clay; and they were all
blown away with God’s wind, as the chaff in the summer threshing-
    And I told them that when Christ was on earth, He said His
kingdom was not of this world; if it had been, His servants would
have fought; but it was not, therefore His servants did not fight.
Therefore all the Fifth-monarchy men that are fighters with carnal
weapons are none of Christ’s servants, but the beast’s and the
whore’s. Christ said, “All power in heaven and in earth is given
to me”; so then His kingdom was set up above sixteen hundred years
ago, and He reigns. “And we see Jesus Christ reign,” said the
Apostle, “and He shall reign till all things be put under His
feet”; though all things are not yet put under His feet, nor
    This year several Friends were moved to go beyond the seas,
to publish Truth in foreign countries. John Stubbs, and Henry
Fell, and Richard Costrop were moved to go towards China and
Prester John’s country; but no masters of ships would carry
them.[171] With much ado they got a warrant from the King; but the
East India Company found ways to avoid it, and the masters of
their ships would not carry them.
    Then they went into Holland, hoping to get passage there, but
none could they get there either. Then John Stubbs and Henry Fell
took shipping for Alexandria, in Egypt, intending to go thence by
the caravans. Meanwhile Daniel Baker, being moved to go to Smyrna,
drew Richard Costrop, contrary to his own freedom, to go along
with him; and in the passage, Richard falling sick, Daniel Baker
left him so in the ship, where he died; but that hard-hearted man
afterwards lost his own condition.
    John Stubbs and Henry Fell reached Alexandria; but they had
not been long there before the English consul banished them; yet
before they came away, they dispersed many books and papers for
opening the principles and way of Truth to the Turks and Grecians.
They gave the book called, “The Pope’s Strength Broken,” to an old
friar, for him to give or send to the Pope. When the friar had
perused it he placed his hand on his breast and confessed, “What
is written therein is truth; but,” said he, “if I should confess
it openly, they would burn me.”
    John Stubbs and Henry Fell, not being suffered to go further,
returned to England, and came to London again. John had a vision
that the English and Dutch, who had joined together not to carry
them, would fall out one with the other; and so it came to pass.
    Among the exercises and troubles that Friends had from
without, one was concerning Friends’ marriages, which sometimes
were called in question.[172] In this year there happened to be a
cause tried at the assize at Nottingham concerning a Friend’s
    The case was thus: Some years before two Friends were joined
together in marriage amongst Friends, and lived together as man
and wife about two years. Then the man died, leaving his wife with
child, and leaving an estate in lands of copyhold. When the woman
was delivered, the jury presented the child heir to its father’s
lands, and accordingly the child was admitted; afterwards another
Friend married the widow. After that a person near of kin to her
former husband brought his action against the Friend who had last
married her, endeavoring to dispossess them, and deprive the child
of the inheritance, and to possess himself thereof as next heir to
the woman’s first husband. To effect this he endeavoured to prove
the child illegitimate, alleging that the marriage was not
according to law.
    In opening the cause the plaintiff’s counsel used unseemly
words concerning Friends, saying that “they went together like
brute beasts,” with other ill expressions. After the counsel on
both sides had pleaded the Judge (viz., Judge Archer) took the
matter in hand, and opened it to them, telling them, “There was a
marriage in paradise when Adam took Eve and Eve took Adam, and it
was the consent of the parties that made a marriage.” And for the
Quakers, he said, he did not know their opinions; but he did not
believe they went together as brute beasts, as had been said of
them, but as Christians; and therefore he did believe the marriage
was lawful, and the child lawful heir.
    The better to satisfy the jury he brought them a case to this
purpose: “A man that was weak of body and kept his bed, had a
desire in that condition to marry, and did declare before
witnesses that he did take such a woman to be his wife, and the
woman declared that she took that man to be her husband. This
marriage was afterwards called in question, and all the bishops
did conclude it to be a lawful marriage.”
    Hereupon the jury gave in their verdict for the Friend’s
child against the man that would have deprived it of its
    Now, there being very many Friends in prison in the
nation,[173] Richard Hubberthorn and I drew up a paper concerning
them, and got it delivered to the King, that he might understand
how we were dealt with by his officers. It was directed thus:

    “For The King:
    “Friend, Who art the chief ruler of these dominions, here is
a list of some of the sufferings of the people of God, in scorn
called Quakers, that have suffered under the changeable powers
before thee, by whom there have been imprisoned, and under whom
there have suffered for good conscience’ sake, and for bearing
testimony to the truth as it is in Jesus, three thousand one
hundred and seventy-three persons; and there lie yet in prison, in
the name of the Commonwealth, seventy-three persons that we know
of. And there died in prison in the time of the Commonwealth, and
of Oliver and Richard the Protectors, through cruel and hard
imprisonments, upon nasty straw and in dungeons, thirty-two
persons. There have been also imprisoned in thy name, since thy
arrival, by such as thought to ingratiate themselves thereby with
thee, three thousand sixty and eight persons. Besides this our
meetings are daily broken up by men with clubs and arms, though we
meet peaceably, according to the practice of God’s people in the
primitive times, and our Friends are thrown into waters, and
trodden upon, till the very blood gushes out of them; the number
of which abuses can hardly be uttered.
    “Now this we would have of thee, to set them at liberty that
lie in prison in the names of the Commonwealth, and of the two
Protectors, and them that lie in thy own name, for speaking the
truth, and for good conscience’ sake, who have not lifted up a
hand against thee or any man; and that the meetings of our
Friends, who meet peaceably together in the fear of God, to
worship Him, may not be broken up by rude people with their clubs,
swords, and staves. One of the greatest things that we have
suffered for formerly was, because we could not swear to the
Protectors and all the changeable governments; and now we are
imprisoned because we cannot take the oath of allegiance. Now, if
our yea be not yea, and nay, nay, to thee, and to all men upon the
earth, let us suffer as much for breaking that, as others do for
breaking an oath. We have suffered these many years, both in lives
and estates, under these changeable governments, because we cannot
swear, but obey Christ’s doctrine, who commands we should not
‘swear at all,’ and this we seal with our lives and estates, with
our yea and nay, according to the doctrine of Christ.
    “Hearken to these things, and so consider them in the wisdom
of thy God that by it such actions may be stopped; thou that hast
the government, and mayst do it. We desire all that are in prison
may be set at liberty, and that for the time to come they may not
be imprisoned for conscience’ and for the Truth’s sake. If thou
question the innocency of their sufferings, let them and their
accusers be brought before thee, and we shall produce a more
particular and full account of their sufferings, if required.”

                        CHAPTER XV.
                In Prison for not Swearing.

    After I had made some stay in London, and had cleared myself
of those services that at that time lay upon me there, I went into
the country, having with me Alexander Parker and John Stubbs. We
travelled through the Country, visiting Friends’ meetings, till we
came to Bristol.
    There we understood the officers were likely to come and
break up the meeting; yet on First-day we went to the meeting at
Broadmead, and Alexander Parker standing up first, while he was
speaking the officers came and took him away. After he was gone, I
stood up and declared the everlasting Truth of the Lord God in His
eternal power, which came over all; the meeting was quiet the rest
of the time, and broke up peaceably. I tarried till the First-day
following, visiting Friends, and being visited by them.
    On First-day morning several Friends came to Edward Pyot’s
house (where I lay the night before), and used great endeavours to
persuade me not to go to the meeting that day, for the
magistrates, they said, had threatened to take me, and had raised
the trained bands. I wished them to go to the meeting, not telling
them what I intended to do; but I told Edward Pyot I intended to
go, and he sent his son to show me the way from his house by the
    As I went I met diverse Friends who were coming to me to
prevent my going, and who did what they could to stop me. “What!”
said one, “wilt thou go into the mouth of the beast?” “Wilt thou
go into the mouth of the dragon?” said another. I put them by and
went on.
    When I came to the meeting Margaret Thomas was speaking; and
when she had done I stood up. I saw a concern and fear upon
Friends for me; but the power of the Lord, in which I declared,
soon struck the fear out of them; life sprang, and a glorious
heavenly meeting we had.
    After I had cleared myself of what was upon me from the Lord
to the meeting, I was moved to pray; and after that to stand up
again, and tell Friends how they might see there was a God in
Israel that could deliver.
    A very large meeting this was, and very hot; but Truth was
over all, the life was exalted, which carried through all, and the
meeting broke up in peace. The officers and soldiers had been
breaking up another meeting, which had taken up their time, so
that our meeting was ended before they came. But I understood
afterwards they were in great rage because they had missed me; for
they were heard to say one to another before, “I’ll warrant we
shall have him;” but the Lord prevented them.
    I went from the meeting to Joan Hily’s, where many Friends
came to see me, rejoicing and blessing God for our deliverance. In
the evening I had a fine fresh meeting among Friends at a Friend’s
house over the water, where we were much refreshed in the Lord.
    From Barnet Hills we came to Swannington, in Leicestershire,
where William Smith and some other Friends visited me; but they
went away towards nights leaving me at a Friend’s house in
    At night, as I was sitting in the hall speaking to a widow
woman and her daughter, Lord Beaumont came with a company of
soldiers, who, slapping their swords on the door, rushed into the
house with swords and pistols in their hands, crying, “Put out the
candles and make fast the doors.” Then they seized upon the
Friends in the house, and asked if there were no more about the
house. The Friends told them there was one man more in the hall.
    There being some Friends out of Derbyshire, one of whom was
named Thomas Fauks, Lord Beaumont, after he had asked all their
names, bid his man set down that man’s name as Thomas Fox. The
Friend said, Nay; that his name was not Fox, but Fauks. In the
mean time some of the soldiers came, and fetched me out of the
hall to him. He asked my name. I told him my name was George Fox,
and that I was well known by that name. “Aye,” said he, “you are
known all the world over.” I said, I was known for no hurt, but
for good.
    Then he put his hands into my pockets to search them, and
plucked out my comb-case, and afterwards commanded one of his
officers to search further for letters. I told him I was no
letter-carrier, and asked him why he came amongst a peaceable
people with swords and pistols without a constable, contrary to
the king’s proclamation and to the late act. For he could not say
there was a meeting, I being only talking with a poor widow-woman
and her daughter.
    By reasoning thus with him, he came somewhat down; yet,
sending for the constables, he gave them charge of us that night,
and told them to bring us before him next morning. Accordingly the
constables set a watch of the townspeople upon us that night, and
had us next morning to his house, about a mile from Swannington.
    When we came before him, he told us that we had met “contrary
to the Act.”[174] I desired him to show us the Act. “Why,” says
he, “you have it in your pocket.” I told him he did not find us in
a meeting. Then he asked whether we would take the oaths of
allegiance and supremacy. I told him I never took any oath in my
life, nor engagement, nor the covenant. Yet still he would force
the oath upon us. I desired him to show us the oath, that we might
see whether we were the persons it was to be tendered to, and
whether it was not for the discovery of popish recusants. At
length he brought a little book, but we called for the statute-
book. He would not show us that, but caused a mittimus to be made,
which mentioned that we “were to have had a meeting.” With this
mittimus he delivered us to the constables to convey us to
Leicester jail.
    But when the constables had brought us back to Swannington,
it being harvest-time, it was hard to get anybody to go with us.
The people were loth to take their neighbors to prison, especially
in such a busy time. They would have given us our mittimus to
carry ourselves to the jail; for it had been usual for constables
to give Friends their own mittimuses, and they have gone
themselves with them to the jailer. But we told them that, though
our Friends had sometimes done so, we would not take this
mittimus; but some of them should go with us to the jail.
    At last they hired a poor labouring man, who was loth to go,
though hired. So we rode to Leicester, being five in number; some
carried their Bibles open in their hands, declaring Truth to the
people as we rode in the fields and through the towns, and telling
them we were prisoners of the Lord Jesus Christ, going to suffer
bonds for His name and Truth. One woman Friend carried her wheel
on her lap to spin on in prison; and the people were mightily
    At Leicester we went to an inn. The master of the house
seemed troubled that we should go to the prison; and being himself
in commission, he sent for lawyers in the town to advise with, and
would have taken up the mittimus, kept us in his own house, and
not have let us go into the jail.
    But I told Friends it would be a great charge to lie at an
inn; and many Friends and people would be coming to visit us, and
it might be hard for him to bear our having meetings in his house.
Besides, we had many Friends in the prison already, and we had
rather be with them. So we let the man know that we were sensible
of his kindness, and to prison we went; the poor man that brought
us thither delivering both the mittimus and us to the jailer.
    This jailer had been a very wicked, cruel man. Six or seven
Friends being in prison before we came, he had taken some occasion
to quarrel with them, and had thrust them into the dungeon amongst
the felons, where there was hardly room for them to lie down. We
stayed all that day in the prison-yard, and desired the jailer to
let us have some straw. He surlily answered, “You do not look like
men that would lie on straw.”
    After a while William Smith, a Friend, came to me, and he
being acquainted in the house, I asked him what rooms there were
in it, and what rooms Friends had usually been put into before
they were put into the dungeon. I asked him also whether the
jailer or his wife was the master. He said that the wife was
master; and that, though she was lame, and sat mostly in her
chair, being only able to go on crutches, yet she would beat her
husband when he came within her reach if he did not do as she
would have him.
    I considered that probably many Friends might come to visit
us, and that if we had a room to ourselves, it would be better for
them to speak to me, and me to them, as there should be occasion.
Wherefore I desired William Smith to go speak with the woman, and
acquaint her that if she would let us have a room, suffer our
Friends to come out of the dungeon, and leave it to us to give her
what we would, it might be better for her.
    He went, and after some reasoning with her, she consented;
and we were put into a room. Then we were told that the jailer
would not suffer us to have any drink out of the town brought into
the prison, but that what beer we drank we must take of him. I
told them I would remedy that, for we would get a pail of water
and a little wormwood once a day, and that might serve us; so we
should have none of his beer, and the water he could not deny us.
    Before we came, when the few Friends that were prisoners
there met together on First-days, if any of them was moved to pray
to the Lord, the jailer would come up with his quarter-staff in
his hand, and his mastiff dog at his heels, and pluck them down by
the hair of the head, and strike them with his staff; but when he
struck Friends, the mastiff dog, instead of falling upon them,
would take the staff out of his hand.
    When the First-day came, I spoke to one of my fellow-
prisoners, to carry a stool and set it in the yard, and give
notice to the debtors and felons that there would be a meeting in
the yard, and they that would hear the Word of the Lord declared
might come thither. So the debtors and prisoners gathered in the
yard, and we went down, and had a very precious meeting, the
jailer not meddling.
    Thus every First-day we had a meeting as long as we stayed in
prison; and several came in out of the town and country. Many were
convinced, and some there received the Lord’s Truth who have stood
faithful witnesses for it ever since.
    When the sessions came we were brought before the justices,
with many more Friends, sent to prison whilst we were there, to
the number of about twenty. The jailer put us into the place where
the thieves were put, and then some of the justices began to
tender the oaths of allegiance and supremacy to us. I told them I
never took any oath in my life; and they knew we could not swear,
because Christ and His Apostle forbade it; therefore they but put
it as a snare to us. We told them that if they could prove that,
after Christ and the Apostle had forbidden swearing, they did ever
command Christians to swear, then we would take these oaths;
otherwise we were resolved to obey Christ’s command and the
Apostle’s exhortation.
    They said we must take the oath that we might manifest our
allegiance to the king. I told them I had been formerly sent up a
prisoner by Colonel Hacker, from that town to London, under
pretence that I had held meetings to plot to bring in King
Charles. I also desired them to read our mittimus, which set forth
the cause of our commitment to be that we “were to have a
meeting”; and I said Lord Beaumont could not by that act send us
to jail unless we had been taken at a meeting, and found to be
such persons as the act speaks of; therefore we desired that they
would read the mittimus and see how wrongfully we were imprisoned.
    They would not take notice of the mittimus, but called a jury
and indicted us for refusing to take the oaths of allegiance and
supremacy. When the jury was sworn and instructed, as they were
going out, one that had been an alderman of the city spoke to
them, and bade them “have a good conscience”; and one of the jury,
being a peevish man, told the justices there was one affronted the
jury; whereupon they called him up, and tendered him the oath
also, and he took it.
    While we were standing where the thieves used to stand, a
cut-purse had his hand in several Friends’ pockets. Friends
declared it to the justices, and showed them the man. They called
him up before them, and upon examination he could not deny it; yet
they set him at liberty.
    It was not long before the jury returned, and brought us in
guilty; and after some words, the justices whispered together, and
bid the jailer take us to prison again; but the Lord’s power was
over them, and His everlasting Truth, which we declared boldly
amongst them. There being a great concourse of people, most of
them followed us; so that the crier and bailiffs were fain to call
the people back again to the court.
    We declared the Truth as we went along the streets, till we
came to the jail, the streets being full of people.
    When we were in our chamber again, after some time the jailer
came to us and desired all to go forth that were not prisoners.
When they were gone he said, “Gentlemen, it is the court’s
pleasure that ye should be set at liberty, except those that are
in for tithes; and you know there are fees due to me; but I shall
leave it to you to give me what you will.”
    Thus we were all set at liberty on a sudden, and passed every
one into our services. Leonard Fell went with me again to
    I had a letter from Lord Hastings, who, hearing of my
imprisonment, had written from London to the justices of the
sessions to set me at liberty. I had not delivered this letter to
the justices; whether any knowledge of his mind received through
another hand made them discharge us so suddenly, I know not. This
letter I carried to Lord Beaumont, who had sent us to prison. When
he had broken it open and read it, he seemed much troubled; but at
last he came a little lower, yet threatened us that if we had any
more meetings at Swannington, he would break them up and send us
to prison again.
    But, notwithstanding his threats, we went to Swannington, and
had a meeting with Friends there, and he neither came nor sent to
break it up.

    [After travelling through Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and
Warwickshire, he came again to London.]

    I stayed not long in London, but went into Essex, and so to
Norfolk, having great meetings. At Norwich, when I came to Captain
Lawrence’s, there was a great threatening of disturbance; but the
meeting was quiet. Passing thence to Sutton, and into
Cambridgeshire, I heard of Edward Burrough’s decease. Being
sensible how great a grief and exercise it would be to Friends to
part with him, I wrote the following lines for the staying and
settling of their minds:

    “Be still and quiet in your own conditions, and settled in
the Seed of God, that doth not change; that in that ye may feel
dear Edward Burrough among you in the Seed, in which and by which
he begat you to God, with whom he is; and that in the Seed ye may
all see and feel him, in which is the unity with him in the life;
and so enjoy him in the life that doth not change, which is
    George Fox.” [175]

    [Hereupon extensive travels follow, throughout the eastern
counties, then through the southern as far as Land’s End, and
again through Wales and the English Lake district. He finally
reaches Swarthmore some time in 1663, and finds that an offer of
twenty-five pounds has been made to any man who would take him.
Out of the experiences of this long, though somewhat uneventful
trip we give only the following discussion, which throws good
light on Fox’s “principle of truth”:

    “Next morning, some of the chief of the town[176] desired to
speak with me, amongst whom was Colonel Rouse. I went, and had a
great deal of discourse with them concerning the things of God. In
their reasoning they said, ‘The gospel was the four books of
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John’; and they called it natural. I told
them, the gospel was the power of God, which was preached before
Matthew, Mark, Luke or John were written; and it was preached to
every creature, of which a great part might never see nor hear of
those four books, so that every creature was to obey the power of
God; for Christ, the Spiritual Man, would judge the world
according to the gospel, that is, according to his invisible
power. When they heard this, they could not gainsay; for the Truth
came over them. I directed them to their Teacher, the grace of
God, and showed them the sufficiency of it, which would teach them
how to live, and what to deny; and being obeyed would bring them
salvation. So to that grace I recommended them, and left them.”]

    I came over the sands to Swarthmore. There they told me that
Colonel Kirby had sent his lieutenant, who had searched trunks and
chests for me.
    That night, as I was in bed, I was moved of the Lord to go
next day to Kirby Hall, which was Colonel Kirby’s house, about
five miles off, to speak with him. When I came thither I found the
Flemings, and several others of the gentry (so called) of the
country, who were come to take their leave of Colonel Kirby, he
being then about to go up to London to the Parliament. I was taken
into the parlour amongst them; but Colonel Kirby was not then
within, being gone out a little way. They said little to me, nor I
much to them.
    After a little while Colonel Kirby came in, and I told him I
came to visit him (understanding he was desirous to see me) to
know what he had to say to me, and whether he had anything against
    He said, before all the company, “As I am a gentleman, I have
nothing against you.” “But,” said he, “Mistress Fell must not keep
great meetings at her house, for they meet contrary to the Act.”
    I told him that that Act did not take hold on us, but on such
as “met to plot and contrive, and to raise insurrections against
the King”; whereas we were no such people: for he knew that they
that met at Margaret Fell’s were his neighbours, and a peaceable
    After many words had passed, he shook me by the hand, and
said again that he had nothing against me; and others of them said
I was a deserving man. So we parted, and I returned to Swarthmore.
    Shortly after, when Colonel Kirby was gone to London, there
was a private meeting of the justices and deputy-lieutenants at
Houlker Hall, where Justice Preston lived, where they granted a
warrant to apprehend me. I heard over night both of their meeting
and of the warrant, and could have gone out of their reach if I
would, for I had not appointed any meeting at that time, and I had
cleared myself of the north, and the Lord’s power was over all.
But I considered that there being a noise of a plot in the north,
if I should go away they might fall upon Friends; but if I gave
myself up to be taken, it might prevent them, and Friends should
escape the better. So I gave myself up to be taken, and prepared
for their coming.
    Next day an officer came with his sword and pistols to take
me. I told him I knew his errand before, and had given myself to
be taken; for if I would have escaped their imprisonment I could
have been forty miles off before he came; but I was an innocent
man, and so it mattered not what they could do to me. He asked me
how I heard of it, seeing the order was made privately in a
parlour. I said it was no matter for that; it was sufficient that
I heard it.
    I asked him to let me see his order, whereupon he laid his
hand on his sword, and said I must go with him before the
lieutenant to answer such questions as they should propound to me.
I told him it was but civil and reasonable for him to let me see
his order; but he would not. Then said I, “I am ready.”
    So I went along with him, and Margaret Fell accompanied us to
Houlker Stall. When we came thither there was one Rawlinson, a
justice, and one called Sir George Middleton, and many more that I
did not know, besides old Justice Preston, who lived there.
    They brought Thomas Atkinson, a Friend, of Cartmel, as a
witness against me for some words which he had told to one Knipe,
who had informed them, which words were that I said I had written
against the plotters and had knocked them down. These words they
could not make much of, for I told them I had heard of a plot, and
had written against it.
    Old Preston asked me whether I had an hand in that script. I
asked him what he meant. He said, “in the Battledore?” I answered,
    Then he asked me whether I understood languages. I said,
“Sufficient for myself,” and that I knew no law that was
transgressed by it. I told them also that to understand outward
languages was no matter of salvation, for the many tongues began
but at the confusion of Babel; and if I did understand anything of
them, I judged and knocked them down again for any matter of
salvation that was in them.
    Thereupon he turned away, and said, “George Fox knocks down
all the languages; come,” said he, “we will examine you of higher
    Then said George Middleton, “You deny God, and the Church,
and the faith.”
    I replied, “Nay, I own God and the true Church, and the true
faith. But what Church dost thou own?” said I (for I understood he
was a Papist).
    Then he turned again and said, “You are a rebel and a
    I asked him to whom he spoke, or whom did he call rebel. He
was so full of envy that for a while he could not speak, but at
last he said, “I spoke it to you.”
    With that I struck my hand on the table, and told him, “I
have suffered more than twenty such as thou; more than any that is
here; for I have been cast into Derby dungeon for six months
together, and have suffered much because I would not take up arms
against this King before Worcester fight. I was sent up a prisoner
out of my own country by Colonel Hacker to Oliver Cromwell, as a
plotter to bring in King Charles in the year 1654. I have nothing
but love and good-will to the King, and desire the eternal good
and welfare of him and all his subjects.”
    “Did you ever hear the like?” said Middleton. “Nay,” said I.
“Ye may hear it again if ye will. For ye talk of the King, a
company of you, but where were ye in Oliver’s days, and what did
ye do then for him? But I have more love to the King for his
eternal good and welfare than any of you have.”
    Then they asked me whether I had heard of the plot. I said,
“Yes, I have heard of it.”
    They asked me how I had heard of it, and whom I knew in it. I
told them I had heard of it through the high-sheriff of Yorkshire,
who had told Dr. Hodgson that there was a plot in the north. That
was the way I had heard of it; but I had never heard of any such
thing in the south, nor till I came into the north. As for knowing
any in the plot, I was as a child in that, for I knew none of
    Then said they, “Why would you write against it if you did
not know some that were in it?”
    I said, “My reason was, because you are so forward to crush
the innocent and guilty together; therefore I wrote against it to
clear the Truth[177] and to stop all forward, foolish spirits from
running into such things. I sent copies of it into Westmoreland,
Cumberland, Durham, and Yorkshire, and to you here. I sent another
copy of it to the King and his council, and it is likely it may be
in print by this time.”
    One of them said, “This man hath great power! ”
    I said, “Yes, I have power to write against plotters.”
    Then said one of them, “You are against the laws of the
    I answered, “Nay, for I and my Friends direct all people to
the Spirit of God in them, to mortify the deeds of the flesh. This
brings them into welldoing, and away from that which the
magistrate’s sword is against, which eases the magistrates, who
are for the punishment of evil-doers. So people being turned to
the Spirit of God, which brings them to mortify the deeds of the
flesh; this brings them from under the occasion of the
magistrate’s sword; and this must needs be one with magistracy,
and one with the law, which was added because of transgression,
and is for the praise of them that do well. In this we establish
the law, are an ease to the magistrates, and are not against, but
stand for all good government.”
    Then George Middleton cried, “Bring the book, and put the
oaths of allegiance and supremacy to him.”
    Now he himself being a Papist, I asked him whether he, who
was a swearer, had taken the oath of supremacy. As for us, we
could not swear at all, because Christ and the Apostle had
forbidden it.
    Some of them would not have had the oath put to me, but would
have set me at liberty. The rest would not agree to it, for this
was their last snare, and they had no other way to get me into
prison, as all other things had been cleared to them. This was
like the Papists’ sacrament of the altar, by which they ensnared
the martyrs.[178]
    So they tendered me the oath, which I could not take;
whereupon they were about to make my mittimus to send me to
Lancaster jail; but considering of it, they only engaged me to
appear at the sessions, and for that time dismissed me.
    I went back with Margaret Fell to Swarthmore, and soon after
Colonel West, who was at that time a justice of the peace, came to
see me. He told us that he had acquainted some of the rest of the
justices that he would come and see Margaret Fell and me; “but it
may be,” said he, “some of you will take offense at it.” I asked
him, what he thought they would do with me at the sessions? He
said they would tender the oath to me again.
    Whilst I was at Swarthmore, William Kirby came into
Swarthmore meeting, and brought the constables with him. I was
sitting with Friends in the meeting, and he said to me, “How now,
Mr. Fox! you have a fine company here.” “Yes,” said I, “we meet to
wait upon the Lord.”
    So he began to take the names of Friends, and those that did
not readily tell him their names he committed to the constables’
hands, and sent some to prison. The constables were unwilling to
take them without a warrant, whereupon he threatened to set them
by the heels; but the constable told him that he could keep them
in his presence, but after he was gone he could not keep them
without a warrant.
    The sessions coming on, I went to Lancaster, and appeared
according to my engagement. There was upon the bench Justice
Fleming, who had bid five pounds in Westmoreland to any man that
would apprehend me, for he was a justice both in Westmoreland and
Lancashire. There were also Justice Spencer, Colonel West and old
Justice Rawlinson, the lawyer, who gave the charge, and was very
sharp against Truth and Friends; but the Lord’s power stopped
    The session was large, the concourse of people great, and way
being made for me, I came up to the bar, and stood with my hat on,
they looking earnestly upon me and I upon them for a pretty space.
    Proclamation being made for all to keep silence upon pain of
imprisonment, and all being quiet, I said twice, “Peace be among
    The chairman asked if I knew where I was. I said, “Yes, I do;
but it may be,” said I, “my hat offends you. That’s a low thing;
that’s not the honour that I give to magistrates, for the true
honour is from above; which,” said I. “I have received, and I hope
it is not the hat which ye look upon to be the honour.”
    The chairman said they looked for the hat, too, and asked
wherein I showed my respect to magistrates if I did not put off my
hat. I replied, “In coming when they called me.” Then they bade
one take off my hat.
    After this it was some time before they spoke to me, and I
felt the power of the Lord to arise. After some pause old Justice
Rawlinson, the chairman, asked me if I knew of the plot. I told
him I had heard of it in Yorkshire by a Friend, who had it from
the high-sheriff. They asked me whether I had declared it to the
magistrates. I said, “I sent papers abroad against plots and
plotters, and also to you, as soon as I came into the country, to
take all jealousies out of your minds concerning me and my
friends; for it is our principle to declare against such things.”
    They asked me if I knew not of an Act against meeting. I said
I knew there was an Act that took hold of such as met to the
terrifying of the King’s subjects, were enemies to the King, and
held dangerous principles; but I hoped they did not look upon us
to be such men, for our meetings were not to terrify the King’s
subjects, neither are we enemies to him or any man.
    Then they tendered me the oaths of allegiance and supremacy.
I told them I could not take any oath at all, because Christ and
His Apostle had forbidden it; and they had sufficient experience
of swearers, first one way, then another; but I had never taken
any oath in my life.
    Then Rawlinson asked me whether I held it was unlawful to
swear. This question he put on purpose to ensnare me; for by an
Act that was made those were liable to banishment or a great fine
that should say it was unlawful to swear. But I, seeing the snare,
avoided it, and told him that “in the time of the law amongst the
Jews, before Christ came, the law commanded them to swear; but
Christ, who doth fulfil the law in His gospel-time, commands not
to swear at all; and the apostle James forbids swearing, even to
them that were Jews, and had the law of God.”
    After much discourse, they called for the jailer, and
committed me to prison.
    I had about me the paper which I had written as a testimony
against plots, which I desired they would read, or suffer to be
read, in open court; but they would not. So, being committed for
refusing to swear, I bade them and all the people take notice that
I suffered for the doctrine of Christ, and for my obedience to His
    Afterwards I understood that the justices said they had
private instructions from Colonel Kirby to prosecute me,
notwithstanding his fair carriage and seeming kindness to me
before, when he declared before many of them that he had nothing
against me.
    Several other Friends were committed to prison, some for
meeting to worship God, and some for not swearing; so that the
prison was very full. Many of them being poor men, that had
nothing to maintain their families by but their labour, which now
they were taken from, the wives of several went to the justices
who had committed their husbands, and told them that if they kept
their husbands in jail for nothing but the truth of Christ, and
for good conscience’ sake, they would bring their children to them
to be maintained.
    A mighty power of the Lord rose in Friends, and gave them
great boldness, so that they spoke much to the justices. Friends
also that were prisoners wrote to the justices, laying the weight
of their sufferings upon them, and showing them both their
injustice and want of compassion towards their poor neighbours,
whom they knew to be honest, conscientious, peaceable people, that
in tenderness of conscience could not take any oath; yet they sent
them to prison for refusing to take the oath of allegiance.
    Several who were imprisoned on that account were known to be
men that had served the King in his wars, and had hazarded their
lives in the field in his cause, and had suffered great hardships,
with the loss of much blood, for him, and had always stood
faithful to him from first to last, and had never received any pay
for their service. To be thus requited for all their faithful
services and sufferings, and that by them that pretended to be the
King’s friends, was hard, unkind, and ungrateful dealing.
    At length the justices, being continually attended with
complaints of grievances, released some of the Friends, but kept
diverse of them still in prison.
    I was kept till the assize, and Judge Turner and Judge
Twisden coming that circuit, I was brought before Judge Twisden,
the 14th of the month called March, the latter end of the year
    When I was brought to the bar, I said, “Peace be amongst you
all.” The Judge looked upon me, and said, “What! do you come into
the court with your hat on!” Upon which words, the jailer taking
it off, I said, “The hat is not the honour that comes from God.”
    Then said the Judge to me, “Will you take the oath of
allegiance, George Fox?” I said, “I never took any oath in my
life, nor any covenant or engagement.” “Well,” said he, “will you
swear or no?” I answered, “I am a Christian, and Christ commands
me not to swear; so does the apostle James; and whether I should
obey God or man, do thou judge.”
    “I ask you again,” said he, “whether you will swear or no.” I
answered again, “I am neither Turk, Jew, nor heathen, but a
Christian, and should show forth Christianity.”
    I asked him if he did not know that Christians in the
primitive times, under the ten persecutions, and some also of the
martyrs in Queen Mary’s days, refused swearing, because Christ and
the apostle had forbidden it. I told him also that they had had
experience enough, how many had first sworn for the King and then
against him. “But as for me,” I said, “I have never taken an oath
in my life. My allegiance doth not lie in swearing, but in truth
and faithfulness, for I honour all men, much more the King. But
Christ, who is the Great Prophet, the King of kings, the Saviour
and Judge of the whole world, saith I must not swear. Now, must I
obey Christ or thee? For it is because of tenderness of
conscience, and in obedience to the command of Christ, that I do
not swear and we have the word of a King for tender consciences.”
    Then I asked the Judge if he did own the King. “Yes,” said
he, “I do own the King.”
    “Why, then,” said I, “dost thou not observe his declaration
from Breda, and his promises made since he came into England, that
no man should be called in question for matters of religion so
long as he lived peaceably? If thou ownest the King,” said I, “why
dost thou call me in question, and put me upon taking an oath,
which is a matter of religion; seeing that neither thou nor any
one else can charge me with unpeaceable living?”
    Upon this he was moved, and, looking angrily at me, said,
“Sirrah, will you swear?”
    I told him I was none of his Sirrahs; I was a Christian; and
for him, an old man and a judge, to sit there and give nicknames
to prisoners did not become either his grey hairs or his office.
    “Well,” said he, “I am a Christian, too.”
    “Then do Christian works,” said I.
    “Sirrah!” said he, “thou thinkest to frighten me with thy
words.” Then, catching himself, and looking aside, he said, “Hark!
I am using the word sirrah again;” and so checked himself.
    I said, “I spoke to thee in love; for that language did not
become thee, a judge. Thou oughtest to instruct a prisoner in the
law, if he were ignorant and out of the way.”
    “And I speak in love to thee, too,” said he.
    “But,” said I, “love gives no nicknames.”
    Then he roused himself up, and said, “I will not be afraid of
thee, George Fox; thou speakest so loud thy voice drowns mine and
the court’s; I must call for three or four criers to drown thy
voice; thou hast good lungs.”
    “I am a prisoner here,” said I, “for the Lord Jesus Christ’s
sake; for His sake do I suffer; for Him do I stand this day. If my
voice were five times louder, I should lift it up and sound it for
Christ’s sake. I stand this day before your judgment-seat in
obedience to Christ, who commands not to swear; before whose
judgment-seat you must all be brought and must give an account.”
    “Well,” said the Judge, “George Fox, say whether thou wilt
take the oath, yea or nay?”
    I replied, “I say, as I said before, judge thou whether I
ought to obey God or man. If I could take any oath at all I should
take this. I do not deny some oaths only, or on some occasions,
but all oaths, according to Christ’s doctrine, who hath commanded
His followers not to swear at all. Now if thou, or any of you, or
your ministers or priests here, will prove that ever Christ or His
apostles, after they had forbidden all swearing, commanded
Christians to swear, then I will swear.”
    I saw several priests there, but not one of them offered to
    “Then,” said the Judge, “I am a servant to the King, and the
King sent me not to dispute with you, but to put the laws in
execution; therefore tender him the oath of allegiance.”
    “If thou love the King,” said I, “why dost thou break his
word, and not keep his declarations and speeches, wherein he
promised liberty to tender consciences? I am a man of a tender
conscience, and, in obedience to Christ’s command, I cannot
    “Then you will not swear,” said the Judge; “take him away,
    I said, “It is for Christ’s sake that I cannot swear, and for
obedience to His command I suffer; and so the Lord forgive you
    So the jailer took me away; but I felt that the mighty power
of the Lord was over them all.
    The sixteenth day of the same month I was again brought
before Judge Twisden. He was somewhat offended at my hat; but it
being the last morning of the assize before he was to leave town,
and not many people there, he made the less of it.
    He asked me whether I would “traverse, stand mute, or
submit.” But he spoke so fast that it was hard to know what he
said. However, I told him I desired I might have liberty to
traverse the indictment, and try it.
    Then said he, “Take him away; I will have nothing to do with
him; take him away.”
    I said, “Well, live in the fear of God, and do justice.”
    “Why,” said he, “have I not done you justice?”
    I replied, “That which thou hast done has been against the
command of Christ.”
    So I was taken to the jail again, and kept prisoner till the
next assizes.
    Some time before this assize Margaret Fell was sent prisoner
to Lancaster jail by Fleming, Kirby, and Preston, justices; and at
the assize the oath was tendered to her also, and she was again
committed to prison.
    In the Sixth month,[179] the assizes were again held at
Lancaster, and the same judges, Twisden and Turner, again came
that circuit. But Judge Turner then sat on the crown bench, and so
I was brought before him. Before I was called to the bar I was put
among the murderers and felons for about two hours, the people,
the justices and also the Judge gazing upon me.
    After they had tried several others, they called me to the
bar, and empanelled a jury. Then the Judge asked the justices
whether they had tendered me the oath at the sessions. They said
that they had. Then he said, “Give them the book, that they may
swear they tendered him the oath at the sessions.” They said they
had. Then he said, “Give them the book, that they may swear they
tendered him the oath according to the indictment.”
    Some of the justices refused to be sworn; but the Judge said
he would have it done, to take away all occasion of exception.
When the jury were sworn, and the justices had scorn that they had
tendered me the oath according to the indictment, the Judge asked
me whether I had not refused the oath at the last assizes. I said,
“I never took an oath in my life, and Christ the Saviour and Judge
of the world, said, ‘Swear not at all.'”
    The Judge seemed not to take notice of my answer, but asked
me whether or not I had refused to take the oath at the last
    I said, “The words that I then spoke to them were, that if
they could prove, either judge, justices, priest, or teacher, that
after Christ and the Apostle had forbidden swearing, they
commanded that Christians should swear, I would swear.”
    The Judge said he was not at that time to dispute whether it
was lawful to swear, but to inquire whether I had refused to take
the oath.
    I told him, “Those things mentioned in the oath, as plotting
against the King, and owning the Pope’s, or any other foreign
power, I utterly deny.”
    “Well?” said he, “you say well in that, but did you refuse to
take the oath? What say you?”
    “What wouldst thou have me to say?” said I; “I have told thee
before what I did say.”
    Then he asked me if I would have these men to swear that I
had taken the oath. I asked him if he would have those men to
swear that I had refused the oath, at which the court burst into
    I was grieved to see so much lightness in a court, where such
solemn matters are handled, and thereupon asked them, “Is this
court a play-house? Where is gravity and sobriety,” said I; “this
behaviour doth not become you.”
    Then the clerk read the indictment, and I told the Judge I
had something to speak to it; for I had informed myself of the
errors that were in it. He told me he would hear afterwards any
reasons that I could allege why he should not give judgment.
    Then I spoke to the jury, and told them that they could not
bring me in guilty according to that indictment, for the
indictment was wrong laid, and had many gross errors in it.
    The Judge said that I must not speak to the jury, but he
would speak to them; and he told them I had refused to take the
oath at the last assizes; “and,” said he, “I can tender the oath
to any man now, and praemunire him for not taking it;” and he said
they must bring me in guilty, seeing I refused to take the oath.
    Then said I, “What do ye do with a form? Ye may throw away
your form then.” And I told the jury it lay upon their
consciences, as they would answer it to the Lord God before His
    Then the judge spoke again to the jury, and I called to him
to “do me justice.”
    The jury brought me in guilty. Thereupon I told them that
both the justices and they had forsworn themselves, and therefore
they had small cause to laugh, as they did a little before.
    Oh, the envy, rage, and malice that appeared against me, and
the lightness! But the Lord confounded them, and they were
wonderfully stopped. So they set me aside, and called up Margaret
Dell, who had much good service among them; and then the court
broke up near the second hour.
    In the afternoon we were brought in again to have sentence
passed upon us. Margaret Fell desired that sentence might be
deferred until the next morning. I desired nothing but law and
justice at his hands, for the thieves had mercy; only I requested
the Judge to send some to see my prison, which was so bad they
would put no creature they had in it; and I told him that Colonel
Kirby, who was then on the bench, had said I should be locked up,
and no flesh alive should come to me. The Judge shook his head and
said that when the sentence was given he would leave me to the
favor of the jailer.
    Most of the gentry of the country were gathered together,
expecting to hear the sentence; and the noise amongst the people
was that I should be transported. But they were all crossed at
that time, for the sentence was deferred until the next morning,
and I was taken to prison again.
    Upon my complaining of the badness of my prison, some of the
justices, with Colonel Kirby, went up to see it. When they came
they hardly durst go in, the floor was so bad and dangerous, and
the place so open to wind and rain. Some that came up said,
“Surely it is a Jakes-house.” When Colonel Kirby saw it, and heard
what others said of it, he excused the matter as well as he could,
saying that I should be removed ere long to some more convenient
    Next day, towards the eleventh hour, we were called again to
hear the sentence; and Margaret Fell, being called first to the
bar, she had counsel to plead, who found many errors in her
indictment. Thereupon, after the Judge had acknowledged them, she
was set by.
    Then the Judge asked what they could say to mine. I was not
willing to let any man plead for me, but desired to speak to it
myself; and indeed, though Margaret had some that pleaded for her,
yet she spoke as much herself as she would. But before I came to
the bar I was moved in my spirit to pray that God would confound
their wickedness and envy, set His truth over all, and exalt His
seed. The Lord heard, and answered, and did confound them in their
proceedings against me. And, though they had most envy against me,
yet the most gross errors were found in my indictment.
    I having put by others from pleading for me, the Judge asked
me what I had to say why he should not pass sentence upon me. I
told him I was no lawyer; but I had much to say, if he would but
have patience to hear. At that he laughed, and others laughed
also, and said, “Come, what have you to say? He can say nothing.”
“Yes,” said I, “I have much to say; have but the patience to hear
    I asked him whether the oath was to be tendered to the King’s
subjects, or to the subjects of foreign princes. He said, “To the
subjects of this realm.” “Then,” said I, “look into the
indictment; ye may see that ye have left out the word ‘subject’;
so not having named me in the indictment as a subject, ye cannot
praemunire me for not taking an oath.”
    Then they looked over the statute and the indictment, and saw
it was as I said; and the Judge confessed it was an error.
    I told him I had something else to stop his judgment, and
desired him to look what day the indictment said the oath was
tendered to me at the sessions there. They looked, and said it was
the eleventh day of January. “What day of the week was the
sessions held on?” said I. “On a Tuesday,” said they. “Then,” said
I, “look in your almanacs, and see whether there was any sessions
held at Lancaster on the eleventh day of January, so called.”
    So they looked, and found that the eleventh day was the day
called Monday, and that the sessions was on the day called
Tuesday, which was the twelfth day of that month.
    “Look now,” said I, “ye have indicted me for refusing the
oath in the quarter-sessions held at Lancaster on the eleventh day
of January last, and the justices have sworn that they tendered me
the oath in open sessions here that day, and the jury upon their
oaths have found me guilty thereupon; and yet ye see there was no
session held in Lancaster that day.”
    Then the Judge, to cover the matter, asked whether the
sessions did not begin on the eleventh day. But some in the court
answered, “No; the session held but one day, and that was the
twelfth.” Then the Judge said this was a great mistake and an
    Some of the justices were in a great rage at this, stamped,
and said, “Who hath done this? Somebody hath done this on
purpose;” and a great heat was amongst them.
    Then said I, “Are not the justices here, that have sworn to
this indictment, forsworn men in the face of the country? But this
is not all,” said I. “I have more yet to offer why sentence should
not be given against me.” I asked, “In what year of the King was
the last assize here holden, which was in the month called March
last?” The Judge said it was in the sixteenth year of the King.
“But,” said I, “the indictment says it was in the fifteenth year.”
They looked, and found it so. This also was acknowledged to be
another error.
    Then they were all in a fret again, and could not tell what
to say; for the Judge had sworn the officers of the court that the
oath was tendered to me at the assize mentioned in the indictment.
“Now,” said I, “is not the court here forsworn also, who have
sworn that the oath was tendered to me at the assize holden here
in the fifteenth year of the King, when it was in his sixteenth
year, and so they have sworn a year false?”
    The Judge bade them look whether Margaret Fell’s indictment
was so or no. They looked, and found it was not so.
    I told the Judge I had more yet to offer to stop sentence;
and asked him whether all the oath ought to be put into the
indictment or no. “Yes,” said he, “it ought to be all put in.”
    “Then,” said I, “compare the indictment with the oath, and
there thou mayest see these words: viz., ‘or by any authority
derived, or pretended to be derived from him or his see,’ which is
a principal part of the oath, left out of the indictment; and in
another place the words, ‘heirs and successors,’ are left out.”
    The Judge acknowledged these also to be great errors.
    “But,” said I, “I have something further to allege.”
    “Nay,” said the Judge, “I have enough; you need say no more.”
    “If,” said I, “thou hast enough, I desire nothing but law and
justice at thy hands; for I don’t look for mercy.”
    “You must have justice,” said he, “and you shall have law.”
    Then I asked, “Am I at liberty, and free from all that ever
hath been done against me in this matter?”
    “Yes,” said the Judge, “you are free from all that hath been
done against you. But then,” starting up in a rage, he said, “I
can put the oath to any man here, and I will tender you the oath
    I told him he had had examples enough yesterday of swearing
and false swearing, both in the justices and in the jury; for I
saw before mine eyes that both justices and jury had forsworn
    The Judge asked me if I would take the oath. I bade him do me
justice for my false imprisonment all this while; for what had I
been imprisoned so long for? and I told him I ought to be set at
    “You are at liberty,” said he, “but I will put the oath to
you again.”
    Then I turned me about and said, “All people, take notice;
this is a snare; for I ought to be set free from the jailer and
from this court.”
    But the Judge cried, “Give him the book;” and the sheriff and
the justices cried, “Give him the book.”
    Then the power of darkness rose up in them like a mountain,
and a clerk lifted up a book to me. I stood still and said, “If it
be a Bible, give it me into my hand.”
    “Yes, yes,” said the Judge and justices, “give it him into
his hand.” So I took it and looked into it, and said, “I see it is
a Bible; I am glad of it.”
    Now he had caused the jury to be called, and they stood by;
for, after they had brought in their former verdict, he would not
dismiss them, though they desired it; but told them he could not
dismiss them yet, for he should have business for them, and
therefore they must attend and be ready when they were called.
    When he said so I felt his intent, that if I were freed, he
would come on again. So I looked him in the face, and the witness
of God started up in him, and made him blush when he looked at me
again, for he saw that I saw him.
    Nevertheless, hardening himself, he caused the oath to be
read to me, the jury standing by; and when it was read, he asked
me whether I would take the oath or not.
    Then said I, “Ye have given me a book here to kiss and to
swear on, and this book which ye have given me to kiss says, ‘Kiss
the Son’; and the Son says in this book, ‘Swear not at all’; and
so says also the apostle James. Now, I say as the book says, and
yet ye imprison me; why do ye not imprison the book for saying so?
How comes it that the book (which bids me not swear) is at liberty
amongst you, and yet ye imprison me for doing as the book bids
    As I was speaking this to them, and held up the Bible open in
my hand, to show them the place in the book where Christ forbids
swearing, they plucked the book out of my hand again; and the
Judge said, “Nay, but we will imprison George Fox.” Yet this got
abroad over all the country as a by-word, that “they gave me a
book to swear on that commanded me ‘not to swear at all’; and that
the Bible was at liberty, and I in prison for doing as the Bible
    Now, when the Judge still urged me to swear, I told him I had
never taken oath, covenant, or engagement in my life, but my yea
or nay was more binding to me than an oath was to many others; for
had they not had experience how little men regarded an oath; and
how they had sworn one way and then another; and how the justices
and court had forsworn themselves now? I told him I was a man of a
tender conscience, and if they had any sense of a tender
conscience they would consider that it was in obedience to
Christ’s command that I could not swear. “But,” said I, “if any of
you can convince me that after Christ and the apostle had
commanded not to swear, they altered that command and commanded
Christians to swear, then ye shall see I will swear.”
    There being many priests by, I said, “If ye cannot do it, let
your priests stand up and do it.” But not one of the priests made
any answer.
    “Oh,” said the Judge, “all the world cannot convince you.”
    “No,” said I, “how is it likely the world should convince me;
for ‘the whole world lies in wickedness’; but bring out your
spiritual men, as ye call them, to convince me.”
    Then both the sheriff and the Judge said, “The angel swore in
the Revelations.” I replied, “When God bringeth His first-begotten
Son into the world, He saith, ‘Let all the angels of God worship
Him’; and He saith, ‘Swear not at all.'”
    “Nay,” said the Judge, “I will not dispute.”
    Then I spoke to the jury, telling them it was for Christ’s
sake that I could not swear, and therefore I warned them not to
act contrary to the witness of God in their consciences, for
before His judgment-seat they must all be brought. And I told them
that as for plots and persecution for religion and Popery, I do
deny them in my heart; for I am a Christian, and shall show forth
Christianity amongst you this day. It is for Christ’s doctrine I
stand.” More words I had both with the Judge and jury before the
jailer took me away.
    In the afternoon I was brought up again, and put among the
thieves some time, where I stood with my hat on till the jailer
took it off. Then the jury having found this new indictment
against me for not taking the oath, I was called to the bar; and
the Judge asked me what I would say for myself. I bade them read
the indictment, for I would not answer to that which I did not
hear. The clerk read it, and as he read the Judge said “Take heed
it be not false again”; but he read it in such a manner that I
could hardly understand what he read.
    When he had done the Judge asked me what I said to the
indictment. I told him that hearing but once so large a writing
read, and at such a distance that I could not distinctly hear all
the parts of it, I could not well tell what to say to it; but if
he would let me have a copy, and give me time to consider it, I
would answer it.
    This put them to; a little stand; but after a while the Judge
asked me, “What time would you have?”
    I said, “Until the next assize.”
    “But,” said he, “what plea will You now make? Are you guilty
or not guilty?”
    I said, “I am not guilty at all of obstinately and wilfully
refusing to swear; and as for those things mentioned in the oath,
as jesuitical plots and foreign powers, I utterly deny them in my
heart; and if I could take any oath, I should take that; but I
never took any oath in my life.”
    The Judge said, “You speak well; but the King is sworn, the
Parliament is sworn, I am sworn, the justices are sworn, and the
law is preserved by oaths.”
    I told him that they had had sufficient experience of men’s
swearing, and he had seen how the justices and jury had sworn
falsely the other day; and if he had read in the “Book of Martyrs”
how many of the martyrs had refused to swear, both within the time
of the ten persecutions and in Bishop Bonner’s days, he might see
that to deny swearing in obedience to Christ’s command was no new
    He said he wished the laws were otherwise.
    I said, “Our Yea is yea, and our Nay is nay; and if we
transgress our yea and our nay, let us suffer as they do, or
should do, that swear falsely.” This, I told him, we had offered
to the King; and the King said it was reasonable.
    After some further discourse they committed me to prison
again, there to lie until the next assize; and colonel Kirby gave
order to the jailer to keep me close, “and suffer no flesh alive
to come at me,” for I was not fit, he said, “to be discoursed with
by men.” I was put into a tower where the smoke of the other
prisoners came up so thick it stood as dew upon the walls, and
sometimes it was so thick that I could hardly see the candle when
it burned; and I being locked under three locks, the under-jailer,
when the smoke was great, would hardly be persuaded to come up to
unlock one of the uppermost doors for fear of the smoke, so that I
was almost smothered.
    Besides, it rained in upon my bed, and many times, when I
went to stop out the rain in the cold winter-season, my shirt was
as wet as muck with the rain that came in upon me while I was
labouring to stop it out. And the place being high and open to the
wind, sometimes as fast as I stopped it the wind blew it out
    In this manner I lay all that long, cold winter till the next
assize, in which time I was so starved, and so frozen with cold
and wet with the rain that my body was greatly swelled and my
limbs much benumbed.
    The assize began the sixteenth of the month called March,
1664-5. The same Judges, Twisden and Turner, coming that circuit
again, Judge Twisden sat this time on the crown-bench, and before
him I was brought.
    I had informed myself of the errors in this indictment also;
for, though at the assize before Judge Turner said to the officers
in court, “Pray, see that all the oath be in the indictment, and
that the word ‘subject’ be in, and that the day of the month and
year of the King be put in right; for it is a shame that so many
errors should be seen and found in the face of the country;” yet
many errors, and those great ones, were in this indictment, as
well as in the former. Surely the hand of the Lord was in it, to
confound their mischievous work against me, and to blind them
therein; insomuch that, although, after the indictment was drawn
at the former assize, the Judge examined it himself, and tried it
with the clerks, yet the word “subject” was left out of this
indictment also, the day of the month was put in wrong, and
several material words of the oath were left out; yet they went on
confidently against me, thinking all was safe and well.
    When I was brought to the bar, and the jury called over to be
sworn, the clerk asked me, first, whether I had any objection to
make to any of the jury. I told him I knew none of them. Then,
having sworn the jury, they swore three of the officers of the
court to prove that the oath was tendered to me at the last
assizes, according to the indictment.
    “Come, come,” said the Judge, “it was not done in a corner.”
Then he asked me what I had to say to it; or whether I had taken
the oath at the last assize.
    I told him what I had formerly said to them, as it now came
to my remembrance.
    Thereupon the Judge said, “I will not dispute with you but in
point of law.”
    “Then,” said I, “I have something to speak to the jury
concerning the indictment.”
    He told me I must not speak to the jury; but if I had
anything to say, I must speak to him.
    I asked him whether the oath was to be tendered to the King’s
subjects only, or to the subjects of foreign princes.
    He replied, “To the subjects of this realm.”
    “Then,” said I, “look in the indictment, and thou mayest see
the word ‘subject’ is left out of this indictment also. Therefore,
seeing the oath is not to be tendered to any but the subjects of
this realm, and ye have not put me in as a subject, the court is
to take no notice of this indictment.”
    I had no sooner spoken thus than the Judge cried, “Take him
away, jailer, take him away.” So I was presently hurried away.
    The jailer and people expected that I should be called for
again; but I was never brought to the court any more, though I had
many other great errors to assign in the indictment.
    After I was gone, the Judge asked the jury if they were
agreed. They said, “Yes,” and found for the King against me, as I
was told. But I was never called to hear sentence given, nor was
any given against me that I could hear of.
    I understood that when they had looked more narrowly into the
indictment they saw it was not good; and the Judge having sworn
the officers of the court that the oath was tendered me at the
assize before, such a day, as was set forth in the indictment, and
that being the wrong day, I should have proved the officers of the
court forsworn men again, had the Judge suffered me to plead to
the indictment, which was thought to be the reason he hurried me
away so soon.
    The Judge had passed sentence of praemunire upon Margaret
Fell before I was brought in; and it seems that when I was hurried
away they recorded me as a praemunired person,[180] though I was
never brought to hear the sentence, or knew of it, which was very
illegal. For they should not only have had me present to hear the
sentence given, but should also have asked me first what I could
say why sentence should not be given against me. But they knew I
had so much to say that they could not give sentence if they heard
    While I was prisoner in Lancaster Castle there was a great
noise and talk of the Turk’s overspreading Christendom, and great
fears entered many. But one day, as I was walking in my prison
chamber, I saw the Lord’s power turn against him, and that he was
turning back again. And I declared to some what the Lord had let
me see, when there were such fears of his overrunning Christendom;
and within a month after, the news came that they had given him a
    Another time, as I was walking in my chamber, with my eye to
the Lord, I saw the angel of the Lord with a glittering drawn
sword stretched southward, as though the court had been all on
fire. Not long after the wars broke out with Holland, the sickness
broke forth, and afterwards the fire of London; so the Lord’s
sword was drawn indeed.
    By reason of my long and close imprisonment in so bad a place
I was become very weak in body; but the Lord’s power was over all,
supported me through all, and enabled me to do service for Him,
and for His truth and people, as the place would admit. For, while
I was in Lancaster prison, I answered several books, as the Mass,
the Common-Prayer, the Directory and the Church-Faith,[181] which
are the four chief religions that are got up since the apostles’

                        CHAPTER XVI.
                A Year in Scarborough Castle.

    After the assize, Colonel Kirby and other justices were very
uneasy with my being at Lancaster; for I had galled them sore at
my trials there, and they laboured much to get me removed thence
to some remote place. Colonel Kirby sometimes threatened that I
should be sent beyond sea.
    About six weeks after the assizes they got an order from the
King and council to remove me from Lancaster; and with it they
brought a letter from the Earl of Anglesey, wherein it was written
that if those things with which I was charged were found true
against me, I deserved no clemency nor mercy; yet the greatest
matter they had against me was because I could not disobey the
command of Christ, and swear.
    When they had prepared for my removal, the under-sheriff and
the head-sheriff’s man, with some bailiffs, fetched me out of the
castle, when I was so weak with lying in that cold, wet, and smoky
prison, that I could hardly go or stand. They led me into the
jailer’s house, where were William Kirby and several others, and
they called for wine to give me. I told them I would have none of
their wine. Then they cried, “Bring out the horses.”
    I desired them first to show me their order, or a copy of it,
if they intended to remove me; but they would show me none but
their swords. I told them there was no sentence passed upon me,
nor was I praemunired, that I knew of; and therefore I was not
made the King’s prisoner, but was the sheriff’s; for they and all
the country knew that I was not fully heard at the last assize,
nor suffered to show the errors in the indictment, which were
sufficient to quash it, though they had kept me from one assize to
another to the end they might try me. But they all knew there was
no sentence of praemunire passed upon me; therefore I, not being
the King’s prisoner, but the sheriff’s, did desire to see their
    Instead of showing me their order, they haled me out, and
lifted me upon one of the sheriff’s horses.
    When I was on horseback in the street the townspeople being
gathered to gaze upon me, I told the officers I had received
neither Christianity, civility, nor humanity from them.
    They hurried me away about fourteen miles to Bentham, though
I was so weak that I was hardly able to sit on horseback, and my
clothes smelt so of smoke they were loathsome to myself. The
wicked jailer, one Hunter, a young fellow, would come behind and
give the horse a lash with his whip, and make him skip and leap;
so that I, being weak, had much ado to sit on him; then he would
come and look me in the face and say, “How do you, Mr. Fox?” I
told him it was not civil in him to do so. The Lord cut him off
soon after.
    When we were come to Bentham, in Yorkshire, there met us many
troopers and a marshal; and many of the gentry of the country were
come in, and abundance of people to take a view of me. I being
very weak and weary, desired them to let me lie down on a bed,
which the soldiers permitted; for those that brought me thither
gave their order to the marshal, and he set a guard of his
soldiers upon me.
    When they had stayed awhile they pressed horses, raised the
bailiff of the hundred, the constables, and others, and bore me to
Giggleswick that night; but exceeding weak I was. There, with
their clog shoes, they raised the constables, who sat drinking all
the night in the room by me, so that I could not get much rest.
    The next day we came to a market-town, where several Friends
came to see me. Robert Widders and diverse Friends came to me upon
the road.
    The next night I asked the soldiers whither they intended to
carry me, and whither I was to be sent. Some of them said, “Beyond
sea”; others said, “To Tynemouth Castle.” A great fear there was
amongst them lest some one should rescue me out of their hands;
but that fear was needless.
    Next night we came to York, where the marshal put me into a
great chamber, where most part of two troops came to see me. One
of these troopers, an envious man, hearing that I was praemunired,
asked me what estate I had, and whether it was copyhold or free
land. I took no notice of his question, but was moved to declare
the Word of life to the soldiers, and many of them were very
    At night the Lord Frecheville (so called), who commanded
these horse, came to me, and was very civil and loving. I gave him
an account of my imprisonment, and declared many things to him
relating to Truth.
    They kept me at York two days, and then the marshal and four
or five soldiers were sent to convey me to Scarborough Castle.
These were very civil men, and they carried themselves civilly and
lovingly to me. On the way we baited at Malton, and they permitted
Friends to come and visit me.
    When we were come to Scarborough, they took me to an inn, and
gave notice to the governor, who sent six soldiers to be my guard
that night. Next day they conducted me into the castle, put me
into a room, and set a sentry on me. As I was very weak, and
subject to fainting, they sometimes let me go out into the air
with the sentry.
    They soon removed me out of this room, and put me into an
open one, where the rain came in, and which was exceedingly thick
with smoke, which was very offensive to me.[182]
    One day the Governor, Sir John Crossland, came to see me, and
brought with him Sir Francis Cobb. I desired the Governor to go
into my room, and see what a place I had. I had got a little fire
made in it, and it was so filled with smoke that when they were in
they could hardly find their way out again; and he being a Papist,
I told him that this was his Purgatory which they had put me into.
I was forced to lay out about fifty shillings to stop out the
rain, and keep the room from smoking so much.
    When I had been at that charge, and made it tolerable, they
removed me into a worse room, where I had neither chimney nor
fire-hearth. This being towards the sea-side and lying much open,
the wind drove in the rain forcibly so that the water came over my
bed, and ran so about the room that I was fain to skim it up with
a platter. When my clothes were wet, I had no fire to dry them; so
that my body was benumbed with cold, and my fingers swelled so
that one was grown as big as two.
    Though I was at some charge in this room also, I could not
keep out the wind and rain. Besides, they would suffer few Friends
to come to me, and many times not any; no, not so much as to bring
me a little food; but I was forced for the first quarter to hire
one of another society to bring me necessaries. Sometimes the
soldiers would take it from her, and she would scuffle with them
for it.
    Afterwards I hired a soldier to fetch me water and bread, and
something to make a fire of, when I was in a room where a fire
could be made. Commonly a threepenny loaf served me three weeks,
and sometimes longer, and most of my drink was water with wormwood
steeped or bruised in it.
    One time the weather was very sharp, and I had taken great
cold, I got a little elecampane beer. I heard one of the soldiers
say to the other that they would play me a trick: they would send
me up to the deputy-governor, and in the meantime drink my strong
beer; and so they did. When I came back one of the soldiers came
to me in a jeer, and asked me for some strong beer. I told him
they had played their pretty trick; and so I took no further
notice of it.
    But inasmuch as they kept me so very strait, not giving
liberty for Friends to come to me, I spoke to the keepers of the
Castle to this effect: “I did not know till I was removed from
Lancaster Castle, and brought prisoner to this Castle of
Scarborough, that I was convicted of a praemunire; for the Judge
did not give sentence upon me at the assizes in open court. But
seeing I am now a prisoner here, if I may not have my liberty, let
my friends and acquaintances have their liberty to come and visit
me, as Paul’s friends had among the Romans, who were not
Christians, but heathen. For Paul’s friends had their liberty; all
that would, might come to him, and he had his liberty to preach to
them in his hired house. But I cannot have liberty to go into the
town, nor for my friends to come to me here. So you that go under
the name of Christians, are worse in this respect than those
heathen were.”
    But though they would not let Friends come to me, they would
often bring others, either to gaze upon me, or to contend with me.
One time a great company of Papists came to discourse with me.
They affirmed that the Pope was infallible, and had stood
infallible ever since Peter’s time. But I showed them the contrary
by history; for one of the bishops of Rome (Marcellinus by name),
denied the faith and sacrificed to idols; therefore he was not
infallible. I told them that if they were in the infallible Spirit
they need not have jails, swords, and staves, racks and tortures,
fires and faggots, whips and gallows, to hold up their religion,
and to destroy men’s lives about it; for if they were in the
infallible Spirit they would preserve men’s lives, and use none
but spiritual weapons about religion.
    Another Papist who came to discourse with me said, “All the
patriarchs were in hell from the creation till Christ came. When
Christ suffered He went into hell, and the devil said to Him, What
comest thou hither for? to break open our strongholds? And Christ
said, To fetch them all out. So Christ was three days and three
nights in hell to bring them out.”
    I told him that that was false; for Christ said to the thief,
“This day thou shalt be with me in paradise”; and Enoch and Elijah
were translated into heaven; and Abraham was in heaven, for the
Scripture saith that Lazarus was in his bosom; and Moses and Elias
were with Christ upon the Mount, before He suffered.
    These instances stopped the Papist’s mouth, and put him to a
    Another time came Dr. Witty, who was esteemed a great doctor
in physic, with Lord Falconbridge, the governor of Tinmouth
Castle, and several knights.
    I being called to them, Witty undertook to discourse with me,
and asked me what I was in prison for. I told him, “Because I
would not disobey the command of Christ, and swear.” He said I
ought to swear my allegiance to the King.
    He being a great Presbyterian, I asked him whether he had not
sworn against the King and House of Lords, and taken the Scotch
covenant? And had he not since sworn to the King? What, then, was
his swearing good for? But my allegiance, I told him, did not
consist in swearing, but in truth and faithfulness.
    After some further discourse I was taken away to my prison
again; and afterwards Dr. Witty boasted in the town amongst his
patients that he had conquered me. When I heard of it, I told the
Governor it was a small boast in him to say he had conquered a
bondman. I desired to bid him come to me again when he came to the
    He came again awhile after, with about sixteen or seventeen
great persons, and then he ran himself worse on ground than
before. For he affirmed before them all that Christ had not
enlightened every man that cometh into the world; and that the
grace of God, that bringeth salvation, had not appeared unto all
men, and that Christ had not died for all men.
    I asked him what sort of men those were whom Christ had not
enlightened? and whom His grace had not appeared to? and whom He
had not died for?
    He said, “Christ did not die for adulterers, and idolaters,
and wicked men.”
    I asked him whether adulterers and wicked men were not
    He said, “Yes.”
    “Did not Christ die for sinners?” said I. “Did He not come to
call sinners to repentance?”
    “Yes,” said he.
    “Then,” said I, “thou hast stopped thy own mouth.”
    So I proved that the grace of God had appeared unto all men,
though some turned from it into wantonness, and walked
despitefully against it; and that Christ had enlightened all men,
though some hated the light.
    Several of the people confessed it was true; but he went away
in a great rage, and came no more to me.
    Another time the Governor brought a priest; but his mouth was
soon stopped.
    Not long after he brought two or three Parliament-men, who
asked me whether I did own ministers and bishops.
    I told them, “Yes, such as Christ sent; such as had freely
received and would freely give; such as were qualified, and were
in the same power and Spirit the apostles were in. But such
bishops and teachers as yours, that will go no farther than a
great benefice, I do not own; for they are not like the apostles.
Christ saith to his ministers, ‘Go ye into all nations, and preach
the gospel’; but ye Parliament-men, who keep your priests and
bishops in such great fat benefices, have spoiled them all. For do
ye think they will go into all nations to preach; or any farther
than a great fat benefice? Judge yourselves whether they will or
    There came another time the widow of old Lord Fairfax, and
with her a great company, one of whom was a priest. I was moved to
declare the truth to them, and the priest asked me why we said
Thou and Thee to people, for he counted us but fools and idiots
for speaking so.
    I asked him whether they that translated the Scriptures and
that made the grammar and accidence, were fools and idiots, seeing
they translated the Scriptures so, and made the grammar so, Thou
to one, and You to more than one, and left it so to us. If they
were fools and idiots, why had not he, and such as he, that looked
upon themselves as wise men, and that could not bear Thou and Thee
to a singular, altered the grammar, accidence, and Bible, and put
the plural instead of the singular. But if they were wise men that
had so translated the Bible, and had made the grammar and
accidence so, I wished him to consider whether they were not fools
and idiots themselves, that did not speak as their grammars and
Bibles taught them; but were offended with us, and called us fools
and idiots for speaking so.
    Thus the priest’s mouth was stopped, and many of the company
acknowledged the Truth, and were pretty loving and tender. Some of
them would have given me money, but I would not receive it.
    After this came Dr. Cradock, with three priests more, and the
Governor and his lady (so called), and another that was called a
lady, and a great company with them.
    Dr. Cradock asked me what I was in prison for. I told him,
“For obeying the command of Christ and the apostle, in not
swearing.” But if he, I said, being both a doctor and a justice of
peace, could convince me that after Christ and the Apostle had
forbidden swearing, they commanded Christians to swear, then I
would swear. “Here is the Bible,” I told him, “thou mayest, if
thou canst, show me any such command.”
    He said, “It is written, ‘Ye shall swear in truth and
    “Ay,” said I, “it was so written in Jeremiah’s time; but that
was many ages before Christ commanded not to swear at all; but
where is it written so, since Christ forbade all swearing? I could
bring as many instances out of the Old Testament for swearing as
thou, and it may be more; but of what force are they to prove
swearing lawful in the New Testament, since Christ and the Apostle
forbade it? Besides,” said I, “in that text where it is written,
Ye shall swear, what ‘ye’ was this? Was it ‘Ye Gentiles,’ or ‘Ye
    To this he would not answer. But one of the priests that were
with him answered, “It was to the Jews that this was spoken.” Then
Dr. Cradock confessed it was so.
    “Very well,” said I, “but where did God ever give a command
to the Gentiles to swear? For thou knowest that we are Gentiles by
    “Indeed,” said he, “in the gospel times everything was to be
established out of the mouths of two or three witnesses; but there
was to be no swearing then.”
    “Why, then,” said I, “dost thou force oaths upon Christians,
contrary to thy own knowledge, in the gospel-times? And why dost
thou excommunicate my friends?” for he had excommunicated
abundance both in Yorkshire and Lancashire.
    He said, “For not coming to church.” “Why,” said I, “ye left
us above twenty years ago, when we were but young lads and lasses,
to the Presbyterians, Independents, and Baptists, many of whom
made spoil of our goods, and persecuted us because we would not
follow them. We, being but young, knew little then of your
principles. If ye had intended to keep your principles alive, that
we might have known them, ye should either not have fled from us
as ye did, or ye should have sent us your epistles, collects,
homilies, and evening songs; for Paul wrote epistles to the
saints, though he was in prison. But they and we might have turned
Turks or Jews for any collects, homilies, or epistles we had from
you all this while. And now thou hast excommunicated us, both
young and old, and so have others of you done; that is, ye have
put us out of your church before ye have got us into it, and
before ye have brought us to know your principles. Is not this
madness in you, to put us out before we were brought in? Indeed,
if ye had brought us into your church, and when we had been in, if
we had done some bad thing, that had been something like a ground
for excommunication or putting out again. But,” said I, “What dost
thou call the Church?”
    “Why,” said he, “that which you call the steeple-house.”
    Then I asked him whether Christ shed His blood for the
steeple-house, and purchased and sanctified the steeple-house with
His blood. And seeing the Church is Christ’s bride and wife, and
that He is the Head of the Church, dost thou think the steeple-
house is Christ’s wife and bride, and that He is the head of that
old house, or of His people?”
    “No,” said he, “Christ is the head of His people, and they
are the Church.”
    “But,” said I, “You have given the title Church to an old
house, which belongs to the people; and you have taught them to
believe so.”
    I asked him also why he persecuted Friends for not paying
tithes; whether God ever commanded the Gentiles to pay tithes;
whether Christ had not ended tithes when He ended the Levitical
priesthood that took tithes; whether Christ, when He sent His
disciples to preach, had not commanded them to preach freely as He
had given them freely; and whether all the ministers of Christ are
not bound to observe this command of Christ.
    He said he would not dispute that.
    Neither did I find he was willing to stay on that subject;
for he presently turned to another matter, and said, “You marry,
but I know not how.”
    I replied, “It may be so; but why dost thou not come and
    Then he threatened that he would use his power against us, as
he had done. I bade him take heed; for he was an old man. I asked
him also where he read, from Genesis to Revelation, that ever any
priest did marry any. I wished him to show me some instance
thereof? if he would have us come to them to be married; “for,”
said I, “thou hast excommunicated one of my friends two years
after he was dead, about his marriage. And why dost thou not
excommunicate Isaac, and Jacob, and Boaz, and Ruth? for we do not
read that they were ever married by the priests; but they took one
another in the assemblies of the righteous, in the presence of God
and His people; and so do we. So that we have all the holy men and
women that the Scripture speaks of in this practice, on our side.”
    Much discourse we had, but when he found he could get no
advantage over me, he went away with his company.
    With such people I was much exercised while I was there; for
most that came to the Castle would desire to speak with me, and
great disputes I had with them. But as to Friends, I was as a man
buried alive; for though many came far to see me, yet few were
suffered to come to me; and when any Friend came into the Castle
about business, if he looked towards me they would rage at him.
    At last the Governor came under some trouble himself; for he
having sent a privateer to sea, they took some ships that were not
enemies’ ships, but their friends’; whereupon he was brought into
trouble; after which he grew somewhat more friendly to me. For
before I had a marshal set over me, on purpose to get money out of
me; but I was not free to give him a farthing; and when they found
they could get nothing off me, he was taken away again.
    The officers often threatened that I should be hanged over
the wall. Nay, the deputy-governor told me once that the King,
knowing I had great interest in the people, had sent me thither,
that if there should be any stirring in the nation, they should
hang me over the wall to keep the people down.
    There being, a while after, a marriage at a Baptist’s house,
upon which occasion a great many of them were met together, they
talked much then of hanging me. But I told them that if that was
what they desired, and it was permitted them, I was ready, for I
never feared death nor sufferings in my life; but I was known to
be an innocent, peaceable man, free from all stirrings and
plottings, and one that sought the good of all men.
    Afterwards, the Governor growing kinder, I spoke to him when
he was going to London to the Parliament, and desired him to speak
to Esquire Marsh, Sir Francis Cobb, and some others; and let them
know how long I had lain in prison, and for what; and he did so.
When he came down again, he told me that Esquire Marsh said he
would go a hundred miles barefoot for my liberty, he knew me so
well; and several others, he said, spoke well of me. From which
time the Governor was very loving to me.
    There were, amongst the prisoners, two very bad men, that
often sat drinking with the officers and soldiers; and because I
would not sit and drink with them too, it made them the worse
against me. One time when these two prisoners were drunk, one of
them (whose name was William Wilkinson, a Presbyterian, who had
been a captain), came to me and challenged me to fight with him.
    Seeing what condition he was in, I got out of his way; and
next morning, when he was more sober, showed him how unmanly it
was in him to challenge a man to fight, whose principles, he knew,
it was not to strike, but if he was stricken on one ear to turn
the other. I told him, if he had a mind to fight, he should have
challenged some soldiers that could have answered him in his own
    But, however, seeing he had challenged me, I was now come to
answer him with my hands in my pockets; and (reaching my head
towards him), “Here,” said I, “here is my hair, here are my
cheeks, here is my back.”
    With this he skipped away from me and went into another room;
at which the soldiers fell a-laughing; and one of the officers
said, “You are a happy man that can bear such things.” Thus he was
conquered without a blow. After awhile he took the oath, gave
bond, got out of prison; and not long after the Lord cut him
    There were great imprisonments in this and the former years,
while I was prisoner at Lancaster and Scarborough. At London many
Friends were crowded into Newgate, and other prisons, where the
sickness was,[184] and many died in prison. Many also were
banished, and several sent on ship-board by the King’s order.
    Some masters of ships would not carry them, but set them on
shore again; yet some were sent to Barbadoes, Jamaica, and Nevis,
and the Lord blessed them there. One master of a ship was very
wicked and cruel to Friends that were put on board his ship; for
he kept them down under decks, though the sickness was amongst
them; so that many died of it. But the Lord visited him for his
wickedness; for he lost most of his seamen by the plague, and lay
several months crossed with contrary winds, though other ships
went on and made their voyages.
    At last he came before Plymouth, where the Governor and
magistrates would not suffer him nor any of his men to come
ashore, though he wanted necessaries for his voyage; but Thomas
tower, Arthur Cotton, John Light, and other Friends, went to the
ship’s side, and carried necessaries for the Friends that were
prisoners on board.
    The master, being thus crossed and vexed, cursed them that
put him upon this freight, and said he hoped he should not go far
before he was taken. And the vessel was but a little while gone
out of sight of Plymouth before she was taken by a Dutch man-of-
war, and carried into Holland.
    When they came into Holland, the States sent the banished
Friends back to England, with a letter of passport, and a
certificate that they had not made an escape, but were sent back
by them.
    In time the Lord’s power wrought over this storm, and many of
our persecutors were confounded and put to shame.
    After I had lain prisoner above a year in Scarborough Castle,
I sent a letter to the King, in which I gave him an account of my
imprisonment, and the bad usage I had received in prison; and also
that I was informed no man could deliver me but him. After this,
John Whitehead being at London, and having acquaintance also with
Esquire Marsh, he went to visit him, and spoke to him about me;
and he undertook, if John Whitehead would get the state of my case
drawn up, to deliver it to the master of requests, Sir John
Birkenhead, who would endeavor to get a release for me.
    So John Whitehead and Ellis Hookes drew up a relation of my
imprisonment and sufferings, and carried it to Marsh; and he went
with it to the master of requests, who procured an order from the
King for my release. The substance of the order was that “the
King, being certainly informed that I was a man principled against
plotting and fighting, and had been ready at all times to discover
plots, rather than to make any, etc., therefore his royal pleasure
was that I should be discharged from my imprisonment,” etc.
    As soon as this order was obtained, John Whitehead came to
Scarborough with it, and delivered it to the Governor; who, upon
receipt thereof, gathered the officers together, and, without
requiring bond or sureties for my peaceable living, being
satisfied that I was a man of a peaceable life, he discharged me
freely, and gave me the following passport:

    “Permit the bearer hereof, George Fox, late a prisoner here,
and now discharged by His Majesty’s order, quietly to pass about
his lawful occasions, without any molestation. Given under my hand
at Scarborough Castle, this first day of September, 1666.
    “Governor of Scarborough Castle.”

    After I was released, I would have made the Governor a
present for the civility and kindness he had of late shown me; but
he would not receive anything; saying that whatever good he could
do for me and my friends he would do it, and never do them any
hurt. And afterwards, if at any time the mayor of the town sent to
him for soldiers to break up Friends’ meetings, if he sent any
down he would privately give them a charge not to meddle. He
continued loving to his dying day.
    The officers also and the soldiers were mightily changed, and
became very respectful to me, and when they had occasion to speak
of me they would say, “He is as stiff as a tree, and as pure as a
bell; for we could never bow him.”

    [Here is an interesting entry in the Journal in the year
1669: “I then visited friends at Whitby and Scarborough. When I
was at Scarborough, the governor, hearing I was come, sent to
invite me to his house, saying, ‘Surely, you would not be so
unkind as not to come and see me and my wife.’ After the meeting I
went to visit him, and he received me very courteously and

    The very next day after my release, the fire broke out in
London, and the report of it came quickly down into the country.
Then I saw the Lord God was true and just in His Word, which he
had shown me before in Lancaster jail, when I saw the angel of the
Lord with a glittering sword drawn southward, as before expressed.
    The people of London were forewarned of this fire; yet few
laid to heart, or believed it; but rather grew more wicked, and
higher in pride. For a Friend was moved to come out of
Huntingdonshire a little before the fire, to scatter his money,
and turn his horse loose on the streets, to untie the knees of his
trousers, let his stockings fall down, and to unbutton his
doublet, and tell the people that so should they run up and down,
scattering their money and their goods, half undressed, like mad
people, as he was sign to them;[185] and so they did, when the
city was burning.
    Thus hath the Lord exercised His prophets and servants by His
power, shown them signs of His judgments, and sent them to
forewarn the people; but, instead of repenting, they have beaten
and cruelly entreated some, and some they have imprisoned, both in
the former power’s days[186] and since.
    But the Lord is just, and happy are they that obey His word.
    Some have been moved to go naked in their streets, in the
other power’s days and since, as signs of their nakedness; and
have declared amongst them that God would strip them of their
hypocritical professions, and make them as bare and naked as they
were. But instead of considering it, they have many times whipped,
or otherwise abused them, and sometimes imprisoned them.
    Others have been moved to go in sackcloth, and to denounce
the woes and vengeance of God against the pride and haughtiness of
the people; but few regarded it. And in the other power’s days,
the wicked, envious, and professing priests, put up several
petitions both to Oliver and Richard, called Protectors, and to
the Parliaments, judges and Justices, against us, full of lies,
vilifying words and slanders; but we got copies of them, and,
through the Lord’s assistance, answered them all, and cleared the
Lord’s truth and ourselves of them.
    But oh! the body of darkness that rose against the Truth in
them that made lies their refuge! But the Lord swept them away;
and in and with His power, truth, light, and life, hedged his
lambs about, and preserved them as on eagles’ wings. Therefore we
all had, and have, great encouragement to trust the Lord, who, we
saw by His power and Spirit, overturned and brought to naught all
the confederacies and counsels that were hatched in darkness
against His Truth and people; and by the same truth gave His
people dominion, that therein they might serve Him.
    Indeed, I could not but take notice how the hand of the Lord
turned against the persecutors who had been the cause of my
imprisonment, or had been abusive or cruel to me in it. The
officer that fetched me to Holker-Hall wasted his estate, and soon
after fled into Ireland. Most of the justices that were upon the
bench at the sessions when I was sent to prison, died in a while
after; as old Thomas Preston, Rawlinson, Porter, and Matthew West,
of Borwick. Justice Fleming’s wife died, and left him thirteen or
fourteen motherless children. Colonel Kirby never prospered after.
The chief constable, Richard Dodgson, died soon after, and Mount,
the petty constable, and the wife of the other petty constable,
John Ashburnham, who railed at me in her house, died soon after.
William Knipe, the witness they brought against me, died soon
after also. Hunter, the jailer of Lancaster, who was very wicked
to me while I was his prisoner, was cut off in his young days; and
the under-sheriff that carried me from Lancaster prison towards
Scarborough, lived not long after. And Joblin, the jailer of
Durham, who was prisoner with me in Scarborough Castle, and had
often incensed the Governor and soldiers against me, though he got
out of prison, yet the Lord cut him off in his wickedness soon
    When I came into that country again, most of those that dwelt
in Lancashire were dead, and others ruined in their estates; so
that, though I did not seek revenge upon them for their actings
against me contrary to the law, yet the Lord had executed His
judgments upon many of them.

                        CHAPTER XVII.
                  At the Work of Organizing

    I then visited Friends till I came to York, where we had a
large meeting. After this I went to visit Justice Robinson, an
ancient justice of the peace, who had been very loving to me and
Friends from the beginning.
    There was a priest with him, who told me that it was said of
us, that we loved none but ourselves. I told him that we loved all
mankind, as they were God’s creation, and as they were children of
Adam and Eve by generation; and that we loved the brotherhood in
the Holy Ghost.
    This stopped him. After some other discourse we parted
friendly, and passed away.
    About this time I wrote a book, entitled, “Fear God, and
Honour the King”; in which I showed that none could rightly fear
God and honour the King but they that departed from sin and evil.
This book greatly affected the soldiers, and most people.
    Then I was moved of the Lord to recommend the setting up of
five monthly meetings of men and women in the city of London
(besides the women’s meetings and the quarterly meetings), to take
care of God’s glory, and to admonish and exhort such as walked
disorderly or carelessly, and not according to Truth. For whereas
Friends had had only quarterly meetings, now Truth was spread, and
Friends were grown more numerous, I was moved to recommend the
setting up of monthly meetings throughout the nation.[187] And the
Lord opened to me what I must do, and how the men’s and women’s
monthly and quarterly meetings should be ordered and established
in this and in other nations; and that I should write to those
where I did not come, to do the same.
    After things were well settled at London, and the Lord’s
Truth, power, seed, and life reigned and shone over all in the
city, I went into Essex.

    [Throughout the counties where he had preached, he now went,
setting up monthly meetings, i.e., local meetings for transacting
the business of the Church and for ordering and overseeing the
moral and spiritual life of the membership. We shall not follow
his movements in detail, but it may here be noted that the world’s
records show few instances of more striking energy, and fidelity
to a divine mission, than do the entries of these twenty-four
years. Here is one glimpse of him as he is traveling through “the
frost and snow,” during the winter of 1667.]

    I was so exceeding weak, I was hardly able to get on or off
my horse’s back; but my spirit being earnestly engaged in the work
the Lord had concerned me in and sent me forth about, I travelled
on therein, notwithstanding the weakness of my body, having
confidence in the Lord, that He would carry me through, as He did
by His power.
    We came into Cheshire, where we had several blessed meetings,
and a general men’s meeting; wherein all the monthly meetings for
that county were settled, according to the gospel order, in and by
the power of God.
    After the meeting I passed away. But when the justices heard
of it, they were very much troubled that they had not come and
broken it up, and taken me; but the Lord prevented them.
    Then, returning towards London by Waltham, I advised the
setting up of a school there for teaching boys; and also a woman’s
school to be opened at Shacklewell, for instructing girls and
young maidens in whatsoever things were civil and useful in the
    Thus were the men’s monthly meetings settled through the
nation. [1668.] The quarterly meetings were generally settled
    I wrote also into Ireland by faithful Friends, and into
Scotland, Holland, Barbadoes, and several parts of America,
advising Friends to settle their men’s monthly meetings in those
countries. For they had had their general quarterly meetings
before; but now that Truth was increased amongst them, it was
needful that they should settle those men’s monthly meetings in
the power and Spirit of God, that first convinced them.
    Since these meetings have been settled, and all the faithful
in the power of God, who are heirs of the gospel, have met
together in the power of God, which is their authority, to perform
service to the Lord, many mouths have been opened in thanksgiving
and praise, and many have blessed the Lord God, that ever He sent
me forth in this service. For now all coming to have a concern and
care for God’s honour and glory, and His name, which they profess,
be not blasphemed; and to see that all who profess the Truth walk
in the Truth, in righteousness and in holiness, as becomes the
house of God, and that all order their conversation aright, that
they may see the salvation of God; they may all see and know,
possess and partake of, the government of Christ, of the increase
of which there is to be no end.
    Thus the Lord’s everlasting renown and praise are set up in
the heart of every one that is faithful; so that we can say the
gospel order established amongst us is not of man, nor by man, but
of and by Jesus Christ, in and through the Holy Ghost.
    This order of the gospel, which is not of man nor by man, but
from Christ, the heavenly man, is above all the orders of men in
the fall, whether Jews, Gentiles, or apostate Christians, and will
remain when they are gone. For the power of God, which is the
everlasting gospel, was before the devil was, and will be and
remain forever. And as the everlasting gospel was preached in the
apostles’ days to all nations, that all nations might, through the
divine power which brings life and immortality to light, come into
the order of it, so now the everlasting gospel is to be, and is,
preached again, as John the divine foresaw it should be, to all
nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.
    Now[189] was I moved of the Lord to go over into Ireland, to
visit the Seed of God in that nation. There went with me Robert
Lodge, James Lancaster, Thomas Briggs, and John Stubbs.
    We waited near Liverpool for shipping and wind. After waiting
some days, we sent James Lancaster to take passage, which he did,
and brought word the ship was ready, and would take us in at Black
Rock. We went thither on foot; and it being some distance, and the
weather very hot, I was much spent with walking.
    When we arrived, the ship was not there; so we were obliged
to go to the town and take shipping. When we were on board, I said
to the rest of my company, “Come, ye will triumph in the Lord, for
we shall have fair wind and weather.”
    Many passengers in the ship were sick, but not one of our
company. The captain and many of the passengers were very loving;
and we being at sea on the first day of the week, I was moved to
declare Truth among them; whereupon the captain said to the
passengers, “Here are things that you never heard in your lives.”
    When we came before Dublin, we took boat and went ashore; and
the earth and air smelt, methought, of the corruption of the
nation, so that it yielded another smell to me than England did;
which I imputed to the Popish massacres that had been committed,
and the blood that had been spilt in it, from which a foulness
    We passed through among the officers of the custom four
times, yet they did not search us; for they perceived what we
were: some of them were so envious they did not care to look at
    We did not soon find Friends; but went to an inn, and sent
out to inquire for some. These, when they came to us, were
exceedingly glad of our coming, and received us with great joy.
    We stayed there the weekly meeting, which was a large one,
and the power and life of God appeared greatly in it. Afterwards
we passed to a province meeting, which lasted two days, there
being one about the poor, and another meeting more general; in
which a mighty power of the Lord appeared. Truth was livingly
declared, and Friends were much refreshed therein.
    Passing thence about four and twenty miles, we came to
another place, where we had a very good, refreshing meeting; but
after it some Papists that were there were angry, and raged very
much. When I heard of it, I sent for one of them, who was a
schoolmaster; but he would not come.
    Thereupon I sent a challenge to him, with all the friars and
monks, priests and Jesuits, to come forth, and “try their God and
their Christ, which they had made of bread and wine,” but no
answer could I get from them. I told them they were worse than the
priests of Baal; for Baal’s priests tried their wooden god, but
these durst not try their god of bread and wine; and Baal’s
priests and people did not eat their god as these did, and then
make another.
    He that was then mayor of Cork, being very envious against
Truth and Friends, had many Friends in prison. Knowing I was in
the country, he sent four warrants to take me; therefore Friends
were desirous that I should not ride through Cork. But, being at
Bandon, there appeared to me in a vision a very ugly-visaged man,
of a black and dark look. My spirit struck at him in the power of
God, and it seemed to me that I rode over him with my horse, and
my horse set his foot on the side of his face.
    When I came down in the morning, I told a friend the command
of the Lord to me was to ride through Cork; but I bade him tell no
man. So we took horse, many Friends being with me.
    When we came near the town, Friends would have shown me a way
through the back side of it; but I told them my way was through
the streets. Taking Paul Morrice to guide me through the town, I
rode on.
    As we rode through the market-place, and by the mayor’s door,
he, seeing me, said, “There goes George Fox”; but he had not power
to stop me. When we had passed the sentinels, and were come over
the bridge, we went to a Friend’s house and alighted. There the
Friends told me what a rage was in the town, and how many warrants
were granted to take me.
    While I was sitting there I felt the evil spirit at work in
the town, stirring up mischief against me; and I felt the power of
the Lord strike at that evil spirit.
    By-and-by some other friends coming in, told me it was over
the town, and amongst the magistrates that I was in the town. I
said, “Let the devil do his worst.” After we had refreshed
ourselves, I called for my horse, and having a Friend to guide me,
we went on our way.
    Great was the rage that the mayor and others of Cork were in
that they had missed me, and great pains they afterwards took to
catch me, having their scouts abroad upon the roads, as I
understood, to observe which way I went. Scarce a public meeting I
came to, but spies came to watch if I were there. The magistrates
and priests sent information one to another concerning me,
describing me by my hair, hat, clothes and horse; so that when I
was near an hundred miles from Cork they had an account concerning
me and a description of me before I came amongst them.
    One very envious magistrate, who was both a priest and a
justice, got a warrant from the Judge of assize to apprehend me.
The warrant was to go over all his circuit, which reached near an
hundred miles. Yet the Lord disappointed all their councils,
defeated all their designs against me, and by His good hand of
Providence preserved me out of all their snares, and gave us many
sweet and blessed opportunities to visit Friends, and spread Truth
through that nation.
    For meetings were very large, Friends coming to them from far
and near; and other people flocking in. The powerful presence of
the Lord was preciously felt amongst us. Many of the world were
reached, convinced, and gathered to the Truth; the Lord’s flock
was increased; and Friends were greatly refreshed and comforted in
feeling the love of God. Oh the brokenness that was amongst them
in the flowings of life! so that, in the power and Spirit of the
Lord, many together broke out into singing, even with audible
voices, making melody in their hearts.
    After I had travelled over Ireland, and visited Friends in
their meetings, as well for business as for worship, and had
answered several papers and writings from monks, friars, and
Protestant priests (for they were all in a rage against us, and
endeavoured to stop the work of the Lord, and some Jesuits swore
in our hearing that we had come to spread our principles in that
nation, but should not do it), I returned to Dublin, in order to
take passage for England. I stayed to the First-day’s meeting
there, which was very large and precious.
    There being a ship ready, and the wind serving, we took our
leave of Friends; parting in much tenderness and brokenness, in
the sense of the heavenly life and power manifested amongst us.
Having put our horses and necessaries on board in the morning, we
went ourselves in the afternoon, many Friends accompanying us to
the ship; and diverse Friends and Friendly people followed us in
boats when we were near a league at sea, their love drawing them,
though not without danger.
    A good, weighty, and true people there is in that nation,
sensible of the power of the Lord God, and tender of His truth.
Very good order they have in their meetings; for they stand up for
righteousness and holiness, which dams up the way of wickedness. A
precious visitation they had, and there is an excellent spirit in
them, worthy to be visited. Many things more I could write of that
nation, and of my travels in it; but thus much I thought good to
signify, that the righteous may rejoice in the prosperity of
    We travelled till we came to Bristol, where I met with
Margaret Fell, who was come to visit her daughter Yeomans.
    I had seen from the Lord a considerable time before, that I
should take Margaret Fell to be my wife. And when I first
mentioned it to her, she felt the answer of Life from God
thereunto. But though the lord had opened this thing to me, yet I
had not received a command from the Lord for the accomplishing of
it then. Wherefore I let the thing rest, and went on in the work
and service of the Lord as before, according as he led me;
travelling up and down in this nation, and through Ireland.
    But now being at Bristol, and finding Margaret Fell there, it
opened in me from the Lord that the thing should be accomplished.
After we had discoursed the matter together, I told her, if she
also was satisfied with the accomplishing of it now, she should
first send for her children; which she did. When the rest of her
daughters were come, I asked both them and her sons-in-law if they
had anything against it, or for it; and they all severally
expressed their satisfaction therein.
    Then I asked Margaret if she had fulfilled and performed her
husband’s will to her children. She replied, “The children know
that.” Whereupon I asked them whether, if their mother married,
they would lose by it. And I asked Margaret whether she had done
anything in lieu of it, which might answer it to the children.
    The children said she had answered it to them, and desired me
to speak no more of it. I told them I was plain, and would have
all things done plainly; for I sought not any outward advantage to
    So, after I had thus acquainted the children with it, our
intention of marriage was laid before Friends, both privately and
publicly, to their full satisfaction. Many of them gave testimony
thereunto that it was of God. Afterwards, a meeting being
appointed for the accomplishing thereof, in the meeting-house at
Broad-Mead, in Bristol, we took each other, the Lord joining us
together in honourable marriage, in the everlasting covenant and
immortal Seed of life. In the sense thereof living and weighty
testimonies were borne thereunto by Friends, in the movings of the
heavenly power which united us.[190] Then was a certificate,
relating both the proceedings and the marriage, openly read, and
signed by the relations, and by most of the ancient Friends of
that city, besides many others from diverse parts of the nation.
    We stayed about a week in Bristol, and then went together to
Oldstone: where, taking leave of each other in the Lord, we
parted, betaking ourselves each to our several service; Margaret
returning homewards to the north, and I passing on in the work of
the Lord as before. I travelled through Wiltshire, Berkshire,
Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and so to London, visiting Friends:
in all of which counties I had many large and precious

    [In 1670 the so-called Conventicle Act, originally passed in
1664, was renewed with increased vigor. The Act limited religious
gatherings, other than those of the Established Church, to five
persons, and brought all who refused to take an oath under the
penalties of the Act. ]

    On the First-day after the Act came in force, I went to the
meeting at Gracechurch Street, where I expected the storm was most
likely to begin.
    When I came there, I found the street full of people, and a
guard set to keep Friends out of their meeting-house. I went to
the other passage out of Lombard street, where also I found a
guard; but the court was full of people, and a Friend was speaking
amongst them; but he did not speak long.
    When he had done, I stood up, and was moved to say, “Saul,
Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against
that which pricks thee.” Then I showed that it is Saul’s nature
that persecutes still, and that they who persecute Christ in His
members now, where He is made manifest, kick against that which
pricks them; that it was the birth of the flesh that persecuted
the birth born of the Spirit, and that it was the nature of dogs
to tear and devour the sheep; but that we suffered as sheep, that
bite not again, for we were a peaceable people, and loved them
that persecuted us.
    After I had spoken a while to this effect, the constable came
with an informer and soldiers; and as they pulled me down, I said,
“Blessed are the peacemakers.”
    The commander put me among the soldiers, and bade them secure
me, saying to me, “You are the man I looked for.” They took also
John Burnyeat and another Friend, and led us away, first to the
Exchange, and afterwards towards Moorfields. As we went along the
streets the people were very moderate; some of them laughed at the
constable, and told him we would not run away.
    The informer went with us unknown, till, falling into
discourse with one of the company, he said it would never be a
good world till all people came to the good old religion that was
two hundred years ago. Whereupon I asked him, “Art thou a Papist?
What! a Papist informer; for two hundred years ago there was no
other religion but that of the Papists.”
    He saw he had ensnared himself, and was vexed at it; for as
he went along the streets I spoke often to him, and manifested
what he was.
    When we were come to the mayor’s house, and were in the
courtyard, several of the people that stood about, asked me how
and for what I was taken. I desired them to ask the informer, and
also what his name was; but he refused to tell his name. Whereupon
one of the mayor’s officers, looking out at a window, told him he
should tell his name before he went away; for the lord mayor would
know by what authority he intruded himself with soldiers into the
execution of those laws which belonged to the civil magistrate to
execute, and not to the military.
    After this, he was eager to be gone; and went to the porter
to be let out. One of the officers called to him, saying, “Have
you brought people here to inform against, and now will you go
away before my lord mayor comes?” Some called to the porter not to
let him out; whereupon he forcibly pulled open the door and
slipped out.
    No sooner was he come into the street than the people gave a
shout that made the street ring again, crying out, “A Papist
informer! a Papist informer!” We desired the constable and
soldiers to go and rescue him out of the people’s hands, fearing
lest they should do him a mischief.
    They went, and brought him into the mayor’s entry, where they
stayed a while; but when he went out again, the people received
him with another shout. The soldiers were fain to go and rescue
him once more, and they led him into a house in an alley, where
they persuaded him to change his periwig, and so he got away
    When the mayor came, we were brought into the room where he
was, and some of his officers would have taken off our hats,
perceiving which he called to them, and bade them let us alone,
and not meddle with our hats; “for,” said he, “they are not yet
brought before me in judicature.” So we stood by while he examined
some Presbyterian and Baptist teachers; with whom he was somewhat
sharp, and convicted them.
    After he had done with them, I was brought up to the table
where he sat; and then the officers took off my hat. The mayor
said mildly to me, “Mr. Fox, you are an eminent man amongst those
of your profession; pray, will you be instrumental to dissuade
them from meeting in such great numbers? for, seeing Christ hath
promised that where two or three are met in His name, He will be
in the midst of them, and the King and Parliament are graciously
pleased to allow four to meet together to worship God; why will
not you be content to partake both of Christ’s promise to two or
three, and the King’s indulgence to four?”[192]
    I answered to this purpose: “Christ’s promise was not to
discourage many from meeting together in His name, but to
encourage the few, that the fewest might not forbear to meet
because of their fewness. But if Christ hath promised to manifest
His presence in the midst of so small an assembly, where but two
or three are gathered in His name, how much more would His
presence abound where two or three hundred are gathered in His
    I wished him to consider whether this Act, if it had been in
their time, would not have taken hold of Christ, with His twelve
apostles and seventy disciples, who used to meet often together,
and that with great numbers? However, I told him this Act did not
concern us; for it was made against seditious meetings, of such as
met under colour and pretence of religion “to contrive
insurrections, as [the Act says] late experience had shown.” But
we had been sufficiently tried and proved, and always found
peaceable, and therefore he would do well to put a difference
between the innocent and the guilty.
    He said the Act was made against meetings, and a worship not
according to the liturgy.
    I told him “according to” was not the very same thing; and
asked him whether the liturgy was according to the Scriptures, and
whether we might not read Scriptures and speak Scriptures.
    He said, “Yes.”
    I told him, “This Act takes hold only of such as meet to plot
and contrive insurrections, as late experience hath shown; but
they have never experienced that by us. Because thieves are
sometimes on the road, must not honest men travel? And because
plotters and contrivers have met to do mischief, must not an
honest, peaceable people meet to do good? If we had been a people
that met to plot and contrive insurrections, etc., we might have
drawn ourselves into fours; for four might do more mischief in
plotting than if there were four hundred, because four might speak
out their minds more freely to one another than four hundred
could. Therefore we, being innocent, and not the people this Act
concerns, keep our meetings as we used to do. I believe thou
knowest in thy conscience that we are innocent.”
    After some more discourse, he took our names, and the places
where we lodged; and at length, as the informer was gone, he set
us at liberty.
    The Friends with me now asked, “Whither wilt thou go?” I told
them, “To Gracechurch street meeting again, if it is not over.”
    When we came there, the people were generally gone; only some
few stood at the gate. We went into Gerrard Roberts’s. Thence I
sent to know how the other meetings in the city were. I found that
at some of the meeting-places Friends had been kept out; at others
they had been taken; but these were set at liberty again a few
days after.
    A glorious time it was; for the Lord’s power came over all,
and His everlasting truth got renown. For in the meetings, as fast
as some that were speaking were taken down, others were moved of
the Lord to stand up and speak, to the admiration of the people;
and the more because many Baptists and other sectaries left their
public meetings, and came to see how the Quakers would stand.
    As for the informer aforesaid, he was so frightened that
hardly any informer dared to appear publicly in London for some
time after. But the mayor, whose name was Samuel Starling, though
he carried himself smoothly towards us, proved afterwards a very
great persecutor of our Friends, many of whom he cast into prison,
as may be seen in the trials of William Penn, William Mead, and
others, at the Old Bailey this year.[193]

    As I was walking down a hill,[194] a great weight and
oppression fell upon my spirit. I got on my horse again, but the
weight remained so that I was hardly able to ride.
    At length we came to Rochester, but I was much spent, being
so extremely laden and burthened with the world’s spirits, that my
life was oppressed under them. I got with difficulty to Gravesend,
and lay at an inn there; but could hardly either eat or sleep.
    The next day John Rous and Alexander Parker went to London;
and John Stubbs being come to me, we went over the ferry into
Essex. We came to Hornchurch, where there was a meeting on First-
day. After it I rode with great uneasiness to Stratford, to a
Friend’s house, whose name was Williams, and who had formerly been
a captain. Here I lay, exceedingly weak, and at last lost both
hearing and sight. Several Friends came to me from London: and I
told them that I should be a sign to such as would not see, and
such as would not hear the Truth.[195]
    In this condition I continued some time. Several came about
me; and though I could not see their persons, I felt and discerned
their spirits, who were honest-hearted, and who were not. Diverse
Friends who practiced physic came to see me, and would have given
me medicines, but I was not to meddle with any; for I was sensible
I had a travail to go through; and therefore desired none but
solid, weighty Friends might be about me.
    Under great sufferings and travails, sorrows and oppressions,
I lay for several weeks, whereby I was brought so low and weak in
body that few thought I could live. Some that were with me went
away, saying they would not see me die; and it was reported both
in London and in the country that I was deceased; but I felt the
Lord’s power inwardly supporting me.
    When they that were about me had given me up to die, I spoke
to them to get a coach to carry me to Gerrard Roberts’s, about
twelve miles off, for I found it was my place to go thither. I had
now recovered a little glimmering of sight, so that I could
discern the people and fields as I went, and that was all.
    When I came to Gerrard’s, he was very weak, and I was moved
to speak to him, and encourage him. After I had stayed about three
weeks there, it was with me to go to Enfield. Friends were afraid
of my removing; but I told them I might safely go.
    When I had taken my leave of Gerrard, and was come to
Enfield, I went first to visit Amor Stoddart, who lay very weak
and almost speechless. I was moved to tell him that he had been
faithful as a man, and faithful to God, and that the immortal Seed
of life was his crown. Many more words I was moved to speak to
him, though I was then so weak I was hardly able to stand; and
within a few days after, Amor died.
    I went to the widow Dry’s, at Enfield, where I lay all that
winter, warring in spirit with the evil spirits of the world, that
warred against Truth and Friends. For there were great
persecutions at this time; some meeting-houses were pulled down,
and many were broken up by soldiers. Sometimes a troop of horse,
or a company of foot came; and some broke their swords, carbines,
muskets, and pikes, with beating Friends; and many they wounded,
so that their blood lay in the streets.
    Amongst others that were active in this cruel persecution at
London, my old adversary, Colonel Kirby, was one. With a company
of foot, he went to break up several meetings; and he would often
inquire for me at the meetings he broke up. One time as he went
over the water to Horsleydown, there happening some scuffle
between some of his soldiers and some of the watermen, he bade his
men fire at them. They did so, and killed some.
    I was under great sufferings at this time, beyond what I have
words to declare. For I was brought into the deep, and saw all the
religions of the world, and people that lived in them. And I saw
the priests that held them up; who were as a company of men-
eaters, eating up the people like bread, and gnawing the flesh
from off their bones. But as for true religion, and worship, and
ministers of God, alack! I saw there was none amongst those of the
world that pretended to it.
    Though it was a cruel, bloody, persecuting time, yet the
Lord’s power went over all, His everlasting Seed prevailed; and
Friends were made to stand firm and faithful in the Lord’s power.
Some sober people of other professions would say, “If Friends did
not stand, the nation would run into debauchery.”
    Though by reason of my weakness I could not travel amongst
Friends as I had been used to do, yet in the motion of life I sent
the following lines as an encouraging testimony to them: —

    “My dear Friends:
    “The Seed is above all. In it walk; in which ye all have
    “Be not amazed at the weather; for always the just suffered
by the unjust, but the just had the dominion.
    “All along ye may see, by faith the mountains were subdued;
and the rage of the wicked, with his fiery darts, was quenched.
Though the waves and storms be high, yet your faith will keep you,
so as to swim above them; for they are but for a time, and the
Truth is without time. Therefore keep on the mountain of holiness,
ye who are led to it by the Light.
    “Do not think that anything will outlast the Truth. For the
Truth standeth sure; and is over that which is out of the Truth.
For the good will overcome the evil; the light, darkness; the
life, death; virtue, vice; and righteousness, unrighteousness. The
false prophet cannot overcome the true; but the true prophet,
Christ, will overcome all the false.
    “So be faithful, and live in that which doth not think the
time long.
    G. F.”

    After some time it pleased the Lord to allay the heat of this
violent persecution; and I felt in spirit an overcoming of the
spirits of those men-eaters that had stirred it up and carried it
on to that height of cruelty. I was outwardly very weak; and I
plainly felt, and those Friends that were with me, and that came
to visit me, took notice, that as the persecution ceased I came
from under the travails and sufferings that had lain with such
weight upon me; so that towards the spring I began to recover, and
to walk up and down, beyond the expectation of many, who did not
think I could ever have gone abroad again.
    Whilst I was under this spiritual suffering the state of the
New Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven was opened to me;
which some carnal-minded people had looked upon to be like an
outward city dropped out of the elements. I saw the beauty and
glory of it, the length, the breadth, and the height thereof, all
in complete proportion. I saw that all who are within the Light of
Christ, and in His faith, of which He is the author; and in the
Spirit, the Holy Ghost, which Christ and the holy prophets and
apostles were in; and within the grace, and truth, and power of
God, which are the walls of the city; — I saw that such are
within the city, are members of it, and have right to eat of the
Tree of Life, which yields her fruit every month, and whose leaves
are for the healing of the nations.
    Many things more did I see concerning the heavenly city, the
New Jerusalem, which are hard to be uttered, and would be hard to
be received. But, in short, this holy city is within the Light,
and all that are within the Light, are within the city; the gates
whereof stand open all the day (for there is no night there), that
all may come in.

                        CHAPTER XVIII.
                    Two Years in America.

    When I received notice of my wife’s being taken to prison
again,[196] I sent two of her daughters to the King, and they
procured his order to the sheriff of Lancashire for her discharge.
But though I expected she would have been set at liberty, yet this
violent storm of persecution coming suddenly on, the persecutors
there found means to hold her still in prison.
    But now the persecution a little ceasing, I was moved to
speak to Martha Fisher, and another woman Friend, to go to the
King about her liberty. They went in the faith, and in the Lord’s
power; and He gave them favour with the King, so that he granted a
discharge under the broad seal, to clear both her and her estate,
after she had been ten years a prisoner, and praemunired; the like
whereof was scarce to be heard in England.
    I sent down the discharge forthwith by a Friend; by whom also
I wrote to her, to inform her how to get it delivered to the
justices, and also to acquaint her that it was upon me from the
Lord to go beyond sea, to visit the plantations in America; and
therefore I desired her to hasten to London, as soon as she could
conveniently after she had obtained her liberty, because the ship
was then fitting for the voyage.
    In the meantime I got to Kingston, and stayed at John Rous’s
till my wife came up, and then I began to prepare for the voyage.
But the yearly meeting[197] being near at hand, I tarried till
that was over. Many Friends came up to it from all parts of the
nation, and a very large and precious meeting it was; for the
Lord’s power was over all, and His glorious, everlastingly-
renowned Seed of Life was exalted above all.
    After this meeting was over, and I had finished my services
for the Lord in England, the ship and the Friends that intended to
go with me being ready, I went to Gravesend on the 12th of Sixth
month,[198] my wife and several Friends accompanying me to the
    We went from Wapping in a barge to the ship, which lay a
little below Gravesend, and there we found the Friends that were
bound for the voyage with me, who had gone down to the ship the
night before. Their names were Thomas Briggs, William Edmundson,
John Rous, John Stubbs, Solomon Eccles, James Lancaster, John
Cartwright, Robert Widders, George Pattison, John Hull, Elizabeth
Hooton, and Elizabeth Miers. The vessel was a yacht, called the
Industry; the captain’s name Thomas Forster, and the number of
passengers about fifty.
    I lay that night on board, but most of the Friends at
Gravesend. Early next morning the passengers, and those Friends
that intended to accompany us to the Downs, being come on board,
we took our leave in great tenderness of those that came with us
to Gravesend only, and set sail about six in the morning for the
    Having a fair wind, we out-sailed all the ships that were
outward-bound, and got thither by evening. Some of us went ashore
that night, and lodged at Deal, where, we understood, an officer
had orders from the governor to take our names in writing, which
he did next morning, though we told him they had been taken at
    In the afternoon, the wind serving, I took leave of my wife
and other Friends, and went on board. Before we could sail, there
being two of the King’s frigates riding in the Downs, the captain
of one of them sent his press-master on board us, who took three
of our seamen. This would certainly have delayed, if not wholly
prevented, our voyage, had not the captain of the other frigate,
being informed of the leakiness of our vessel, and the length of
our voyage, in compassion and much civility, spared us two of his
own men.
    Before this was over, a custom-house officer came on board to
peruse packets and get fees; so that we were kept from sailing
till about sunset; during which delay a very considerable number
of merchantmen, outward-bound, were several leagues before us.
    Being clear, we set sail in the evening, and next morning
overtook part of that fleet about the height of Dover. We soon
reached the rest, and in a little time left them all behind; for
our yacht was counted a very swift sailer. But she was very leaky,
so that the seamen and some of the passengers did, for the most
part, pump day and night. One day they observed that in two hours’
time she sucked in sixteen inches of water in the well.
    When we had been about three weeks at sea, one afternoon we
spied a vessel about four leagues astern of us. Our master said it
was a Sallee[199] man-of-war, that seemed to give us chase. He
said, “Come, let us go to supper, and when it grows dark we shall
lose him.” This he spoke to please and pacify the passengers, some
of whom began to be very apprehensive of the danger. But Friends
were well satisfied in themselves, having faith in God, and no
fear upon their spirits.
    When the sun was gone down, I saw out of my cabin the ship
making towards us. When it grew dark, we altered our course to
miss her; but she altered also, and gained upon us.
    At night the master and others came into my cabin, and asked
me what they should do. I told them I was no mariner; and I asked
them what they thought was best to do. They said there were but
two ways, either to outrun him, or to tack about, and hold the
same course we were going before. I told them that if he were a
thief, they might be sure he would tack about too; and as for
outrunning him, it was to no purpose to talk of that, for they saw
he sailed faster than we. They asked me again what they should do,
“for,” they said, “if the mariners had taken Paul’s counsel, they
had not come to the damage they did.” I answered that it was a
trial of faith, and therefore the Lord was to be waited on for
    So, retiring in spirit, the Lord showed me that His life and
power were placed between us and the ship that pursued us. I told
this to the master and the rest, and that the best way was to tack
about and steer our right course. I desired them also to put out
all their candles but the one they steered by, and to speak to all
the passengers to be still and quiet.
    About eleven at night the watch called and said they were
just upon us. This disquieted some of the passengers. I sat up in
my cabin, and, looking through the port-hole, the moon being not
quite down, I saw them very near us. I was getting up to go out of
the cabin; but remembering the word of the Lord, that His life and
power were placed between us and them, I lay down again.
    The master and some of the seamen came again, and asked me if
they might not steer such a point. I told them they might do as
they would.
    By this time the moon was quite down. A fresh gale arose, and
the Lord hid us from them; we sailed briskly on and saw them no
    The next day, being the first day of the week, we had a
public meeting in the ship, as we usually had on that day
throughout the voyage, and the Lord’s presence was greatly among
us. I desired the people to remember the mercies of the Lord, who
had delivered them; for they might have been all in the Turks’
hands by that time, had not the Lord’s hand saved them.
    About a week after, the master and some of the seamen
endeavoured to persuade the passengers that it was not a Turkish
pirate that had chased us, but a merchantman going to the
Canaries. When I heard of it I asked them, “Why then did you speak
so to me? Why did you trouble the passengers? and why did you tack
about from him and alter your course?” I told them they should
take heed of slighting the mercies of God.
    Afterwards, while we were at Barbadoes, there came in a
merchant from Sallee, and told the people that one of the Sallee
men-of-war saw a monstrous yacht at sea, the greatest that ever he
saw, and had her in chase, and was just upon her, but that there
was a spirit in her that he could not take. This confirmed us in
the belief that it was a Sallee-man we saw make after us, and that
it was the Lord that delivered us out of his hands.
    The third of the Eighth month, early in the morning, we
discovered the island of Barbadoes; but it was between nine and
ten at night ere we came to anchor in Carlisle bay.
    We got on shore as soon as we could, and I with some others
walked to the house of a Friend, a merchant, whose name was
Richard Forstall, above a quarter of a mile from the bridge. But
being very ill and weak, I was so tired, that I was in a manner
spent by the time I got thither. There I abode very ill several
days, and though they several times gave me things to make me
sweat, they could not effect it. What they gave me did rather
parch and dry up my body, and made me probably worse than
otherwise I might have been.
    Thus I continued about three weeks after I landed, having
much pain in my bones, joints, and whole body, so that I could
hardly get any rest; yet I was pretty cheery, and my spirit kept
above it all. Neither did my illness take me off from the service
of Truth; but both while I was at sea, and after I came to
Barbadoes, before I was able to travel about, I gave forth several
papers (having a Friend to write for me), some of which I sent by
the first conveyance for England to be printed.
    Soon after I came into the island, I was informed of a
remarkable passage, wherein the justice of God did eminently
appear. It was thus. There was a young man of Barbadoes whose name
was John Drakes, a person of some note in the world’s account, but
a common swearer and a bad man, who, when he was in London, had a
mind to marry a Friend’s daughter, left by her mother very young,
with a considerable portion, to the care and government of several
Friends, whereof I was one. He made application to me that he
might have my consent to marry this young maid.
    I told him I was one of her overseers, appointed by her
mother, who was a widow, to take care of her; that if her mother
had intended her for a match to any man of another profession, she
would have disposed her accordingly; but she committed her to us,
that she might be trained up in the fear of the Lord; and
therefore I should betray the trust reposed in me if I should
consent that he, who was out of the fear of God, should marry her;
and this I would not do.
    When he saw that he could not obtain his desire, he returned
to Barbadoes with great offense of mind against me, but without a
just cause. Afterwards, when he heard I was coming to Barbadoes,
he swore desperately, and threatened that if he could possibly
procure it, he would have me burned to death when I came there. A
Friend hearing of this, asked him what I had done to him that he
was so violent against me. He would not answer, but said again,
“I’ll have him burned.” Whereupon the Friend replied, “Do not
march on too furiously, lest thou come too soon to thy journey’s
    About ten days after he was struck with a violent, burning
fever, of which he died; by which his body was so scorched that
the people said it was as black as a coal; and three days before I
landed his body was laid in the dust. This was taken notice of as
a sad example.
    While I continued so weak that I could not go abroad to
meetings, the other Friends that came over with me bestirred
themselves in the Lord’s work. The next day but one after we came
on shore, they had a great meeting at the Bridge, and after that
several meetings in different parts of the island; which alarmed
the people of all sorts, so that many came to our meetings, and
some of the chiefest rank. For they had got my name, understanding
I was come upon the island, and expected to see me, not knowing I
was unable to go abroad.
    And indeed my weakness continued the longer on me, because my
spirit was much pressed down at the first with the filth and dirt,
and with the unrighteousness of the people, which lay as an heavy
weight and load upon me. But after I had been above a month upon
the island my spirit became somewhat easier; I began to recover my
health and strength, and to get abroad among Friends.[200]
    After I was able to go about, and had been a little amongst
Friends, I went to visit the Governor, Lewis Morice, Thomas Rous,
and some other Friends being with me. He received us very civilly,
and treated us very kindly, making us dine with him, and keeping
us the greater part of the day before he let us go away.
    The same week I went to Bridgetown. There was to be a general
meeting of Friends that week; and the visit I had made to the
Governor, and the kind reception I had with him, being generally
known to the officers, civil and military, many came to this
meeting from most parts of the island, and those not of the
meanest rank; several being judges or justices, colonels or
captains; so that a very great meeting we had, both of Friends and
    The Lord’s blessed power was plentifully with us; and
although I was somewhat straitened for time, three other Friends
having spoken before me, yet the Lord opened things through me to
the general and great satisfaction of them that were present.
Colonel Lewis Morice came to this meeting, and with him a
neighbour of his, a judge in the country, whose name was Ralph
Fretwell, who was very well satisfied, and received the Truth.
    Paul Gwin, a jangling Baptist, came into the meeting, and
asked me how I spelt Cain, and whether I had the same spirit as
the apostles had. I told him, “Yes.” And he bade the judge take
notice of it.
    I told him, “He that hath not a measure of the same Holy
Ghost as the apostles had, is possessed with an unclean spirit.”
And then he went his way.
    We had many great and precious meetings, both for worship and
for the affairs of the Church; to the former of which many of
other societies came. At one of these meetings Colonel Lyne, a
sober person, was so well satisfied with what I declared that he
said, “Now I can gainsay such as I have heard speak evil of you;
who say, you do not own Christ, nor that He died; whereas I
perceive you exalt Christ in all His offices beyond what I have
ever heard before.”[201]
    As I had been to visit the Governor as soon as I was well
able, after I came thither, so, when I was at Thomas Rous’s, the
Governor came to see me, carrying himself very courteously.
    Having been three months or more in Barbadoes, and having
visited Friends, thoroughly settled meetings, and despatched the
service for which the Lord brought me thither, I felt my spirit
clear of that island, and found drawings to Jamaica. When I had
communicated this to Friends, I acquainted the Governor also, and
diverse of his council, that I intended shortly to leave the
island, and go to Jamaica. This I did that, as my coming thither
was open and public, so my departure also might be. Before I left
the island I wrote the following letter to my wife, that she might
understand both how it was with me, and how I proceeded in my
travels: —

    “My Dear Heart,
    “To whom is my love, and to all the children, in the Seed of
life that changeth not, but is over all; blessed be the Lord
forever. I have undergone great sufferings in my body and spirit,
beyond words; but the God of heaven be praised, His Truth is over
all. I am now well; and, if the Lord permit, within a few days I
pass from Barbadoes towards Jamaica; and I think to stay but
little there. I desire that ye may be all kept free in the Seed of
Life, out of all cumbrances. Friends are generally well. Remember
me to Friends that inquire after me. So no more, but my love in
the Seed and Life that changeth not.
    “G. F.
    “Barbadoes, 6th of 11th Month, 1671.”

    I set sail from Barbadoes to Jamaica on the 8th of the
Eleventh month, 1671; Robert Widders, William Edmundson, Solomon
Eccles and Elizabeth Hooton going with me. Thomas Briggs and John
Stubbs remained in Barbadoes, with whom were John Rous and William
    We had a quick and easy passage to Jamaica, where we met
again with our Friends James Lancaster, John Cartwright, and
George Pattison, who had been labouring there in the service of
Truth; into which we forthwith entered with them, travelling up
and down through the island, which is large; and a brave country
it is, though the people are, many of them, debauched and wicked.
    We had much service. There was a great convincement, and many
received the Truth, some of whom were people of account in the
world. We had many meetings there, which were large, and very
quiet. The people were civil to us, so that not a mouth was opened
against us. I was twice with the Governor, and some other
magistrates, who all carried themselves kindly towards me.
    About a week after we landed in Jamaica, Elizabeth Hooton, a
woman of great age, who had travelled much in Truth’s service, and
suffered much for it, departed this life. She was well the day
before she died, and departed in peace, like a lamb, bearing
testimony to Truth at her departure.
    When we had been about seven weeks in Jamaica, had brought
Friends into pretty good order, and settled several meetings
amongst them, we left Solomon Eccles there; the rest of us
embarked for Maryland, leaving Friends and Truth prosperous in
Jamaica, the Lord’s power being over all, and His blessed Seed
    Before I left Jamaica I wrote another letter to my wife, as

    “My Dear Heart,
    “To whom is my love, and to the children, in that which
changeth not, but is over all; and to all Friends in those parts.
I have been in Jamaica about five weeks. Friends here are
generally well, and there is a convincement: but things would be
too large to write of. Sufferings in every place attend me; but
the blessed Seed is over all; the great Lord be praised, who is
Lord of sea and land, and of all things therein. We intend to pass
from hence about the beginning of next month, towards Maryland, if
the Lord please. Dwell all of you in the Seed of God; in His Truth
I rest in love to you all.
    G. F.
    “Jamaica, 23d of 12th Month, 1671.”

    We went on board on the 8th of First month,[202] 1671-2, and,
having contrary winds, were a full week sailing forwards and
backwards before we could get out of sight of Jamaica.
    A difficult voyage this proved, and dangerous, especially in
passing through the Gulf of Florida, where we met with many trials
by winds and storms.
    But the great God, who is Lord of the sea and land, and who
rideth upon the wings of the wind, did by His power preserve us
through many and great dangers, when by extreme stress of weather
our vessel was many times likely to be upset, and much of her
tackling broken. And indeed we were sensible that the Lord was a
God at hand, and that His ear was open to the supplications of His
    For when the winds were so strong and boisterous, and the
storms and tempests so great that the sailors knew not what to do,
but let the ship go which way she would, then did we pray unto the
Lord, who graciously heard us, calmed the winds and the seas, gave
us seasonable weather, and made us to rejoice in His salvation.
Blessed and praised be the holy name of the Lord, whose power hath
dominion over all, whom the winds and the seas obey.
    We were between six and seven weeks in this passage from
Jamaica to Maryland. Some days before we came to land, after we
had entered the bay of Patuxent River, a great storm arose, which
cast a boat upon us for shelter, in which were several people of
account in the world. We took them in; but the boat was lost, with
five hundred pounds’ worth of goods in it, as they said. They
continued on board several days, not having any means to get off;
and we had a very good meeting with them in the ship.
    But provisions grew short, for they brought none in with
them; and ours, by reason of the length of our voyage, were well-
nigh spent when they came to us; so that with their living with us
too, we had now little or none left. Whereupon George Pattison
took a boat, and ventured his life to get to shore; the hazard was
so great that all but Friends concluded he would be cast away. Yet
it pleased the Lord to bring him safe to land, and in a short time
after the Friends of the place came to fetch us to land also, in a
seasonable time, for our provisions were quite spent.
    We partook also of another great deliverance in this voyage,
through the good providence of the Lord, which we came to
understand afterwards. For when we were determined to come from
Jamaica, we had our choice of two vessels, that were both bound
for the same coast. One of these was a frigate, the other a yacht.
The master of the frigate, we thought, asked unreasonably for our
passage, which made us agree with the master of the yacht, who
offered to carry us ten shillings a-piece cheaper than the other.
    We went on board the yacht, and the frigate came out together
with us, intending to be consorts during the voyage. For several
days we sailed together; but, with calms and contrary winds, we
were soon separated. After that the frigate, losing her way, fell
among the Spaniards, by whom she was taken and plundered, and the
master and mate made prisoners. Afterwards, being retaken by the
English, she was sent home to her owners in Virginia. When we came
to understand this we saw and admired the providence of God, who
preserved us out of our enemies’ hands; and he that was covetous
fell among the covetous.
    Here we found John Burnyeat,[203] intending shortly to sail
for England; but on our arrival he altered his purpose, and joined
us in the Lord’s service. He had appointed a general meeting for
all the Friends in the province of Maryland, that he might see
them together, and take his leave of them before he departed out
of the country. It was so ordered by the good providence of God
that we landed just in time to reach that meeting, by which means
we had a very seasonable opportunity of taking the Friends of the
province together.
    A very large meeting this was, and it held four days, to
which, besides Friends, came many other people, several of whom
were of considerable quality in the world’s account. There were
five or six justices of the peace, the speaker of their assembly,
one of their council, and others of note, who seemed well
satisfied with the meeting. After the public meetings were over,
the men’s and women’s meetings began, wherein I opened to Friends
the service thereof, to their great satisfaction.
    After this we went to the Cliffs, where another general
meeting was appointed. We went some of the way by land, the rest
by water, and, a storm arising, our boat was run aground, in
danger of being beaten to pieces, and the water came in upon us. I
was in a great sweat, having come very hot out of a meeting
before, and now was wet with the water besides; yet, having faith
in the divine power, I was preserved from taking hurt, blessed be
the Lord!
    To this meeting came many who received the Truth with
reverence. We had also a men’s meeting and a women’s meeting. Most
of the backsliders came in again; and several meetings were
established for taking care of the affairs of the Church.
    After these two general meetings, we parted company, dividing
ourselves unto several coasts, for the service of Truth. James
Lancaster and John Cartwright went by sea for New England; William
Edmundson and three Friends more sailed for Virginia, where things
were much out of order; John Burnyeat, Robert Widders, George
Pattison, and I, with several Friends of the province, went over
by boat to the Eastern Shore,[204] and had a meeting there on the
    There many people received the Truth with gladness, and
Friends were greatly refreshed. A very large and heavenly meeting
it was. Several persons of quality in that country were at it, two
of whom were justices of the peace. It was upon me from the Lord
to send to the Indian emperor and his kings to come to that
meeting. The emperor came and was at the meeting. His kings, lying
further off, could not reach the place in time. Yet they came soon
after, with their cockarooses.[205]
    I had in the evening two good opportunities with them; they
heard the Word of the Lord willingly and confessed to it. What I
spoke to them I desired them to speak to their people, and to let
them know that God was raising up His tabernacle of witness in
their wilderness-country, and was setting up His standard and
glorious ensign of righteousness. They carried themselves very
courteously and lovingly, and inquired where the next meeting
would be, saving that they would come to it. Yet they said they
had had a great debate with their council about their coming,
before they came.
    The next day we began our journey by land to New England; a
tedious journey through the woods and wilderness, over bogs and
great rivers.
    We took horse at the head of Tredhaven creek, and travelled
through the woods till we came a little above the head of Miles
river, by which we passed, and rode to the head of Wye river, and
so to the head of Chester river, where, making a fire, we took up
our lodging in the woods. Next morning we travelled the woods till
we came to Sassafras river, which we went over in canoes, causing
our horses to swim beside us.
    Then we rode to Bohemia river, where, in like manner swimming
our horses, we ourselves went over in canoes. We rested a little
at a plantation by the way, but not long, for we had thirty miles
to ride that afternoon if we would reach a town, which we were
willing to do, and therefore rode hard for it. I, with some
others, whose horses were strong, got to the town that night,
exceedingly tired, and wet to the skin; but George Pattison and
Robert Widders, being weaker-horsed, were obliged to lie in the
woods that night also.
    The town we went to was a Dutch town, called New Castle,[206]
whither Robert Widders and George Pattison came to us next
    We departed thence, and got over the river Delaware, not
without great danger of some of our lives. When we were over we
were troubled to procure guides, which were hard to get, and very
chargeable. Then had we that wilderness country, since called West
Jersey, to pass through, not then inhabited by English; so that we
sometimes travelled a whole day together without seeing man or
woman, house or dwelling-place. Sometimes we lay in the woods by a
fire, and sometimes in the Indians’ wigwams or houses.
    We came one night to an Indian town, and lay at the house of
the king, who was a very pretty[207] man. Both he and his wife
received us very lovingly, and his attendants (such as they were)
were very respectful to us. They gave us mats to lie on; but
provision was very short with them, they having caught but little
that day. At another Indian town where we stayed the king came to
us, and he could speak some English. I spoke to him much, and also
to his people; and they were very loving to us.
    At length we came to Middletown, an English plantation in
East Jersey, and there we found some Friends; but we could not
stay to have a meeting at that time, being earnestly pressed in
our spirits to get to the half-year’s meeting of Friends at Oyster
Bay, in Long Island, which was very near at hand.
    We went with a Friend, Richard Hartshorn, brother of Hugh
Hartshorn, the upholsterer, in London, who received us gladly at
his house, where we refreshed ourselves; and then he carried us
and our horses in his own boat over a great water, which occupied
most part of the day getting over, and set us upon Long Island. We
got that evening to Friends at Gravesend, with whom we tarried
that night, and next day got to Flushing, and the day following
reached Oyster Bay; several Friends of Gravesend and Flushing
accompanied us.
    The half-year’s meeting began next day, which was the first
day of the week, and lasted four days. The first and second days
we had public meetings for worship, to which people of all sorts
came; on the third day were the men’s and women’s meetings,
wherein the affairs of the Church were taken care of. Here we met
with some bad spirits, who had run out from Truth into prejudice,
contention, and opposition to the order of Truth, and to Friends
    These had been very troublesome to Friends in their meetings
there and thereabouts formerly, and likely would have been so now;
but I would not suffer the service of our men’s and women’s
meetings to be interrupted and hindered by their cavils. I let
them know that if they had anything to object against the order of
Truth which we were in, we would give them a meeting another day
on purpose. And indeed I laboured the more, and travelled the
harder to get to this meeting, where it was expected many of these
contentious people would be; because I understood they had
reflected much upon me, when I was far from them.
    The men’s and women’s meetings being over, on the fourth day
we had a meeting with these discontented people, to which as many
of them as chose came, and as many Friends as desired were present
also; and the Lord’s power broke forth gloriously to the
confounding of the gainsayers. Then some of those that had been
chief in the mischievous work of contention and opposition against
the Truth began to fawn upon me, and to cast the blame upon
others; but the deceitful spirit was judged down and condemned,
and the glorious Truth of God was exalted and set over all; and
they were all brought down and bowed under. Which was of great
service to Truth, and to the satisfaction and comfort of Friends;
glory to the Lord for ever!
    After Friends were gone to their several habitations, we
stayed some days upon the island; had meetings in several parts
thereof, and good service for the Lord. When we were clear of the
island, we returned to Oyster Bay, waiting for a wind to carry us
to Rhode Island, which was computed to be about two hundred miles.
As soon as the wind served, we set sail. We arrived there on the
thirtieth day of the Third month, and were gladly received by
Friends. We went to the house of Nicholas Easton, who at that time
was governor of the island; where we rested, being very weary with
    On First-day following we had a large meeting, to which came
the deputy-governor and several justices, who were mightily
affected with the Truth. The week following, the Yearly Meeting
for all the Friends of New England and the other colonies
adjacent, was held in this island;[208] to which, besides very
many Friends who lived in those parts, came John Stubbs from
Barbadoes, and James Lancaster and John Cartwright from another
    This meeting lasted six days, the first four days being
general public meetings for worship, to which abundance of other
people came. For they having no priest in the island, and so no
restriction to any particular way of worship; and both the
governor and deputy-governor, with several justices of the peace,
daily frequenting the meetings; this so encouraged the people that
they flocked in from all parts of the island. Very good service we
had amongst them, and Truth had good reception.
    I have rarely observed a people, in the state wherein they
stood, to hear with more attention, diligence, and affection, than
generally they did, during the four days; which was also taken
notice of by other Friends.
    These public meetings over, the men’s meeting began, which
was large, precious, and weighty. The day following was the
women’s meeting, which also was large and very solemn.
    These two meetings being for ordering the affairs of the
Church, many weighty things were opened, and communicated to them,
by way of advice, information, and instruction in the services
relating thereunto; that all might be kept clean, sweet and
savoury amongst them. In these, several men’s and women’s meetings
for other parts were agreed and settled, to take care of the poor,
and other affairs of the Church, and to see that all who profess
Truth walk according to the glorious gospel of God.
    When this great general meeting was ended, it was somewhat
hard for Friends to part; for the glorious power of the Lord,
which was over all, and His Blessed Truth and life flowing amongst
them, had so knit and united them together, that they spent two
days in taking leave one of another, and of the Friends of the
island; and then, being mightily filled with the presence and
power of the Lord, they went away with joyful hearts to their
several habitations, in the several colonies where they lived.
    When Friends had taken their leave one of another, we, who
travelled amongst them, dispersed ourselves into our several
services, as the Lord ordered us. John Burnyeat, John Cartwright,
and George Pattison went into the eastern parts of New England, in
company with the Friends that came from thence, to visit the
particular meetings there; whom John Stubbs and James Lancaster
intended to follow awhile after, in the same service; but they
were not yet clear of this island. Robert Kidders and I stayed
longer upon this island; finding service still here for the Lord,
through the great openness and the daily coming in of fresh people
from other colonies, for some time after the general meeting; so
that we had many large and serviceable meetings amongst them.
    During this time, a marriage was celebrated amongst Friends
in this island, and we were present. It was at the house of a
Friend who had formerly been governor of the island: and there
were present three justices of the peace, with many others not in
profession with us. Friends said they had never seen such a solemn
assembly on such an occasion, or so weighty a marriage and so
comely an order. Thus Truth was set over all. This might serve for
an example to others; for there were some present from many other
    After this I had a great travail in spirit concerning the
Ranters in those parts, who had been rude at a meeting at which I
was not present. Wherefore I appointed a meeting amongst them,
believing the Lord would give me power over them; which He did, to
His praise and glory; blessed be His name for ever! There were at
this meeting many Friends, and diverse other people; some of whom
were justices of the peace, and officers, who were generally well
affected with the Truth. One, who had been a justice twenty years,
was convinced, spoke highly of the Truth, and more highly of me
than is fit for me to mention or take notice of.
    Then we had a meeting at Providence, which was very large,
consisting of many sorts of people. I had a great travail upon my
spirit, that it might be preserved quiet, and that Truth might be
brought over the people, might gain entrance, and have a place in
them; for they were generally above the priest in high notions;
and some of them came on purpose to dispute. But the Lord, whom we
waited upon, was with us, and His power went over them all; and
His blessed Seed was exalted and set above all. The disputers were
silent, and the meeting was quiet and ended well; praised be the
Lord! The people went away mightily satisfied, much desiring
another meeting.
    This place (called Providence) was about thirty miles from
Rhode Island; and we went to it by water. The Governor of Rhode
Island, and many others, went with me thither; and we had the
meeting in a great barn, which was thronged with people, so that I
was exceedingly hot, and in a great sweat; but all was well; the
glorious power of the Lord shone over all; glory to the great God
for ever![209]
    After this we went to Narragansett, about twenty miles from
Rhode Island; and the Governor went with us. We had a meeting at a
justice’s house, where Friends had never had any before. It was
very large, for the country generally came in; and people came
also from Connecticut, and other parts round about, amongst whom
were four justices of the peace. Most of these people had never
heard Friends before; but they were mightily affected with the
meeting, and a great desire there is after the Truth amongst them;
so that our meeting was of very good service, blessed be the Lord
for ever!
    The justice at whose house the meeting was, and another
justice of that country, invited me to come again; but I was then
clear of those parts, and going towards Shelter Island. But John
Burnyeat and John Cartwright, being come out of New England into
Rhode Island, before I was gone, I laid this place before them;
and they felt drawings thither, and went to visit them.
    At another place, I heard some of the magistrates say among
themselves that if they had money enough, they would hire me to be
their minister. This was where they did not well understand us,
and our principles; but when I heard of it, I said, “It is time
for me to be gone; for if their eye were so much on me, or on any
of us, they would not come to their own Teacher.” For this thing
(hiring ministers) had spoiled many, by hindering them from
improving their own talents; whereas our labour is to bring every
one to his own Teacher in himself.
    I went thence towards Shelter Island,[210] having with me
Robert Widders, James Lancaster, George Pattison, and John Jay, a
planter of Barbadoes.
    We went in a sloop; and passing by Point Juda[211] and Block
Island, we came to Fisher’s Island, where at night we went on
shore; but were not able to stay for the mosquitoes which abound
there, and are very troublesome. Therefore we went into our sloop
again, put off for the shore, and cast anchor; and so lay in our
sloop that night.
    Next day we went into the Sound, but finding our sloop was
not able to live in that water, we returned again, and came to
anchor before Fisher’s Island, where we lay in our sloop that
night also. There fell abundance of rain, and our sloop being
open, we were exceedingly wet.
    Next day we passed over the waters called the Two Horse
Races, and then by Gardner’s Island; after which we passed by the
Gull’s Island, and so got at length to Shelter Island. Though it
was but about twenty-seven leagues from Rhode Island, yet through
the difficulty of passage we were three days in reaching it.
    The day after, being First-day, we had a meeting there. In
the same week I had another among the Indians; at which were their
king, his council, and about a hundred Indians more. They sat down
like Friends, and heard very attentively while I spoke to them by
an interpreter, an Indian that could speak English well. After the
meeting they appeared very loving, and confessed that what was
said to them was Truth.
    Next First-day we had a great meeting on the island, to which
came many people who had never heard Friends before. They were
very well satisfied with it, and when it was over would not go
away till they had spoken with me. Wherefore I went amongst them,
and found they were much taken with the Truth; good desires were
raised in them, and great love. Blessed be the Lord; His name
spreads, and will be great among the nations, and dreadful among
the heathen.
    While we were in Shelter Island, William Edmundson, who had
been labouring in the work of the Lord in Virginia, came to us.
From thence he had travelled through the desert-country, through
difficulties and many trials, till he came to Roanoke, where he
met with a tender people. After seven weeks’ service in those
parts, sailing over to Maryland, and so to New York, he came to
Long Island, and so to Shelter Island; where we met with him, and
were very glad to hear from him the good service he had had for
the Lord, in the several places where he had travelled since he
parted from us.
    We stayed not long in Shelter Island, but entering our sloop
again put to sea for Long Island. We had a very rough passage, for
the tide ran so strong for several hours that I have not seen the
like; and being against us, we could hardly get forwards, though
we had a gale.
    We were upon the water all that day and the night following;
but found ourselves next day driven back near to Fisher’s Island.
For there was a great fog, and towards day it was very dark, so
that we could not see what way we made. Besides, it rained much in
the night, which in our open sloop made us very wet.
    Next day a great storm arose, so that we were fain to go over
the Sound, and got over with much difficulty. When we left
Fisher’s Island, we passed by Falkner Island, and came to the
main, where we cast anchor till the storm was over.
    Then we crossed the Sound, being all very wet; and much
difficulty we had to get to land, the wind being strong against
us. But blessed be the Lord God of heaven and earth, and of the
seas and waters, all was well.
    We got safe to Oyster Bay, in Long Island, which, they say,
is about two hundred miles from Rhode Island, the seventh of the
Sixth month, very early in the morning.
    At Oyster Bay we had a very large meeting. The same day James
Lancaster and Christopher Holder went over the bay to Rye,[212] on
the continent, in Governor Winthrop’s government, and had a
meeting there.
    From Oyster Bay, we passed about thirty miles to Flushing,
where we had a very large meeting, many hundreds of people being
there; some of whom came about thirty miles to it. A glorious and
heavenly meeting it was (praised be the Lord God!), and the people
were much satisfied.
    Meanwhile Christopher Holder and some other Friends went to a
town in Long Island, called Jamaica, and had a meeting there.
    We passed from Flushing to Gravesend, about twenty miles, and
there had three precious meetings; to which many would have come
from New York, but that the weather hindered them.
    Being clear of this place, we hired a sloop, and, the wind
serving, set out for the new country now called Jersey. Passing
down the bay by Coney Island, Natton Island,[213] and Staten
Island, we came to Richard Hartshorn’s at Middletown harbour,[214]
about break of day, the twenty-seventh of the Sixth month.
    Next day we rode about thirty miles into that country,
through the woods, and over very bad bogs, one worse than all the
rest; the descent into which was so steep that we were fain to
slide down with our horses, and then let them lie and breathe
themselves before they could go on. This place the people of the
country called Purgatory.
    We got at length to Shrewsbury, in East Jersey, and on First-
day had a precious meeting there, to which Friends and other
people came from afar, and the blessed presence of the Lord was
with us. The same week we had a men’s and women’s meeting out of
most parts of New Jersey.
    They are building a meeting place in the midst of them and
there is a monthly and general meeting set up which will be of
great service in those parts in keeping up the gospel order and
government of Christ Jesus, of the increase of which there is no
end, that they who are faithful may see that all who profess the
holy Truth live in the pure religion, and walk as becometh the
    While we were at Shrewsbury, an accident befell, which for
the time was a great exercise to us. John Jay, a Friend of
Barbadoes, who had come with us from Rhode Island, and intended to
accompany us through the woods to Maryland, being to try a horse,
got upon his back, and the horse fell a-running, cast him down
upon his head, and broke his neck, as the people said. Those that
were near him took him up as dead, carried him a good way, and
laid him on a tree.
    I got to him as soon as I could; and, feeling him, concluded
he was dead. As I stood pitying him and his family, I took hold of
his hair, and his head turned any way, his neck was so limber.
Whereupon I took his head in both my hands, and, setting my knees
against the tree, I raised his head, and perceived there was
nothing out or broken that way.
    Then I put one hand under his chin, and the other behind his
head, and raised his head two or three times with all my strength,
and brought it in. I soon perceived his neck began to grow stiff
again, and then he began to rattle in his throat, and quickly
after to breathe.
    The people were amazed; but I bade them have a good heart, be
of good faith, and carry him into the house. They did so, and set
him by the fire. I bade them get him something warm to drink, and
put him to bed. After he had been in the house a while he began to
speak; but did not know where he had been.
    The next day we passed away (and he with us, pretty well)
about sixteen miles to a meeting at Middletown, through woods and
bogs, and over a river; where we swam our horses, and got over
ourselves upon a hollow tree. Many hundred miles did he travel
with us after this.[215]
    To this meeting came most of the people of the town. A
glorious meeting we had, and the Truth was over all; blessed be
the great Lord God for ever! After the meeting we went to
Middletown Harbor, about five miles, in order to take our long
journey next morning, through the woods towards Maryland; having
hired Indians for our guides.
    I determined to pass through the woods on the other side of
Delaware bay, that we might head the creeks and rivers as much as
possible. On the 9th of the Seventh month we set forwards, and
passed through many Indian towns, and over some rivers and bogs;
and when we had ridden about forty miles, we made a fire at night,
and lay down by it. As we came among the Indians, we declared the
day of the Lord to them.
    Next day we travelled fifty miles, as we computed; and at
night, finding an old house, which the Indians had forced the
people to leave, we made a fire and stayed there, at the head of
Delaware Bay.[216]
    Next day we swam our horses over a river about a mile wide,
first to an island called Upper Tinicum, and then to the mainland;
having hired Indians to help us over in their canoes. This day we
rode but about thirty miles, and came at night to a Swede’s house,
where we got a little straw, and stayed that night.
    Next day, having hired another guide, we travelled about
forty miles through the woods, and made a fire at night, by which
we lay, and dried ourselves; for we were often wet in our travels.
    The next day we passed over a desperate river,[217] which had
in it many rocks and broad stones, very hazardous to us and our
horses. Thence we came to Christiana River, where we swam over our
horses, and went over ourselves in canoes; but the sides of this
river were so bad and wiry, that some of the horses were almost
laid up.
    Thence we came to New Castle,[218] heretofore called New
Amsterdam; and being very weary, and inquiring in the town where
we might buy some corn for our horses, the governor came and
invited me to his house, and afterwards desired me to lodge there;
telling me he had a bed for me, and I should be welcome. So I
stayed, the other Friends being taken care of also.
    This was on a Seventh-day; and he offering his house for a
meeting, we had the next day a pretty large one; for most of the
town were at it. Here had never been a meeting before, nor any
within a great way; but this was a very precious one. Many were
tender, and confessed to the Truth, and some received it; blessed
be the Lord for ever!
    The 16th of the Seventh month we set forward, and travelled,
as near as we could compute, about fifty miles, through the woods
and over the bogs, heading Bohemia River and Sassafras River. At
night we made a fire in the woods, and lay there all night. It
being rainy weather, we got under some thick trees for shelter,
and afterwards dried ourselves again by the fire.
    Next day we waded through Chester River, a very broad water,
and afterwards passing through many bad bogs, lay that night also
in the woods by a fire, not having gone above thirty miles that
day. The day following we travelled hard, though we had some
troublesome bogs in our way; we rode about fifty miles, and got
safe that night to Robert Harwood’s, at Miles River,[219] in
    This was the 18th of the Seventh month; and though we were
very weary, and much dirtied with the bogs, yet hearing of a
meeting next day, we went to it, and from it to John Edmundson’s.
Thence we went three or four miles by water to a meeting on the
First-day following.
    At this meeting a judge’s wife, who had never been at any of
our meetings before, was reached. She said after the meeting that
she would rather hear us once than the priests a thousand times.
Many others also were well satisfied; for the power of the Lord
was eminently with us. Blessed for ever be His holy name!
    We passed thence about twenty-two miles, and had a good
meeting upon the Kentish shore, to which one of the judges came.
After another good meeting hard by, at William Wilcock’s, where we
had good service for the Lord, we went by water about twenty miles
to a very large meeting, where were some hundreds of people, four
justices of peace, the high sheriff of Delaware, and others. There
were also an Indian emperor or governor, and two others of the
chief men among the Indians.
    With these Indians I had a good opportunity. I spoke to them
by an interpreter: they heard the Truth attentively, and were very
loving. A blessed meeting this was, of great service both for
convincing and for establishing in the Truth those that were
convinced of it. Blessed be the Lord, who causeth His blessed
Truth to spread!
    After the meeting there came to me a woman whose husband was
one of the judges of that country, and a member of the assembly
there. She told me that her husband was sick, not likely to live;
and desired me to go home with her to see him. It was three miles
to her house, and I being just come hot out of the meeting, it was
hard for me then to go; yet considering the service, I got a
horse, went with her, visited her husband, and spoke to him what
the Lord gave me. The man was much refreshed, and finely raised up
by the power of the Lord; and afterwards came to our meetings.
    I went back to the Friends that night, and next day we
departed thence about nineteen or twenty miles to Tredhaven creek,
to John Edmundson’s again; whence, the 3d of Eighth month, we went
to the General Meeting for all Maryland Friends.[220]
    This held five days. The first three meetings were for public
worship, to which people of all sorts came; the other two were
men’s and women’s meetings. To the public meetings came many
Protestants of diverse sorts, and some Papists. Amongst these were
several magistrates and their wives, and other persons of chief
account in the country. There were so many besides Friends that it
was thought there were sometimes a thousand people at one of these
meetings; so that, though they had not long before enlarged their
meeting-place, and made it as large again as it was before, it
could not contain the people.
    I went by boat every day four or five miles to it, and there
were so many boats at that time passing upon the river that it was
almost like the Thames. The people said there were never so many
boats seen there together before, and one of the justices said he
had never seen so many people together in that country before. It
was a very heavenly meeting, wherein the presence of the Lord was
gloriously manifested. Friends were sweetly refreshed, the people
generally satisfied, and many convinced; for the blessed power of
the Lord was over all; everlasting praises to His holy name for
    After the public meetings were over, the men’s and women’s
meetings began, and were held the other two days; for I had
something to impart to them which concerned the glory of God, the
order of the gospel, and the government of Christ Jesus.
    When these meetings were over, we took our leave of Friends
in those parts, whom we left well established in the Truth.
    On the 10th of the Eighth month we went thence about thirty
miles by water, passing by Crane’s Island, Swan Island, and Kent
Island, in very foul weather and much rain. Our boat being open,
we were not only very much wet, but in great danger of being
overset; insomuch that some thought we could not escape being cast
away. But, blessed be God, we fared very well, and came safely to
shore next morning.
    Having got to a little house, dried our clothes by the fire,
and refreshed ourselves a little, we took to our boat again; and
put off from land, sometimes sailing and sometimes rowing; but
having very foul weather that day too, we could not get above
twelve miles forward. At night we got to land, and made a fire;
some lay by that, and some be a fire at a house a little way off.
    Next morning we passed over the Great Bay, and sailed about
forty miles that day. Making to shore at night, we lay there, some
in the boat, and some at an ale-house.
    Next morning being First-day, we went six or seven miles to
the house of a Friend who was a justice of the peace, where we had
a meeting. This was a little above the head of the Great Bay. We
had been almost four days on the water, and were weary with
rowing, yet all was very well; blessed and praised be the Lord!
    We went next day to another Friend’s house, near the head of
Hatton’s Island, where we had good service amongst Friends and
others; as we had also the day following at the house of George
Wilson, a Friend that lived about three miles further, where we
had a very precious meeting, there being great tenderness amongst
the people.
    After this meeting we sailed about ten miles to the house of
James Frizby, a justice of the peace, where, the 16th of the
Eighth month, we had a very large meeting, at which, besides
Friends, were some hundreds of people, it was supposed. Amongst
them were several justices, captains, and the sheriff, with other
persons of note.
    A blessed heavenly meeting this was; a powerful, thundering
testimony for Truth was borne therein; a great sense there was
upon the people, and much brokenness and tenderness amongst them.
    We stayed till about the eleventh hour in the night, when the
tide turned for us; then, taking boat, we passed that night and
the next day about fifty miles to another Friend’s house. The next
two days we made short journeys visiting Friends.
    The 20th of the month we had a great meeting at a place
called Severn, where there was a meeting place, but not large
enough to hold the people. Diverse chief magistrates were at it,
with many other considerable people, and it gave them generally
great satisfaction.
    Two days after we had a meeting with some that walked
disorderly, and had good service in it. Then, spending a day or
two in visiting Friends, we passed to the Western Shore, and on
the 25th had a large and precious meeting at William Coale’s,
where the speaker of their assembly, with his wife, a justice of
peace, and several people of quality, were present.
    Next day we had a meeting, six or seven miles further, at
Abraham Birkhead’s, where were many of the magistrates and upper
sort; and the speaker of the assembly for that country was
convinced. A blessed meeting it was; praised be the Lord!
    We travelled the next day; and the day following, the 28th of
the Eighth month, had a large and very precious meeting at Peter
Sharp’s, on the Cliffs, between thirty and forty miles distant
from the former. Many of the magistrates and upper rank of people
were present, and a heavenly meeting it was. The wife of one of
the Governor’s council was convinced; and her husband was very
loving to Friends. A justice of the peace from Virginia was
convinced and hath had a meeting since at his house.
    Some Papists were at this meeting, one of whom, before he
came, threatened to dispute with me; but he was reached and could
not oppose. Blessed be the Lord, the Truth reached into the hearts
of people beyond words, and it is of a good savour amongst them!
    After the meeting we went about eighteen miles to the house
of James Preston, a Friend that lived on Patuxent River. Thither
came to us an Indian king, with his brother, to whom I spoke, and
found they understood what I spoke of.
    Having finished our service in Maryland, and intending to go
to Virginia, we had a meeting at Patuxent on the 4th of the Ninth
month, to take our leave of Friends. Many people of all Sorts were
at it, and a powerful meeting it was.
    On the 5th we set sail for Virginia, and in three days came
to a place called Nancemond, about two hundred miles from
Maryland. In this voyage we met with foul weather, storms, and
rain, and lay in the woods by a fire in the night.
    At Nancemond lived a Friend called the widow Wright. Next day
we had a great meeting there, of Friends and others. There came to
it Colonel Dewes, with several other officers and magistrates, who
were much taken with the Truth declared.
    After this, we hastened towards Carolina; yet had several
meetings by the way, wherein we had good service for the Lord; one
about four miles from Nancemond Water, which was very precious;
and there was a men’s and women’s meeting settled, for taking care
of the affairs of the Church.
    Another very good one also we had at William Yarrow’s, at
Pagan Creek, which was so large, that we were fain to be abroad,
the house not being large enough to contain the people. A great
openness there was; the sound of Truth spread abroad, and had a
good savour in the hearts of people; the Lord have the glory for
    After this our way to Carolina grew worse, being much of it
plashy, and pretty full of great bogs and swamps; so that we were
commonly wet to the knees, and lay abroad at nights in the woods
by a fire.
    One night we got to a poor house at Sommertown,[221] and lay
by the fire. The woman of the house had a sense of God upon her.
The report of our travel had reached thither, and drawn some that
lived beyond Sommertown to that house, in expectation to see and
hear us (so acceptable was the sound of Truth in that wilderness
country); but they missed us.
    The next day, the List of the Ninth month, having travelled
hard through the woods and over many bogs and swamps, we reached
Bonner’s Creek; and there we lay that night by the fireside, the
woman lending us a mat to lie on.
    This was the first house we came to in Carolina. Here we left
our horses, over-wearied with travel. Thence we went down the
creek in a canoe, to Macocomocock River,[222] and came to Hugh
Smith’s house, where the people of other professions came to see
us (for there were no Friends in that part of the country), and
many of them received us gladly.
    Amongst others came Nathaniel Batts, who had been governor of
Roanoke; he went by the name of Captain Batts, and had been a
rude, desperate man. He asked me about a woman in Cumberland, who,
he said he had been told, had been healed by our prayers, and by
laying on of hands after she had been long sick, and given over by
the physicians; and he desired to know the certainty of it. I told
him we did not glory in such things, but many such things had been
done by the power of Christ.
    Not far from here we had a meeting among the people, and they
were taken with the Truth; blessed be the Lord! Then passing down
the river Maratick[223] in a canoe, we went down the bay Coney-
Hoe, and came to the house of a captain, who was very loving, and
lent us his boat, for we were much wet in the canoe, the water
splashing in upon us. With this boat we went to the Governor’s
house; but the water in some places was so shallow that the boat,
being laden, could not swim; so we were fain to put off our shoes
and stockings, and wade through the water some distance.
    The Governor, with his wife, received us lovingly; but a
doctor there would needs dispute with us. And truly his opposing
us was of good service, giving occasion for the opening of many
things to the people concerning the Light and Spirit of God, which
he denied to be in everyone; and affirmed that it was not in the
    Whereupon I called an Indian to us, and asked him whether
when he lied, or did wrong to any one, there was not something in
him that reproved him for it. He said there was such a thing in
him, that did so reprove him; and he was ashamed when he had done
wrong, or spoken wrong. So we shamed the doctor before the
Governor and the people; insomuch that the poor man ran out so far
that at length he would not own the Scriptures.
    We tarried at the Governor’s that night; and next morning he
very courteously walked with us himself about two miles through
the woods, to a place whither he had sent our boat about to meet
us. Taking leave of him, we entered our boat, and went that day
about thirty miles to the house of Joseph Scott, one of the
representatives of the country.
    There we had a sound, precious meeting; the people were
tender, and much desired after meetings. At a house about four
miles further, we had another meeting, to which came the
Governor’s secretary, who was chief secretary of the province, and
had been formerly convinced.
    Having visited the north part of Carolina, and made a little
entrance for Truth upon the people there, we began to return
towards Virginia, having several meetings in our way, wherein we
had very good service for the Lord, the people being generally
tender and open; blessed be the Lord!
    We lay one night at the house of the secretary, to get to
which gave us much trouble; for the water being shallow, we could
not bring our boat to shore; but the secretary’s wife, seeing our
strait, came herself in a canoe (her husband being from home) and
brought us to land.
    Next morning our boat was sunk; but we got her up, mended
her, and went away in her that day about twenty-four miles, the
water being rough, and the winds high; but the great power of God
was seen, in carrying us safe in that rotten boat.
    Upon our return we had a very precious meeting at Hugh
Smith’s; praised be the Lord for ever! The people were very
tender, and very good service we had amongst them. There was at
this meeting an Indian captain, who was very loving; and
acknowledged it to be Truth that was spoken. There was also one of
the Indian priests, whom they called a Pawaw, who sat soberly
among the people.
    The 9th of the Tenth month we got back to Bonner’s Creek,
where we had left our horses, having spent about eighteen days in
the north of Carolina.
    Our horses having rested, we set forward for Virginia again,
travelling through the woods and bogs as far as we could well
reach that day, and at night lying by a fire in the woods. Next
day we had a tedious journey through bogs and swamps, and were
exceedingly wet and dirty all the day, but dried ourselves at
night by a fire.
    We got that night to Sommertown. As we came near, the woman
of the house, seeing us, spoke to her son to keep up their dogs;
for both in Virginia and Carolina (living lonely in the woods)
they generally keep great dogs to guard their houses. But the son
said, “There is no need; our dogs will not meddle with these
people.” When we were come into the house, she told us we were
like the children of Israel, against whom the dogs did not move
their tongues. Here we lay in our clothes by the fire, as we had
done many a night before.
    Next day we had a meeting; for the people, having been
informed of us, had a great desire to hear su; and a very good
meeting we had among them, where we never had had one before;
praised be the Lord for ever! After the meeting we hastened away.
    When we had ridden about twenty miles, calling at a house to
inquire the way, the people desired us to tarry all night with
them; which we did.
    Next day we came among Friends, after we had travelled about
an hundred miles from Carolina into Virginia: in which time we
observed great variety of climates, having passed in a few days
from a very cold to a warm and spring-like country. But the power
of the Lord is the same in all, is over all, and doth reach the
good in all; praised be the Lord for ever!
    We spent about three weeks in travelling through Virginia,
mostly amongst Friends, having large and precious meetings in
several parts of the country; as at the widow Wright’s, where many
of the magistrates, officers, and other high people came. A most
heavenly meeting we had; wherein the power of the Lord was so
great that it struck a dread upon the assembly, chained all down,
and brought reverence upon the people’s minds.
    Among the officers was a major, kinsman to the priest, who
told me that the priest had threatened to come and oppose us. But
the Lord’s power was too strong for him, and stopped him; and we
were quiet and peaceable. The people were wonderfully affected
with the testimony of Truth; blessed be the Lord for ever!
    Having finished what service lay upon us in Virginia, on the
30th we set sail in an open sloop for Maryland. But having a great
storm, and being much wet, we were glad to get to shore before
night; and, walking to a house at Willoughby Point, we got lodging
there that night. The woman of the house was a widow, and a very
tender person; she had never received Friends before; but she
received us very kindly, and with tears in her eyes.
    We returned to our boat in the morning, and hoisted our sail,
getting forward as fast as we could. But towards evening, a storm
rising, we had much ado to get to shore; and our boat being open,
the water splashed often in, and sometimes over us, so that we
were completely wet. Being got to land, we made a fire in the
woods to warm and dry us, and there we lay all night, the wolves
howling about us.
    On the 1st of the Eleventh month we sailed again. The wind
being against us, we made but little headway, and were fain to get
to shore at Point Comfort, where yet we found but small comfort.
For the weather was so cold that though we made a good fire in the
woods to lie by, the water that we had brought for our use was
frozen near the fireside. We made to sea again next day; but the
wind being strong and against us, we advanced but little. We were
glad to get to land again, and travelled about to find some house
where we might buy provisions, for our store was spent.
    That night, also, we lay in the woods; and so extremely cold
was the weather, the wind blowing high, and the frost and snow
being great, that it was hard for some of us to abide it.
    On the 3d, the wind setting pretty fair, we fetched it up by
sailing and rowing, and got that night to Milford Haven, where we
lay at Richard Long’s, near Quince’s Island.
    Next day we passed by Rappahannock River, where dwell many
people; and Friends had a meeting there at the house of a justice,
who had formerly been at a meeting where I was.
    We passed over Potomac River also, the winds being high, the
water very rough, our sloop open, and the weather extremely cold;
and had a meeting there also, where some people were convinced.
When we parted thence, some of our company went amongst them. We
next steered our course for Patuxent River. I sat at the helm the
greater part of the day, and some of the night. About the first
hour in the morning we reached James Preston’s house, on Patuxent
River, which is about two hundred miles from Nancemond in
    We were very weary; yet the next day being the first of the
week, we went to the meeting not far from there. The same week we
went to an Indian king’s cabin, where were several of the Indians,
with whom we had a good opportunity to discourse; and they carried
themselves very lovingly. We went also that week to a general
meeting; then about eighteen miles further to John Geary’s, where
we had a very precious meeting; praised be the Lord God for ever!
    After this the cold grew so exceedingly sharp, the frost and
snow so extreme, beyond what was usual in that country, that we
could hardly endure it. Neither was it easy or safe to stir out;
yet we got, with some difficulty, six miles through the snow to
John Mayor’s, where we met with some Friends come from New
England, whom we had left there when we came away; and glad we
were to see each other, after so long and tedious travels.
    By these Friends we understood that William Edmundson, having
been at Rhode Island and New England, was gone thence for Ireland;
that Solomon Eccles, coming from Jamaica and landing at Boston in
New England, was taken at a meeting there, and banished to
Barbadoes; that John Stubbs and another Friend were gone into New
Jersey, and several other Friends to Barbadoes, Jamaica, and the
Leeward Islands. It was matter of joy to us to understand that the
work of the Lord went on and prospered, and that Friends were
unwearied and diligent in the service.
    The 27th of the Eleventh month we had a very precious meeting
in a tobacco-house. The next day we returned to James Preston’s,
about eighteen miles distant. When we came there, we found his
house had been burnt to the ground the night before, through the
carelessness of a maid-servant; so we lay three nights on the
ground by the fire, the weather being very cold.
    We made an observation which was somewhat strange, but
certainly true; that one day, in the midst of this cold weather,
the wind turning into the south, it grew so hot that we could
hardly bear the heat; and the next day and night, the wind
chopping back into the north, we could hardly endure the cold.
    Having travelled through most parts of that country, and
visited most of the plantations, and having sounded the alarm to
all people where we came, and proclaimed the day of God’s
salvation amongst them, we found our spirits began to be clear of
these parts of the world, and draw towards Old England again. Yet
we were desirous, and felt freedom from the Lord, to stay over the
general meeting for the province of Maryland, which drew nigh;
that we might see Friends generally together before we departed.
    Spending our time in the interim in visiting Friends and
Friendly people, in attending meetings about the Clips and
Patuxent, and in writing answers to cavilling objections which
some of Truth’s adversaries had raised and spread abroad to hinder
people from receiving the Truth, we were not idle, but laboured in
the work of the Lord until that general provincial meeting came
on, which began on the 17th of the Third month, and lasted four
days. On the first of these the men and women had their meetings
for business, wherein the affairs of the Church were taken care
of, and many things relating thereto were opened unto them, to
their edification and comfort.
    The other three days were spent in public meetings for the
worship of God, at which diverse of considerable account in the
government, and many others, were present. These were generally
satisfied, and many of them reached; for it was a wonderful,
glorious meeting, and the mighty presence of the Lord was seen and
felt over all; blessed and praised for ever be His holy name, who
over all giveth dominion!
    After this meeting we took our leave of Friends, parting in
great tenderness, in the sense of the heavenly life and virtuous
power of the Lord that was livingly felt amongst us; and went by
water to the place where we were to take shipping, many Friends
accompanying us thither and tarrying with us that night.
    Next day, the 21st of the Third month, 1673, we set sail for
England; the same day Richard Covell came on board our ship,
having had his own taken from him by the Dutch.
    We had foul weather and contrary winds, which caused us to
cast anchor often, so that we were till the 31st ere we could get
past the capes of Virginia and out into the main sea. But after
this we made good speed, and on the 28th of the Fourth month cast
anchor at King’s Road, which is the harbour for Bristol.
    We had on our passage very high winds and tempestuous
weather, which made the sea exceedingly rough, the waves rising
like mountains; so that the masters and sailors wondered at it,
and said they had never seen the like before. But though the wind
was strong it set for the most part with us, so that we sailed
before it; and the great God who commands the winds, who is Lord
of heaven, of earth, and the seas, and whose wonders are seen in
the deep, steered our course and preserved us from many imminent
dangers. The same good hand of Providence that went with us, and
carried us safely over, watched over us in our return, and brought
us safely back again; thanksgiving and praises be to his holy name
for ever!
    Many sweet and precious meetings we had on board the ship
during this voyage (commonly two a week), wherein the blessed
presence of the Lord did greatly refresh us, and often break in
upon and tender the company.
    When we came into Bristol harbour, there lay a man-of-war,
and the press-master came on board to impress our men. We had a
meeting at that time in the ship with the seamen, before we went
to shore; and the press-master sat down with us, stayed the
meeting, and was well satisfied with it. After the meeting I spoke
to him to leave in our ship two of the men he had impressed, for
he had impressed four, one of whom was a lame man. He said, “At
your request I will.”
    We went on shore that afternoon, and got to Shirehampton. We
procured horses and rode to Bristol that night, where Friends
received us with great joy. In the evening I wrote a letter to my
wife, to give her notice of my landing.[224]

                        CHAPTER XIX.
                    The Last Imprisonment.

    Between this and the fair, my wife came out of the North to
Bristol to me, and her son-in-law, Thomas Lower, with two of her
daughters,[225] came with her. Her other son-in-law, John Rous,
William Penn and his wife, and Gerrard Roberts, came from London,
and many Friends from several parts of the nation to the fair; and
glorious, powerful meetings we had at that time, for the Lord’s
infinite power and life was over all.
    I passed into Wiltshire, where also we had many blessed
meetings. At Slattenford, in Wiltshire, we had a very good
meeting, though we met there with much opposition from some who
had set themselves against women’s meetings; which I was moved of
the Lord to recommend to Friends, for the benefit and advantage of
the Church of Christ,[226] “that faithful women, who were called
to the belief of the Truth, being made partakers of the same
precious faith, and heirs of the same everlasting gospel of life
and salvation with the men, might in like manner come into the
possession and practice of the gospel order, and therein be
helpmeets unto the men in the restoration,[227] in the service of
Truth, in the affairs of the Church, as they are outwardly in
civil, or temporal things; that so all the family of God, women as
well as men, might know, possess, perform, and discharge their
offices and services in the house of God, whereby the poor might
be better taken care of, the younger instructed, informed, and
taught in the way of God; the loose and disorderly reproved and
admonished in the fear of the Lord; the clearness of persons
proposing marriage more closely and strictly inquired into in the
wisdom of God; and all the members of the spiritual body, the
Church, might watch over and be helpful to each other in love.”
    After a visit at Kingston, I went to London, where I found
the Baptists and Socinians, with some old apostates, grown very
rude, having printed many books against us; so that I had a great
travail in the Lord’s power, before I could get clear of that
city. But blessed be the Lord, his power came over them, and all
their lying, wicked, scandalous books were answered.

    [After a visit with William Penn at the latter’s home at
Rickmansworth, he started on his journey north towards Swarthmore,
accompanied by his wife, two of her daughters and his son-in-law,
Thomas Lower, a journey which led to more than a year’s
imprisonment — his last imprisonment, as it proved.]

    At night, as I was sitting at supper, I felt I was taken; yet
I said nothing then to any one of it. But getting out next
morning, we travelled into Worcestershire, and went to John
Halford’s, at Armscott, where we had a very large and precious
meeting in his barn, the Lord’s powerful presence being eminently
with and amongst us.
    After the meeting, Friends being most of them gone, as I was
sitting in the parlour, discoursing with some Friends, Henry
Parker, a justice, came to the house, and with him one Rowland
Hains, a priest of Hunniton, in Warwickshire. This justice heard
of the meeting by means of a woman Friend, who, being nurse to a
child of his, asked leave of her mistress to go to the meeting to
see me; and she speaking of it to her husband, he and the priest
plotted together to come and break it up and apprehend me.
    But from their sitting long at dinner, it being the day on
which his child was sprinkled, they did not come till the meeting
was over, and Friends mostly gone. But though there was no meeting
when they came, yet I, who was the person they aimed at, being in
the house, Henry Parker took me, and Thomas Lower for company with
me; and though he had nothing to lay to our charge, sent us both
to Worcester jail, by a strange sort of mittimus.
    Being thus made prisoners, without any probable appearance of
being released before the quarter-sessions at soonest, we got some
Friends to accompany my wife and her daughter into the north, and
we were conveyed to Worcester. Thence, by the time I thought my
wife would reach home, I wrote her the following letter:

    “Dear Heart:
    “Thou seemedst to be a little grieved when I was speaking of
prisons, and when I was taken. Be content with the will of the
Lord God. For when I was at John Rous’s, at Kingston, I had a
sight of my being taken prisoner; and when I was at Bray Doily’s,
in Oxfordshire, as I sat at supper, I saw I was taken, and I saw I
had a suffering to undergo. But the Lord’s power is over all;
blessed be His holy name forever!
    G. F.”[228]

    [This imprisonment began December 17th, 1673. The case was
brought before the sessions on the 21st of January, 1674. “When we
came in,” he writes, “they were stricken with paleness in their
faces, and it was some time before anything was spoken; insomuch
that a butcher in the hall said, ‘What, are they afraid? Dare not
the justices speak to them?'” There was manifestly no case against
them on the mittimus, but the judge, at the suggestion of the
“priest,” took the easy way to catch them. “You, Mr. Fox, are a
famous man, and all this may be true which you have said: but,
that me may be the better satisfied, will you take the oaths of
allegiance and supremacy?” The usual refusal was given, followed
with the penalty of praemunire. During this long imprisonment he
had the promise of a pardon from the king, but he refused to get
his liberty by any method which implied that he had done wrong and
needed pardon. At the next sessions, in April, he got a temporary
liberty, so that he went to London and attended yearly meeting,
after which he returned to Worcester for a new trial, which ended
in the same old way. Meantime the strong man’s constitution was
yielding to the incessant strain upon it.]

    About this time I had a fit of sickness, which brought me
very low and weak in my body; and I continued so a pretty while,
insomuch that some Friends began to doubt of my recovery. I seemed
to myself to be amongst the graves and dead corpses; yet the
invisible power did secretly support me, and conveyed refreshing
strength into me, even when I was so weak that I was almost
speechless. One night, as I was lying awake upon my bed in the
glory of the Lord which was over all, it was said unto me that the
Lord had a great deal more work for me to do for Him before He
took me to Himself.
    After this [about October 1st, 1674] my wife went to London,
and spoke to the King, laying before him my long and unjust
imprisonment, with the manner of my being taken, and the justices’
proceedings against me, in tendering me the oath as a snare,
whereby they had praemunired me; so that I being now his prisoner,
it was in his power, and at his pleasure, to release me, which she
    The King spoke kindly to her, and referred her to the Lord-
Keeper; to whom she went; but she could not obtain what she
desired, for he said the King could not release me otherwise than
by a pardon, and I was not free to receive a pardon, knowing I had
not done evil. If I would have been freed by a pardon, I need not
have lain so long, for the King was willing to give me pardon long
before, and told Thomas Moore that I need not scruple, being
released by a pardon, for many a man that was as innocent as a
child had had a pardon granted him; yet I could not consent to
have one. For I would rather have lain in prison all my days, than
have come out in any way dishonourable to Truth; therefore I chose
to have the validity of my indictment tried before the judges.
    Thereupon, having first had the opinion of a counsellor upon
it (Thomas Corbet, of London, with whom Richard Davis, of
Welchpool, was well acquainted, and whom he recommended to me), an
habeas corpus was sent down to Worcester to bring me up once more
to the King’s Bench bar, for the trial of the errors in my
indictment. The undersheriff set forward with me the 4th of the
Twelfth month.
    We came to London on the 8th, and on the 11th I was brought
before the four judges at the King’s Bench, where Counsellor
Corbet pleaded my cause. He started a new plea; for he told the
judges that they could not imprison any man upon a praemunire.
    Chief-Justice Hale said, “Mr. Corbet, you should have come
sooner, at the beginning of the term, with this plea.”
    He answered, “We could not get a copy of the return and the
    The Judge replied, “You should have told us, and we would
have forced them to make a return sooner.”
    Then said Judge Wild, “Mr. Corbet, you go upon general terms;
and if it be as you say, we have committed many errors at the Old
Bailey, and in other courts.”
    Corbet was positive that by law they could not imprison upon
a praemunire.
    The Judge said, “There is summons in the statute.”
    “Yes,” said Corbet, “but summons is not imprisonment; for
summons is in order to a trial.”
    “Well,” said the Judge, “we must have time to look in our
books and consult the statutes.” So the hearing was put off till
the next day.
    The next day they chose rather to let this plea fall and
begin with the errors of the indictment; and when they came to be
opened, they were so many and gross that the judges were all of
opinion that the indictment was quashed and void, and that I ought
to have my liberty.
    There were that day several great men, lords and others, who
had the oaths of allegiance and supremacy tendered to them in open
court, just before my trial came on; and some of my adversaries
moved the judges that the oaths might be tendered again to me,
telling them I was a dangerous man to be at liberty.
    But Chief-Justice Hale[229] said that he had indeed heard
some such reports, but he had also heard many more good reports of
me; and so he and the rest of the judges ordered me to be freed by
    Thus after I had suffered imprisonment a year and almost two
months for nothing, I was fairly set at liberty upon a trial of
the errors in my indictment, without receiving any pardon, or
coming under any obligation or engagement at all; and the Lord’s
everlasting power went over all, to His glory and praise.
    Counsellor Corbet, who pleaded for me, obtained great fame by
it, for many of the lawyers came to him and told him he had
brought that to light which had not been known before, as to the
not imprisoning upon a praemunire; and after the trial a judge
said to him, “You have attained a great deal of honour by pleading
George Fox’s cause so in court.”[230]
    Being at liberty, I visited Friends in London; and having
been very weak, and not yet well recovered, I went to Kingston;
and having visited Friends there, returned to London, wrote a
paper to the Parliament, and sent several books to them.
    A great book against swearing had been delivered to them a
little before; the reasonableness whereof had so much influence,
that it was thought they would have done something towards our
relief if they had sat longer. I stayed in and near London till
the yearly meeting, to which Friends came from most parts of the
nation, and some from beyond sea. A glorious meeting we had in the
everlasting power of God.
    The illness I got in my imprisonment at Worcester had so much
weakened me that it was long before I recovered my natural
strength again. For which reason, and as many things lay upon me
to write, both for public and private service, I did not stir much
abroad during the time that I now stayed in the north; but when
Friends were not with me, I spent much time in writing for Truth’s
service. While I was at Swarthmore, I gave several books to be

    [This letter to his “Dear Heart” from York during the winter
of 1677 shows that he still had some power of endurance left.]

    “To whom is my love, and to thy daughters, and to all Friends
that inquire after me. My desires are that ye all may be preserved
in the Lord’s everlasting Seed, in whom ye will have life and
peace, dominion and settlement, in the everlasting home or
dwelling in the house built upon the foundation of God.
    “In the power of the Lord I am brought to York, having had
many meetings in the way. The road was many times deep and bad
with snow, our horses sometimes were down, and we were not able to
ride; and sometimes we had great storms and rain; but by the power
of the Lord I went through all.
    “At Scarhouse there was a very large meeting, and at Burrowby
another, to which Friends came out of Cleveland and Durham; and
many other meetings we have had. At York, yesterday, we had a very
large meeting, exceedingly thronged, Friends being at it from many
parts, and all quiet, and well satisfied. Oh the glory of the Lord
that shone over all!
    “This day we have had a large men’s and women’s meeting, many
Friends, both men and women, being come out of the country, and
all was quiet. This evening we are to have the men’s and women’s
meeting of the Friends of the city.
    “John Whitehead is here, with Robert Lodge and others;
Friends are mighty glad, above measure. So I am in my holy element
and holy work in the Lord; glory to His name for ever! To-morrow I
intend to go out of the city towards Tadcaster, though I cannot
ride as in days past; yet praised be the Lord that I can travel as
well as I do!
    “So with my love in the fountain of life, in which as ye all
abide ye will have refreshment of life, that by it we may grow and
gather eternal strength to serve the Lord, and be satisfied, to
the God of all power, who is all-sufficient to preserve you, I
commit you all.
    G. F.
    “York, the 16th of the Second month [April] 1677.”

    [After much service in several counties, he returns to
London. The Journal proceeds:]

    It pleased the Lord to bring me safe to London, though much
wearied; for though I rode not very far in a day, yet, through
weakness of body, continual travelling was hard to me. Besides, I
had not much rest at night to refresh nature; for I often sat up
late with Friends, where I lodged, to inform and advise them in
things wherein they were wanting; and when in bed I was often
hindered of sleep by great pains in my head and teeth, occasioned,
as I thought, from cold taken by riding often in the rain. But the
Lord’s power was over all, and carried me through all, to His
    To the London Yearly Meeting[232] many Friends came from most
parts of the nation; and some out of Scotland, Holland, etc. Very
glorious meetings we had, wherein the Lord’s powerful presence was
very largely felt; and the affairs of Truth were sweetly carried
on in the unity of the Spirit, to the satisfaction and comfort of
the upright-hearted; blessed be the Lord for ever!
    After the yearly meeting, having stayed a week or two with
Friends in London, I went down with William Penn to his house in
Sussex,[233] John Burnyeat and some other Friends being with us.
As we passed through Surrey, hearing the quarterly meeting was
that day, William Penn, John Burnyeat, and I, went from the road
to it; and after the meeting returning to our other company, went
with them to William Penn’s that night; which is forty miles from
    I stayed at Worminghurst about three weeks; in which time
John Burnyeat and I answered a very envious and wicked book, which
Roger Williams, a priest of New England (or some colony
thereabouts) had written against Truth and Friends.[234]
    When we had finished that service, we went with Stephen Smith
to his house at Warpledon in Surrey, where we had a large meeting.
Friends thereaway had been exceedingly plundered about two months
before on the priest’s account; for they took from Stephen Smith
five kine (being all he had) for about fifty shillings tithes.
    Thence we went to Kingston, and so to London, where I stayed
not long; for it was upon me from the Lord to go into Holland, to
visit Friends and to preach the gospel there, and in some parts of
Germany. Wherefore, setting things in order for my journey as fast
as I could, I took leave of Friends at London; and with several
other Friends went down to Colchester, in order to my passage for
    Next day, being First-day, I was at the public meeting of
Friends there, which was very large and peaceable. In the evening
I had another large one, but not so public, at John Furly’s house,
where I lodged. The day following I was at the women’s meeting
there, which also was very large.
    Thence next day we passed to Harwich, where Robert Duncan,
and several other Friends out of the country, came to see us; and
some from London came to us there, that intended to go over with
    The packet in which we were to go not being ready, we went to
the meeting in the town, and a precious opportunity we had
together; for the Lord, according to His wonted goodness, by His
overcoming, refreshing power, opened many mouths to declare His
everlasting Truth, to praise and glorify Him.
    After the meeting at Harwich we returned to John Vandewall’s,
where I had lodged; and when the boat was ready, taking leave of
Friends, we that were bound for Holland went on board about nine
in the evening, on the 25th of the Fifth month, 1677. The Friends
that went over with me, were William Penn, Robert Barclay, George
Keith and his wife, John Furly and his brother, William Tallcoat,
George Watts, and Isabel Yeomans, one of my wife’s daughters.
    About one in the morning we weighed anchor, having a fair
brisk wind, which by next morning brought us within sight of
Holland. But that day proving very clear and calm we got forward
little, till about four in the afternoon, when a fresh gale arose
which carried us within a league of land. Then being becalmed
again, we cast anchor for that night, it being between the hours
of nine and ten in the evening.
    William Penn and Robert Barclay, understanding that Benjamin
Furly was come from Rotterdam to the Briel to meet us, got two of
the boatmen to let down a small boat that belonged to the packet,
and row them to shore; but before they could reach it the gates
were shut; and there being no house without the gates, they lay in
a fisherman’s boat all night.
    As soon as the gates were opened in the morning, they went
in, and found Benjamin Furly, with other Friends of Rotterdam,
that were come thither to receive us; and they sent a boat, with
three young men in it, that lived with Benjamin Furly, who brought
us to the Briel, where the Friends received us with great
    We stayed about two hours to refresh ourselves, and then took
boat, with the Holland Friends, for Rotterdam, where we arrived
about eleven that day, the 28th of the month. I was very well this
voyage, but some of the Friends were sea-sick. A fine passage we
had, and all came safe and well to land; blessed and praised be
the name of the Lord for ever!
    Next day, being First-day, we had two meetings at Benjamin
Furly’s, where many of the townspeople and some officers came in,
and all were civil. Benjamin Furly, or John Claus, a Friend of
Amsterdam, interpreted, when any Friend declared. I spent the next
day in visiting Friends there.
    The day following, William Penn and I, with other Friends,
went towards Amsterdam with some Friends of that city, who came to
Rotterdam to conduct us thither. We took boat in the afternoon,
and, passing by Overkirk, came to Delft, through which we walked
on foot.
    We then took boat again to Leyden, where we lodged that night
at an inn. This is six Dutch miles from Rotterdam, which are
eighteen English miles, and five hours’ sail or travelling; for
our boat was drawn by a horse that went on the shore.
    Next day, taking boat again, we went to Haarlem, fourteen
miles from Leyden, where we had appointed a meeting, which proved
very large; for many of the townspeople came in, and two of their
preachers. The Lord gave us a blessed opportunity, not only with
respect to Friends, but to other sober people, and the meeting
ended peaceably and well. After it we passed to Amsterdam.

    [After a conference the following meetings were established
or “settled.”]

    A monthly, a quarterly, and a yearly meeting, to be held at
Amsterdam for Friends in all the United Provinces of Holland, and
in Embden, the Palatinate, Hamburg, Frederickstadt, Dantzic, and
other places in and about Germany; which Friends were glad of, and
it has been of great service to Truth.

    [One of the most interesting episodes of this journey was the
visit paid by George Keith’s wife and Fox’s step-daughter, Isabel
Yeomans, to the Princess Elizabeth, to whom Fox sent a personal
letter. “Princess Elizabeth” was the daughter of the unfortunate
Frederick, Elector Palatine, and granddaughter of James the first
of England. She was a woman of great spiritual gifts and of
considerable intellectual power. She was the friend and
correspondent of the philosopher Des Cartes. She had, previous to
this visit, made the acquaintance (which developed into close
friendship) of William Penn and Robert Barclay. She frequently
used her influence upon her uncle, King Charles, and her brother,
Prince Rupert, to secure the release of Friends from the prisons
of England and Scotland. Her answer to George Fox’s letter is as

    “Dear Friend:
    “I cannot but have a tender love to those that love the Lord
Jesus Christ, and to whom it is given, not only to believe in Him,
but also to suffer for Him; therefore your letter and your
Friends’ visit have been both very welcome to me. I shall follow
their and your counsel as far as God will afford me light and
unction; remaining still your loving friend,
    “Hertford [Westphalia], the 30th of August, 1677.”

    [Twice we get glimpses of the great world movements which
just then had these Low Countries for their stage. In the great
struggle with Louis XIV, the dykes had been cut and much of the
country was under water. Here is an experience in East Friesland:]
    One of the magistrates of that city [Groningen] came with us
from Leeuwarden, with whom I had some discourse on the way, and he
was very loving. We walked nearly two miles through the city, and
then took boat for Delfziel; and passing in the evening through a
town called Appingdalem, where had been a great horse-fair that
day, there came many officers rushing into the boat, and being
somewhat in drink, they were very rude. I spoke to them, exhorting
them to fear the Lord, and beware of Solomon’s vanities. They were
boisterous fellows; yet somewhat more civil afterwards.

    [The other circumstance which connects Fox here with history
is his epistle written to the Peace Ambassadors in the city of
Nimeguen. The entry in the Journal says: “I wrote an epistle to
the ambassadors who were treating for a peace at Nimeguen.” This
is dated Amsterdam, the 21st of 7th mo. (September), 1677. It
concludes with these words:]

    “From him who is a lover of Truth, righteousness, and peace,
who desires your temporal and eternal good; and that in the wisdom
of God that is from above, pure, gentle, and peaceable, you may be
ordered, and order all things, that God hath committed to you, to
His glory; and stop those things among Christians, so far as you
have power, which dishonour God, Christ, and Christianity!
    “G. F.”

    [Here is an incident of travel in Germany.]

    Being clear of Hamburg, we took leave of Friends there, whom
we left well; and taking John Hill with us, passed by boat to a
city in the Duke of Luneburg’s country; where, after we were
examined by the guards, we were taken to the main-guard, and there
examined more strictly; but after they found we were not soldiers,
they were civil, and let us pass.
    In the afternoon we travelled by wagon, and the waters being
much out, by reason of heavy rains, when it drew towards night we
hired a boy on the way to guide us through a great water we had to
pass. When we came to it, the water was so deep, before we could
come at the bridge, that the wagoner had to wade, and I drove the
    When we were come on the bridge, the horses broke part of it
down, and one of them fell into the water, the wagon standing upon
that part of the bridge which remained unbroken; and it was the
Lord’s mercy to us that the wagon did not run into the brook. When
they had got the horse out, he lay a while as if dead; but at
length they got him up, put him to the wagon again, and laid the
planks right; and then, through the goodness of the Lord to us, we
got safe over.
    After this we came to another water. Finding it to be very
deep, and it being in the night, we hired two men to help us
through, who put cords to the wagon to hold it by, that the force
of the water might not drive it from the way. But when we came
into it, the stream was so strong that it took one of the horses
off his legs, and was carrying him down the stream. I called to
the wagoner to pluck him to him by his reins, which he did, and
the horse recovered his legs; and with much difficulty we got over
the bridge, and went to Bremerhaven, the town where the wagoner
    It was the last day of the Sixth month that we escaped these
dangers; and it being about eleven at night when we came in here,
we got some fresh straw, and lay upon it until about four in the
morning. Then, getting up, we set forward again towards Bremen, by
wagon and boat.
    On the way I had good opportunities to publish Truth among
the people, especially at a market-town, where we stayed to change
our passage. Here I declared the Truth to the people, warning them
of the day of the Lord, that was coming upon all flesh; and
exhorting them to righteousness, telling them that God was come to
teach His people Himself, and that they should turn to the Lord,
and hearken to the teachings of His Spirit in their own hearts.

    [While the work was going forward in these fresh fields,
trouble was increasing at home, as this brief letter shows:]

    Next day, feeling a concern upon my mind with relation to
those seducing spirits that made division among Friends, and being
sensible that they endeavoured to insinuate themselves into the
affectionate part, I was moved to write a few lines to Friends
concerning them, as follows:
    “All these that set up themselves in the affections of the
people, set up themselves, and the affections of the people, and
not Christ. But Friends, your peaceable habitation in the Truth,
which is everlasting, and changes not, will outlast all the
habitations of those that are out of the Truth, be they ever so
full of words. So they that are so keen for John Story and John
Wilkinson, let them take them, and the separation; and you that
have given your testimony against that spirit, stand in your
testimony, till they answer by condemnation. Do not strive, nor
make bargains with that which is out of the Truth; nor save that
alive to be a sacrifice for God, which should be slain, lest you
lose your kingdom.
    “G. F.”
    Amsterdam, the 14th of the Seventh month, 1677.”

    After some time George Keith and William Penn came back from
Germany[235] to Amsterdam, and had a dispute with one Galenus
Abrahams (one of the most noted Baptists in Holland), at which
many professors were present; but not having time to finish the
dispute then, they met again, two days after, and the Baptist was
much confounded, and Truth gained ground.[236]
    Finding our spirits clear of the service which the Lord had
given us to do in Holland, we took leave of Friends of Rotterdam,
and passed by boat to the Briel, in order to take passage that day
for England. Several Friends of Rotterdam accompanied us, and some
of Amsterdam, who were come to see us again before we left
Holland. But the packet not coming in till night, we lodged that
night at the Briel; and next day, being the 21st of the Eighth
month, and the first day of the week, we went on board, and set
sail about ten, viz., William Penn, George Keith, and I, and
Gertrude Dirick Nieson with her children.
    We were in all about sixty passengers, and had a long and
hazardous passage; for the winds were contrary and the weather
stormy. The boat also was very leaky, insomuch that we had to have
two pumps continually going, day and night; so that it was thought
there was quite as much water pumped out as the vessel would have
held. But the Lord, who is able to make the stormy winds to cease,
and the raging waves of the sea calm, yea, to raise them and stop
them at His pleasure, He alone did preserve us; praised be His
name for ever!
    Though our passage was hard, yet we had a fine time, and good
service for Truth on board among the passengers, some of whom were
great folks, and were very kind and loving. We arrived at Harwich
on the 23d, at night, having been two nights and almost three days
at sea.
    Next morning William Penn and George Keith took horse for
Colchester; but I stayed, and had a meeting at Harwich. There
being no Colchester coach there, and the postmaster’s wife being
unreasonable in her demands for a coach, and deceiving us of it
also after we had hired it, we went to a Friend’s house about a
mile and a half in the country, and hired his wagon, which we
bedded well with straw and rode in it to Colchester.
    I stayed there till First-day, having a desire to be at
Friends’ meeting that day; and a very large and weighty one it
was; for Friends, hearing of my return from Holland, flocked from
several parts of the country, and many of the townspeople coming
in also, it was thought there were about a thousand people at it;
and all was peaceable.
    I stayed at Bristol all the time of the fair, and some time
after. Many sweet and precious meetings we had; many Friends being
there from several parts of the nation, some on account of trade,
and some in the service of Truth. Great was the love and unity of
Friends that abode faithful in the Truth, though some who were
gone out of the holy unity, and were run into strife, division,
and enmity, were rude and abusive, and behaved themselves in a
very unchristian manner towards me.[237]
    But the Lord’s power was over all; by which being preserved
in heavenly patience, which can bear injuries for His name’s sake,
I felt dominion therein over the rough, rude, and unruly spirits;
and left them to the Lord, who knew my innocency, and would plead
my cause. The more these laboured to reproach and vilify me, the
more did the love of Friends that were sincere and upright-
hearted, abound towards me; and some that had been betrayed by the
adversaries seeing their envy and rude behaviour, broke off from
    About two weeks after I came to London, the yearly meeting
began, to which Friends came up out of most parts of the nation,
and a glorious, heavenly meeting we had. Oh, the glory, majesty,
love, life, wisdom, and unity, that were amongst us! The power
reigned over all, and many testimonies were borne therein against
that ungodly spirit which sought to make rents and divisions
amongst the Lord’s people; but not one mouth was opened amongst us
in its defense, or on its behalf.
    Good and comfortable accounts also we had, for the most part,
from Friends in other countries; of which I find a brief account
in a letter which soon after I wrote to my wife, the copy whereof
here follows:

    “Dear Heart:
    “To whom is my love in the everlasting Seed of life that
reigns over all. Great meetings here have been, and the Lord’s
power hath been stirring through all. The Lord hath in His power
knit Friends wonderfully together, and His glorious presence did
appear among them. And now the meetings are over, blessed be the
Lord! in quietness and peace.
    “From Holland I hear things are well there: some Friends are
gone that way, to be at their Yearly Meeting at Amsterdam. At
Embden, Friends that were banished are got into the city again.
    “At Dantzic, Friends are in prison, and the magistrates
threatened them with harder imprisonment; but the next day the
Lutherans rose, and plucked down (or defaced) the Popish
monastery; so they have work enough among themselves.
    “The King of Poland received my letter, and read it himself;
and Friends have since printed it in High Dutch.[238] By letters
from the Half-Yearly Meeting in Ireland, I hear that they are all
in love there.
    “At Barbadoes, Friends are in quietness, and their meetings
settled in peace. At Antigua also, and Nevis, Truth prospers, and
Friends have their meetings orderly and well. Likewise in New
England and other places, things concerning Truth and Friends are
well; and in those places the men’s and women’s meetings are
settled; blessed be the Lord!
    “So keep in God’s power and Seed, that is over all, in whom
ye all have life and salvation; for the Lord reigns over all in
His glory, and in His kingdom; glory to His name forever, Amen.
    “In haste, with my love to you all, and to all Friends.
    G. F.
    “London, the 26th of the Third month, 1678.”

                          CHAPTER XX.
                “The Seed Reigns over Death”

    [The year 1679 was spent almost entirely in retirement at
Swarthmore, but in 1680 the activity and travels begin again. This
last decade of Fox’s life finds him much of the time in or about
London, for there are new storms to be met, and he could not lie
at ease in the “North.” The Wilkinson-Story movement in opposition
to a settled system of government and discipline made his presence
in the “South” necessary. But even more than for this was he
concerned over the fresh spasm of persecution which during the
closing years of Charles’ reign filled the prisons and jails with
Quakers. Whenever or wherever the “Conventicle Act” was enforced
Friends were sure to have the large end of the suffering to bear.]

    After this I was moved of the Lord to visit Friends in some
parts of Surrey and Sussex. I went to Kingston by water, and
tarried certain days; for while I was there, the Lord laid it upon
me to write both to the great Turk, and the Dey of Algiers,
severally, to warn them, and the people under them, to turn from
their wickedness, fear the Lord, and do justly; lest the judgments
of God should come upon them, and destroy them without remedy. To
the Algerines I wrote more particularly concerning the cruelty
they exercised towards Friends and others, whom they held captives
in Algiers.
    At Hertford I met with John Story, and some others of his
party; but the testimony of Truth went over them, and kept them
down, so that the meeting was quiet.
    It was on a First-day; and the next day being the men’s and
women’s meeting for business, I visited them also, and the rather
because some in that place had let in a disesteem of them.
Wherefore I was moved to open the service of those meetings, and
the usefulness and benefit thereof to the Church of Christ, as the
Lord opened the thing in me; and it was of good service to
    I had a meeting also with some of those that were gone into
strife and contention, to show them wherein they were wrong; and
having cleared myself of them, I left them to the Lord.
    I abode at London most part of this winter,[239] having much
service for the Lord there, both in and out of meetings: for as it
was a time of great suffering among Friends, I was drawn in spirit
to visit Friends’ meetings more frequently; to encourage and
strengthen them both by exhortation and example. The Parliament
also was sitting, and Friends were diligent in waiting upon them,
to lay their grievances before them.
    We received fresh accounts almost every day of the sad
sufferings Friends underwent in many parts of the nation. In
seeking relief for my suffering brethren I spent much time;
together with other Friends, who were freely given up to that
service, attending at the Parliament-House for many days together,
and watching all opportunities to speak with such members of
either House as would hear our just complaints.
    Indeed, some of these were very courteous to us, and appeared
willing to help us if they could; but the Parliament being then
earnest in examining the Popish plot, and contriving ways to
discover such as were Popishly affected, our adversaries took
advantage against us (because they knew we could not swear nor
fight) to expose us to those penalties that were made against
Papists; though they knew in their consciences that we were no
Papists, and had had experience of us, that we were no plotters.

    Sufferings continuing severe upon Friends at London,[240] I
found my service lay mostly there; wherefore I went but little out
of town, and not far; being frequent at the most public meetings,
to encourage Friends, both by word and example, to stand fast in
the testimony to which God had called them.
    At other times I went about from house to house, visiting
Friends that had their goods taken away for their testimony to
Truth; because the wicked informers were grown very audacious, by
reason that they had too much countenance and encouragement from
some justices, who trusting wholly to their information, proceeded
against Friends without hearing them; whereby many were made to
suffer, not only contrary to right, but even contrary to law
    Now I had some inclination to go into the country to a
meeting, but hearing that there would be a bustle at our meetings,
and feeling a great disquietness in people’s spirits in the city
about choosing sheriffs, it was upon me to stay in the city, and
go to the meeting in Gracechurch street upon the first day of the
week. William Penn went with me, and spoke; and while he was
declaring the Truth to the people, a constable came in with his
great staff, and bade him give over, and come down; but he
continued, declaring Truth in the power of God.
    After a while the constable drew back, and when William Penn
had done, I stood up, and declared to the people the everlasting
gospel, which was preached in the apostles’ days, and to Abraham;
and which the Church in the apostles’ days received, and came to
be heirs of.
    As I was thus speaking, two constables came in with their
great staves, and bade me give over speaking, and come down; but,
feeling the power of the Lord with me, I spoke on therein, both to
the constables and to the people. To the constables I declared
that we were a peaceable people, who meet to wait upon God, and
worship Him in spirit and in truth; and therefore they needed not
to come with their staves amongst us, who were met in a peaceable
manner, desiring and seeking the good and salvation of all people.
    Then turning my speech to the people again, I declared what
further was upon me to them; and while I was speaking, the
constables drew out towards the door; and the soldiers stood with
their muskets in the yard.
    When I had done speaking, I kneeled down and prayed, desiring
the Lord to open the eyes and hearts of all people, both high and
low, that their minds might be turned to God by His Holy Spirit;
that He might be glorified in all and over all. After prayer the
meeting rose, and Friends passed away; the constables being come
in again, but without the soldiers; and indeed, both they and the
soldiers carried themselves civilly.
    William Penn and I went into a room hard by, as we used to
do, and many Friends went with us, and lest the constables should
think we would shun them, a Friend went down and told them that if
they would have anything with us, they might come where we were,
if they pleased.
    On First-day it was upon me to go to Devonshire-House meeting
in the afternoon; and because I had heard Friends were kept out
there that morning (as they were that day at most meetings about
the city), I went sooner, and got into the yard before the
soldiers came to guard the passages. But the constables were there
before me, and stood in the doorway with their staves.
    I asked them to let me go in. They said they could not, durst
not; for they were commanded the contrary, and were sorry for it.
    I told them I would not press upon them; so I stood by, and
they were very civil.
    I stood till I was weary, and then one gave me a stool to sit
down on; and after a while the power of the Lord began to spring
up among Friends, and one began to speak.
    The constables soon forbade him, and said he should not
speak; and he not stopping, they began to be wroth. But I gently
laid my hand upon one of the constables, and wished him to let the
Friend alone. The constable did so, and was quiet; and the man did
not speak long. After he had done, I was moved to stand up and
    I then sat down; and after a while I was moved to pray. The
power of the Lord was over all; and the people, the constables and
soldiers put off their hats.
    When the meeting was done, and Friends began to pass away,
the constable put off his hat, and desired the Lord to bless us;
for the power of the Lord was over him and the people, and kept
them under.
    I tarried in and near London, visiting Friends’ meetings, and
labouring in the service of the gospel, till the yearly meeting
came on, which began on the 28th of the Third month. It was a time
of great sufferings; and much concerned I was lest Friends that
came up out of the country on the Church’s service, should be
taken and imprisoned at London. But the Lord was with us; His
power preserved us, and gave us a sweet and blessed opportunity to
wait upon Him, to be refreshed together in Him, and to perform His
services for His truth and people for which we met.
    As it was a time of great persecution, and we understood that
in most counties Friends were under great sufferings, either by
imprisonments or spoiling of goods, or both, a concern was
weightily upon me lest any Friends that were sufferers, especially
such as were traders and dealers in the world, should hazard the
losing of other men’s goods or estates through their sufferings.

    On the First-day following[242] I went to the meeting at
Gracechurch street. When I came there, I found three constables in
the meeting-house, who kept Friends out; so we met in the court.
    After I had been some time there, I stood up and spoke to the
people, and continued speaking some time. Then one of the
constables came, and took hold of my hand, and said, “You must
come down.” I desired him to be patient, and went on speaking to
the people; but after a little time he pulled me down, and took me
into the meeting-house.
    I asked them if they were not weary of this work. One of them
said, “Indeed we are.” They let me go into the widow Foster’s
house, which joined the meeting-house, where I stayed, being hot.
    When the meeting was ended, for one prayed after I was taken
away, the constables asked some Friends which of them would pass
their words that I should appear, if they should be questioned
about me. But the Friends told them they need not require that,
for I was a man well known in the city to be one that would
neither fly nor shrink. So they went away, and I heard no further
of it.
    I continued yet at London, labouring in the work and service
of the Lord, both in and out of meetings; sometimes visiting
Friends in prison for the testimony of Jesus, encouraging them in
their sufferings and exhorting them to stand faithful and
steadfast in the testimony, which the Lord had committed to them
to bear. Sometimes also I visited those that were sick and weak in
body, or troubled in mind, helping to bear up their spirits from
sinking under their infirmities. Sometimes our meetings were quiet
and peaceable; sometimes they were disturbed and broken up by the
    As I was speaking in the power of the Lord,[243] and the
people were greatly affected therewith, suddenly the constables,
with the rude people, came in like a sea.
    One of the constables said to me, “Come down”; and he laid
hands on me.
    I asked him, “Art thou a Christian? We are Christians.”
    He had hold of my hand, and was very fierce to pluck me down;
but I stood still, and spoke a few words to the people; desiring
of the Lord that the blessings of God might rest upon them all.
    The constable still called upon me to come down, and at
length plucked me down, and bade another man with a staff take me
and carry me to prison. That man led me to the house of another
officer, who was more civil; and after a while they brought in
four Friends more, whom they had taken.
    I was very weary, and in a great perspiration; and several
Friends, hearing where I was, came to me in the constable’s house;
but I bade them all go their ways, lest the constables and
informers should stop them.
    After a while the constables led us almost a mile to a
justice, who was a fierce, passionate man. After he had asked me
my name, and his clerk had taken it in writing, upon the
constable’s informing him that I had preached in the meeting, he
said in an angry manner, “Do not you know that it is contrary to
the King’s laws to preach in such conventicles, contrary to the
Liturgy of the Church of England?”
    There was present one —  — Shad (a wicked informer, who was
said to have broken jail at Coventry, and to have been burned in
the hand at London), who, hearing the justice speak so to me,
stepped up to him and told him that he had convicted them on the
Act of the 22d of King Charles the Second.
    “What! you convict them?” said the justice.
    “Yes,” said Shad, “I have convicted them, and you must
convict them too upon that Act.”
    With that the justice was angry with him, and said, “You
teach me! what are you? I’ll convict them of a riot.”
    The informer hearing that and seeing the justice angry, went
away in a fret; so he was disappointed of his purpose.
    Now had I drawings in Spirit to go into Holland, to visit the
Seed of God there.[244] And as soon as the yearly meeting was over
I prepared for my journey. There went with me from London
Alexander Parker, George Watts, and Nathaniel Brassey, who also
had drawings into that country.
    We took coach the 31st of the Third month, 1684, and got to
Colchester that night. Next day being First-day, we went to the
meeting there; and though there was no notice given of my coming,
yet our being there was presently spread over the town, and in
several places in the country at seven and ten miles distance; so
that abundance of Friends came in double-horsed, which made the
meeting very large.
    I had a concern and travail in my mind, lest this great
gathering should stir up the town, and be more than the
magistrates could well bear. But it was very quiet and peaceable,
and a glorious meeting we had, to the settling and establishing of
Friends both in town and country; for the Lord’s power was over
all; blessed be His name for ever!
    Truly the Lord’s power and presence was beyond words; for I
was but weak to go into a meeting, and my face (by reason of a
cold I had taken) was sore; but God manifested His strength in us
and with us, and all was well. The Lord have the glory for
evermore, for His supporting power![245]
    It was the latter end of the summer when I came to London,
where I stayed the winter following; saving that once or twice, my
wife being in town with me, I went with her to her son Rous’s at
Kingston. And though my body was very weak, yet I was in continual
service, either in public meetings, when I was able to bear them,
or in particular business amongst Friends, and visiting those that
were sufferers for Truth, either by imprisonment or loss of goods.
    Many things also in this time I wrote, some for the press,
and some for particular service; as letters to the King of Denmark
and Duke of Holstein on behalf of Friends that were sufferers in
their dominions.[246]
    The yearly meeting coming on, I was much concerned for
Friends that came up to it out of the country, lest they should
meet with any trouble or disturbance in their passage up or down;
and the rather because about that time a great bustle arose in the
nation upon the Duke of Monmouth’s landing in the West.[247] But
the Lord, according to His wonted goodness, was graciously pleased
to preserve Friends in safety, and gave us a blessed opportunity
to meet together in peace and quietness, and accompanied our
meeting with His living, refreshing presence: blessed for ever be
His holy name!
    Considering the hurries that were in the nation, it came upon
me at the close of this meeting to write a few lines to Friends,
to caution all to keep out of the spirit of the world, in which
trouble is, and to dwell in the peaceable Truth.

    I came back to London in the First month, 1686, and set
myself with all diligence to look after Friends’ sufferings, from
which we had now some hopes of getting relief. The sessions came
on in the Second month at Hicks’s-Hall, where many Friends had
appeals to be tried. I was with these from day to day, to advise
them, and to see that no opportunity was slipped nor advantage
lost; and they generally succeeded well.
    Soon after the King was pleased, upon our often laying our
sufferings before him, to give order for the releasing of all
prisoners for conscience’ sake that were in his power to
discharge. Thereby the prison-doors were opened, and many hundreds
of Friends, some of whom had been long in prison, were set at
    Some of those who had for many years been restrained in
bonds, came now up to the yearly meeting, which was in the Third
month this year. This caused great joy to Friends, to see our
ancient, faithful brethren again at liberty in the Lord’s work,
after their long confinement. And indeed a precious meeting we
had; the refreshing presence of the Lord appearing plentifully
with us and amongst us.

    [Gradually Fox was growing physically weaker, and though his
pen was busy with documents and letters, he records almost nothing
in his Journal.]

    In the Seventh month[249] I returned to London, having been
near three months in the country for my health’s sake, which was
very much impaired; so that I was hardly able to stay in a meeting
the whole time; and often after a meeting had to lie down on a
bed. Yet did not my weakness of body take me off from the service
of the Lord, but I continued to labour in and out of meetings, in
His work, as He gave me opportunity and ability.
    I had not been long in London before a great weight came upon
me, and the Lord gave me a sight of the great bustles and
troubles, revolution and change, which soon after came to pass. In
the sense thereof, and in the movings of the Spirit of the Lord, I
wrote “A general epistle to Friends, to forewarn them of the
approaching storm, that they might all retire to the Lord, in whom
is safety.”[250]
    About this time great exercises and weights came upon me (as
they had usually done before the great revolutions and changes of
government), and my strength departed from me; so that I reeled,
and was ready to fall, as I went along the streets. At length I
could not go abroad at all, I was so weak, for some time, till I
felt the power of the Lord to spring over all, and had received an
assurance from Him, that He would preserve His faithful people to
Himself through all.
    About the middle of the First month, 1688-9,[251] I went to
London, the Parliament then sitting, and engaged about the bill
for indulgence. Though I was weak in body, and not well able to
stir about, yet so great a concern was upon my spirit on behalf of
Truth and Friends, that I attended continually for many days, with
other Friends, at the Parliament-House, labouring with the
members, that the thing might be done comprehensively and
    I remained at London till the beginning of the Ninth
month,[252] being continually exercised in the work of the Lord,
either in public meetings, opening the way of Truth to people, and
building up and establishing Friends therein, or in other services
relating to the Church of God. For the Parliament now sitting, and
having a bill before them concerning oaths, and another concerning
clandestine marriages, several Friends attended the House, to get
those bills so worded that they might not be hurtful to Friends.
In this service I also assisted, attending on the Parliament, and
discoursing the matter with several of the members.

    [Here follows (January 10th, 1691) the last entry in the
Journal, with the letter written to the Irish Friends who were
enduring almost indescribable sufferings, occasioned by the civil
war in Ireland.]

    Not long after I returned to London, and was almost daily
with Friends at meetings. When I had been near two weeks in town,
the sense of the great hardships and sore sufferings that Friends
had been and were under in Ireland, coming with great weight upon
me, I was moved to write an epistle, as a word of consolation unto

    [The next day he went to Gracechurch Street Meeting, which
was large and in which he preached a long and powerful sermon,
“opening many deep and weighty things.” He then offered prayer,
and the meeting closed. When some Friends came to his room in
White-Hart-Court, later in the day, he told them he had “felt the
cold strike to his heart, as he came out of meeting”; “yet,” he
added, “I am glad I was here (i. e., in the meeting). Now I am
clear, I am fully clear!” Later, when Friends were visiting him,
he said: “All is well; the Seed of God reigns over all and over
death itself. And though I am weak in body, yet the power of God
is over all, and the Seed reigns over all disorderly spirits.”
“Lying thus in a heavenly frame of mind, his spirit wholly
exercised towards the Lord,” he fell asleep in peace on the
evening of January 13th, 1691. The funeral was attended by a very
large concourse of people, and the body was laid in the burying-
ground near Bunhill Fields, where the grave is now marked with a
modest stone. Few men in the dying hour could say more truly, “I
am clear.”]

[1] “But of ‘prophets’ there are very few. The good God does not
seem to need many. Centuries pass, as He orders history, in which
there are none. So we call them Dark Ages. Then comes some John in
the desert, and the world is wakened, some Wesley in the Church of
England, and there is a revival of religion.
“For our English races, since there were English races, I
count three or four such prophets; for the world of Europe I count
perhaps eleven worthy of our gratitude to-day. I mean the
gratitude of all mankind. Saint Paul and Saint John are two;
Augustine of Hippo is three; Dante and Francis of Assisi are two
more; Thomas ˆ Kempis and Jacob Bšhme, two more; and, coming
across to England, Wiclif, John Milton, George Fox, and John
Wesley.” — Edward Everett Hale, in an Address at the Wesley
Bicentennial Celebration in People’s Temple, Boston.
“The three most influential Englishmen of the last three
centuries were George Fox, John Wesley and John Henry Newman.
Those who wish really to understand those three centuries must
read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest Fox’s Journal, Wesley’s
Journal, and Newman’s Apologia. The entire future of England and
the English Empire depends upon the answer to this question: Will
Newman defeat Fox and Wesley, or will Fox and Wesley defeat
Newman?” — Editorial in “The Methodist Times.”

[2] “The Quaker religion which he (George Fox) founded is
something which it is impossible to overpraise. In a day of shams,
it was a religion of veracity rooted in spiritual inwardness, and
a return to something more like the original gospel truth than men
had ever known in England. So far as our Christian sects to-day
are evolving into liberality, they are simply reverting in essence
to the position which Fox and the early Quakers so long ago
assumed. No one can pretend for a moment that in point of
spiritual sagacity and capacity, Fox’s mind was unsound. Every one
who confronted him personally, from Oliver Cromwell down to county
magistrates and jailers, seems to have acknowledged his superior
power.” — James’s “Varieties of Religious Experience,” page 6.

[3] At this epoch there were more than two hundred capital

[4] “Dear friends and brethren that have gone into America and the
islands thereaway, stir up the gift of God in you and improve your
talents. Let your light shine among the Indians, the blacks and
the whites, that ye may answer the truth in them and bring them to
the standard and ensign that God hath set up, Jesus Christ. Grow
in the faith and grace of Christ that ye be not like the dwarfs,
for a dwarf shall not come near to offer upon God’s altar.” —
From an Epistle of George Fox written in 1690.

[5] “In 1658 there was not a Quaker living who did not believe
Quakerism to be the one only true Church of the living God.” —
Hancock’s “Peculium,” page 8.

[6] From William Penn’s “Preface to the Journal of George Fox.”

[7] Now called Fenny Drayton; a little hamlet about five miles
from Nuneaton, in a flat, though beautiful farming country. The
house in which George Fox was born has long since vanished, and
the few cottages which cluster here about the crossing of two
roads are of modern structure. An obelisk with a long inscription,
stands within a hundred yards or so of the site of the birthplace.

[8] This martyred ancestor of Mary Lago was probably a member of
the Glover family, of Mancetter, a few miles north of Drayton.
(See article on Fox in Dict. of Nat. Biog., which refers to
Riching’s “Mancetter Martyrs.” 1860.)

[9] “Creatures” here and frequently means “created things.”

[10] “Priest” here means clergyman in the established Church,
though the “priests” with whom he comes in contact in the early
years of his ministry are Presbyterian. The word is usually
employed for any minister who receives pay for preaching.

[11] This brief connection with shoemaking has been effectively
used by Carlyle in his famous characterization of George Fox. (See
“Sartor Resartus,” book iii., chapter 1: “An Incident in Modern
History.”) There is, however, no historical foundation for
Carlyle’s picture. Sewel denies that there was any connection
between Fox’s suit of leather and “his former leatherwork.” Croese
says the shoemaker and cattle grazer lived in Nottingham.

[12] “Professor” means here and everywhere throughout this book a
nominal Christian. Our modern substitute for the expression would
be “a church member.”

[13] Until 1752 the English year began in March, so that by the
calendar then in use June was the fourth month. This method of
reckoning time runs through the entire book, and may be mentioned
here once for all.

[14] “Tender” is one of George Fox’s favorite words. It will come
often. It means that the persons to whom it is applied are
religiously inclined, serious, and earnest in their search for
spiritual realities.

[15] From his return home in 1644, George Fox dates the beginning
of his religious society. (See Epistles, Vol. I., p. 10.
Philadelphia edition, 1831.)

[16] The Civil War was at its height.

[17] It was a settled custom, in fact, a matter of conscience with
Fox, to avoid the names of the days and of the months. He disliked
them because they commemorated heathen divinities, and he always
makes a point of using numeral adjectives instead of the names. It
was not an original scruple with him, but a similar position was
taken by some of the leading “Separatists” before the commonwealth
period. (See Barrow’s “False Churches,” p. 204.)

[18] Richard Abell.

[19] Of Atherstone.

[20] It is difficult to find out where George Fox’s money came
from. He reports in the original MS. of the Journal, p. 17, a
remark his relatives made about him when he left home: “When hee
went from us hee had a greate deale of gould and sillver about
him.” He is always well supplied. He goes to inns, always has a
good horse, wears clean linen and frequently gives to charity. In
signed papers in the Spence collection he gives orders for the
disposal of money invested “in ships and trade,” as well as of a
thousand acres of land in Pennsylvania which William Penn had
assigned to him.

[21] This expression “opened” has a mystical import, and will be
of frequent occurrence. He means to say that it was directly
revealed in his soul so that he assuredly knew it to be true.
Often he uses the expression in reference to some truth which he
might easily have discovered in the Scriptures or have learned
from contemporary sources. But in this solemn way he announces
that this truth has now at length come to be a living truth for
him. It is no longer a mere statement of fact — it is a
principle, the truth of which he sees.

[22] That is, gave them Scripture references.

[23] This was one of the many curious religious sects with which
the England of the commonwealth was overrun. (See Edwards’s

[24] “Friends” is here used for the first time in the Journal as
the name of the new denomination. It is not possible to determine
when the name was adopted or why it was chosen. When the Journal
was written the term had already become fixed and Fox uses it
without comment or explanation, referring it back to a period
before it came into use as the name of the Society. At first the
word “friends” was probably used in an untechnical sense for those
who were friendly, and little by little it hardened into a name.
At the very beginning they called themselves “Children of the

[25] In the northern part of Derbyshire.

[26] These were “Ranters” who will appear again and often. They
claimed to be perfect and above the possibility of sinning. Some
even went to the wild extreme of claiming to be Christ, or God.
They went on living for the most part much as they chose, and
justified their acts on the ground that it was God who was acting
in them. It is clearly apparent from this autobiography that such
persons were very numerous at the time. It will be noticed that
George Fox believes also in the possibility of freedom from sin,
but perfection as he holds it means something quite other than
this doctrine of the Ranters, as the Journal will show.

[27] Elizabeth Hooton was a woman of good standing. who was born
in Nottingham about the year 1600. She was the first person of her
sex to become a minister in the newly-gathered Society. The
preaching of women at this time was not entirely novel, as it was
allowed by several of the religious sects of the period. Elizabeth
Hooton had her faith severely tested by persecution and long
imprisonment. She performed two religious visits to America and
the West Indies and died in Jamaica in 1671.

[28] All profound spiritual teachers contrast wisdom and knowledge
— what is here called “knowledge in the Spirit” and “knowledge in
the flesh,” or, what is perhaps more frequently called “knowledge
of the heart” and “knowledge of the head.” The latter expression
means a knowledge of fact — the knowing that a thing is so by
evidence which satisfies the mind. The former expression means the
soul’s immediate grasp of truth by the test of practical
experience. The goal in one case is the establishment of some
fact; the goal in the other case is the production of positive
life and character by the appreciation of the truth.

[29] The “Separatists” — especially here the Congregationalists
and Baptists.

[30] Compare this great passage where George Fox describes his
conversion with Paul’s account of the spiritual fiat lux in 2 Cor.
4:6, “For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness
[the first fiat lux] hath shined in our hearts to give the light
of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

[31] At the very beginning of his ministry in 1617 George Fox
evidently preached the possibility of complete freedom from sin.
But he was very careful to avoid presenting the mere theory or
“notion” of perfection, which was common among all the types of
“Ranters.” He believed that Christ came to destroy sin, and he
stoutly held that when He ruled in a man sin and the dominion of
it were done away. Man could come into “the condition Adam was in
before he fell,” to use his own expression. One of his most
frequent challenges was to demand that modern Christians should
come into” the same life and power which those were in who gave
forth the Scriptures.” But George Fox’s test of holiness was the
practical test of daily life. No man was to be accounted holy if
he were not in fact holy.

[32] That is, why should I have suffered such troubles and

[33] For those who are interested in the psychology of George Fox
this is one of the most important passages in the Journal. These
sweeping psychical and physical changes are most significant. On
two other occasions of his life, which will be noted later, he
underwent similar, though perhaps profounder, changes. These
passages in the Journal reveal, to those who are familiar with
such phenomena, the fact that George Fox was subject to deep
subliminal transformations. The passage, too, throws much light
back upon his long travail through distress and darkness.

[34] In the year 1648.

[35] William Penn gives the following testimony to Fox’s power in
“But above all he excelled in prayer. The inwardness and
weight of his spirit, the reverence and solemnity of his address
and behaviour, and the fewness and fulness of his words, have
often struck, even strangers, with admiration, as they used to
reach others with consolation. The most awful, living, reverent
frame I ever felt or beheld, I must say, was his in prayer. And
truly it was a testimony he knew and lived nearer to the Lord than
other men.” — Preface to George Fox’s “Journal.”

[36] This is a characteristic illustration of the way Fox passed
beyond theories and doctrines, and demanded practical life-

[37] That is, members of the English or Episcopal Church.

[38] The Friends from the time of Fox until the present have been
careful to use the word “church” only for the community of
spiritual believers. The cathedrals and churches were called
“steeple-houses,” and their own places of worship were called

[39] A beautiful valley southwest of Nottingham, near the edge of
the counties of Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, just west of
Bardon Hills.

[40] See Whittier’s poem, “Revelation.”

[41] He means experience.

[42] There is no account of the origin of this meeting, which
seems to have been in existence before Fox came to Eton. There
seems to have been considerable definite work done which is not
detailed in the “Journal.” [See “Epistles,” Vol. I., page 2,
“Truth sprang up (to us as to be a people of the Lord) in
Derbyshire in 1647.”] Eton is in Derbyshire.

[43] This is an interesting illustration of Fox’s sensitiveness to
wrong social conditions and of the practical character of his

[44] This passage which records a striking personal experience is
undated. It is strangely like an experience of the great German
mystic, Jacob Boehme, whose works were published in England about
the time Fox was beginning his missionary labors. He, too, had all
nature opened to him, so that he says he saw the true significance
and essence of things. See Jacob Boehme, “Signatura Rerum,” which
was published in English in 1649. Muggleton, in his “Looking Glass
for G. Fox” (second edition, 1756, page 10), says that the
writings of Boehme are the “chief books” bought by the followers
of Fox.

[45] The name “Friends” is apparently used as formerly in Chapter
I to designate the gatherings of persons who sympathized with
Fox’s message and who afterwards were called “Friends.”

[46] One could wish that this important account of Fox’s practical
mission to the world were more clearly expressed than is here done
in his phraseology, which needs translation into modern terms.
There is, he means to say, a universal Divine principle or law of
life which finds expression or voice in every soul. “That of God”
in the individual “answers” or corresponds with the universal
Divine principle. But, unfortunately, this Divine Light within is
disobeyed, and thus men are astray — out of their true life and
function. Fox’s mission is to call all such to obedience to “that
of God” within them.

[47] This is the central teaching of George Fox. Everything else
comes out of this elemental truth. It is, as he says, clearly
enough taught in the Scriptures but he now saw the truth as an
immediate revelation — as a primary fact of experience.

[48] The soul’s own assurance of salvation was well proclaimed by
Luther, but the high and joyous experience was well-nigh lost in
Calvinistic England. Fox reaffirms the privilege of this
experience. He proclaims no man’s infallibility, but rather the
infallibility of the Spirit, in union with which a man may know
that he pleases God.

[49] By a clear spiritual insight Fox saw how large a contribution
both Judaism and Paganism had made to the historic church. He went
to work to carry the reformation to its logical conclusion. To re-
instate primitive Christianity was his aim.

[50] The real principles here involved were simplicity of life,
equal respect for all men alike, and strict sincerity. It must be
confessed that these principles have sometimes been lost sight of,
and dress and language have sometimes become a form to those who
opposed all forms.

[51] That is, the testimony of the Spirit.

[52] This is one of the very few instances in his entire career
when Fox interrupted a minister. It was neither illegal nor
contrary to custom for any one to speak after the minister was
done — a privilege which Fox often used. On this particular
occasion, his feeling overmastered him, and he spoke before his

[53] This gives a glimpse at the medical practice of the time. Fox
frequently showed remarkable power in dealing with cases of
hysteria, such as the one here reported. He evidently did not
understand the nature of the disease. But his commanding presence,
his piercing eye (testified to by even his persecutors), and the
absolute assurance which his voice gave that he was equal to the
occasion, were worth a thousand doctors with their lancets. Those
who understand the psychology of suggestion, and the effect of
faith on certain diseases, will hardly question the simple
accounts given here and elsewhere.

[54] As everywhere, he is interested in the state of the person
himself, and in the real and vital things of religion. Many of
Fox’s followers came from the Baptists.

[55] No single sentence better sums up George Fox’s whole theology
than this: “I told them they were not to dispute of God and
Christ, but to obey Him”

[56] These answers sufficiently differentiate George Fox from the

[57] Here begins Fox’s first serious imprisonment. The charge was
direct and distinct. He was committed as a blasphemer. Under the
law passed by both Houses of Parliament, in 1648, Fox might easily
have been condemned to suffer a death penalty. It was an offense,
punishable by death, to deny that the Scriptures are the Word of
God, or that the bodies of men shall rise after they are dead. It
was blasphemy to say that the two sacraments of Baptism and the
Lord’s Supper are not commanded by God. It was also blasphemy to
declare that man has by nature free will to turn to God. It was,
of course, not difficult to find a charge of the violation of this
drag-net act.
    From Derby prison he wrote many letters, to the magistrates,
to the justices, to the “priests,” to the court at Derby, to the
mayor, to the individual justices, and to “the ringers of bells in
steeple-houses.” He calls them all to obedience to the light
within them. “Mind that which is eternal and invisible.” “Keep in
the innocency and be obedient to the faith in Him.”

[58] This is the whole of our data for the origin of the name
“Quaker.” Fox told the Justice to tremble at the word of the Lord,
and the Justice thereupon fixed the name “quaker” upon him. There
is probably, however, something back of this particular incident
which helped give the name significance. The editors of the New
English Dictionary (see the word Quaker) have discovered the fact
that this name for a religious sect was not entirely new at this
time. Letter No. 2,624 of the Clarendon collection, written in
1647, speaks of a sect from the continent possessed of a
remarkable capacity for trembling or quaking: “I heare of a sect
of woemen (they are at Southworke) come from beyond the Sea,
called quakers, and these swell, shiver and shake, and when they
come to themselves (for in all this fitt Mahomett’s holy-ghost
hath bin conversing with them) they begin to preach what hath been
delivered to them by the Spirit.” It seems probable that Justice
Bennet merely employed a term of reproach already familiar. It is,
further, evident that the Friends themselves were sometimes given
to trembling, and that the name came into general use because it
fitted. (See Sewel’s “History of the People Called Quakers,” Vol.
I., p. 63. Philadelphia, 1823.) The name first appears in the
records of Parliament, in the Journals of the House of Commons, in

[59] This is the true ground of opposition to war, namely, that a
Christian is to live a life that does away with the occasion for

[60] He was imprisoned on a definite charge for six months, and
then, without any further trial, apparently because he would not
join Cromwell’s army, he was held in close confinement for nearly
six months more.

[61] It must be remembered that this act of George Fox occurred at
the close of a year of imprisonment, a part of which had been in a
horrible jail. He was throughout his life restless and active to
an extreme degree. For an entire year, just as his work was
getting well begun, he had been forced to live in this nut-shell
of a prison — day after day inactive. Now he was free again, and
the old restlessness to be doing something came upon him with
irresistible force. He was in no condition to inhibit suggestions.
It is quite possible that some subconscious memory here gave the
suggestion. In 1612 one Wightman was burned at the stake in
Lichfield, and the deed was fresh in the minds of men at this
time. Then the name Lichfield means “field of dead bodies,” a name
which doubtless had its origin in some baptism of blood, and
George in his boyhood may have heard some tale of those bloody

[62] The light of Christ working on the heart.

[63] This is the foundation for the famous passage on George Fox,
in Carlyle’s “Sartor Resartus,” Book III., Chap. 1. There is,
however, no foundation for Carlyle’s picture of Fox cutting and
stitching his own leather suit. Sewel distinctly says that these
leather breeches had no connection with “his former leather work.”
Croese says that his entire suit was leather. This form of dress
was not very unusual at the time, and was probably chosen for its

[64] This remark of Justice Hotham is an observation of
considerable historical significance.

[65] Foolish.

[66] Fox’s power of endurance will be noticed in every part of
this autobiography. He sleeps under hedges, fences or haystacks.
He goes days without suitable food. He speaks in difficult places
as often as occasion presents, and goes through the attacks of
hostile crowds with an endurance which is astonishing. This iron
constitution carried him through the long imprisonments which
thinned the ranks of his co-laborers.

[67] This James Nayler, who left his Independent church to become
a Quaker had a future history of pathetic interest. He was a
powerful minister, and his very success led to his downfall, which
will be recorded in the proper place later on.

[68] “All the country in their profession” means “all the people
throughout the country who are mere nominal Christians.”

[69] This spring is still called “George Fox’s well.”

[70] No part of Fox’s life is more remarkable than these few
months of service that follow in Westmoreland — “in and about
Wensleydale and Sedbergh.” Here he gathers about himself a band of
preachers only slightly less gifted than himself. He wins the
support of the Fells of Swarthmore Hall, which becomes henceforth
a sort of headquarters to the movement, and he gains the
incalculable assistance of Margaret Fell, — for many years a wise
and faithful friend, and finally his wife.

[71] Richard Farnsworth was “convinced” at Balby in 1601, and
became one of George Fox’s most valuable helpers.

[72] Howgill and Audland became two of the little band of powerful
ministers who gave their lives to the proclamation of the truth as
Fox interpreted it.

[73] Edward Burrough has been called the Whitefield of Quakerism.
He possessed a trained mind and unusual original power. He was a
vigorous writer, and his ministry was remarkably effective. “Son
of thunder and consolation,” he was named. He was one of the early
martyrs to the truth, dying in a London prison in 1662. Just
before his death he said: “Now my soul and spirit is entered into
its own being with God, and this form of person must return whence
it was taken.”

[74] The superstitions everywhere existent among the people should
be noted.

[75] In the Furness district.

[76] Of no other minister has Fox spoken so harshly as of this man
Lampitt. There is every reason for believing that the picture
which he gives of Lampitt is correct, though in Calamy’s “Ejected
Ministers” he is spoken of as “a warm and lively preacher.”

[77] During the Commonwealth period it was no violation of law or
custom for a person in the congregation to stand up and speak or
object after the minister had finished his sermon. In most cases,
where Fox spoke in the churches, he was exercising a right which
was well-established. Occasionally he interrupted, which was
contrary to good order, but he justified it by an appeal to the
call of the Spirit, which he could not resist. (See Chapter III.)
Justices of the Peace had authority to forbid any person to speak.

[78] Most wholesome words these, for that period of endless
dispute, when religion too often meant the acceptance of some
verbal statement.

[79] “Speaking to their conditions” meant describing their inward

[80] Justice Fell never became an avowed Friend. He, however, had
much sympathy with the movement, and used his influence and
authority to protect the Friends. He put no hindrance in the way
of his wife, who did join them. Swarthmore Hall was always open to
travelling ministers, and there is good reason to believe that
substantial assistance went from Swarthmore Hall to those who were
labouring throughout the kingdom. Margaret Fell was a great-
granddaughter of Anne Askew, who was burned at the stake in 1545.
Judge Fell was member for Parliament in 1645.
    This meeting-house, erected near Swarthmore Hall in 1690, the
gift of George Fox is still standing, and contains many objects of

[81] This Thomas Taylor was educated at Oxford, and was a man of
profound insight. He became a valiant supporter of Fox and a
convincing minister.

[82] A writ or order from the Court setting aside or staying the
execution of the original writ.

[83] Cromwell ejected the “Rump” Parliament April 20th, 1653.
There is no contemporary authentification of this prophecy, but
there is no reason to doubt the correctness of this account. Such
cases of specific fore-seeing have been common throughout the
entire history of Friends. They have received some slight
investigation by the London branch of the Society for Psychical
Research, though they have never received the careful
investigation which they deserve.

[84] This case of healing belongs in the inexhaustible list of
cases of healing by faith. There are many forms of mental healing
and of faith healing, and the researches of modern psychology have
given us a principle of explanation for all cures of this sort.
All such remarkable events seemed to George Fox to partake of the
miraculous and most naturally gave him the impression that he was
a peculiarly-chosen instrument of the Lord.

[85] In Cumberland.

[86] This passage throws interesting light on the church customs
of the time. After the minister has preached his hour by the hour
glass there is then liberty for any one to speak. George Fox
himself evidently did not observe the hour glass.

[87] This indicates that he had seen besieging armies during the
Civil War.

[88] It must be remembered that Fox uses here the language and the
popular ideas of the time, as we should expect him to do.

[89] This is an interesting testimony to the power of George Fox’s
eyes. The same remark is made on several occasions during his
life. This power of the eye undoubtedly was a considerable element
in his commanding influence over others.

[90] As in Derby, the charge is blasphemy, under the Act of 1618.
The report, spoken of later, that he would be put to death, was
not mere rumor, for it was a real possibility under this Act.

[91] Justice Anthony Pearson pointed out to the judges of the
Carlisle courts that there was no evidence to support the charges
against the prisoner, and that he was illegally held. He was
finally dismissed without formal trial. The release of Fox was,
however, hastened by an urgent letter from Parliament (the famous
Barebones Parliament), requesting that he be set free.

[92] A kind of freebooter.

[93] This is one of the saddest stories in the annals of Quaker
martyrology. James Parnell was well trained mentally, and held
successful discussions with the Cambridge students. The dungeon in
Colchester Castle, where this brief holy life came to an end, is
still visited by tourists.

[94] That is, reach with the voice.

[95] This record of the effect of Quaker honesty is supported by
impartial contemporary testimony. A curious confirmation of the
business successes of the Quaker traders is found in a satiric
ballad of the times, called “Wickham Wakened; or, the Quakers
Madrigall in Rime Dogerell,” published in Ebsworth’s “Choyce
Drollery.” The Rhymster tells how the Quaker is settling down to
“great thrift,” his period of “tipling being done,” i.e., his days
of ranting being over, and those who come into competition with
him wish him back in the ranting stage.
    “O be drunk again, Quaker
    Take thy canniken and shake her
    For thou art the worse for thy mending.”

[96] This was the beginning of the movement in Wales. In 1657,
George Fox travelled and laboured extensively in Wales, where many
followers were gathered.

[97] Nothing caused Friends so much trouble as their absolute
refusal to take any kind of an oath.

[98] Ranters.

[99] At the end of six years of ministry these sixty ministers had
been gathered to the work which now absorbed George Fox. It was a
remarkable group of men, — young, vigorous, ready speakers, eager
for the hard service, welcoming persecution and undaunted by any
dangers or difficulties. They so completely caught the idea of Fox
that they practically all spoke the same religious language.
To them George Fox addressed a quaint, but strikingly spiritual,
epistle of advice as they went out to begin their labours. Here
are a few sentences from it:
    “All Friends everywhere, Know the Seed of God, which bruiseth
the seed of the serpent, and is atop of the seed of the serpent:
which Seed sins not, but bruiseth the serpent’s head that doth
sin, and that tempts to sin: to which Seed is God’s promise and
blessing; and which Seed is one in the male and in the female. . .
    “This is the Word of the Lord to you all: Every one in the
measure of life wait, that with it all your minds may be guided up
to the Father of life, the Father of spirits: to receive power
from Him, and wisdom, that with it you may be ordered to His
glory: to whom be all glory forever! All keep in the Light and
Life, that judgeth down that which is contrary to the Light and
Life. So the Lord God Almighty be with you all. . . .
    “All Friends that speak in public, see that it be in the life
of God; for that begets to God; the fruits of that shall never
wither. This sows to the Spirit which is in prison, and of the
Spirit reaps life; and the other sows to the flesh, and of the
flesh reaps corruption. This you may see all the world over
amongst these seeds-men, — that which may be reaped in the field,
that is the world. Therefore wait in the Spirit of the Lord, which
cuts down and casts out all this, the root and branches of it. So
in that wait to receive power, and the Lord God Almighty preserve
you in it; whereby you may come to feel the Light, that
comprehends time and the world, and fathoms it: which, believed
in, gives you victory over the world. Here the power of the Lord
is received, which subdues all the contrary, and puts off the
garments that will stain and pollute.”

[100] This is the only indication of the extent of “Righteous
Christer’s” sympathy with his son’s somewhat revolutionary

[101] Colonel Hacker and his regiment superintended the execution
of Charles I., and held back the threatening crowd of London
citizens. He apparently now suspected that Fox and the Quakers
were in a plot to bring in Charles II. Cromwell had for about six
months been Lord Protector. Gerard and Vowel’s plot was discovered
about this time.

[102] This is the minister of Drayton, who said “there was never
such a plant bred in England” as George Fox.

[103] This was not the famous “Mermaid” of Shakespeare and Ben

[104] Cromwell and Fox were at this period the two most striking
men in England. Cromwell’s greatest work was already done; Fox,
now thirty years old, was only getting well under way with his
earthly mission. He never comprehended the greatness of Cromwell’s
work, nor did he appreciate the complex tangle which the Protector
had to unravel. He was so sun-clear and ingenuous himself that he
could not fathom a man who skillfully zigzagged toward the ends
which he could not reach by perfectly direct steps. Carlyle gives
a happy paraphrase of this passage in the Journal: “‘I exhorted
him,’ writes George, ‘to keep in the fear of God,’ whereby he
might ‘receive Wisdom from God,’ which would be a useful guidance
for any sovereign person. In fact, I had ‘much discourse’ with
him; explaining what I and Friends had been led to think
‘Concerning Christ and His Apostles’ of old time, and His Priests
and Ministers of new; concerning Life and concerning Death;
concerning the Unfathomable Universe in general, and the Light in
it from Above and the Darkness in it that is from Below: to all
which the Protector’ carried himself with much moderation.’ Yes,
George; this Protector has a sympathy with the Perennial; and
feels it across the Temporary: no hulls, leathern or other, can
entirely hide it from the sense of him.” Carlyle’s “Oliver
Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches.” (Centenary Edition.) Vol. III.,
p. 225.

[105] This implies that the nickname was given because the Friends
trembled when they spoke.

[106] During this same year, 1654, a remarkable work was done in
London by Edward Burrough and Francis Howgill. It is estimated
that not less than 10,000 adherents were gathered in the city
during these early years of Friends’ ministry.

[107] A cheap metal made to imitate gold.

[108] This paper to the Protector was published in 1656. The paper
mentioned just before was “A Warning from the Lord to the Pope and
to all his Train of Idolatries.” Published “at the Black-Spread
Eagle” in 1656. He wrote many more letters at this period. Among
them was a long letter to all professors of Christianity. Here is
a characteristic passage from it:
    “Let us be glad, and rejoice for ever! Singleness of heart is
come; pureness of heart is come; joy and gladness is come. The
glorious God is exalting Himself; Truth hath been talked of, but
now it is possessed. Christ hath been talked of; but now He is
come and possessed. The glory hath been talked of; but now it is
possessed, and the glory of man is defacing. The Son of God hath
been talked of; but now He is come, and hath given us an
understanding. Unity hath been talked of; but now it is come.
Virgins have been talked of; but now they are come with oil in
their lamps.”

[109] John Crook was Justice of the Peace in Bedford County. He
became an eminent minister among the Friends and suffered many

[110] The wife of this mayor of Cambridge had been to a great
meeting which Fox held the day before near the Isle of Ely. James
Parnell had already labored in Cambridge before this visit of
George Fox. One gets here an interesting glimpse at the students
of two hundred and fifty years ago. It is an interesting fact that
they failed to unhorse Fox. The struggle between Fox and the
students is the subject of one of Robert Spence’s etchings.

[111] This William Edmundson was one of the first persons to
espouse and proclaim the principles of the Quakers in Ireland. He
had been a soldier in Cromwell’s army, and he carried the spirit
and courage of an Ironside into the new service. He had strange
and unspeakably difficult experiences to endure in those trying
days of unsettlement in Ireland, but he was enabled to do a great
work for the cause which he served. He also had large and valuable
service in America.

[112] These cases are further illustration of Fox’s power to deal
with sickness and with desperate persons. He always felt himself
equal to any emergency which confronted him.

[113] James Nayler’s fall, which is here felt in dim forecast,
became very soon only too sadly real.

[114] A paper which George Fox had written to the seven parishes
of Land’s End.

[115] Major-General Desborough was one of Cromwell’s favorite
generals, who received many places of honour from the Protector.
In 1655 he received his commission as major-general, in charge of
Wiltshire, Somersetshire, Devonshire and Cornwall, and in the main
he proved an able administrator in this office.

[116] Provender for their horses.

[117] This was Puritan England, and an appeal to Old Testament
precedents was not out of place.

[118] This description of Doomsdale is far from pleasant reading,
but it is a true and faithful picture of a dungeon in the
seventeenth century, and because of its historic importance it is
left exactly as it was written. It is no wonder the Quakers became
prison reformers.

[119] This has the ring of one of Luther’s utterances.

[120] The 14th of May, 1656, Edward Pyot, Fox’s fellow prisoner,
wrote a long letter to John Glyn, Chief Justice of England, in
which he showed that they were suffering contrary to law. George
Fox himself, as his custom was, spent much of his time of
imprisonment writing letters and religious epistles. Here is a
sound word of advice from his Epistle to “Friends”: “Be patterns,
be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever
you come, that your life and conduct may preach among all sorts of
people and to them.”

[121] It will be found interesting to compare this brief comment
on the views of the “Fifth-monarchy men” with Cromwell’s treatment
of them. See Speech II., in First Parliament. Carlyle’s “Oliver
Cromwell,” Centenary Edition, Vol. III., p. 113. The modern reader
will also find it interesting to compare this passage with the
present-day teachings of the “Second Coming.”

[122] This Thomas Lower married Judge Fell’s daughter, Mary.

[123] This, however, was not the last of the cheese. After their
release they revisited Launceston, as this extract will show:
“From Thomas Mounce’s we passed to Launceston again, and
visited that little remnant of Friends that had been raised up
there while we were in prison. The Lord’s plants grew finely, and
were established on Christ, their rock and foundation. As we were
going out of town again, the constable of Launceston came running
to us with the cheese that had been taken from Edward Pyot; which
they had kept from us all this while, and were tormented with it.
But being now set at liberty, we would not receive it.”

[124] Both Edward Pyot and George Fox had written letters to
Major-General Desborough, showing that they were innocent, law-
abiding men, doing the Lord’s work in the world, and that they
could not promise to go home, it being the free right of an
Englishman to go where his duty or his business carried him.

[125] Poor James Nayler proved unable to stand the strain of this
strenuous work. A fanatical group got about him and in a period of
evident aberration he allowed these flattering followers to give
him a Triumphal Entry into Bristol, as Christ, returned in the
flesh. Here is Carlyle’s account: “In the month of October, 1655,
there was seen a strange sight at Bristol in the West. A
procession of eight persons: one a man on horseback, riding
single; the others, men and women, partly riding double, partly on
foot, in the muddiest highway, in the wettest weather; singing,
all but the single-rider, at whose bridle splash and walk two
women: ‘Hosannah! Holy, holy! Lord God of Sabaoth!’ . . . The
single-rider is a raw-boned male figure, ‘with lank hair reaching
below his cheeks’; hat drawn close over his brows; of abstruse
‘down look’ and large, dangerous jaws, strictly closed; he sings
not; sits there covered, and is sung to by the others, bare. Amid
pouring deluges and mud knee-deep: ‘so that the rain ran in at
their necks, and they vented it at their hose and breeches,’ a
spectacle to the west of England and posterity! Singing as above;
answering no questions except in song. At the High Cross, they are
laid hold of by the Authorities; turn out to be James Nayler and
Company.” (Carlyle’s “Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches.”
Vol. III., pp. 223, 224.) What he needed was mental treatment.
What he received was the harshest punishment Parliament could
devise. He missed the death penalty by a vote of 82 to 96. His
sentence, passed by Parliament December 16th, 1656, was to be
pilloried for two hours, to be whipped by the hangman through the
streets from Westminster to the Old Exchange in the city, to be
pilloried again after two days for two hours more, to have his
tongue bored through with a red-hot iron, and to be branded in the
forehead with the letter B, to be again flogged through the
streets of Bristol, and then to be committed to prison with
solitary confinement and hard labor during the pleasure of
Parliament. Poor James Nayler! His fall did the Quakers almost
irreparable injury in public estimation. Fox had already had an
intimation of this trouble. As he left James Nayler in London he
wrote: “As I passed him I cast my eye upon him and a fear struck
me concerning him.”

[126] His death came not long after his awful punishment, and just
before the end of life he wrote these words:
    “There is a spirit which I feel, which delights to do no
evil, nor to revenge any wrong; but delights to endure all things,
in hope to enjoy its own in the end. Its hope is to outlive all
wrath and contention, and to weary out all exaltation and cruelty,
or whatever is of a nature contrary to itself. It sees to the end
of all temptations; as it bears no evil in itself, so it conceives
none in thought to any other. If it be betrayed, it bears it; for
its ground and spring is the mercy and forgiveness of God. Its
crown is meekness; its life is everlasting love unfeigned. It
takes its kingdom with entreaty, and not with contention, and
keeps it by lowliness of mind. In God alone it can rejoice, though
none else regard it, or can own its life. It is conceived in
sorrow, and brought forth without any to pity it; nor doth it
murmur at grief and oppression. It never rejoiceth, but through
sufferings; for with the world’s joy it is murdered. I found it
alone; being forsaken. I have fellowship therein, with those who
lived in dens and desolate places in the earth; who through death
obtained this resurrection, and eternal, holy life!”
    See also “James Nayler’s answer to the Fanatick History as
far as it relates to him.”
    The wild extreme to which Nayler went had a very sobering
effect on the Friends themselves.

[127] In Wales.

[128] A besieging army.

[129] Great numbers of these Welsh Friends migrated to
Pennsylvania and settled Montgomery County. Haverford, Bryn Mawr,
Merion and Radnor are some of the historic townships whose names
were transferred to the new world by these followers of Fox.

[130] Counties

[131] This was very characteristic of the man.

[132] Beaumaris is in Anglesey, so that they were to cross
Beaumaris Bay to the mainland.

[133] This “curl” is two or three times mentioned. He always wore
his hair long and apparently had a long curling lock behind.

[134] While waiting at Swarthmore, between the labors in Wales and
the visit to Scotland, George Fox wrote several epistles. Here is
a beautiful little Postscript to his epistle “to Friends”:
      “Postscript — And, Friends, be careful how ye set your feet
among the tender plants, that are springing up out of God’s earth;
lest ye tread upon them, hurt, bruise, or crush them in God’s

[135] This was a great general meeting at Langlands, in

[136] In this discussion the Scripture arguments were gone over,
and George Fox offset the proof-texts on election with passages
showing man’s responsibility.

[137] The Friends always refused to keep the First Day as though
it were a continuation of the Jewish Sabbath. For them it was a
day set apart for man’s high spiritual use.

[138] The reference is to the logical definition of man as “an
unfeathered biped,” which is as old as Plato.

[139] Here is more of the Luther spirit. He is reported to have
said: “I would go to Leipsic if it rained Duke Georges nine days

[140] This passage has suggested the idea which finds beautiful
expression in the closing stanzas of Whittier’s “Barclay of Ury “:

“Knowing this, that never yet
Share of truth was vainly set.
In the world’s wide fallow
After hands shall sow the seed,
after hands from mill and mead
Reap the harvests yellow.

“Thus with somewhat of the seer
Must the moral pioneer
From the future borrow;
Clothe the waste with dreams of grain,
And, on midnight’s sky of rain
Paint the golden morrow.”

[141] There were few novel experiences on the way from Scotland to
Bedfordshire. At Nottingham he had a controversy with Rice Jones,
an opposer of the earlier visit. He pointed out that many of Rice
Jones’s followers “were become the greatest foot-ball players and
wrestlers in the whole country,” which is an interesting comment
on the ministry of Rice Jones!

[142] “John Crook’s House” was at Luton, in Bedfordshire. This is
among the first of the great national general meetings out of
which came in course of development the present London Yearly
Meeting of Friends. The first general meeting was held at
Swannington in Leicestershire in 1654. Isaac Penington was
convinced at this meeting. He tells us that he “felt the healings
drop upon his soul from under His wings.”

[143] The sentence means: “I felt called to set forth the
significance of various religious states and the things to which
they lead.”

[144] Here is a long extract from the letter to Lady Claypole,
Cromwell’s daughter, who died soon after this time:
“Keep in the fear of the Lord God; that is the Word of the
Lord unto thee. For all these things happen to thee for thy good,
and for the good of those concerned for thee, to make you know
yourselves and your own weakness, that ye may know the Lord’s
strength and power, and may trust in Him. Let the time past be
sufficient to every one, who in anything hath been lifted up in
transgression out of the power of the Lord; for He can bring down
and abase the mighty, and lay them in the dust of the earth.
Therefore, all keep low in His fear, that thereby ye may receive
the secrets of God and His wisdom, may know the shadow of the
Almighty, and sit under it in all tempests, storms, and heats. For
God is a God at hand, and the Most High rules in the children of
men. This is the word of the Lord God unto you all; what the Light
doth make manifest and discover, as temptations, distractions,
confusions, do not look at these temptations, confusions,
corruptions, but at the Light which discovers them and makes them
manifest; and with the same Light you may feel over them, to
receive power to stand against them. The same Light which lets you
see sin and transgression, will let you see the covenant of God,
which blots out your sin and transgression, which gives victory
and dominion over it, and brings into covenant with God. For
looking down at sin, corruption, and distraction, ye are swallowed
up in it; but looking at the Light, which discovers them, ye will
see over them. That will give victory, and ye will find grace and
strength; there is the first step to peace. That will bring
salvation; by it ye may see to the beginning, and the ‘Glory that
was with the Father before the world began’; and come to know the
Seed of God, which is the heir of the promise of God, and of the
world which hath no end; and which bruises the head of the
serpent, who stops people from coming to God. That ye may feel the
power of an endless life, the power of God which is immortal,
which brings the immortal soul up to the immortal God, in whom it
doth rejoice. So in the name and power of the Lord Jesus Christ,
God Almighty strengthen thee.

This note follows the letter:
“When the foregoing paper was read to Lady Claypole, she
said, it stayed her mind for the present. Afterwards many Friends
got copies of it, both in England and Ireland, and read it to
people that were troubled in mind; and it was made useful for the
settling of the minds of several.”

[145] This was the persecution which called forth Milton’s great
“Avenge, O Lord! thy slaughtered saints whose bones
Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold.”

[146] This was Cromwell’s Second Parliament.

[147] Harvey was “groom of the bed chamber.”

[148] This visit of Fox to Cromwell is treated in Carlyle’s Oliver
Cromwell, Vol. IV., pp. 199, 200. Oliver Cromwell died September
3d, 1658. This “waft” or whiff of death which Fox felt was not the
only forewarning of his end which came to Friends. A letter was
delivered into Cromwell’s hand a month before his death, which
contained these words: “If thou continueth in thy oppression, the
Lord will suddenly smite thee.” See Burrough’s “Good Counsel and
Advice Rejected by Disobedient Men.”

[149] Isaac Penington was one of the finest, richest spirits that
came under the influence of Fox. He was highest in social rank of
all the early Friends, and after Fox himself the best exponent of
the fundamental Quaker idea.

[150] This “Church-faith (so-called)” was a “Declaration of the
Faith and Order owned and practiced in the Congregational Churches
in England: Agreed upon and consented unto by their Elders and
messengers in their meeting at the Savoy, October 12th, 1658.”
Fox’s reply has the following title: “Something in Answer to that
Book called, The Church-Faith: Set forth by Independants (sic) and
others; agreed upon by Divine messengers at the Savoy in London.”

[151] From being Cromwell’s most intimate friend Sir Harry Vane
had become his most fearless opposer, and an advocate of extreme
republicanism. After the downfall of Richard Cromwell, Vane had a
brief return to influence and power. In September, 1659, he was
made President of the Council, and was in this position the
executive head of the nation in civil affairs. This episode must,
therefore, be dated in the autumn of 1659.

[152] This epistle begins: “All Friends everywhere keep out of
plots and bustling and the arm of flesh.” A little later he writes
“Stand in the fear and dread of the Lord God; His power,
life, light, seed and wisdom, by which ye may take away the
occasion of wars, and so know a kingdom which hath no end, and
fight for that with spiritual weapons, which takes away the
occasion of the carnal; and there gather men to war, as many as ye
can, and set up as many as ye can with these weapons. G. F.”

[153] After leaving London, he had travelled extensively through
the eastern and southern counties, revisiting Cornwall, where he
had had such a long experience in Launceston jail in 1656.

[154] These great meetings were at this period held out of doors,
in fields or orchards, or on some high hill.

[155] This meeting for the affairs of the Church, held at Skipton,
in Yorkshire, in 1659, is generally considered to be the original
yearly meeting.

[156] “Naked “means naked to the waist. There are a few other
instances of similar actions in England and America.

[157] This is the beginning of what was later known as the
“Meeting for Sufferings,” which has been throughout its history a
remarkable body. The minutes of the Meeting for Sufferings date
from Fifth month 22d, 1675.

[158] This is the second time the striking character of his eyes
has been commented on.

[159] This was just at the troublous time when Charles II. was
coming to the throne, and the kingdom was being reorganized. Every
traveller was suspected, and every gathering of people was

[160] George Fox never admitted that the Quakers were a sect, nor
did any Friend of the first fifty years. There was but one Church,
composed of those who obeyed the Light and in whom Christ dwelt,
and of this Church Fox and his followers claimed to be members.
This position has been ably put in Thomas Hancock’s “Peculium” —
a Prize Essay.

[161] Margaret Fell was now the head of Swarthmore Hall, Judge
Fell having died in 1658. As the arrest was made from her house
she felt herself implicated in the false charge. She wrote a
vigorous letter about the case to the proper magistrates.

[162] Nunenton was only two miles from his home at Drayton, but he
seems not to have stopped for a visit.

[163] In 1658 Fox had written: “I went to Reading where I was
under great exercises and sufferings and in great travail of
spirit for about ten weeks.” This was apparently over the
disturbed political situation and he tells us that at this time he
“had a sight and sense of the king’s return.”

[164] Poor George little realized how futile this promise was to
prove, or how soon the whips of Oliver were to become scorpions
under the new order of affairs.

[165] In this instance Fifth-monarchy men, whose insurrection
brought on the new persecution.

[166] Fox wrote a tender letter to the sufferers in prison, and “a
Declaration from the harmless, innocent people of God called
Quakers” was sent to the King.

[167] These Friends, in their use of signs and striking
symbolisms, were undoubtedly following in the steps of the Hebrew
prophets. Both William Sympson and diehard Sale revere squeezed in
Little Ease, the latter, being very stout, came to his death as a
result. “Little Ease” was a hole hewed out of a rock; the breadth
across seventeen inches; from the back to the inside of the great
door at the top seven inches; at the shoulders, eight inches; at
the breast, nine and a half inches; from the top to the bottom one
yard and a half, with a device to lessen the height for purposes
of torture.

[168] We have already seen how frequently George Fox had what
nowadays are called telepathic experiences.

[169] Whittier has beautifully told the story of Samuel Shattuck’s
mission in his poem, “The King’s Missive.” Longfellow has made the
sufferings of the Quakers the subject of his dramatic poem, “New
England Tragedies.” The story of Quaker sufferings is told in
George Bishop’s “New England Judged.” The best modern book on the
subject is Hallowell’s “Quaker Invasion of Massachusetts.” Four
Friends were executed — William Robinson, Marmaduke Stevenson,
William Ledra, and Mary Dyer.

[170] Here is the title page to this curious old book which is now
very rare, and is much valued by collectors:
“A Battle-Door for Teachers and Professors to learn Singular
and Plural; You to Many, and Thou to One: Singular One, Thou;
Plural Many, You, Wherein is shewed forth by Grammar, or Scripture
Examples, how several Nations and People have made a distinction
between Singular and Plural, And First. In the former part of this
Book, Called the English Battle-Door, may be seen how several
People have spoken Singular and Plural, As the Apharsathkites The
Tarpelites, The Apharsites, The Archevites, The Babylonians, The
Susanchites, The Dehavites, The Elamites, The Temanites, The
Naomites, The Shuites, The Buzites, The Moabites, The Hevites, The
Edomites, The Philistines, The Amalekites, The Sodomites, The
Hittites, The Midianites, etc. Also, in this Book is set forth
Examples of the Singular and Plural About Thou, and You in several
Languages divided into distinct Battle-Doors, or Forms, or
Examples; English, Latine, Italian, Greek, Hebrew, Caldec,
Syriack, Arabick, Persiack, Ethiopick, Samaritan, Coptick or
Egyptick, Armenian, Saxon, Welch, Mence, Cornish, French, Spanish,
Portugal, High-Dutch, Low Dutch, Danish, Bohemian, Slavonian, and
how Emperors and others have used the Singular Word to One; and
how the Word You (to one) came first from the Pope. Likewise some
examples, in the Polonian, Lithvanian, Irish and East-Indian,
Together with the Singular and Plural Words thou and you, in
Swedish, Turkish, Muscovian and Curlandian tongues, — In the
latter part of this Book are contained several bad unsavoury words
gathered first for certain School Books, which have been taught
Boyes in England, which is a Rod and a Whip to the School Masters
in England and elsewhere who teach such Books. Geo. Fox, Jno.
Stubbs, Benjamin Furley.
“London: Printed for Robt. Wilson, and are to be sold at his
Shop at the Signe of the Black-Spread-Eagle and Wind-Mil in
Martins le Grand 1660.”

[171] These Friends undoubtedly believed that the principles of
truth which they had discovered would ultimately prevail over the
entire globe.
“Prester John’s country” was Abyssinia. Prester John was a
legendary Christian priest, who was believed in the early Middle
Ages to reign over this Eastern country. About this time Catherine
Evans and Sarah Chevers, in their travels, were put in the
inquisition-prison at Malta, from which Fox secured their release,
through the influence of Lord D’Aubeny, a Roman Catholic.

[172] Friends are married without clergyman or magistrate. The
bridal couple stand up in a religious assembly, and, taking each
other by the hand, promise to be husband and wife till death.

[173] It is estimated that at this time there were not less than
4,500 Friends in the prisons of England and Wales. This letter to
the King is strikingly direct and straightforward.

[174] This was an act passed in 1662, “for preventing mischiefs
and dangers that may arise by certain persons called Quakers, and
others refusing to take oaths.” The act declared it “altogether
unlawful and contrary to the word of God” to refuse to take an
oath, or to persuade another person to refuse to do so. It further
made it an offense for more than five persons, “commonly called
Quakers,” “to assemble in any place under pretense of joining in a
religious worship not authorized by the laws of this realm.”

[175] This letter well illustrates the difficulties of George
Fox’s style. The letter manifests a profound and beautiful spirit,
but the phraseology is none too clear. He means: “Dear Edward is
living in God, who is invisible and unchangeable; settle your own
lives down into that same living God whose divine presence
manifested in Edward Burrough has begotten a spiritual life in
you, and you will feel yourselves united in spirit and life with
the dear departed one.”

[176] Truro.

[177] “Truth” is used here and often in Friends’ writings for the
Cause which Friends represented.

[178] Most of the Quakers who suffered in prison during the reign
of Charles were imprisoned for refusing to take the oath.

[179] This would be August of our calendar. Again the pen was busy
during these weeks in jail, and many epistles and documents were
written. A Baptist preacher, named Wiggan, who had been a great
opponent of Fox, was brought into straits over the oath which he
finally took. The episode furnishes this interesting entry:

“This Wiggan was poor, and while he was prisoner at Lancaster he
sent into the country, and got money gathered for relief of the
poor people of God in prison; and many people gave freely,
thinking it had been for us, when indeed it was for himself. But
when we heard of it, we laid it upon him, and wrote into the
country, that Friends might let the people know the truth of the
matter, that it was not our manner to have collections made for
us, and that those collections were only for Wiggan and another, a
drunken preacher of his society, who was so drunk, that once he
lost his breeches.”

[180] “A praemunired person” is one who has incurred the penalty
of being put out of the protection of the crown, of having his
lands, goods and chattels forfeited to the crown and of remaining
in prison during the sovereign’s pleasure.

[181] These “four chief religions which have been got up since the
apostles’ days” are respectively the Roman Catholic, the
Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Independent, i. e., Congregational.

[182] Scarborough Castle is so nearly demolished that it is now
impossible to locate the rooms in which Fox was confined. The room
in which he was finally quartered was on the extreme seaside of
the castle and has been entirely destroyed. This year of fearful
imprisonment following the severe confinement at Lancaster nearly
broke down his wonderful constitution. He never again had the same
physical vigor and power. Note his healthy humor in the little
joke with the Papist.

[183] George Fox had a very keen eye for “judgments” which came
upon persons who abused him or hindered his work. It accords
completely with the ideas of the time, and is one of the things
which he had not transcended.

[184] This “sickness” was the London “plague” of 1665.

[185] This was Thomas Ibbett, of Huntingdonshire. He went
distracted a little later, and, standing in Cheapside during the
great fire, he tried to stop its progress with his outspread arms,
so that he nearly perished in the flames. For a remarkable
prophecy of the “great plague” see “Writings of George Fox the
Younger,” 1662, pages 219-221.

[186] The days of Oliver Cromwell.

[187] In nothing did Fox show his originality and insight more
clearly than in his work of organizing the Society which his
ministry had drawn together. During his long imprisonment many
internal difficulties had arisen, which showed that the Society
was too loosely organized for a permanent work in the world. The
rest of his life — twenty-four years — was mainly devoted to
this work of perfecting the system of meetings and government,
though his ministry meantime in no way slackened. The first system
of Discipline, printed in 1669 by his opponents, under the title,
“Canons and Institutions,” was drawn up soon after the release
from Scarborough Castle.

[188] On this broad principle, of teaching everything useful and
civil in creation, the work of Friends began in the cause of
education. The subsequent history of their educational work is

[189] 1669.

[190] The “Bristol Register of Friends” shows the date of the
marriage of George Fox to Margaret Fell to have been “Eighth
month” 27th, 1669.

[191] During the next four years George Fox and his wife were
almost continually separated from each other. About three months
after their marriage Margaret Fox was thrown into Lancaster
prison, where she was kept until a few weeks before her husband
sailed on his memorable trip to the West Indies and the American

[192] In a very keen letter Fox told the magistrates that this act
would have prevented the twelve apostles and the seventy disciples
from meeting!

[193] This trial at the Old Bailey is reported in full in the
Preface to the Works of William Penn. It is one of the most
interesting episodes in his life, and, from a legal point of view,
it is one of the most important jury trials of that century.
William Penn had thrown in his lot with the Quakers definitely in
1666, though he had been influenced by the preaching of Thomas Loe
while he was a student in Oxford University in 1659.

[194] Near Rochester.

[195] This is another of the times in Fox’s life when he underwent
serious physical changes as a result of psychical disturbance.

[196] This was in 1669, about three months after their marriage.
The sentence of praemunire was passed against Margaret Fell in
1663, so that for about seven (Fox says ten) years she was the
Binges prisoner, and her estate was in jeopardy.

[197] He speaks of “the yearly meeting” as though it were a well-
established institution. Norman Penney has sent me an interesting
extract from Barclay’s “Letters of the Early Friends,” which
traces the development of the yearly meeting:
    “There was a yearly meeting settled at Skipton in Yorkshire
for all the northern and southern countries, . . . and then the
yearly meeting was removed to John Crooks, . . . and afterwards
the yearly meeting was kept at Balley, in Yorkshire, and likewise
at Skipton, in the year 1660. And from thence it was moved to
London the next year, where it hath been kept ever since,” p. 312
from a document said to have been by George Fox, but only since
1672 has it been held in London without intermission. The series
of yearly meeting minutes commences 23d of Third month, 1671.

[198] Which would be August by the unreformed calendar.

[199] A Moorish pirate ship, named from Sallee, a seaport of
Morocco. This incident not only indicates Fox’s simple faith in
God but it also is a good illustration of the way in which he
inspired confidence in others. The captain believes in him.

[200] As George Fox was too ill to travel, the meetings for
worship and for business were held at the house where he was
staying. At these meetings he gave much valuable counsel. Here he
first met with slavery and dealt with it. “I desired them also
that they would cause their overseers to deal mildly and gently
with their negroes, and not use cruelty towards them as the manner
of some hath been and is; and that after certain years of
servitude, they would make them free.”

[201] In order that it might he positively clear that he “exalted
Christ in all His offices,” he wrote an extended Letter to the
Governor of Barbadoes. The Letter takes the form of a declaration
of faith and is often referred to as an authoritative statement of
the belief of Friends. It was, however, not written for that
purpose, and it is not by any means a full statement of their
belief. It does not even mention the principle which held the
leading place in all Fox’s teaching and preaching. The Letter to
the governor was written to clear Friends from false charges and
it dwells solely on the points on which Fox is rumored to be
unsound, or charged with dangerous teaching. The earliest
“declaration of faith” of the Quakers was issued by Christopher
Holder, John Copeland and Richard Doudney, from Boston prison in
1657. The earliest statement issued in England was Richard
Farnsworth’s “Confession and Profession of Faith in God,” London,

[202] March 8th, 1672.

[203] John Burnyeat travelled extensively and did much valuable
work in America. See the Journal of John Burnyeat, reprinted in
Volume II. of Friends’ Library.

[204] Eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay.

[205] Local word for Indian chief or headman.

[206] In Delaware.

[207] That is, kindly-spirited.

[208] George Bishop, in “New England Judged,” p. 351, says that
New England Yearly Meeting was set up in 1661. John Burnyeat, who
had attended it in 1671, says in his Journal. “It begins in the
ninth of the Fourth month every year, and continues for much of a
week, and is a general meeting once a year for all Friends in New
England.” The records for several years after its origin were
destroyed by fire. They are, however, complete from 1683 to date.

[209] For an account of Fox’s relations with Roger Williams see
note in next chapter.

[210] “Shelter Island” lies at the Eastern end of Long Island,
between Gardiner’s Bay and Little Peconic Bay. Nathaniel Sylvester
was the sole proprietor of the island, and he made it a shelter
for persecuted Friends from New England.

[211] Point Judith.

[212] Rye is now in New York State. The boundary between New York
and Connecticut was long in dispute. At this time it seems Rye was
in Governor Winthrop’s territory.

[213] Now Governor’s Island.

[214] In New Jersey.

[215] This narrative has sometimes been questioned and sometimes
been taken to prove that Fox was an instrument in working
miracles. Neither solution is satisfactory, or necessary. Recent
medical annals give similar cases. A dislocated neck is not
necessarily fatal. The incident shows again Fox’s readiness in
dealing coolly and skillfully with hard situations. He endeavors
to do what can be done.

[216] It is not easy to follow Fox’s scanty itinerary. ‘There are
two Tinicum islands in the Delaware (it is called “Dinidock” in
the first edition of the Journal). The crossing was probably made
at the upper island, which is just in front of what is now the
city of Burlington, though this would be hardly ninety miles from
Middletown Harbour, as he estimates. He then travels down across
the very country which Friends afterwards settled under the
leadership of William Penn. There is evidence to show that the
idea of forming in America a colony of Friends originated with
George Fox. We learn from a letter of Josiah Coale, a Friend who
had travelled extensively among the Indians, that George For had
commissioned him to treat with the Susquehanna Indians for the
purchase of a strip of territory. Fox’s letter is not preserved,
but Josiah Coale’s answer is among the Swarthmore MSS., and is as
follows: “Dear George, — As concerning Friends buying a piece of
land of the Susquehanna Indians, I have spoken of it to them and
told them what thou said concerning it, but their answer was that
there is no land that is habitable or fit for situation beyond
Baltimore’s liberty [i.e., beyond the domain of Lord Baltimore,]
till they come to or near the Susquehanna fort, and besides
William Fuller, who was the chief man amongst Friends with the
Indians . . . is withdrawn at present, . . . so that without him
little can be done at present with the Indians; and besides, these
Indians are at war with another nation of Indians, who are very
numerous, and it is doubted by some that in a little space they
will be so destroyed that they will not be a people. Thine in the
This letter was written in 1660, twelve years before this
American visit. About the same time William Penn’s thoughts were
turning in the same direction. Writing about Pennsylvania in 1681,
he says: “This I can say that I had an opening of joy as to these
parts in the year 1661, at Oxford twenty years since.” By a
purchase made through John Fenwick and Edward Byllynge. Friends
obtained possession of a great section of New Jersey in 1674, the
year after George Fox arrived in England. There can be no doubt
that his thoughts were on future settlements here as he travelled
through what is now Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

[217] The “desperate river” was probably the Brandywine, and the
Christiana “River” is Christiana Creek, formed from a junction of
Red Clay and White Clay Creeks. It finds the Delaware about two
miles below Wilmington. The Bohemia and Sassafras Rivers are two
of the many arms of Chesapeake Bay. The “Kentish Shore” is the
shore of Kent County, Maryland. Tredhaven (or Thirdhaven) is
farther down the Bay, where the boats were so thick it seemed like
the Thames! A meeting was established here which remains until the
present time.

[218] In Delaware.

[219] Now St. Michael’s.

[220] What is now called Baltimore Yearly Meeting was established
in 1672.

[221] Now Somerton.

[222] Now Chowan.

[223] Now Roanoke.

[224] The letter began as follows:

“Dear heart,
“This day we came into Bristol, near night, from the sea; glory to
the Lord God over all for ever, who was our convoy, and steered
our course! who is the God of the whole earth, of the seas and
winds, and made the clouds His chariots, beyond all words, blessed
be His name for ever! He is over all in His great power and
wisdom. Amen.”

[225] When George Fox married Margaret Fell she had one son
George, and seven daughters, as follows: Margaret, who married
John Rous; Bridget, who married John Draper; Isabel, twice
married, first to William Romans and then to Abraham Morrice;
Sarah, who married William Mead (Penn’s companion in the famous
trial) Mary, who married Thomas Lower; Susanna, who married
William Ingram, and Rachel, who married Daniel Abraham.

[226] This is the beginning of a serious opposition to Fox’s
system of government, which finally grew to an open schism. It was
headed by John Wilkinson and John Story. It was one of the most
trying struggles of Fox’s life.

[227] That is, in reclaiming those who have gone astray.

[228] Margaret Fox and her daughter were sent on under the escort
of a Friend, a merchant from Bristol, who, Fox says, “seemed to
have met us providentially to assist my wife and her daughter in
their journey homewards, when by our imprisonment they were
deprived of our company and help.” Fox had just received a message
that his mother was in her last illness, and it had been his
intention to part from his wife in Warrickshire and have a last
visit with his aged mother. This privilege never came, for Mary
Fox, of Fenny Drayton, died while her son was in Worcester prison.

[229] This is Chief Justice Sir Matthew Hale.

[230] It will be noticed that Fox is set at liberty on the errors
in his indictment, and not on a judicial decision that it is
illegal to imprison on a praemunire.

[231] George Fox was now only fifty-one years old, but he was
prematurely broken by the sufferings and exposures which only such
an iron constitution as he possessed could have endured for thirty
years. He still had fourteen years to live, but from now on a
decided change appears. There is no cessation of activity, but it
is activity of a quieter sort. Only one important mission journey
falls in these years — the visit to Holland and Germany.
Henceforth he makes his pen speak for him. Epistles and books are
the main results of these fourteen years. The Journal grows dry
and devoid of dramatic interest, and our gleanings from it will be
few. He is much at Swarthmore or at Kingston, near London where
Margaret Rous, a daughter of his wife, lived.

[232] 1677.

[233] Worminghurst.

[234] Fox did not see Roger Williams in Providence, though the
latter had a personal tilt with John Burnyeat at Newport in 1671.
After George Fox had left Providence and had gone back down the
Bay with his companion, Nicholas Easton, governor of Rhode Island
Roger Williams rowed to Newport with a challenge to a debate. Fox,
however, had already left the island, and was well on his way
toward Long Island. Williams then wrote, what Fox elsewhere calls
“Roger Williams’s ‘Book of Lyes,'” a book bearing the grimly
humorous title, “George Fox digged out of his Burrows,” Boston,
1676. (See Publications of the Narragansett Club, Vol. V., pp.
xx.-xlv., Providence, 1872.) Fox and Burnyeat reply to this
“slanderous book” in a sixty-five-page pamphlet entitled, “A New
England Fire Brand Quenched.” Fox seemed not to know just where
the famous “apostle of soul liberty” lived as he says, “a priest
of New England (or some colony thereabouts!)”

[235] Whither they had gone for some religious service.

[236] This Galenus Abrahams was a Mennonite and a man of
considerable note. Sewell, the Quaker historian, who had himself
been a disciple of Abrahams, tells us that in this discussion,
which lasted five hours, the latter maintained the position that
“nobody nowadays could be accepted as a messenger of God unless he
confirmed the same by miracle.” (See Sewell’s “History of
Friends,” Vol. II., page 368, edition of 1823. See, also,
Barclay’s “Religious Societies of the Commonwealth,” pages 174,
251.) During his second visit to Holland, Fox had another
interview with the famous Mennonite which gives an interesting
side light on the penetrating power of Fox’s eyes, already
noticed. “Before I left I went to visit one Galenus Abrahams, a
teacher of chief note among the Mennonites, or Baptists. I had
been with him when I was in Holland about seven years before and
William Penn and George Keith had disputes with him. He was then
very high and shy, so that he would not let me touch him, nor look
upon him (by his good will) but bid me ‘Keep my eyes off him,
for,’ he said, ‘they pierced him.’ But now he was very loving and
tender, and confessed in some measure to truth; his wife also and
daughter were tender and kind, and we parted from them very

[237] He had previously had a trying time with opponents who were
“very unruly and troublesome” in some meetings held at the home of
his friend Thomas Ellwood, at Hunger Hill, near London.

[238] This is an interesting letter to John III. of Poland, in
which are given many passages from the words of sovereigns, both
ancient and modern, in behalf of liberty of conscience. The letter
is an able and valuable document, written, as the writer says, “in
love to thy immortal soul and for thy eternal good.” It closes
with this postscript:
    “Postscript. — ‘Blessed be the merciful, for they shall
obtain mercy.’ And remember, O king, Justin Martyr’s two Apologies
to the Roman emperors, in the defence of the persecuted
Christians; and that notable Apology, which was written by
Tertullian, upon the same subject; which are not only for the
Christian religion, but against all persecution for religion.”

[239] 1680.

[240] 1682.

[241] Here is a beautiful letter to those who are suffering:
“Dear, suffering lambs, for the name and command of Jesus; be
valiant for His truth, and faithful, and ye will feel the presence
of Christ with you. Look at Him who suffered for you, who hath
bought you, and will feed you; who saith, ‘Be of good comfort, I
have overcome the world’; who destroys the devil and his works,
and bruises the serpent’s head. I say, look to Christ, your
sanctuary, in whom ye have rest and peace. To you it is given not
only to believe, but to suffer for His name’s sake. They that will
live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution by the
ungodly professors of Christ Jesus, who live out of Him. Therefore
be valiant for God’s truth upon the earth, and look above that
spirit that makes you suffer up to Christ, who was before it was,
and will be when it is gone.”

[242] In 1683.

[243] On First-day at the Savoy.

[244] Spring of 1684.

[245] The journal of the second visit to Holland gives little
matter of fresh interest. The visit lasted from the 31st of May to
the 16th of July, 1684.

[246] This letter to the Duke of Holstein ends as follows:
“I entreat the duke to consider these things. I entreat him
to mind God’s grace and truth in his heart that is come by Jesus;
that by his Spirit of Grace and truth he may come to serve and
worship God in his Spirit and truth; so that he may serve the
living eternal God that made him, in his generation, and have his
peace in Christ, that the world cannot take away. And I do desire
his good, peace, and prosperity in this world, and his eternal
comfort and happiness in the world that is everlasting. Amen.
G. F.
    “London, 26th of the 8th Month, 1684.”

[247] The Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of Charles II.,
landed in Lyme, in Devonshire, hoping to secure the throne, but he
was defeated at Sedgemoor and captured July 6th, 1685.

[248] On the 16th of May James II. issued a warrant commanding
that all Quakers who had been convicted on charges of praemunire,
or for not swearing, or for not going to church, should be
released. By the execution of this warrant about fifteen hundred
Quakers were set free. Naturally the yearly meeting which followed
was a happy time. This “Order of Release” is preserved in the
Archives in Devonshire House in London. It is written on eleven
skins of vellum, with the king’s portrait at the top. In the list
is the name of John Bunyan, who got included in this Royal Pardon.

[249] September, 1688.

[250] This letter was written October 17th, 1688. William landed
in England November 5th, 1688.

[251] March, 1689.

[252] November, 1690.

[253] This epistle, the last he ever wrote, closes with a
triumphant note and an optimistic outlook on the world:
“Christ the Seed reigns; and His power is over all, who
bruises the serpent’s head, and destroys the devil and his works,
and was before he was. So all of you live and walk in Christ
Jesus; that nothing may be between you and God, but Christ, in
whom ye have salvation, life, rest and peace with God.
    “As for the affairs of truth in this land and abroad, I hear
that in Holland and Germany, and thereaway, Friends are in love,
unity, and peace: and in Jamaica, Barbadoes, Nevis, Antigua,
Maryland, and New-England, I hear nothing, but Friends are in
unity and peace. The Lord preserve them all out of the world (in
which there is trouble) in Christ Jesus, in whom there is peace,
life, love, and unity. Amen. My love in the Lord Jesus Christ to
all Friends everywhere in your land, as though I named them.
    G. F.
    “London. the 10th of the 11th month, 1690” (January 10th,

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