1611 – 1660
Mary Barrett Dyer (1611 – 1660) was an English Puritan turned Quaker who was hanged in Boston, Massachusetts for repeatedly defying a law banning Quakers from the colony. She is one of the four executed Quakers known as the Boston martyrs.
1614 – 1702
Margaret Fell or Margaret Fox (c. 1614 - 23 April 1702) a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, is often called the "mother of Quakerism". Her home at Swarthmoor Hall in the Lake District was a key hub for the first Quakers, and she was one of the 'Valiant Sixty' early Quaker preachers and missionaries.
1616 – 1679
Isaac Penington was a Quaker writer and theologian. He was also interested in politics. He was imprisoned six times for his Quaker principles.
1618 – 1660
James Nayler was one of the most prominent early Quaker preachers, and was known for the power of his ministry and his charismatic effect on many followers.
1623 – 1682
Mary Penington became a Quaker in 1658, along with her second husband Isaac. She had long been searching for a religious understanding that felt right to her and wrote about her quest. Like many early Friends much of the property was confiscated, but her excellent management saw them through. capable manager. Her daughter from her first marriage was Gulielma Springett, who later married William Penn.
1624 – 1691
George Fox (1624 – 91), founder of the Society of Friends (Quakers) was born and grew up in England in the turbulent times leading up to the Civil War. He travelled to Holland and Germany and to North America and the Caribbean, as well as all over Britain and Ireland. Quakers were persecuted for most of his adult life, but he lived to see freedom of religion established in Britain.
1624 – 1699
The seventeenth century was a turbulent time in Britain and Ireland, with civil war and great political, religious, and social change. It was also the century when British colonisation of North America and the Caribbean took off, and the transatlantic slave trade with it. This was the context in which Quakerism began.
1627 – 1712
William Edmondson (1627-1712) grew up in Westmorland. He was in the Parliamentary army during the Civil War, but became a Quaker in 1653. He spent most of the rest of his life, in Ireland, and was key to establishing Quakerism there. He undertook several fruitful missionary journeys to the American colonies, often alongside George Fox.
1628 – 1671
Elizabeth Hooton (1628-1671)may well have been the first person to be ‘convinced of the truth’ by George Fox. Certainly she was the first of the great Quaker woman missionaries, and one of the group known as the Valiant Sixty. She travelled several times to the New World and endured persecution well into her old age.
1644 – 1718
William Penn (October 14, 1644 – July 30, 1718) was an English founder and "Absolute Proprietor" of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future U.S. State of Pennsylvania. He was known as an early champion of democracy and religious freedom and famous for his good relations and his treaties with the Lenape Indians. Under his direction, Philadelphia was planned and developed.
1644 – 1718
William Penn’s influence in justice matters was considerable. As a lawyer, he was well equipped to resist the unfairness of many of the laws of his day. Nevertheless he suffered imprisonment himself several times. The historic Penn Mead trial established a clear legal precedent on both sides of the Atlantic, for the right of a jury to make its own decisions, whatever the judge’s advice.
1652 – 2020
The effect of crime and justice in society has always been important to Quakers. Quakers have been concerned with prisons and offenders from the beginning. Many early Quakers spent time in prison, so had first hand experience. The belief in 'that of God' in everyone led to work on rehabilitating prisoners and on prison reform.
1652 – 1725
Many early Quakers were imprisoned, and often had their property confiscated. Three of them made particular contributions to Quaker thought and action concerning criminal justice, George Fox (the founder of Quakerism), Margaret Fell, and William Penn. The fourth, John Bellers, was an early thinker about social and penal reform.
1652 – 2020
Children were seen from the outset as having ‘something of God’ within them, which should be respected and nurtured. They are entitled to education and to be heard, and to freedom from exploitation and ill treatment in the workplace and the home.
1652 – 2020
Quaker mission work over the centuries has had three strands – spreading the Quaker message to non-Friends, visiting and strengthening existing Friends, and service (educational, health…). These strands have often been interwoven, with varying thicknesses at different times and places, but all three continue to the present day.
1654 – 1725
John Bellers was an economist and social reformer. He was greatly concerned about the welfare of the poor. In 1695 he published proposals for a mixed agricultural and manufacturing settlement where about three hundred people could live and work. He was also the first person in Europe to advocate the abolition of capital punishment.
1656 – 1783
(1656 – 1783) Quaker missionaries from Britain began visiting in 1656, and went on doing so throughout the colonial period, soon joined by American missionaries. Some travelled for years at a time. They visited all the thirteen colonies that founded the US, and Quakerism became strong in several places, notably Rhode Island, Nantucket, Long Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.
1656 – 1783
(1656-1783) The first Quaker missionaries came to Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth and Rhode Island. They were persecuted in the first two, but welcomed in tolerant Rhode Island. Later missionaries took their message all over present day New England, and Quakers were to be found in many parts, with the largest concentrations in Rhode Island and Nantucket.
1656 – 1783
(1656-1783) The first Quaker missionaries came to Maryland and Virginia in 1656-7 and were followed by many others. In 1672 mission work began in Carolina. Maryland and Carolina were tolerant, open colonies, where Quakers could minister freely. Virginia was more restrictive. Quakerism took root in parts of Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.
1657 – 1918
Quaker missionaries first came to Germany in 1657. Many German Quakers emigrated to Pennsylvania, over the next two centuries, and some were key players in the early antislavery campaign. In Germany itself several meetings grew up, the most significant of which was at Bad Pyrmont in Saxony. They suffered greatly during the nineteenth century wars with France, but there were still small groups of Quakers in Germany at the end of World War 1.
1657 – 1783
(1657 - 1783) The first Quaker missionaries came to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (later New York) in 1657, and were followed by many others. The colony tolerated religious differences, and many were willing to listen to Quaker ideas. Quakerism thrived on Long Island and in New York City, and spread upcountry as the colony grew.
1660 – 2020
Quakers have always been committed to education. They believed from the outset that it could nurture ‘that of God’ in everyone. There are Quaker schools on all continents, and some universities/colleges too. All aspire to a Quaker ethos, and all welcome Quakers and non-Quakers.
1660 – 2020
The belief in equality led Quakers to campaign against slavery, and to aspire to good treatment of anyone who worked in a Quaker enterprise. As well as workplace conditions, many were also concerned with general welfare. QUNO works at the UN towards international labour standards.
1660 – 1800
Trees played an important part in the Quaker interest in plants. Saplings were transported across the Atlantic in both directions, and arboreta were created both for study and the general public.
1662 – 1900
The Lloyd family from Dolobran, Montgomeryshire, Wales can trace their history back to the days of the early Quakers in the 17th Century and two brothers, Charles and Thomas. Both were imprisoned for their beliefs. Thomas later went to Pennsylvania where he became deputy governor. Many of their descendants prospered, first in iron making and later in banking.
1674 – 1783
(1674 - 1783) In the 1650s there was a vast tract of sparsely populated Indian land between the northern and southern colonies. William Penn and others seized the opportunity to acquire the land as a place where Quakers could live freely. West Jersey was the first, in 1674, followed by East Jersey, and then Pennsylvania.
1675 – 2030
Meeting for Sufferings (MfS) is British Friends’ key strategic body. It was established in response to the sufferings Quakers experienced in the early days, hence its name. Its role was soon broadened and it has played an important part in British Quakers’ responses to the needs of their time ever since. The name has never been changed.
1678 – 1789
Three generations of Darbys (1678 - 1789) played an important part in the early stages of the industrial revolution in Britain. At their ironworks in Coalbrookdale on the Welsh border, they developed new methods for the mass production of iron, and manufactured new things with it - cast iron pots and pans, railway lines, engine parts, and much else.
1681 – 17011
The "Holy Experiment" is how William Penn described his plans for Pennsylvania, which he founded in 1682. Penn planned to put all his Quaker principles into practice here, something that it was impossible to achieve in England at the time. Everyone would be able to live as they wished within the law, and worship as they chose.
1681 – 1759
Benjamin Lay (1681-1759) was an important campaigner for abolition amongst the Quaker community in 18th century Philadelphia. His methods were often dramatic 'action statements' such as standing barefoot in the snow to illustrate the conditions under which slaves lived.
1681 – 1783
(1681 - 1783) William Penn established Pennsylvania as a Holy Experiment enshrining Quaker principles of religious and political liberty. Quakers and many others flocked to the colony, and it prospered. Quakers were soon in a minority, but they played a prominent part in colonial public life.
1688 – 2020
Quakers in Philadelphia stated that slavery was immoral in 1688. Slavery was finally abolished in the United States, in 1865. In that time Quakers gradually rooted out slavery within the Quaker community, and campaigned for its general abolition. Many broke the law by assisting runaway slaves. American Quakers, with many others, work against modern forms of slavery.
1694 – 19121780
Many Quaker botanists were talented illustrators. Their work was particularly valuable because of their attention to detail and the care that they took to accurately represent the plants that they drew.
16700 – 17420
(c1670-1742) Thomas Story was an early Quaker missionary. He travelled in Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany and colonial North America, and worked for William Penn in Pennsylvania for several years. He had an abiding love of trees and brought many specimens back from his travels.
16900 – 1896
The international bank Barclays can trace its origins back to Quaker goldsmiths Gould and Freame who established themselves in London in the 1690’s. The name Barclay became associated with the business in 1736 when James Barclay became a partner. The bank prospered and financed canals, railways and bridges. In 1896, following several changes of name and the amalgamation of twenty banks, some with Quaker origins, it became Barclay and Company Limited.