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Title: George Fox - An Autobiography
Author: Fox, George
Language: English
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  [Illustration: GEORGE FOX



  An Autobiography


  [Illustration: printer's logo]





     "_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

                                          --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

                                                --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 stage-coach, 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, Feb., 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.


            OF THE
            AND THE
          VISITED BY
          GEORGE FOX

  _Towns in which he was imprisoned marked thus_ *

  The maps of Lancashire and of Middlesex used by kind permission
     of the Meeting for Sufferings of London Yearly Meeting]


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

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 by-products
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 wrote.

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. Thomas.

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 "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 mediæval thought, and
had absorbed a mass of mediæval 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

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 "Gangræna," 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 "Gangræna." "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.[A] 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.[B] However his
age misunderstood him, he would to-day find a goodly fellowship of

  [A] "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 à Kempis and Jacob Böhme, 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
                            _Editorial in "The Methodist Times."_

  [B] "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._

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 blasphemed."

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 naïve 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 thought.

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 "progagate
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 environment.

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 conviction.

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,[C] 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 they 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.

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

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.[D] 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 æsthetic 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.

  [D] "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 dwarfs_, for a dwarf shall not come near to offer upon God's

                 _From an Epistle of George Fox written in 1690._

4. On the distinctively 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, and 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 on 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 result.

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 to-day 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 shipwreck.

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.[E]
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.

  [E] "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._

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."[F]

  [F] From William Penn's "Preface to the Journal of George Fox."



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 divers 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
evil-minded 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

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 edification.

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 fails.

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

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 offence. 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 divers 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 divers 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 America.

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 excellest them all."



  PREFACE,                                                9

  INTRODUCTION,                                          15

  FAITHFUL SERVANT, GEORGE FOX,                          46

  I.--BOYHOOD--A SEEKER,                                 65

  II.--THE FIRST YEARS OF MINISTRY,                      90


  IV.--A YEAR IN DERBY JAIL,                            118

  MILES,                                                132

  VI.--A NEW ERA BEGINS,                                150

  VII.--IN PRISON AGAIN,                                179

  VIII.--A VISIT TO OLIVER CROMWELL,                    197

  IN LAUNCESTON JAIL,                                   222

  X.--PLANTING THE SEED IN WALES,                       269

  XI.--IN THE HOME OF THE COVENANTERS,                  297

  XII.--GREAT EVENTS IN LONDON,                         317


  XIV.--LABORS, DANGERS AND SUFFERINGS,                 363

  XV.--IN PRISON FOR NOT SWEARING,                      392

  XVI.--A YEAR IN SCARBOROUGH CASTLE,                   436

  XVII.--AT THE WORK OF ORGANIZING,                     459

  XVIII.--TWO YEARS IN AMERICA,                         482

  XIX.--THE LAST IMPRISONMENT,                          536

  XX.--THE SEED REIGNS OVER DEATH,                      562

  INDEX,                                                579

[Illustration: Signature George Fox ]


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 childhood.

I was born in the month called July, 1624, at Drayton-in-the-Clay,[1]
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.[2]

  [1] 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.

  [2] 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.)

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 words,
yet I was to keep to Yea and Nay in all things; and that my words
should be few and savoury, seasoned with grace; and that I might
not eat and drink to make myself wanton, but for health, using the
creatures[3] in their service, as servants in their places, to the
glory of Him that created them.

  [3] "Creatures" here and frequently means "created things."

As I grew up, my relations thought to have made me a priest,[4] but
others persuaded to the contrary. Whereupon I was put to a man who
was a shoemaker[5] 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

  [4] "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.

  [5] 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 leather-work."
  Croese says the shoemaker and cattle grazer lived in Nottingham.

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[6] 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.

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

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,[7] in the year 1644.

  [7] 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.

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 professed.

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 Lord. 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

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[8] 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.

  [8] "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.

Being returned[9] 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,[G] 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.

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

  [G] The Civil War was at its height.

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,[10] which gave me a
dislike to him. This priest afterwards became my great persecutor.

  [10] 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.)

After this I went to another ancient priest[H] 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.

  [H] Richard Abell.

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,[I] 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.

  [I] Of Atherstone.

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.[11]

  [11] 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.

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[12] 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.

  [12] 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_.

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

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 them.

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,[J] and told them there was an anointing within man to
teach him, and that the Lord would teach His people Himself.

  [J] That is, gave them Scripture references.

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.[13] 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."

  [13] This was one of the many curious religious sects with which
  the England of the Commonwealth was overrun. (See Edwards's

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 Friends.[14]

  [14] "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 Light."

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,[15]
I met with more friendly people, and with some in empty high
notions.[16] 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.[17] With these I had some
meetings and discourses; but my troubles continued, and I was often
under great temptations.

  [15] In the northern part of Derbyshire.

  [16] 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.

  [17] 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.

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

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

  [18] 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.

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.[K] Among them I saw there was some
tenderness; and many of them came afterwards to be convinced, for
they had some openings.

  [K] The "Separatists"--especially here the Congregationalists and

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";[19] and when I heard it, my heart did leap
for joy.

  [19] 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."

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 experimentally_.

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

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 it.

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 I 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

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 profession.

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.[20] 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.

  [20] At the very beginning of his ministry in 1647 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.

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

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,[L] 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.

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

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.[21] 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.

  [21] 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.

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.


The First Years of Ministry


After this[M] 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.[22] 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.

  [M] In the year 1648.

  [22] 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."

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.[23]

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

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 ground.

Then I heard of a great meeting to be at Leicester, for a
dispute, wherein Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists and
Common-prayer-men[N] 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.

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

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 wood.[24]

  [24] 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

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.[25] 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.

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

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."[26]
Immediately the cloud and temptation vanished away, and life rose
over it all; my heart was glad, and I praised the living God.

  [26] See Whittier's poem, "Revelation."

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.[O] We had great meetings in those parts;
for the power of the Lord broke through in that side of the country.

  [O] He means experience.

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,[27] 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 them.

  [27] 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.

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.[28] They all received my exhortation
kindly; for I was moved of the Lord therein.

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

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. Divers 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

  [29] 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.

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.[30]
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.

  [30] The name "Friends" is apparently used as formerly on page 77
  to designate the gatherings of persons who sympathized with Fox's
  message and who _afterwards_ were called "Friends."

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[31] 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.

  [31] 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.

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,[32] 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.

  [32] 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.

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

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.[33]

  [33] 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.

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,[34] 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.

  [34] 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.

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.[35] 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.

  [35] 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.

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[P] against it.

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

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.


The Challenge and the First Taste of Prison


Now, as I went towards Nottingham, on a First-day, 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 Ghost.

As I spoke thus amongst them, the officers came and took me away, and
put me into a nasty, stinking prison;[36] the smell whereof got so
into my nose and throat that it very much annoyed me.

  [36] 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

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

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 jail.

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,[37] she being first bound, and many people about her,
holding her by violence; but he could get no blood from her.

  [37] 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.

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

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.[38] But I told them they must find these things
in their own hearts; at which they seemed to wonder.

  [38] 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.

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 God.

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.


A Year in Derby Jail


As I travelled through markets, fairs, and divers 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 service.

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.[39]

  [39] 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_."

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."[40]

  [40] These answers sufficiently differentiate George Fox from the

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,[41] as may appear by the mittimus, a copy whereof
here followeth:

  [41] 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."

     "To the master of the house of correction in Derby, greeting:

     "We have sent you herewithal the bodies of 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 divers 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, 1650.

                                                 "GERVASE BENNET,
                                                 "NATH. BARTON."

While I was here in prison divers professors came 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.[42] This was in the year 1650.

  [42] 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 1654.

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 expired.

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

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.[43]

  [43] 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 war.

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;[44] yet at times they would let
me walk to the garden, believing I would not go away.

  [44] 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.

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

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.


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 me.

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 sheep.

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 me.

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

  [45] It must be remembered that this act of George Fox occurred
  at the close of a year of imprisonment, 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 times.

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 away.

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[Q] 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.

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

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 Christmas.

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."[46] 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.

  [46] 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 durability.

     [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 hay-stack, 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 spoke.

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,[47] 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.

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

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 pike-staff 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.[R] The man told him, No;
it was my principle.

  [R] Foolish.

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

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.[48] 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.

  [48] 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.

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

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[49] 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.

  [49] 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.

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

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[S] for ten miles
round. For people had the Scriptures, but were not in the same Light,
power, and Spirit which those were in who gave forth the Scriptures;
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.

  [S] "All the country in their profession" means "all the people
  throughout the country who are mere nominal Christians."


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.[50]

  [50] This spring is still called "George Fox's well."

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

  [51] 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.

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[52] 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

  [52] Richard Farnsworth was "convinced" at Balby in 1651, and
  became one of George Fox's most valuable helpers.

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

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

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 Jesus.

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

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[53] 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.

  [53] 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.

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

Thence I went to Underbarrow, and several people going along with me,
great reasonings I had with them, especially with Edward Burrough.[54]

  [54] 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."

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 money.

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

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

I told them that I had run after those poor people to give them some
money; being grieved at the hard-heartedness of those who gave them

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 it.

Thence I went to Ulverstone, and so to Swarthmore[U] 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.[55] 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.

  [U] In the Furness district.

  [55] 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."

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

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?"[56] 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.

  [56] 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 page 110.)
  Justices of the Peace had authority to forbid any person to speak.

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 hay-mow; 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.[57]

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

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.[V] 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.[58]

  [V] "Speaking to their conditions" meant describing their inward

  [58] 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 interest.

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 thereinto.

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

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 water-side, 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,[59] 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.

  [59] 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.

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, divers 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

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 convinced.

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

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 blasphemy.

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 also.

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[W]
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.

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

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.


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.[60]

  [60] 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.

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 again.

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."[61] 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.

  [61] 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.

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;[X] 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 multitude.

  [X] In Cumberland.

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

  [62] 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.

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 down.

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.[Y] 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.

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

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;[63]
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.

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

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 convinced.

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

  [64] 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.

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

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,[65] though they could not justly charge any such thing
against me.

  [65] As in Derby, the charge is blasphemy, under the Act of 1648.
  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.

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 way.[66]

  [66] 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.

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,[Z] 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.

  [Z] A kind of freebooter.

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.[67]

  [67] 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.

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

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 Christianity.

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 devil, 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 power.

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 everliving 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

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,[AA] 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.

  [AA] That is, reach with the voice.

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 strength.


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 people.

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."[68]

  [68] 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."

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 may
be 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.[69]

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

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.[70] 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 divers of them,
which was a sad event.

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

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;[AB] but the Lord's power was over all; for I travelled in
the motion of God's power.

  [AB] Ranters.

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.[71]

  [71] 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

  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."

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

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

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 people.

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 wall.

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

  [72] This is the only indication of the extent of "Righteous
  Christer's" sympathy with his son's somewhat revolutionary

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 meddle.

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
divers parts.[73] 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.

  [73] 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.

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

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,[74] 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.

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

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[AC] over against the Mews at

  [AC] This was not the famous "Mermaid" of Shakespeare and Ben

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

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.[75] 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 glory.

  [75] 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.

I 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 another.

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

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.[76] 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.

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

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 divers 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.[77]

  [77] 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.

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.[78] 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.

  [78] A cheap metal made to imitate gold.

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

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.


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

  [79] 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."

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 captain.

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 God.

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 town.

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 Truth.

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.[80] When it was night the mayor of
the town being friendly, came and fetched me to his house;[81] 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.

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

  [81] 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.

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
divers 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 Lord.

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 Christianity.

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.[82]


     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.

  [82] 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.

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 it.[83]

  [83] 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.

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.[84] 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 Truth.

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

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 Truth.

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 away.

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 convinced.

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.[AD] 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.

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

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 design.

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

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 them.

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,[85] 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."

  [85] 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.

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,[AE] 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 convinced.

  [AE] Provender for their horses.

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

"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?[86] and if the law of England
doth command any such thing, show me that law either written or

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

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, jailer."

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

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,

                                                      "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

So that business was let fall; for the Judge saw clearly enough that
instead of ensnaring me, Major Ceely had ensnared himself.

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 witness.

"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 hand.

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

"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.[87]

  [87] 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.

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.[88] 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.

  [88] This has the ring of one of Luther's utterances.

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.[89]

  [89] 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."

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 families.

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.[90] 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 envy.

  [90] 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."

At the assize divers 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[91] 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.

  [91] This Thomas Lower married Judge Fell's daughter, Mary.

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 things.

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.[92] This jailer might have been rich--if he had
carried himself civilly; but he sought his own ruin, which soon after
came upon him.

  [92] 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."

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

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 permitted.

After this[93] 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.

  [93] 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.

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 year.


Panting 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.[94] 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.

  [94] 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."

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 Friend.

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 company.

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;[95] as in the printed
relation of his repentance, condemnation, and recovery may be more
fully seen.

  [95] 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.

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

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 Barbadoes.

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 Christianity.

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

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 divers 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,[AF] 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.

  [AF] In Wales.

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,[AG] 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.

  [AG] A besieging army.

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 heaven.

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.[96]

  [96] 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.

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

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

"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 divers 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 prison.

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.[AH]

  [AH] Counties.

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 us.

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 inn.

Upon this I was moved to go and walk up and down in the streets.[97]
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.

  [97] This was very characteristic of the man.

Next day, being market-day, we were to cross a great water;[98]
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.

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

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 humanity.

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 returned.

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 money.

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 day.

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;[99] but she spoke falsely.

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

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 action!

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 swear."

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

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 Lord.

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


In the Home of the Covenanters.


After I had tarried two First-days at Swarthmore,[100] 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.

  [100] 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

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.[101] 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

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

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,[102] and the eyes
of the people were opened; and a spring of life rose up among them.

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

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.[103]

  [103] 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.

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.[104] 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 manner.

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

Hereupon those Baptists went their way; and after they were gone we
had a blessed meeting in the Lord's power, which was over all.

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

     "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 another.

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 condemnation.

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 all."[105]

  [105] 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

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 returned.

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 before.

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 me.

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

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 patience.[106]

  [106] 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."


  Great Events in London.


  We came into Bedfordshire, where we had large gatherings in the
  name of Jesus.[107] After some time we came to John Crook's,
  where a general yearly meeting for the whole nation was appointed
  to be held.[108] 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.

  [107] 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!

  [108] "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."

Now these things were upon me to open unto all, that they might mind
and see what it is they sit down in.[AI]

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

"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 perfect.

"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 baptism.

"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 divers 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 her.[109]

  [109] 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 any thing 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

                                                          "G. F."

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."

About this time came forth a declaration from Oliver Cromwell, the
Protector, for a collection towards the relief of divers 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,[110] 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 home.

  [110] 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."

Divers 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:[111]

  [111] This was Cromwell's _Second Parliament_.

     "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,[AJ] 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.[112]

  [AJ] Harvey was "groom of the bed chamber."

  [112] 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."

From Kingston I went to Isaac Penington's,[113] 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.

  [113] 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.

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.[114] 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.

  [114] 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."

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

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.[115] 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.

  [115] 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.

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[116] as a warning unto all such.

  [116] This epistle begins: "All Friends everywhere keep out of
  plots and bustling and the arm of flesh." A little later he
  writes again:

  "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."


In the First Year of King Charles.


I entered Bristol on the Seventh day of the week.[117] 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.

  [117] 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.

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

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:[118] 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.

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

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 Generations.

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 end.

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

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 meeting.

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.[119]

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

A Friend went naked through the town, declaring Truth, and was much
beaten.[120] 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.

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

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 divers 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.[121]
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 Parliament.

  [121] 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.

This meeting had stood several years, and divers 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

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-Ford.

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!"[122] 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.

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

When I came in, I said, "Peace be amongst you." Porter asked me why
I came into the country at that troublesome time.[123] 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.

  [123] 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

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 King'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 defence? 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 bold.

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

     "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,[124] 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.

  [124] 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.

     "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 destroyed.

     "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.[125] 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.

  [125] 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.

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

                                "TO THE KING.


     "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,[AK] 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.

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

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 prisoners."

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

                                 "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 thus:

     "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.

                                                  THOMAS MALLET."

     "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 them.


Labors, Dangers and Sufferings.


Now did I see the end of the travail which I had in my sore exercise
at Reading;[126] 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.[127]

  [126] 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."

  [127] 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.

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,[128] 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!"

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

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 divers 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

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 righteousness."

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

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

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 stoppings.[129]

  [129] 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.

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

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 prison.

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 died.[130]

  [130] These Friends, in their use of signs and striking
  symbolisms, were undoubtedly following in the steps of the Hebrew
  prophets. Both William Sympson and Richard Sale were 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.

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

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 divers 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.[131]

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

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 presently."

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 morning.

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

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 devourer.

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 offences 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 command,
                                           "WILLIAM MORRIS."[132]

  [132] 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.

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.[133]

  [133] 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 & 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, &c.
      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

      "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."

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 saying Thou and Thee to a
single person, for which before they were exceedingly fierce against

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 youth.

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

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

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 had.

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' spirit."

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-floor.

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 subdued.

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.[134] 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.

  [134] 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.

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

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.[135] In this year there happened to be a cause tried at the
assize at Nottingham concerning a Friend's marriage.

  [135] 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.

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

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

Hereupon the jury gave in their verdict for the Friend's child
against the man that would have deprived it of its inheritance.

Now, there being very many Friends in prison in the nation,[136]
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:

  [136] 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.

                           "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."


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 fields.

As I went I met divers 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

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 night, leaving me at a Friend's house in Swannington.

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."[137] 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.

  [137] 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

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 affected.

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

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 Swannington.

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

     [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 invisible.

                                                GEORGE FOX."[138]

  [138] 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."

[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[AL] 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."]

  [AL] Truro.

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

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 me.

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 people.

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
Hall. 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, "Yes."

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 matters."

Then said George Middleton, "You deny God, and the Church, and the

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

Then he turned again and said, "You are a rebel and a traitor."

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 them.

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[AM] 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

  [AM] "Truth" is used here and often in Friends' writings for the
  CAUSE which Friends represented.

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 land."

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.[139]

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

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 offence 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

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 them.

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 you."

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

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

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 command.

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 divers 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 1663.

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

"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 speak.

"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 swear."

"Then you will not swear," said the Judge; "take him away, jailer."

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 all."

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

So I was taken to the jail again, and kept prisoner till the next

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,[140] 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.

  [140] 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

     "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."

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 sworn 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 assizes.

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

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 laughter.

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
præmunire 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 judgment-seat.

Then the judge spoke again to the jury, and I called to him to "do me

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 Fell, 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 place.

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 me."

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 præmunire 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 error.

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 again."

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 themselves.

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 liberty.

"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

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 me?"

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 said."

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

"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

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 thing.

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 again.

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

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

"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

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

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

The Judge had passed sentence of præmunire upon Margaret Fell before
I was brought in; and it seems that when I was hurried away they
recorded me as a præmunired person,[141] 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 it.

  [141] "A præmunired 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.

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 defeat.

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

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,[142] which are the
four chief religions that are got up since the apostles' days.

  [142] 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.,


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

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
præmunired, 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 præmunire
passed upon me; therefore I, not being the King's prisoner, but the
sheriff's, did desire to see their order.

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 divers 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 præmunired, 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 loving.

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.[143]

  [143] 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.

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 præmunire; 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 stand.

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 Castle.

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 sinners.

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

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

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 not."

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 righteousness.'"

"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 Jews'?"

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 nature."

"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

"No," said he, "Christ is the head of His people, and they are the

"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 see?"

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 way.

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

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 off.[144]

  [144] 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.

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,[145] and many died in prison. Many also were banished, and
several sent on ship-board by the King's order.

  [145] This "sickness" was the London "plague" of 1665.

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 Lower, 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

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.

                                               "JORDAN CROSLANDS,
                                "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

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 lovingly."]

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;[146] and so
they did, when the city was burning.

  [146] 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.

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[AN] and since.

  [AN] The days of Oliver Cromwell.

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 after.

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.


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.[147] 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.

  [147] 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.

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 creation.[148]

  [148] 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

Thus were the men's monthly meetings settled through the nation.
[1668.] The quarterly meetings were generally settled before.

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

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

       *       *       *       *       *

Now[AO] 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.

  [AO] 1669.

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 ascended.

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 us.

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
informations 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

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 divers
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 truth.

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 myself.

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.[149] 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
divers parts of the nation.

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

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 meetings.[150]

  [150] 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

     [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

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

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

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 unknown.

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?"[151]

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

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 name?"

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.[152]

  [152] 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.

       *       *       *       *       *

As I was walking down a hill,[AP] 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.

  [AP] Near Rochester.

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

  [153] This is another of the times in Fox's life when he
  underwent serious physical changes as a result of psychical

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. Divers
Friends who practised 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

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 life.

     "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

                                                           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.


Two Years in America.


When I received notice of my wife's being taken to prison again,[154]
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.

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

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 præmunired; 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

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[155] 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.

  [155] 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 Bailey, 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.

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,[156]
my wife and several Friends accompanying me to the Downs.

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

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 Downs.

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 Gravesend.

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[157] 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

  [157] 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.

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 counsel.

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 more.

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 offence 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 end."

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.[158]

  [158] 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."

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 others.

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."[159]

  [159] In order that it might be 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,

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 divers 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:--


     "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 Bailey.

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 reigning.

Before I left Jamaica I wrote another letter to my wife, as follows:


     "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,[AQ] 1671-2, and,
having contrary winds, were a full week sailing forwards and
backwards before we could get out of sight of Jamaica.

  [AQ] March 8th, 1672.

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 people.

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

Here we found John Burnyeat,[160] 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.

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

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,[AR] and had a meeting there on the

  [AR] Eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay.

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

  [161] Local word for Indian chief or headman.

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, saying 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,[AS] whither
Robert Widders and George Pattison came to us next morning.

  [AS] In Delaware.

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[AT] 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] That is, kindly-spirited.

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 therein.

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 travelling.

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;[162] to which, besides very many Friends who lived in those
parts, came John Stubbs from Barbadoes, and James Lancaster and John
Cartwright from another way.

  [162] 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.

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 Widders 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 places.

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 divers 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![163]

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

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,[164] having with me Robert
Widders, James Lancaster, George Pattison, and John Jay, a planter of

  [164] "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.

We went in a sloop; and passing by Point Juda[AU] 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. Wherefore we went into our sloop again, put off
for the shore, and cast anchor; and so lay in our sloop that night.

  [AU] Point Judith.

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

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

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,[165] on
the continent, in Governor Winthrop's government, and had a meeting

  [165] 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.

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

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,[AV] and Staten Island, we came to
Richard Hartshorn's at Middletown harbour,[AW] about break of day,
the twenty-seventh of the Sixth month.

  [AV] Now Governor's Island.

  [AW] In New Jersey.

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

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 gospel.

While we were at Shrewsbury, an accident befel, 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

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

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.[166]

  [166] 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.

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

  [167] 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 Fox 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 truth,

                                                   JOSIAH COALE."

  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.

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,[168] 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 miry, that some of the horses were almost laid up.

  [168] 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.

Thence we came to New Castle,[AX] 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.

  [AX] In Delaware.

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,[AY] in Maryland.

  [AY] Now St. Michael's.

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

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.[169]

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

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 divers 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

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 ever!

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 by 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. Divers 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 ever!

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,[AZ] 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.

  [AZ] Now Somerton.

The next day, the 21st 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,[BA] 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

  [BA] Now Chowan.

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[BB] 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.

  [BB] Now Roanoke.

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 Indians.

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

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

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

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 us; 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

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 Virginia.

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 Cliffs 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 divers 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

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.[170]

  [170] 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."


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,[171] 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.

  [171] 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 Yeomans, 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.

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,[172]
"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,[BC]
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."

  [172] 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.

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

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:


     "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."[173]

  [173] 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 Warwickshire 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

     [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 we may be the better
     satisfied, will you take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy?"
     The usual refusal was given, followed with the penalty of
     _præmunire_. 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
præmunired me; so that I being now his prisoner, it was in his power,
and at his pleasure, to release me, which she desired.

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 under-sheriff
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 præmunire.

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

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[174] 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 proclamation.

  [174] This is Chief Justice Sir Matthew Hale.

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 præmunire; 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

  [175] 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 _præmunire_.

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 printed.[176]

  [176] 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 Holyland 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.

     [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 praise.

To the London Yearly Meeting[BD] 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!

  [BD] 1677.

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,[BE]
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 London.

  [BE] Worminghurst.

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.[177]

  [177] 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!)"

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 Holland.

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 me.

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

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 gladness.

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

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 follows:]


     "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

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 wagon.

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 lived.

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

    "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[BF] 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.[178]

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

  [178] 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 lovingly."

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

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.[179]

  [179] 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.

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 them.

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 defence, 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


     "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.[180] 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."

  [180] 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."


"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 Friends.

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,[BG] 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.

  [BG] 1680.

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,[BH] 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.

  [BH] 1682.

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 also.[181]

  [181] 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."

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 speak.

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[BI] 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.

  [BI] In 1683.

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 officers.

As I was speaking in the power of the Lord,[BJ] and the people were
greatly affected therewith, suddenly the constables, with the rude
people, came in like a sea.

  [BJ] On First-day at the Savoy.

One of the constables said to me, "Come down"; and he laid hands on

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

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.[BK] 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

  [BK] Spring of 1684.

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

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![182]

  [182] 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.

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

  [183] 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."

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.[184] 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!

  [184] 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.

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 liberty.[185]

  [185] On the 16th of May James II. issued a warrant commanding
  that all Quakers who had been convicted on charges of
  _præmunire_, 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.

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[BL] 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.

  [BL] September, 1688.

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

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

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,[BM] 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 effectually.

  [BM] March, 1689.

       *       *       *       *       *

I remained at London till the beginning of the Ninth month,[BN] 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.

  [BN] November, 1690.

     [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

  [187] 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, 1691).

[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."]


  Abrahams, Galenus, 556

  Amsterdam, 551

  Audland, John, 154

  Baltimore Yearly Meeting, see Maryland Yearly Meeting.

  Baptists, 18-20

  Barbadoes, 488-492

  Barclay, Robert, 549

  Barnet, 69

  "Battledore, The," 386, 406

  Beavor, Vale of, 94, 98

  Believers, true, 74

  Bennet, Justice, 125, 126

  Beverley, 136

  Bishop, George, 223

  Blood of Christ, 91

  Bradstreet, Simon, 378

  Bristol, 272, 331, 392, 468, 535

  Bunyan, John, 19, 26

  Burnyeat, John, 498, 508, 547

  Burrough, Edward, 157, 374, 402

  Cambridge, 228

  Carlisle, 186-191

  Carlyle, his characterization of Fox, 67n, 139n

  Carolina, 525-528

  Charles II., Fox's letter to, 354

  Church, The, what it is, 92, 145, 447

  Claypole, Lady (Cromwell's daughter), 320

  Clergy, 40

  Coale, Josiah, 515n

  Colchester, 224

  Commonwealth Period, its importance, 16

  Conventicle Act, 470, 474

  Cork, 465

  Cornwall, 238

  Craddock, Dr. (of Coventry), 72

  Cradock, Dr., an Episcopalian, 445ff

  Cromwell, 212-215, 267, 275, 276, 319, 324, 325

  Crook, John, 228, 317

  Croslands, Jordan, 454

  Cumberland, 181

  Dales, The, 151

  Dates, given in "old style," 69n

  Delaware River, 501

  Derby, 119ff;
    Fox imprisoned a year, 121n, 131, 336

  Desborough, General, 243

  Doomsdale in Launceston Jail, 255

  Drayton-in-the-Clay, 65, 203

  Dunbar, 314

  Edinburgh, 302-306, 313

  Edmundson, William, 232, 494, 499, 510, 532

  Education, views on, 37, 461

  Edwards, Thomas, his "Gangræna," 19, 20, 21

  Elizabeth, the Princess, 551

  Endicott, Governor John, 375

  Eton in Derbyshire, 95

  Exeter, 269, 279

  Falmouth (Smethick), 240

  Farnsworth, Richard, 151, 164

  Fell, Judge, 162ff, 164n, 168, 174ff, 295

  Fell, Leonard, 162

  Fell, Margaret (afterwards Margaret Fox), 160, 162,
        351, 352n, 353, 368, 404, 405, 409;
    a prisoner, 417, 421ff, 433;
    marries George Fox, 468ff, 482;
    her children, 536n

  Fenny-Drayton, 65n, 203

  Fifth-monarchy men, 23, 364, 367, 384

  Flushing, 502

  Foreign mission work, early, 385

  Fox, Christopher, 65, 208

  Fox, George, his creative power, 24;
    the prophet of English Reformation, 24;
    his "despair," 26;
    turning point in his life, 27;
    views of the Bible, 29;
    his mysticism, 31;
    enthusiasm, 32;
    Divine Guidance, 33;
    his view of man, 34;
    a reformer, 35;
    views of Education, 37;
    on Predestination, 40;
    his cures, 41;
    his "Society," 42;
    his fellow-workers, 43;
    parentage, birth, early life, 65-67;
    "leather suit," 67, 139;
    leaves home, 68;
    "despair," 69;
    his experiences, 72-82;
    his financial means, 74;
    conversion, 82-85;
    his sense of conditions, 87;
    psychical change, 87;
    the "flaming sword," 97;
    new view of creation, 97;
    his central teaching, 101;
    his message, 101-105, 140, 155, 162;
    first imprisonment, 110;
    cures an hysteric woman, 112;
    in Derby jail, 121ff;
    at Lichfield, 132-134;
    value of his preaching, 141;
    his iron constitution, 144n;
    beaten and stoned, 146;
    Swarthmore, 159;
    beaten at Ulverstone, 169ff;
    beaten at Walney, 172ff;
    how he bore persecution, 174;
    his cures, 180n;
    his discerning, 184;
    sings in prison, 191;
    visits Cromwell, 212-215 (see also Cromwell);
    in Launceston jail and his trial, 244-268;
    moved to travel over the nation, 277;
    preaches three hours, 284 (see also 155, 184, 274);
    long hair, 293;
    his brave spirit, 311;
    use of the Bible, 327;
    his eyes, 344 (see also 187, 557);
    imprisoned at Lancaster, 430ff;
    in Scarborough, 439;
    set free, 453;
    power of organizing, 459;
    marries Margaret Fell, 468ff;
    ill at Stratford (Essex), 477;
    sails for America, 484;
    sails for England, 531;
    last imprisonment, 540ff;
    death, 578

  Fox, Mary, 66, 539

  Friends, beginning of the, 70n;
    name, 77n

  Friends set at liberty, 574

  Furly, Benj., 550

  Glasgow, 306

  Glynne, Justice, 245

  Goldsmith, Ralph, 374

  Gospel, what is the, 403

  Hacker, Colonel, 209, 369

  Hale, Edward Everett, on "prophets," 24n

  "Hat honor," 105ff, 197, 245, 248, 410

  Holder, Christopher, 511, 512

  Holiness, a life of (see Perfection, Christian), 85, 120ff

  Holland, 548-553, 571

  Hooton, Elizabeth, 79n, 494, 495

  Hotham, Justice, 22, 135-137, 141, 146

  Howgill, Francis, 154, 168

  Huntingdon, Robert, at Carlisle, 371

  Imprisonments of Friends, 277

  Independency, 17

  Indians, 499, 501, 510, 515, 519

  Inward Light (see Light, the).

  Ireland, 463-467

  Jails, condition of, 192, 193, 256, 372, 430

  Jamaica, 494

  James, William, on the "Quaker Religion," 25n

  Jersey, East, 512

  Jersey, West, 501

  John ap-John, 199, 280, 283, 285, 287ff, 293

  Keith, George, 549, 556-558

  Kendal, 156, 166

  "King's Missive" (mandamus sent to Boston), 374-377

  Kirby, Colonel, 403, 409, 412

  Lampitt, "a priest," 159-161, 169

  Lancaster, 164ff, 344-356, 410

  Lancaster, James, 172ff, 183ff;
    sings, 399, 499, 504

  Launceston, 244-268

  "Leathern breeches," 139

  Leicester, a dispute at, 92, 396

  Lichfield, 132-134

  Light, the, 29, 100-104, 162, 196, 238, 283, 310, 315

  "Little Ease," 372n

  London, 70, 275, 277 et seq., 319-325, 471-476, 559, 564, 568, 575-578

  Lower, Thomas, 265, 536, 538

  Mancetter, 72

  Manchester, 293

  Mansfield, 95

  Marriage, Friends' ceremony upheld by the courts, 387

  Maryland, 498-501, 531-533

  Maryland (Baltimore) Yearly Meeting begun, 98, 499, 520

  "Meeting for Sufferings," 340

  Meetings, setting up of Monthly, 459, 461

  Ministers (Friends that speak in public), advice to, 203n

  Ministry, 38

  Monk, General, his order, 355

  Nancemond, 524

  Narragansett, 508

  Nayler, James, 147, 164, 168, 172-174, 234, 269-271

  New Castle, 501, 517

  New England, Quakers in, 373

  New England Yearly Meeting, 504

  New York Half-Year's Meeting, 502

  Nottingham, 109

  Oaths, Act in regard to refusing to take oaths, 395

  "Opened," meaning of the term, 74n

  Ordinances, 39

  Owen, Dr. John, 276

  Oxford and Cambridge education not enough to qualify men
        to be ministers, 75

  Oyster Bay, 511

  Packer, Colonel, 216ff

  Parker, Alexander, 309, 310ff, 571

  Parnell, James, 191, 192, 224

  Patrington, 142-144

  Pendle Hill, 150

  Penington, Isaac, 317n, 325

  Penn, William, on Fox, 44, 516n, 536, 547, 540, 556-558, 565

  Perfection, Christian (see Holiness), 97, 101, 120ff, 333

  Persecution of Friends in New England, 373, 379

  Poland, letter to King of, 560

  Presbyterianism, 17

  "Priest," meaning of the word, 67n

  Prison, number of Friends in, 389

  "Professor," meaning of the word, 68n

  Pronouns, use of plural, 197, 380ff

  Providence, 507

  Quaker, origin of the name, 125, 125n

  Quaker honesty, 198

  Ranters, 22, 78n, 116-117

  Ranters in New England, 506

  Reading, 223ff

  Reckless, John, 110

  Religious states, various, 318

  Rhode Island, 504-09

  Rotterdam, 550

  Sale, Richard, 371

  Sawrey, Justice, 161, 163, 169, 175

  Scarborough, 439ff

  Schools, establishing, 37, 461

  Scotland, 298-316

  Scriptures, the, 103, 109, 176

  Sect, Quakers not a, 349n

  "Seekers, The," 20-22

  "Shake the country ten miles round," who could, 149

  Shattuck, Samuel, 374

  Shelter Island, 509

  Shrewsbury, N. J., 513

  Sixty ministers sent out, 201

  Smethick (Falmouth), 240

  Smith, William, 397

  Sommerton, 525, 528

  Speaking in a house of worship, 161n, 182n

  Stephens, Nathaniel, a "priest," 71, 76, 203-206, 211

  Stoddard, Amor, 90

  Sufferings of Friends, 369; in New England, 373-379, 389;
    petition to the king, 389

  Swannington, 394

  Swarthmore, 159, 166ff, 179, 295, 297, 342, 403

  Swarthmore Meeting House, 164

  Taylor, Thomas, 168, 200, 284

  "Thou and Thee," 380-382

  "Truth," meaning of, 407n

  Ulverstone, 166, 169ff

  Vane, Sir Henry, 328

  Virginia, 524, 529

  Wales, 199, 280, 282-293

  Walney, 172

  War, Fox's view of, 128, 130

  Warwick, 230

  Wensleydale, 151

  West, Justice, 176ff, 295

  Westmoreland, 154

  Widders, Robert, 298, 307, 309, 311, 313, 341, 494, 499

  Wilkinson and Story, 537n, 555

  Williams, Roger, 547

  Women, their position in the church, 19, 537

  Women preachers, 19

  Worcester, 539

  Worship, 38

  Yearly Meetings, at Luton (1658), 317;
    Balby, 337;
    Skipton (1659), 340, 483

  York, 138

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Small capital text has been replaced with all capitals.

Variations in spelling, punctuation and hyphenation have been
retained except in obvious cases of typographical error.

Page 429 The transcriber has supplied the opening double quote mark
in the following sentence: "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."

Page 575 The transcriber has supplied the closing double quote mark
in the following sentence: "A general epistle to Friends, to forewarn
them of the approaching storm, that they might all retire to the
Lord, in whom is safety."

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