The Quakers

By Hugh Barbour; J. William Frost | Go to book overview

8
A TOLERATED SOCIETY OF FRIENDS

ENGLISH QUAKERS

The Glorious Revolution of 1688 deposing James II and bringing in William and Mary as monarchs was followed by laws making orthodox Protestant dissent legal and spelling out the rights of Nonconformists. With a few modifications, the Restoration settlement in religion endured until the nineteenth century. Dissenters could worship and hold property but could not attend universities or sit in Parliament, and the Church of England remained established and supported by the tithes of all subjects.

The Quakers' attitude to the tithe indicates their adjustment to eighteenth- century society. Before 1680 Friends regularly denounced tithes and were prepared to go to jail rather than compromise. By the 1730s the Testimony against tithes was more waffling, and in normal cases, Friends accepted a modus vivendi with local authorities in which the distraint for the value of the tithe caused neither Quaker nor clergy much trouble. Occasionally, the arrangement broke down, often because of the opposition of the local minister or magistrate, and the Quaker would have to face a costly suit before the Exchequer or Ecclesiastical Court. Those Friends who feared the expense and vexation of appearing before these courts were likely to pay the tithe, rather than maintain what many regarded as a trifling principle.

Friends sought through Parliament relief from court proceedings over the tithe but could obtain no satisfaction. 1 They never campaigned against the tithe itself or the inability to attend the universities, serve as sheriff or in Parliament, or participate in juries.

The laws exempting Quakers and other dissenters from the penalties for nonconformity had to be renewed periodically. Many high church Anglicans opposed granting Friends any privileges, since Quakers remained the most anticlerical and antisacramental of the dissenters. After toleration, London Friends adopted

-83-

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The Quakers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Denominations in America ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Series Foreword xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Part One the Quakers: A History of Friends in America 1
  • 1: Introduction 3
  • 2: The Religious Setting of the Early Friends 11
  • 3 - The Lamb's War and the Awakening of the North of England 35
  • 4: Quaker Worship and Ethics and Their Transformation, 1652-1662 39
  • 5 - The Mission to America 58
  • 6: England, 1660-1689 61
  • 7: The Quaker Colonies 73
  • 8: A Tolerated Society of Friends 83
  • 9: A Spiritual Existence 95
  • 10: A Disciplined Christian Life 107
  • 11: Crisis and Reformation 119
  • 12: The American Revolutions 137
  • 13: Quaker Migrants to Carolina and the Midwest; Eastern Philanthropists 153
  • 14: Separations 169
  • 15: The Midcontinent in the Midcentury, 1828-1867 185
  • 16: West and Midwest, 1867- 1902 203
  • 17: The Liberal Transformation 219
  • 18: Suburban and College Friends 231
  • 19: Creativity in Peacemaking 247
  • 20: Social Service and Social Change, 1902-1970 261
  • 21: New Forms of Quaker Interaction, 1960-1987 271
  • Part Two a Biographical Dictionary of Former Quaker Leaders in America 281
  • A 285
  • B 287
  • C 301
  • D 311
  • E 313
  • F 315
  • G 321
  • H 327
  • J 337
  • K 343
  • L 347
  • M 351
  • P 357
  • R 363
  • S 365
  • T 369
  • U 371
  • V 373
  • W 375
  • Appendix: Chronology 381
  • Bibliographic Essay 385
  • Index 393
  • About the Authors 409
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