THE organization of the Quaker movement described in the last chapter was not accomplished without protest. The strain of persecution created tensions between leaders and revealed flaws in judgment and temper. Many converts brought with them from the Ranter movement an impatience of social control. The travelling ministers whose force of conviction and personal winsomeness had moulded and unified the ideals and practices of Friends were prevented by imprisonment, illness and death from circulating freely between 1662 and 1672, and the local congregations or county groups became more or less isolated from the larger activities and tendencies in the Society. Their attitudes tended to become congregational rather than national.1 Their expenses were chiefly for their own poor and persecuted members.
The effort to organize the Society more thoroughly and on a national scale was accompanied by a gradual revival of the travelling ministry, at first to revive and sustain the existing membership and then to extend the borders and increase the membership. The scheme of organization was primarily intended by Fox, not as a means of restraint but to give spiritual support in the absence of the leaders to isolated meetings under persecution, and to enlarge their opportunity to have an active part in the responsibilities and activities of the Society as a whole. It was at heart an____________________