Quakers in Herefordshire and Worcestershire: from Civil Wars to the eve of toleration, c.1640 – 1688

Canela, Erica (2022). Quakers in Herefordshire and Worcestershire: from Civil Wars to the eve of toleration, c.1640 – 1688. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This current study explores early Quakerism in Herefordshire and Worcestershire from the origins of this religious community in the mid-seventeenth century to their activities leading up to the eve of toleration in 1688. The focus will thereby be on the leaders of the early movement and on the lasting impact of the civil wars. Religious belief systems were central to early modern communities and this thesis will examine the impact identifying as a Quaker had on an individual’s personal circumstances, the family dynamic, and the wider community. These early Quakers and their unrelenting zeal amidst the post-civil war religious upheaval provide an important case study for the seventeenth century, and a regional approach allows for a narrow focus on distinct communities.

The principal aim of this study is to provide a comprehensive analysis of two counties that were decimated by war and of those individuals who saw Quakerism as the only viable spiritual alternative to the state church. To achieve this, it will be necessary to consider how Friends interacted with each other, their neighbours, and their opponents. To fully understand how Quakerism flourished in this region of England, this study will consider various perspectives including the psychological trauma of war, the influence of key figures of the movement in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and the impact of Quaker writing. It will examine how the early Quakers used organisation, missionary work, and polemical writing in a zealous drive to save as many souls as they could and honour the light of Christ within them all.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12976


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