Charles Frederick Holder.

The Quakers in Great Britain and America : the religious and political history of the Society of Friends from the seventeenth to the twentieth century online

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The Life of Charles Darwin G. P. Putnam s Sons, New York

The Holders of Holderness. .. .Bailey, Banks & Biddle, Philadelphia

The Marvels of Animal Life Charles Scribner s Sons, New York

The History of the Elephant (The Ivory King) ... .Charles Scribner s
Sons, New York

Along the Florida Reef D. Appleton & Co., New York

The Game Fishes of the Sea (America) . . . .The Outing Co., New York

Stories of Animal Life American Book Company, New York

The Treasure Divers Dodd, Mead & Co., New York

The Big Game Fishes of America. .. .The Macmillan Co., New York

The Boy Anglers D. Appleton & Co., New York

Angling (Joint author with Dr. Yale and others) ... .Chas. Scribner s

Sons, New York

Half Hours with Nature Fishes an d Reptiles. .. .American Book Co.,
Half Hours with Nature The Lower Animals. . . .American Book Co.,

New York
Half Hours with Nature The Birds and Mammals. .. .American

Book Co., New York

Leading American Men of Science. ... Henry Holt & Co., New York
The Channel Islands of California. .. .A. C. McClurg & Co., Chicago
The Marooner B. W. Dodge & Co., New York

Fish Stories (Pres. David Starr Jordan and C. F. Holder H. Holt

& Co., New York
The Game Fishes of the Pacific Coast.... The Dodge Publishing Co.,

New York

The Recreations of a Sportsman G. P. Putnam Sons, New York

Life in the Open in Southern California.. . . G. P. Putnam Sons, N. Y.

Big Game at Sea The Outing Co., New York

The Log of a Sea Angler Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston

The Life of Louis Agassiz G. P. Putnam s Sons, New York

The Adventures of Torqua Little, Brown & Co., Boston

The Luminous Animals and Plants (Living Lights) . .Chas Scribner s

Sons, New York

Elements of Zoology The American Book Co., New York

A Strange Company D. Lothrop & Co., Boston

Stories of Nature Dodd, Mead & Co., New York

An Isle of Summer R. Y. McBride, Los Angeles, Cal.

The Game Fishes of the World Hodder & Stoughton, London

From tJic Sirarthmore Painting by LeJy

The Quakers


Great Britain and America


Religious and Political History of the Society

of Friends from the Seventeenth to

the Twentieth Century



Author of "The Pioneer Quakers," "The Life of Agassiz," "Life

and Work of Charles Darwin," The Channel Islands

of California," " Leading American

Men of Science," Etc.


New York Los Angeles London





Descendant of

The Pioneer Quaker Ministers

Christopher Holder and Peleg Slocum

The Quaker Governor Wanton of Rhode Island

and of
Captain Miles Standish


There is a dearth of purely historical works written
during the period of the early Quaker activities in the
Seventeenth Century, or from 1645 to 1700, though there
are seemingly endless pamphlets and papers relating to
the purely doctrinal, religious, or controversial side of

This being the case, the modern historian or student draws
much of his authentic information from such sources as
the Journal of George Fox, Sewell, the Dutch historian of
the Quakers, Bowden, Besse, Bishop s "New England
Judged," a few others, and the vagrant historical data ob
tained from monographs, pamphlets, letters, records of
meetings, etc., collected by indefatigable workers in Devon
shire House, London, and the various Historical Societies
of Friends, and by college and private libraries in both
countries. There are a number of eminent modern works
devoted to various periods and phases of Quakerism, its
distinguished men and women, the philosophy and mys
ticism of the subject, and its various religious phases and
controversial episodes, all appealing to the student or his
torian or the reader of history. But neither in England nor
America have I found a popularly written, well illustrated,
condensed history of Quakerism as a whole, from the birth
of George Fox to approximately 1913, in one volume.

It is this desideratum that I have attempted, or hoped
in some measure to supply. I am aware that it is much more
difficult to make a successful or useful book of this sort
than a history like that of Besse or Sewell, which contains


the minute details of the subject. I am also aware that my
sense of proportion and of values may not meet the appro
bation of some, as consistent and perfect condensation is
more or less a science in itself; but I have endeavored to
put- myself in the place of a reader hunting in a library
for the brief essentials of Quakerism, as I found myself in
the British Museum library in 1910, and have made my
own demands and necessities my guide for better or for

I have attempted to make a history, eliminating or con
densing what I conceive to be the non-essentials in such a
work (features of importance and interest, which have been
ably treated in special works easily available). I have
endeavored to prepare a history for the masses, yet one
in which the student or historian will find the essential
facts of Quakerism without having to refer to interminable
works and pamphlets scattered over America and England,
in very few libraries in the United States outside of New
York, Philadelphia, Boston, and certain schools and col
leges, as Haverford, Swarthmore and others.

To illustrate. I have mentioned but briefly the Hicksite
separation, as the subject is fully treated in many works
and in the Life of Elias Hicks. Nor have I gone into the
minutiae of the Joseph John Gurney schism about which a
volume could be written. In a word, I have hoped to
present a popularly written condensed history of the
Quakers, yet covering a wide range. In the treatment of the
subject I have emphasized, but not unduly, the political
aspects of the moral conquest by the Quakers, and have
briefly carried along their relations to the various reigning
monarchs and rulers of the time Charles the Second,


James, William and Mary, the Georges, Queen Victoria,
and Washington in America. Hence certain aspects of
English political history have been related as they were
germane to the story of Quakerism.

The average citizen or reader has a very faint idea of
the profound influence Quakers have had in the evolution
of Christianity during the last two and a half centuries in
England and America, though it is a fact that there are
few colonial American families in New York, Philadelphia
or Boston that have not a Quaker branch or forebear.

The Quakers were the pioneers in 16^6 in every dominant
reform normal men and women are fighting for in 1913.
In the midst of one of the most profligate reigns England
had ever seen George Fox called a halt in tones that echoed
around the world. My fifth great grandfather, Edward
Gove, of Hampton, New Hampshire, in 1683 headed a
rebellion against Governor Canfield charging him with
what is known to-day as "graft." John Fiske, the historian,
says: "An arrogant and thieving ruler had goaded New
Hampshire to acts of insurrection." Heading an insurrec
tion in the name of morality and honor in 1683 was trea
son, and Edward Gove was sentenced to death. This was
changed to three years in the Tower of London and con
fiscation of property. Thus the Quakers fought "graft" and
special privilege in America in 1683. George Fox spoke in
public for temperance in 16^0. He denounced slavery and
all the immoralities of the time. Christopher Holder de
manded arbitration in place of war in 1660, political and
religious freedom, and there is not a great moral reform
from capital punishment to the equality of women, or the
freedom of slaves to civic righteousness, worked for to-day


by organized forces, that the Quakers had not thought of,
and were demanding from the housetops two hundred and
fifty years ago. They fought and died for the simple life,
morality and virtue. Such lives should not be forgotten,
should be known to the people of to-day who are enjoying
the religious liberty the early Quakers fought and died for.

In the preparation of this work I have consulted the
colonial records of America and all available and essential
data in England. That relating to Christopher Holder,
the fourth great grandfather of Mrs. Russell Sage, is here
given for the first time in full, and was collected by tracing
the movements of the pioneers through Massachusetts in
1656 to 1690 by the Colonial Records. I have consulted
most of the Friends books, papers and manuscripts in
America and England of value in this particular connec
tion, and I am deeply indebted to Besse, Sewell, Bowden
and other historians of the early days. My thanks are
due to Norman Penney, the librarian of Devonshire House,
for many courtesies, to the librarian of the British Museum
during my work there, and to the Boston library, rich in
Quaker books. I am particularly indebted to Mrs. God
frey Locker Lampson, author of the "Post Bag," by Long
mans Green & Company, for her kind permission to copy
a letter of William Penn and one from the Quaker botanist,
Thomas Lawson. I am also under deep obligations to R.
Barry O Brien, Esq., author of a life of John Bright, for
permitting me to use the data relating to John Bright, writ
ten especially, he tells me, for him, by Lord Eversley, who
served under the great English Quaker in the government.

In this volume I have used two Quakers, or in one in
stance a descendant of notable Quakers, John Bright and


Mrs. Russell Sage, to illustrate the profound influence of
Quakerism in England and America, and my cordial thanks
are due the latter for many courtesies and much important
data relating to her Quaker ancestry. I am dedicating the
volume to her, with her permission, as a slight indication
of appreciation of her work in the physical, intellectual
and moral uplift of the nation as witnessed in the develop
ment of the Sage Foundation. I wish to express my obliga
tions to Mr. David S. Taber, of the New York Friends
Book and Tract Committee, for many kind attentions, and
to the sons of the late Wm. H. S. Wood for permission to use
his pamphlet on the Friends of New York. My thanks are
also due to the Friends Historical Reference Library of
London, and to the Historical Society of Philadelphia; to
the late Albert K. Smiley of the Mohonk Conference for
data, to Dr. Augustine Jones, to Miss Sarah Hacker of the
Lynn Historical Society, and to Elizabeth B. Emmot of
England. My warm thanks are due to Professor Sylvanus
Thompson, the biographer of Lord Kelvin, and to the Hon
orable T. Edmund Harvey, M. P. My acknowledgments
are presented to the Friends Historical Society of Phila
delphia for several illustrations, and to the Friends
Tract Association of London for pictures of early
Friends, to Headley Bros., who published them, and I
have especially to thank the Friends Historical Society of
London for the quaint illustrations of ancient Friends meet
ing-houses, from the brush of Dr. Pole, appearing in the
Journal Supplement, the text by Edmund Tolson Wed-
more, with notes by Norman Penney. I also wish to ex
press my great indebtedness to William A. Wing, Curator
of the Dartmouth Museum of New Bedford, for the letter


of Christopher Holder, his ancestor, bearing his signature,
the only one of the kind in existence, and for valuable his
torical pamphlets and brochures on Old Dartmouth, Peleg
Slocum, and others.

Pasadena, Los Angeles Co., Cal.
January i, 1913.



Religious and Political Conditions in England Previous to the
Nineteenth Century 23

Quakerism, What it is 30

George Fox 43

The Quakers and Cromwell 65

The Protectorate 83

Martyrdom Under Cromwell 110**

Under the Restoration /T4J^

William Penn in England 169

The Quakers Under James the Second and William and Mary... 196

Queen Anne and the Georgian Period 225

The Victorian Period 252

The Evolution of Organization 276

John Bright and Quaker Influence in England 286

Mrs. Russell Sage. Illustrating Quaker Influence in America 317

The Puritan Intolerants . . 341


Pioneer Quakers in America 354

The First Society in America 374

The Martyrdom of the Quakers 405

Mary Dyer and Her Friends 433

The Nantucket Quakers 459

The New York Invasion 476

William Penn in America 496

The Quakers in New Jersey 530

Quakers in the South and West 539

The Quakers in War Time 550

Quaker Home Life in America 569

Ways and Customs of Friends 594

The Quaker in Literature 614

Quaker Activities 625


Christopher Holder s Reply to Nathaniel Morton 645

Bibliography 658


George Fox (Lely Portrait) Frontispiece

George Fox 45

Leominster Meeting House 46

Tewkesbury Meeting House 47

Oliver Cromwell 65

Milton and Ellwood 66

General Monk 140

Louis IV 141

William Penn 169

William Penn 170

Pardon of Edward Gove 203

King Charles Second 204

Address of Quakers 237

Frenchay Meeting House 238

Swarthmore 238

Exeter Meeting House * 250

Milverton Meeting House 250

Cheltenham Meeting House 251

Worcester Meeting House 251

Isaac Braithwaite 258

Daniel Wheeler 258

Joseph Sturge 258

Joseph Bevan Braithwaite 258

Jordan s Meeting 259

Jordan s Meeting (Interior) 259

Elizabeth Fry 270

Gulielma Penn 271

John Bright 286

William III 287

Mrs. Russell Sage 317

Governor Joseph Wanton 318

Letter of Christopher Holder ..329



Sir John Endicott 330

Christopher Holder Tower 339

Holder Hall 340

Elizabeth Comstock 406

Avis Keene 406

Caroline Talbot 406

Charles F. Coffin 406

John Chase Gove 407

Desk of Daniel Holder 466

Page of Holder Bible 467

Joseph John Gurney 470

Joseph Grinnell 471

William Rotch 475

Stephen Grellet 476

Joseph Bassett Holder 494

Joseph Swain 495

Penn s Treaty 505

George Washington 506

John Greenleaf Whittier 616

Albert K. Smiley 617

Gove Homestead 623

Newport Meeting House 623

Haverford College 624

Moses Brown School 629

New Bedford Meeting House 630

Lynn Mass-Meeting House 630

Philadelphia Meeting House 631

Dr. John Fothergill 632

Haverford College 635

Haverford College 636

Book I


"Now I see there is a people risen up
that I cannot win either with gifts, honours,
offices or places, but all other sects and
people I can."






All the profound social, political, or ecclesiastical revolu
tionary movements which have taken place during historic
times, have been the direct outcome of some deep-seated,
fundamental cause. New systems of government have been
established as the result of the waning patience of the masses
under misrule, countless religious beliefs have come into
being on the crest of tidal waves of disaffection or disap
pointment, and kingdoms have crumbled or risen under the
iron hand of intolerance or the rigid justice of conscious

The crushing of the first Reformation in the attack of the
Crusaders on the Albigensian churches; the great Reforma
tion and the establishment of Protestantism, are illustra
tions, and the story of the rise of Protestantism in Great
Britain is a fascinating and constant lure to the reader and
lover of history.

It is difficult to realize as one wanders through England
with its splendid architectural monuments, that they ori
ginated in a time marked by a low moral tone. It is not
necessary to reach far back into history before we plunge
into this black cloud of ignorance, intolerance and super
stition. We see it on the horizon of the fifteenth century.

At this time, when men worshipped in ecclesiastical
palaces, not one penitent in a thousand understood the
words of the priest. The devout Christian who could read


an English translation of a psalm was the exception
[Macaulay s estimate is one in five hundred]. Printing
was practically unknown. Copies of the Bible were so
rare that comparatively few priests could own one, while
thousands of laymen had never seen the book. Such were
the conditions in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries when
the world was controlled by the few. It was an epoch of
intellectual darkness and material splendor, broken by vag
rant rays of light. It is a self-evident fact, we see it to our
shame even to-day, that the masses will not, cannot, throw
off their bondage so long as they are kept ignorant.

The beams of light, the rays of promise that penetrated
the gloom of the ante-Quaker time, were men of extraord
inary intelligence who suddenly appeared on the forum
of Christian endeavor. In the fourteenth century such a
one was John Wycliffe, who amazed the world by arraign
ing the Pope as anti-Christ. A man might as well have
signed his own death warrant. But Wycliife persisted, and
not the least of his acts was the English translation of
the Bible.

Reformers increased from this time on, and we see the
Reformation during the reign of Henry VIII and the sus
tained movement against the power of the Roman Church.
Twenty years previous to the accession of Elizabeth, Wil
liam Tyndale published a revised and improved Bible in
English, and protested against the extraordinary liberties
taken with it. After the Reformation new religious zealots
appeared demanding that the Episcopal Church should be
purged of the papal characteristics which were still retained,
and they became known as Puritans. In 1559 came the
Act of Uniformity and the establishment of the use of the


revised prayer book. The so-called Puritans threw off all
adherence to the established church, and despite the attempts
of the church to prevent them, aided by the Queen and
Parliament and the Act of Uniformity, they deserted it,
formed a body of their own, established so-called Pres
byters instead of Bishops, and founded Presbyterianism.

All these vital and momentous changes were elements of
unrest. Ignorance and superstition were slowly giving way,
as from time to time some brilliant mind appeared to move
the intellectual status of the time a step ahead. New
religious parties sprang up everywhere. The Anabaptists,
the antecedents of the Baptists and Congregationalists,
died in many cases for their convictions, and the man who
declared for freedom of conscience invited death, or worse.
The divine right of kings held in these days, and unwillingly
the numerous religious anti-state and church movements of
the period became the initial shoots of Democracy. The
world had been asleep for centuries, drugged by those in
power. As the trainer of lions drugs the big cats and fear
lessly enters the cage, so the potentates of state and church
stupefied the masses with the lethe of ignorance, lived in
sensuous luxury, surrounded by extraordinary magnificence,
pomp and display, hypnotizing or convincing millions into
the belief that they were rulers and masters to be worship
ped by Divine authority. It is almost beyond compre
hension that the intellectual evolution of the world was
checked for centuries in this manner, at once absurd and

But progress was only held in abeyance. It could not be
stopped though desperate means were taken, and more blood
was shed by alleged Christians in insisting upon certain


forms of Christianity than in many of the wars of history.
Advanced thinkers, Dissenters, as they were called, were
persecuted, driven to Holland and other lands, and in 1620
we see a number, including Captain Miles Standish, in
desperation sailing for America on the ship "Mayflower."

It is interesting to note that the avowed object of some
of them was religious liberty, though not possibly religious
freedom as we understand the term to-day. Yet they denied
it to those who followed them in ensuing years. Previous
to this, in 1603 James I. succeeded to the throne of England,
and notable events followed. In 1611 the authorized
version of the Bible appeared, and due to different interpre
tations, scores of sects and bodies were born, denounced,
hounded, persecuted, destroyed. The world was awaken
ing. But James I. threw the weight of his influence upon
the side of what the Liberals considered the formalism of
the Roman Church existent in the national church of Eng
land. He was a religious despot and failed to realize the
smouldering fires beneath his feet. He stood for Absol
utism in the church and state and attempted by force to
smother the growing demands for liberty of conscience.

Equally blind to the distinct and ominous shadows on
the wall, Charles I., who succeeded him in 1625, became the
standard bearer of his father s policies. Of all the Stuart
kings Charles was the best, so far as his private life was
concerned, but blind to the signs of the times, he practically
signed his death warrant by hounding the advanced thinkers,
always widening the breach between the established church
and the Puritans and other Dissenters. George Fox was an
infant on his accession, and in the following period, we
see notable, impressive and significant figures appearing on


the stage, marshaling for the tragedies of coming years.
Sir Thomas Wentworth, later Lord Strafford, Sir John
Elliott, Archbishop Laud, Pym, Hampden and Oliver
Cromwell, the latter entering the Long Parliament in 1640
when he was forty-one years of age, a friend of the future
Quakers, compared to many other rulers of England.

The obstinate stand of Charles I. for what he termed
the Divine Right of Kings to determine among other things
the religion of the people, was the menace of the first quar
ter of the seventeenth century in Great Britain. The mar
tial tone of the nation was low, the subject of greatest im
portance was religion; as seemingly it was the best means
by which the masses could be controlled and held in leash
by a play upon their fears, ignorance and superstition. The
King in his determination to force the religion of his church
upon the disciples of Knox, appealed to Parliament, conven
ing one after the other.

This pre-Quaker period of England was the era which
was preparing men for an existence similar to that enjoyed
by people to-day. It was so pronounced a page in the his
tory of the world that it can well be termed the Religious
Renaissance of England. It was the turning of the tides,
and Cromwell was to be the civic and military leader. No
more interesting era can be found in English history than
this, which has been food for philosophers and historians
ever since, Charles I. running amuck politically, drunk with
the preposterous idea of the Divine Right of Kings, Bishop
Laud leading his forces as a general in the army of the
church, Protestantism at a low ebb in Germany, the Cal-
vinists and Lutherans of North Germany and Denmark
losing ground daily, all discouraging features to the insur
gents or Puritans.


On the other hand, Sir John Elliott and John Pym were
righting the king in Parliament, striving to make the House
of Commons or the people the authority. The Petition of
Right, the Star Chamber, the arrest of Elliott, his confine
ment in the Tower, his death, Laud s labors to secure ec
clesiastical absolutism as the puppet of the king, all stand
out as stepping-stones in this mighty struggle to crush lib
erty and the rights of man, and to stem the flood of intel
lectual advancement. The English and Scotch were still
terriried by the ghost of Catholicism which stalked across
the moors. They had not forgotten that "bloody Queen
Mary" had handed over the kingdom to Rome on her ac
cession, and they clung to the doctrines of Calvin with a
fervor that found expression when Laud attempted to intro
duce the formalities of the English Church into Scotland.

Following came the so-called "Bishops Wars," and al
ways the King and his bishops preaching the same doctrine

Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Quakers in Great Britain and America : the religious and political history of the Society of Friends from the seventeenth to the twentieth century → online text (page 1 of 45)