Q is for Quaker

George Fox, the founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), received a vision on the top of Pendle Hill (12 miles and two bits of moor away) in 1652. The extract from his autobiography describing this is given below.

In 1663 land was given by one Richard Ratcliffe of Chapel Hill for use as a burial ground for Friends and his house nearby was used as a meeting place. It was in use until 1847 and 135 people are buried there. This is approx 500 yards from Springhill.

The current Meeting House is approx 3 miles away in Crawshawbooth (over the inevitable patch of moor - they used to hold meetings for business on full moon to aid passage over the moorland). An annual meeting for worship is held at the burial ground.

Although I don’t identify myself as a Quaker I am attracted by the values of truth telling and non-violence. So one sunny Sunday afternoon last June I joined a group of about 50 Friends and enquirers, sat in silence under the trees, being still and listening. It was very powerful.

Again (see ‘B is for...’), what was it about C17 Rossendale which made it such a fertile ground for non-conformity?

Incidentally, a quaker marriage certificate is signed by everyone present and not just the formal witnesses. Family history heaven!

George Fox, Autobiography:

A New Era Begins

As we traveled 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.

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 Sedbergh.

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