I hope to build a useful history of the Quakers from early beginnings in mid-17th C. England (1650’s) to the present day across the world. This will in the main be by structured linking to the wealth of material already on the web – there’s no point in ‘re-writing the wheel’!

As a quick start, see the history from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in their ‘Faith & Practice’, which covers early days in England and America and the various schisms and reconciliations in America (especially ‘Orthodox’ and ‘Hicksite’) in the 19th and 20th C. I will add something similar for ‘Conservative’, ‘Evangelical’ and more avowedly ‘Christian’ Quakers in America and the UK later.

It is also interesting to compare the Britain Yearly Meeting (Quakers in the UK) ‘Advices and Queries’ with the Philadelphia version of the same from 1972 which they then decided to discontinue. Note the use in both cases of part of an ‘epistle’ from the Elders of Balby, Yorkshire, 1656 – but a different selection from the text. PYM state that their 1972 text is paraphrased from materials contained in the Epistles of the Yearly Meeting of Pennsylvania and the Jerseys, 1694 and 1695.

Note how similar the sentiments are, despite the differences of emphasis and perhaps ‘belief’ over 320 years.

This link to Quaker History from ‘Streetcorner’ will also be of interest.

New York Yearly Meeting also has an excellent history here and their ‘Advices and Queries’ includes probably the earliest version from Balby (near Doncaster, England) in 1656 here.


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