George Whitehead was a key figure in Quakerism from around 1660 until his death in 1723, but he has been neglected in recent scholarship. He was an effective political lobbyist in the struggle for religious toleration and was active in the developing work of the national Quaker bodies, Yearly Meeting, Meeting for Sufferings, and the Morning Meeting. He was also a leader in the adaptation of Quaker theology to the needs of the late seventeenth century. In his old age he was involved in the campaign to permit Quakers to use a form of affirmation instead of judicial oaths. This study by Rosemary Moore begins with an account of his life, using his memoirs and other contemporary sources, continues with a consideration of his published works, including his understanding of the ‘light within’, and concludes with a look at his place in Quaker history in comparison with George Fox and William Penn.
Rosemary Moore, Ph.D. (1993) University of Birmingham. Honorary staff member, Centre for Research in Quaker Studies. Author of The Light in Their Consciences: Early Quakers in Britain 1646-1666 (Penn State University Press, 2000, revised edition 2020) and other publications on early Quakerism.
Abbreviations Abstract Keywords Introduction
Part 1: The Making of a Quaker Leader, 1636–1662
Part 2: The Years of Persecution, 1663–1685
Part 3: The Coming of Toleration, 1685–1723
Part 4: George Whitehead’s Writings and the Development of Quakerism
Part 5: The Place of George Whitehead in the History of Quakerism – Conclusions and Matters for Further Consideration
Appendix: The Publications of George Whitehead Acknowledgements Reference Index
Anyone concerned with seventeenth century history, church and religious history, or Quakerism.