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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.
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Abstract

George Whitehead was a key figure in Quakerism from around 1660 to his death in 1723, who has been neglected in recent scholarship. He was an effective political lobbyist in the struggle for religious toleration. He was active in the developing work of the national Quaker bodies, Yearly Meeting, Meeting for Sufferings, and the Morning Meeting. He was 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 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.

In: George Whitehead and the Establishment of Quakerism