QUAKER-ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > QUAKER-ROOTS > 2003-11 > 1068761732
Subject: [Q-R] William Penn
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 17:15:32 EST
William Penn, the Quaker, not the seafarer, was most certainly a puritan.
Friends (to give Quakers their correct appelation) were lumped together with
other non-conformist sects and did share, I believe, many aspects of belief,
behaviour and maybe even dress with some of these others .. early C17 Friends
and those that rejected the values of the established Church of England became
'dissenters', the illegal protestors of the time.
I believe it was the refusal/incapacity of society in that time period to
accomodate their dissent that caused Friends and similar sects to adopt an even
more extreme and publicly 'visible' stance - they rejected exhuberant dress to
show status and many forms of entertainment (dance, music and drink) and
concentrated their energies on 'direct communication' with God. So they became the
'party poopers' or 'Puritans' of the time.
It is difficult to talk briefly of all these things without understanding a
lot of history - political, religious and social (not in any particular order
I make no particular claims other than I was brought up and was educated as a
British Friend, a little bit lapsed now .. it was only by tracing my family
back that I recently discovered just how much of my early family history was so
intricately and profoundly marked by the early Quakers.
Strange how history repeats itself.
There are probably other ways of defining 'Puritan' ..
in religious terms:
those that believe in the simple - that God is found in each and everyone,
and there is no need to have recourse to a member of clergy as a 'spiritual
In social terms:
those that live simply- dress,behaviour, and closely identify and procreate
within their own group
In political terms maybe too:
Friends operate by concensus, not by hierarchicly imposed decisions.
by a direct and 'pure' way of thought.
I do not know who coined the term 'Puritan' - I think it just became common
usage and was widely understood at the time .. reflecting the religious turmoil
a little bit everywhere in W.Europe.
All sounds a little familiar when put into today's context ... some things
don't change so much or so fast ... well I digress, genealogy is the subject I
To this day Friends have no established creed or belief system to which they
require their members to adhere to - simply acceptation from a council of
elders based on personal contact.
Well that's my two-pennies worth ...
If anyone can enlighten me on William Penn's origins and family in Britain,
and maybe the Hammonds, or Penn (Paine??) I am most interested .. just reaching
back that far a little now, around Canterbury, Folkestone - Kent in general.
Also seeking any info at all on SIMS, NICKALLS, WOMERSLEY, CULLEN, GODDEN,
CHALK, HOWARD, ELGAR and BASSET(T)