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The Quakers in English Society, 1655-1725$
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Adrian Davies

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208204

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208204.001.0001

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The Growth and Decline of Quakerism

The Growth and Decline of Quakerism

(p.156) 12 The Growth and Decline of Quakerism
The Quakers in English Society, 1655-1725


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the growth of Quakerism after the Restoration and its decline. An examination of the figures detailing the membership of the movement helps explain why so many of the official pronouncements of the Society emphasized the need to maintain Quaker children within the movement starting from the 1690s onwards. It has been suggested that Quakerism settled in those areas where Puritanism had never been strong. For this reason, it is believed that Quakerism had shallow roots in Essex. The consensus hitherto has been that Quakerism was predominantly a rural movement. In the 18th century, Voltaire hinted that the decline of Quakerism in London was because of the involvement of the members and success in commerce.

Keywords:   Quakerism, Restoration, Puritanism, Essex, rural movement, 18th century, Voltaire, commerce

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