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Early Quakers Imprisoned; and Early Quakers who died as a result : mostly in the17th Century


  1. Those incarcerated whose death occurred before 1700 in England, the Americas, & elsewhere.
  2. Those imprisoned for refusal to pay tithes, swear oaths, remove their hats during the same period
  3. Those banished upon pain of death (eg. by Mass. Bay colony) and imprisoned in the meantime
  4. Those tortured then killed, and often not afforded a proper burial

Places of Imprisonment

a VERY incomplete listing... Please add others

  1. Lancaster Castle
  2. Cornwall, Launceton Gaol
  3. Dolgelly Gaole
  4. London (eg. Newgate Prison)
  5. Isle of Man
  6. Norwich, England
  7. New Amsterdam, New Netherland (under Peter Stuyvesant)
  8. Boston, Massachusetts Bay colony
  9. York Castle
    1. one account
  10. Warwick gaol see page 30

Celebrated by Wikipedia

  1. Boston Martyrs Anne Burden and others
  2. BOWNE, John..colonist of New Netherland regarded as a pioneer in the struggle for religious liberty
  3. CLAYTON, Ann wife of two governors of Rhode Island
  4. DYER, Mary.. of Boston & GENI profile
  5. HOOTEN, Elizabeth English Dissenter & an early preacher in Boston
  6. MOLLINEUX, Mary aka Mary Southworth wrote The Fruits of Retirement (1702)
  7. Lawrence Southwick and spouse Cassandra Southwick (Burnell) Salem to Shelter Island
  8. Valiant Sixty notable Quakers

key mass Quaker imprisonment dates in England

• January 1661 Fifth Monarchy Uprising of London ~ Across England, 4,230 Friends were jailed within two weeks (p. 139 of Ross)
• March 1661 ~ of the above 270 were imprisoned in Lancaster Castle (refusal to take Oath of Allegiance) (Vol. 1, pg. 308 of Besse)


  1. 1658, Plymouth Court ordered that any boat carrying Quakers to Sandwich be seized to prevent the religious heretics from landing
  2. among other things, the imprisonment of an 11 year old girl in Boston : Patience Scott

Sources and Resources

  1. Besse's Sufferings : online
  2. ... a second version of Besse Besse, by Chapter
  3. Thomas Holme and his Maps
  4. Isabel Ross' Margaret Fell Mother of Quakerism , 412 pages 2nd edition (1984) not online (2016)
  5. Flushing Meeting & Remonstrance
  6. New England Judged by George Bishop, Bristol Quaker (p.147, Ross)
  7. Quakers of Lancaster Castle
  8. William Penn /Ship List
  9. Swarthmore Hall
  10. The Peaceable Kingdom by Jan de Hartog
  11. read for the cart and whip Act in American Colonies

Individuals worthy of investigation / link to profiles on GENI

  1. HODGSON, Thomas and his persecutors: Peter Stuyvesant and Thomas Willet, future 1st English mayor of New York City. An account at: History of the Quakers
  2. HOLDER, Christopher
  3. Henry Townsend of Flushing Meeting & Henry Townsend of Oyster Bay
  4. Richard Smith (detained in Boston - shipped back to England)
  5. William Leddra, Mary Dryer, William Robinson & Marmaduke Stevenson document
  6. Elizabeth Hooten, landowner of Lincolnshire (p.147 Ross) aka Elizabeth HARRIER; instrumental in the release of Margaret Fell from prison (1671) through her intervention with Charles II.
  7. Jan de Hartog Papers: ~• especially his work The Peaceable Kingdom


  1. In 1699, a Quaker named Thomas Story was riding from Braintree to Boston and wrote: "We went to Boston, near which on a green we observed a pair of gallows, and being told it was a place where several of our Friends had suffered death and been thrown into a hole, we rode a little out of the way to see it, which was kind of a pit, near the gallows, and full of water." {Puritan law forbade the burial of Quakers according to accepted practices}


  1. The Weaker Vessel, by Lady Antonia Fraser
  2. Quakers in the American Colonies by Rufus Jones
  3. Civil Disobedience: An Encyclopedic History of Dissidence in the United States by Mary Ellen Snodgrass
  4. A History of the People Called Quakers: From Their First Rise to the Present Time, Volume 4; John Gough ;R. Jackson, 1790 - Society of Friends
  5. Quaker History, Volumes 11-12 (circa 1922)
  6. Margaret Brewster article "The Lord never sent you, for you came like a devil, and in the shape of a devil incarnate."
  7. Tatham parish