prominent early Quaker. First Registrar General and Receiver General of
Pennsylvania. member of original Provincial Council of Pennsylvania.
Dates from 1615 to 1620 have been given for his birth in or near Skipton in Craven, Yorkshire.
He received a classical education at Oxford and became a Puritan minister. In 1652 he was "priest of a Chappell called Chappell in the Bryers," In 1652 he was convinced by his brother, Thomas, and William Dewsbury of the truth of the Quaker teachings and became a member of the Friends Society. He was instrumental in settling a meeting at Bradford, travelled in the ministry and suffered a series of persecutions.
In 1654 Christopher was committed to Appleby jail for two years for arguing with the vicar of Appleby about pluralities (the holding of more than one benefice at the same time).
In 1660 on the return of the Royalists to power both Christopher and Thomas Taylor were imprisoned in York prison for refusing to swear an oath of alegiance.
In 1661 he was in Aylesbury gaol because he attended a Quaker meeting at the home of Ann Thurston of Whitechurch in Bucks.
In 1670 'At the Quarter Sessions at Chelmsford, on the 1st of the Month called July, Richard Richardson and Christopher Taylor, having been bound to appear there for teaching School without License, appeared accordingly. This was an attempt by the authorities to break up the Quaker school. In those days a schoolmaster needed a license from the bishop.
Christopher taught school at Hertford and in 1670 he had a "noted boarding school for children, boys and girls, at Waltham-Abbey in Essex about twelve miles from London... About the year 1670, "a meeting of divers good Friends took place concerning children's education, and teaching the languages; and what then was fully agreed on and writ down, was in substance, that they had agreed to lay aside the heathenish books, and the old corrupt grammars taken out of them and set up the scriptures of Truth, and what may be savoury-and good matter, that may not corrupt children's minds. Three of the 'good Friends' we know were George Fox, Ellis Hooks, and Christopher Taylor, and probably Isaac Penington and Thomas Ellwood were among them. To Christopher Taylor was committed, it would seem, the preparing of suitable books for the school, carrying out the instructions given. He took six years to finish the first book, which was published in 1676 .In the preface it is said, Schools at the time were mostly classical teaching mostly Latin and Greek the Quakers began to teach such things as math and science in addition.
In 1679 Christopher removed his school to Edmonton, Middlesex. After
emigrating to Pennsylvania he had a school for higher learning on Tinicum Island which he called "College Island".
During the time of his school teaching Christopher did some travelling and "came from Old England on a religious visit to New England in 1675"...
Christopher Taylor became well acquainted with William Penn. William Penn's wife attended Christopher's boarding school.
In March, 1681 Charles II gave William Penn a charter for the province of
Pennsylvania. Christopher seems to have been one of the group in London planning for the new colony.
Penn's first charter to Pennsylvania was signed on April 25, 1682 at George Yard, Lombard St. London. The signatures to execution of the charter were:
Christopher Taylor Philip Ford
Charles Lloyd Edward Prichard
William Gibson Andrew Sowle
Richard Davies All above were Friends
Thomas Rudyard Nicholas More
James Claypoole Harbert Springett-first cousin to Gulielma Penn
Francis Plumstead Last two not Friends
In 1682, leaving his school in the hands of George Keith Christopher Taylor with his family emigrated to Pennsylvania. He bought 5000 acres of land, the terms for which were 100 pounds and quitrent 20 pounds, 16 shillings and 8 pence yearly.75 His first lands were in Bucks County. In 1684 he bought Tinicum Island which is south of Philadelphia. He seems to have sold it or part of it to Ralph Fretwell. After Christopher's death Robert Turner as executor sued Fretwell (who apparently had not paid Christopher for the land-see Chr.'s inventory), bought the island at the sheriffs sale and transferred it to Christopher's three children. Israel bought the shares of his sister and brother so that he had the entire island.
The first meeting for business of Friends of Philadelphia appears to have been held at a house belonging to Christopher Taylor on the 9th day of the 1lth month, 1682.
Christopher represented Bucks County at the Pennsylvania Assembly on December 4, 1682.44 At this session he served as chairman of the committee of elections and privilege and was a member of the Committee of Foresight for the preparation of provincial bills.
He was a member of the Governor's Council, the first meeting of which was held at Philadelphia March 10, 1682-3. He is listed as present at nearly every meeting of the council through the 12th month of 1685-6.
He was the first Register General of Pennsylvania a post he held until his death in 1686. In 1684 he was Justice of the Peace for Chester County .
Christopher Taylor was appointed to a number of commissions by William Penn. Among these were the commission to settle the boundary dispute between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, a conference concerning the boundary with Maryland and groups making treaties with the Indians. One of the latter was the following for land between Pemapeck and Neshamaneh Creeks.