Quakers in Ye Olde England

+4 votes
Did 17th-century Quakers in England move from county to county much? And if so, why?  

I know that 18th-century Quakers did so in colonial America, but that makes some sense as new Meetings were being established and land was more easily obtained.

I am looking particularly at an ancestor who was from Settle, Yorkshire but then married a second wife in Lancaster, Lancashire. It seems they did not remain in Lancashire, but came back to Yorkshire.  Would this be an unusual thing to occur?
in Genealogy Help by Jana Shea G2G6 Mach 3 (30.9k points)

7 Answers

+2 votes
Don’t know the answer to your question but thought I would provide a little factoid about the use of “Ye”   The “Y” is a modern corruption of the Middle English letter “thorn” which was equivalent to the letters “th” in sound.

Not important but a fun trivia for the day.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (447k points)
+2 votes
Moving back then very difficult.Very bad roads,twisted around farms and

villages.Horse and Wagon could make abt 7 miles an hour.People back then were born,Lived,Buried,died in same parish.Best too print Parish map

of area,see which ones border it.Sometimes people from a Border County

married someone nearby.Always print parish maps of county.
by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (921k points)
+3 votes
Although they are in different counties Lancaster and Settle are only 27 miles apart, so a move for work reasons is not inconcievable.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (633k points)
+5 votes
I guess I disagree somewhat with others here.  Early Quakers were often found "traveling" to other parts to spread the word.  In fact, one woman, Mary Fisher, went to see the Sultan of Turkey in 1658, after a harrowing visit to Massachusetts, stopping in Rome  with others who wanted to talk to the Pope.  She spoke to the Sultan who then offered her refuge in Turkey but she politely turned him down and returned to England, where she was persecuted for being Quaker.  She ended up in the New World, in Georgia (I believe) as a wife and mother.    

George Fox traveled extensively (even to the American colonies), as did James Nayler and many others.

(I was a life-long Quaker and went to Quaker seminary, so read quite a bit about life in the 1650s in England.)
by Robin Anderson G2G6 Mach 4 (40.6k points)
+6 votes
People who lived in proper Yorkshire didn't often cross the Pennines to get married.  But Settle is over the watershed.  It's close to the head of the Wenning, which flows west into the Lune, creating an easy trans-Pennine pass, which carried the main road from Lancaster to York.  In fact Settle's main reason to exist was its position on that road.

Every place depends on the nearest bigger places, and at Settle they were Skipton and Lancaster.  Skipton was nearer, but Lancaster was bigger.  They weren't close, but they were closer in mind because there wasn't anywhere else.  It was infertile and sparsely populated country.

So I'd say Settle and Lancaster were effectively neighbours and the case you mention doesn't worry me.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (572k points)
Thank you!  That makes a lot of sense.

The marriage record clearly states that the husband is from Settle in York, but the marriage took place in Lancaster (where the wife is stated as being from).
+2 votes
Yes the Quakers in that area at least moved around a lot. My ancestors come from Yorkshire, Lancashire and Westmorland.....but in reality are very close in distance. The records in ancestry.com for that area are very good and provide lots of information. Happy to help if you need.
by Kristi Shore G2G Crew (510 points)
+1 vote
Marrying in the bride’s parish and returning to the groom’s land/tenancy/home is a very common pattern.

The Settle Meeting House is still active.
by Chris Little G2G6 Mach 3 (39.4k points)

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