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Quaker Studies

Abstract

This paper describes the group of Seekers which flourished briefly in 1650 and 1651 around Balby, Warmsworth and Tickhill in South Yorkshire, and explores their origins. They may have numbered up to thirty, and had developed as radical puritans independently of any immediate local Separatist tradition or Grindletonian influence. They joined with George Fox on his arrival around December 1651, providing several pioneers who helped in launching the Quaker movement. These included Richard Farnworth, Thomas Aldam, Benjamin Nicholson, and John, Thomas and Margaret Killam, with Thomas and Elizabeth Stacy from Ballifield near Sheffield. Evidence is presented that Farnworth was born on 14th October 1627, and that he may have first encountered George Fox at Derby in early 1650.

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