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Quaker Studies

Abstract

This article is a study of the development and role of early Quaker women's Meetings during the second half of the seventeenth century. It is based upon the contemporary records of the Owstwick women's Monthly Meeting, held in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Rather than focussing upon the individual travelling Quaker female ministers or their writings, as the historiography has tended to, it examines the everyday organisation and responsibilities that were held by early Quaker women. It argues that although the women's Meetings were regarded as inferior to those of the men, they evolved alongside each other and operated in tandem, each with their own areas of responsibility. This allowed women to gain status as a group, rather than as individuals, in the early Quaker movement.

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