John Blaykling: Other Sources
1. ‘Sedbergh’ from The First Publishers of Truth
2. John Tomkins on John Blaykling, from Piety Promoted
From The First Publishers of Truth: The Blaykling Family at Sedbergh, Draw-well, and Firbank Chapel
... At whose [Justice Benson's] house there was a great Meeting from sevrall Adjacent places, both of York shire
and Westmrland, in wch Meeting G: ff did Powrfully preach ye Gospell of ye Kingdome, wch had an Enterance into,
& reception by many harts there. And the sd Gervice Benson & Wife were Convinced, & gladly received him into
their house, And the sd Richard Robinson, & Major Busfield, Tho: Blaikling & wife, their Son, John Blaikling,
& wife, all of Drawell, near Sedbergh, Joseph Bains, of Stangerthewaite in Westmrland, & many others, who sevrall
of them afterwards received him Joyfully into their houses, & beleived in ye Truth by him preached, & became
obedient to the same, and lived & died faithfull witnesses & faithfull testemony bearers therto, who are all
now dead, except Joseph Bains.
Upon ye 4th day of ye same weeke, being a ffaire at ye Towne of Sedbergh, Commonly Called Whitsonwedonsday, where the sd G: ff powrfully declared Truth in the Steeplehouse yarde, and alltho some opposed him, yet many received his Testemony, & were convinced & turned to the way of Truth. Affter wech, G: ff: went to ye house of Tho: Blaikling & John Blaikling. his son, at Drawell aforesd, who gladly & in great Love received him. And upon ye first day following, G: ff:, being Accompanied wth the sd John Blaikling, went to ffirbanke Chappell, where ff. Howgill & John Audland preached in the fore noone to a seekeing & religeous people ther seprated from the Common way of Nationall worshipe ... 1 [pages 242–3]
And ffirst to begin wth Sedbergh where G: ff: first came.
There was sevrall Called to the worke of the Ministry, as John Blaikling, of Drawell, whose ffaithfullness, sufferings, & ffaithfull labours in the Gospell, (both) many parts of this nation & Scotland can beare recorde unto, who died in the ffaith, in a good old age, at his own house in Drawell, ye 2 day of the 5th Month, 1705, and was buryed the 4th of the same at ffrends Burial place at Sedbergh Meeting house, aged neare 80 years, as more perticulerly set down in ye 3d parte of Piety Promoted, to wch we referr ... [page 250]
Ann Blaikling, sister to ye aforesd John Blaikling, of Drawell, was allso Called forth into ye Ministry, & travelled into sevrall Countys in ye south east of this Nation, & had her service for a time in Convinceing sevrall; but for want of watchfullness ye enemie prevailled to lead her into singulerety & whimcies in severall things, by wch she run out of unity wth ffriends for sevrall years. Yet after came more neare to ffriends againe, & married amongst ffriends of ye meeting of Sedbergh, and kept to meetings & is yet liveing. [page 252]
Submission by Westmorland (?)Quarterly Meeting edited by Norman Penney in “The First Publishers of Truth (London: Headley Brothers, 1907). Presented to Yearly Meeting in 1709. Said to be in the hand of Thomas Camm.
From Piety Promoted: John Blaykling
JOhn Blaikling of Draw-well, in the Parish of Sedberg in Yorkshire, Bordering on Westmorland, was Born in the Ninth Month, 1625. and he and his Wife and his Father and Mother were People of Good Repute and Esteem amongst all that knew them, being all very Religiously inclined from their Youth, and were all Convinced of the Truth in the Third Month, 1652. by the Ministry of that truly Honourable Servant of Christ,George Fox, whom they received into their House with Joy, because of the glad Tidings of Salvation that he brought unto them; soon after which, John Blaikling accompanied George Fox to Furbank-Chapel, where many were also Convinced of Truth. About the latter end of the Year, 1654, or beginning of 1655. J. Blaikling received a Dispensation of the Gospel, to publish to the World, and was very serviceable therein to many, and soon after, he was called by the Lord into the County of Durham, Northumberland, and the East of Yorkshire, where he had (and many times since, in his frequent Visits of those Places) good Service, and with great Respect received and loved whilst he lived; a few Years after, he Travel’d into Scotland, visiting a great part of that Nation, ad in his return, as well as Going out, visited the Northern Counties of England; and after it pleased God to raise up others to bear Testimony of his Truth in the Meeting J. Blaikling belonged to (and the adjacent Meetings) to answer the Service in Part, which before lay much upon John; he was not only glad thereof, but a great Encourager of them, and all others at all times, that came up in a Publick Testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the True Light.
He also Travel’d into many other Cities and Counties; as at London, Bristol, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, and most Counties of this Nation, and many times to London; in which Service he faithfully continued till Weakness of Body and Old Age prevented; the last time he visited London, was when he came up to the Yearly Meeting, 1698. that Service being over, he visited the most of Friends Meetings in the County of Kent; and his Service was very Acceptable amongst them.
He was endued with a great Gift of Discerning, of Solid Judgment, and Deep Understanding in Heavenly Things, (as well as in the Things relating to this Life) his Ministry was attended with Power, and though his Utterance was not Eloquent, yet full of profound and weighty Matter, suitable to the several States in the Auditory where he did Minister; he was an Example in Tender Humble Life and Conversation, and Zealous for Good Order in the Church of Christ, as well as stedfast in opposing and bearing Testimony against such as would endeavour to break Unity, and so lead into a loose Liberty, Disorder, and Confusion, as well as other Evil Works: it was at John Blaikling’s House, which is called Draw-well, that that Memorable Meeting was held, for the endeavouring the Recovery of John Story and John Wilkinson, and others who opposed the Good Order and Discipline now established in the Churches of Christ; the said Meeting began upon the 3d Day of the 2d Month, 1676. and continued four days; but, notwithstanding the Labours of many Brethren, met at that time from divers Parts of the Nation, and particularly Four Friends from the City of London; the said J. Story, and J. Wilkinson continued in their Contention and Opposition on to Friends; and not long after, William Rogers published a great Book against Friends, which J. Blackling, &c. answered; Intitul’d, Antichristian Treachery discover’d, and its way Block’d up; a Volume in folio, of above fifty Sheets.
He was a great Supporter of such, as were in Low Circumstances in the World, often assisted them in difficult Cases to the exposing himself to great Hazards of Loss; and many times he was blessed with god Success therein: He obtained the Blessing of Peace-makers, being of a good Understanding, was qualified with Judgment and Patience to reconcile Differences about Temporal Affairs, which was a means to bring him into many Concerns of Trust for Orphans, &c. which is always attended with great Care and Trouble, and which often fell to his Lot. The Loss of him in the Church, as well as among the Neighbourhood, is great. He was not only call’d to believe in and preach Christ Jesus, the Truth, the Way and the Life, but also to suffer for his Name’s Sake, not only by Loss of Goods to a great Value, but also by Imprisonments several times at York, about Sixty Miles from his Family, both on Account of Meetings for the Worship of God, and in a firm Testimony against Tythes; whilst he had Strength, he was diligent in attending Meetings; but Old Age, and bodily Infirmities growing upon him at length for some time prevented him: And several times he did express himself to Friends in Private; the Comforts that he had in the Lord’s Peace and Presence with him to his Satisfaction in his Old Age, and that his Days Work was nigh done, and his Reward and Rest with God sure; and this Testimony agrees with the last Letters that I received from him (save one part) as followeth.
‘Dear John, I Love thee in the Truest Love,
‘that springs from Jesus Christ the Fountain there–
‘of, by and in which my Life standeth; tho’ as
‘to Bodily Strength and Health I grow Weak and
‘Feeble, but my Life on God standeth; whose
‘I am, and I am comfortably Content; I am
‘scarcely able to walk to the Door, nor have I been
‘at a Meeting these several Weeks, but the Lord’s
‘Will be done, I am comforted in the Remem–
‘brance of my former Services for the Lord, his
‘Truth and People; for which I want not my
‘Reward in this my Old Age; — take time
‘to read, I am almost blind, yet well Content.
He often signify’d his Preparedness to leave this World, with Fervent Desires for Truth’s Prosperity, and the Preservation of Unity and Concord amongst Brethren, in a Faithful and Steady Testimony for the same in every Part thereof, as led into by God’s Power in the beginning; not long before his Death, his Ancient and Intimate Friend and Acquaintance Thomas Camm, being with him, he said unto him, Thou and I have not fought our own Interest, but have devoted ourselves to serve the Lord, his Truth and People, He is, and will be our great Reward in the End of all our Troubles, I am greatly satisfied that I have Faithfully served the Lord, and done my Days Work, and enjoy the Earnest of that Peace and Rest, God hath laid up for his People; and if thou and I shall never have the Opportunity to meet again in the Outward, yet in Eternity, our Spirits, with the Spirits of Just Men made perfect, shall meet, never to part again. I pray God (said he) with all my Soul, if it be his Will, for his Truth and Peoples sake to lengthen thy Days, and grant thee that Strength of Body and Health, that at least thou mayest be able once more to visit London, Bristol, and the Southern Parts of this Nation, which will be of great Service, and acceptable vnto many; this he spoke with great tenderness of Spirit, to which Thomas Camm reply’d, the Will of the Lord be done; I am in his Hand; so in much Brokenness embracing and kissing each other, they parted; this was four or five Days before his Death; he had a short Sickness and an Easie death, falling into a fainting Fit as sometimes before.
He passed away quietly out of this World, without Sign of Groan, wanting about Four Months of Eighty Years, and was Honourably Buried at Friends Burial Place, at Sedbergh Meeting-House, the Fourth day of the Fifth Month, 1705.
John Tomkins Piety Promoted, in a Collection of the Dying Sayings of many of the People
called Quakers. With a Brief Account
of some of their Labours in the Gospel, and Sufferings for the same … (1721) pages 291–5.
Transcribed from Eighteenth-century Collections Online (ECCO).
1. This appears to be adapting and glossing Fox's words in the Long Journal.