The Project

The Journals



Early Quakers

Other Sources



The Project

Project Team


Progress Report



This website was devised to present the findings of a research project initially called ‘Quakers in North West England 1652–1653: The Politics of Space’. Its mission statement was:

In 1652 George Fox climbed Pendle Hill and had a vision of ‘a great people in white raiment by a riverside coming to the Lord’. Travelling on through the Dales, he came to Sedbergh, which he recognised as the place in his vision.
The convincement of the Westmorland Seekers is usually seen as the beginning of organised Quakerism. Fox's subsequent travels through Cumbria drew on the enthusiasm of a network of local families. In Margaret Fell and Swarthmoor he found the safe haven and support system he needed to stabilise the movement.
Drawing on the Quaker Collection in the Library, Friends House, and other sources in the Society of Friends, the Project will investigate these networks and their place in the concept of ‘journeying for the Lord’, as set forth in Fox's Journal and other early Quaker writings, and the way in which he and other Friends negotiated and colonised different kinds of space: the landscape, alehouses, marketplaces, mountain-tops, ‘steeplehouses’, safe houses, and prisons.

Unlike a printed book, a research website is intended to grow organically as more discoveries are made. Sometimes they are made during the very process of designing and writing. Rather like Fox himself, we know the way we wish to set off and some of the places we might reach; and we have some idea of the paths we might take. But the people (historical and contemporary) we meet along the way may suggest different paths. The end result, to shift metaphors, will be an ever-provisional mapping of the terrain.

For its current contents and future directions, see our Progress Report above.

We see a broad-based audience: Quaker historians, historians of the 17th century, and, we hope, Quakers worldwide.