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George Fox

FOX, George, founder of the society of Friends, born at Drayton-in-the-clay, now called Fenny Drayton, Leicestershire, England, in July 1624" died in London, 13 January 1691. His father, Christopher Fox, was a weaver. At an early age the boy was placed with a shoemaker who also dealt, in wool, and Fox was employed by him for some time as a shepherd. he kept aloof from the other workmen, and meditated much on Scripture topics, gradually forming the doctrines which he afterward preached. When about nineteen he gave up his occupation, for some years lived a wandering life in woods and solitary places, practicing extreme self-denial, and at the age of twenty-three appeared as a preacher at Manchester. The populace, crowded to hear him, and he was arrested and imprisoned as a disturber of the peace.

When released, he proceeded to travel through England, preaching his doctrines and making many converts. He was many times imprisoned, usually for refusing to make oath or to pay tithes, and in 1663'6 was confined in different prisons about three years. The term Quakers is said to have been applied to his followers for the first time at Derby in 1650, in consequence of his telling Justice Bennet to "quake at the word of the Lord." In 1669 he married the widow of a Welsh judge who had often befriended him, and whose wife and daughters had become believers in his teachings. In 1671 he sailed for the Barbados, where many joined his society. While at this place he drew up a paper setting forth the belief of the Friends as to the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. He then visited the colonies of Maryland, New Jersey, and New England, advancing his views wherever he went. A large oak in Flushing, Long Island, under which he preached two centuries before, and which was preserved as an historical monument, was destroyed by fire in October 1873. After preaching again in England, Holland, and Germany, he finally, a few years before his death, established himself in London. His published works, containing his journal, correspondence, and all his doctrinal writings, are numerous and curious. They were partially collected in three volumes folio (London, 16941706). An edition in eight octavo volumes was published in Philadelphia in 1852. For a full account of his various writings and publications, see Joseph Smith's" Catalogue of Friends' Books," vol. i., pp. 644697.

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