Quaker Women

...during the period 1640-60 prophecy increased dramatically. Phyllis Mack has identified around 300 women prophets during the 1650s and 1650s. Most of the prophetic writings by women were published at that time: around seventy-two of a total of ninety-two titles published between 1600-1700 appeared between 1640 and 1660.
Crawford, Patricia; Women and Religion in England 1500-1720; Routledge, London 1993.

Of the 822 publications by women between 1600-1700, 189 were publications by Quakers and 131 of these were between 1661-1700. Of the Quaker women publishing 79 women published more than 4 four works and 98 published fewer than 5 works.

I was surprised to discover the number pamplets and tracts which were written and even printed by women in the 17th Century. I had read in the history books about Margaret Fell as a keen supporter and later wife of George Fox; and of Mary Fisher's trip to visit the Sultan; and of Katherine Evans and Sarah Cheevers; and of course Mary Dyer. I had never heard of Elizabeth Hooton before and therefore was pleased to discover that first convinced Friend was a woman in her 50's who then set out for the next 10 years to travel extensively in the ministry.

I began reading through the collection of tracts and pamplets in Woodbrooke's library to meet and become acquainted with these many early Quaker women. I found that much of their writings spoke to me personally and I find that the extracts I have included here continue to bring me inspiration and encouragement on my spiritual journey.

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