Puritans v. Quakers – Trials & Tribulations

There’s a kind of sucker punch in many presentations of American history, wherein we are told that the Puritans left England for America because they had suffered religious persecution—and then the Puritans persecuted other religions here!  We’re given the impression that they were looking for freedom of religion and then denied it to others.

In the 1650’s several of our ancestors became Quakers and enduried escalating fines,  prison, banishment, whipping and ear cutting.   Some of these ancestors were closely involved when four Quakers were condemned to death and executed by public hanging for their religious beliefs in Boston in 1659, 1660 and 1661.   Richard SCOTT’s daughter Patience, in June, 1659, a girl of about eleven years, having gone to Boston as a witness against ‘the persecution of the Quakers, was sent to prison; others older being banished.  Today we ask, “What kind of people put an 11 year old girl in jail? ”

In our 2011 imagination, the Quakers are the conscientious objector good guys while the Puritans are the hypocritical tyrants.  Almost any book you read about the Massachusetts Bay Colony gives you the feeling that the moment those people set foot on shore in America they started betraying their own values. Objectivity is hard to come by when you’re reading about the Puritans.  Is our modern perspective accurate?

Navigate this Report
1. Puritan Perspective

2. Quaker Perspective
3. Trials & Tribulations

4. Boston Martyrs
5. Aftermath

3. Trials and Tribulations

It’s interesting to note that many of the our first Quaker converts were the children of New England’s early civic and religious leaders.

The Humble Immortals and Lt. Robert Pike

1653 – George MARTIN and Theophilus SHATSWELL were two of the fifteen “humble immortals” who, in 1653, stoutly and successfully maintained for the first time the right of petition for the subjects of the English crown.  Lt. Robert Pike, of Salisbury, (son-in-law of Joseph MOYCE)  an influential citizen, had denounced a law passed by the General Court, for which he was convicted, fined and disfranchised by the General Court.  Lt. Pike, a prominent town official and later a member of the General Court, denounced the law forbidding to preach if not Ordained. Which law was aimed at Joseph PEASLEE and Thomas Macy, believers in the Baptist Doctrine, with Quaker tendencies. The autocratic General Court resented this and Lieutenant Pike was fined over thirteen pounds and bound to good behavior.   This punishment caused many citizens of Salisbury and the surrounding towns to petition for a revocation of the sentence.  This offended the Court still more, and the signers were called upon to give “a reason for their unjust request”.  Out of the seventy-five who signed, the above mentioned fifteen alone refused to recede or apologize, and they were required to give bonds and to “answer for their offense before the County Court”.  Their cases were never called to trial, and they thus, by their firm stand, laid the foundation for these rights, which are now granted in all the civilized world.

Joseph Peaslee

Joseph PEASLEE  was a lay preacher as well as a farmer, and was reputed to have some skill in the practice of medicine. In the recognition of these natural gifts, he was, undoubtedly, made a citizen of Salisbury “Newtown.”

Later this gift of preaching made trouble in the new settlement and history for Joseph.  Soon after he removed to “Newtown,” the inhabitants neglected to attend the meetings for worship in the old town and did not contribute to the support of the minister. They held meetings for-worship at private houses, and in the absence of a minister, Joseph Peaslee and Thomas Macy officiated.The general court, which had jurisdiction over territory from Salem, Massachusetts, to Portsmouth, New Hampshire (was called Norfolk county), soon fined the inhabitants of “Newtown” five shillings each for every neglect of attending meetings in the old town and an additional fine of five shillings each to Joseph and Macy if they exhorted the people in the absence of a minister. This decree was not heeded. Meetings were held and Joseph and his friend continued to preach. The general court made additional decrees and fines, which also were not heeded.

Ralph Allen

1657 – Ralph ALLEN, his brothers, William and Matthew, as well as his brother-in-law, William Newland, were in trouble with the authorities at one time or another because they were Quakers. Ralph  had numerous difficulties with the authorities because of his conversion to the Quaker faith in 1657. In 1658, he was deprived of his vote in town meeting. In 1658 and 1659, he had  £68 in goods taken from him for refusing to swear to oaths and for attending Friends Meeting. In 1661, he was jailed in Boston.  They were liberated by order of Charles II who came to the Throne in 1660, but were taken from the jail and whipped through several towns before being set at liberty.

Ralph and William were called to serve on the jury but declined to take the oath. They were arraigned before the Court for having “disorderly” meetings at their houses. It was the old story of religious persecution. The charge was based on the fact that a few Friends had met in silence to wait upon God. Assembling like this was viewed by the magistrates as a grave offence and each was fined 20 shillings with an order they should find sureties (bond) in the sum of  £80 for their good behavior in the following six months. If they agreed to this, it would imply acknowledgement of the offence and agreement to stop their Quaker worship, so they unhesitatingly refused to comply. They were then put in jail for five months. After two and a half months in jail, they were offered their freedom if they agreed not to receive or listen to a Quaker but this they promptly refused to do.

Ralph Allen and six of his brothers and sisters continued with their Quaker meetings. The local ministers and magistrates seemed to have especially singled out the Allen family…they were the only individuals required to take the “oath of fidelity.”

See Elder George ALLEN‘s page for the stories of Ralph’s Quaker siblings.  George Sr. was an Anabaptist.  Maybe that’s why many of his children became Quakers.

Ralph’s brother George was fined on 8 June 1651 for failing to serve as a juror, and on 7 Oct 1651 both he and Hannah were fined for failure to attend public worship. George was also fined on several occasions for refusing to take the Oath of Fidelity to the King.

In 1675, however, records indicate that George changed his mind and took the Oath of Fidelity. 23 Feb 1675 – The town recorded the name of George Allen among those who had established their right to the privileges of the town. It may be that the town was admitting him to the franchise which had been taken from him for becoming a Quaker. The list of those voted to have a just right and interest in the town privileges included George Allen plus Caleb, Frederick, John, William, Ralph, and Francis Allen.

George may have been reprimanded by the Quakers for his 1657 marriage to Sarah who was not a Quaker, and later, on 3 June 1687, he acknowledged his wrongdoing. In 1683, George’s relationship with the Quakers of Sandwich became strained over the marriage of their daughter, Lydia, to Edward Wooley who was not a Quaker. [unconfirmed single source]

Ralph’s brother William and William’s wife Priscilla were very active and outspoken supporters of the Quaker movement, and over the years they were often fined for holding meetings and for entertaining visiting Quakers in their home. Aside from the monetary fines, William and Priscilla also had property seized, and on several occasions William had to endure whipping.

The Sandwich Friends Monthly Meeting, held at William Allen’s 4:3mo.: 1683 records on page 33. the intention of marriage of William Gifford to Mary Mills. “both of Sandwich”. At the same meeting, Gifford contributed 50 shillings to the meeting for the purchase of a cow. The marriage took place at the Meeting of 16 day 5mo.: 1683, the couple “having expressed their intentions at two meetings”. Both, again, are called of Sandwich”, and both signed the certificate (not by mark). It is interesting to note that there were thirty witnesses: [our relations are in boldWilliam and John NewlandGeorge. William, Francis, Jedediah, Zachariah AllenStephen WingEdward Perry, Lodowick Hauksie, Jedediah Jones. Thomas Grennell, Isaac Turner and John Goodspeed. Also Rose Newland: Susannah, Hannah and Elizabeth Jenkins: Priscilla, Hannah, Mary and two Elizabeth Allens; Lydia Gaunt, Jane Landers, Sarah Wing. Mary Perry, Mary Hauksie, Experience Goodspeed and Mary Turner. But none of the children of William Gifford signed the document, nor did James Mills, brother of the bride.

In one instance in 1661, Sheriff George Barlow of Sandwich [father-in-law to William’s brother Francis] went to William’s home while William was in jail in Boston. Having already seized the majority of William and Priscilla’s moveable property, Sheriff Barlow went into their home and took Priscilla’s last cooking pot and bag of meal. Upon doing so he sneered;

“Now Priscilla, how will thee cook for thy family and friends, thee has no kettle.”

Priscilla then replied;

“George, that God who hears the young ravens when they cry will provide for them, I trust in that God, and I verily believe the time will come when thy necessity will be greater than mine.”

Edward Perry and Mary Freeman

1654 – By the time Edward Perry, son of our ancestor Edmund PERRY was 23 years old, he had moved to the little town of Sandwich, where many of the Quakers settled.

His name first appears in the records of Sandwich, Plymouth Colony, for November 1652 when he was a member of a committee to acquire and store fish for the town’s use. In 1653 he was appointed a grand juryman. He was surveyor of highways in 1657, 1658, and 1674.

Due to his Quaker beliefs, when Edward married Mary Freeman [daughter of our ancestor Edmund FREEMAN],   he refused the services of the authorized magistrate, choosing a Quaker ceremony instead.  On March 7, 1653/54, the Court fined him five pounds for not being legally married and ordered him to have the marriage ratified. He refused and at the next session of the Court, on June 6, 1654, the Court ordered “Edward Perrry, for refusing to have his marriage ratified before Mr.Prence according to order of Court, is fined five pounds for this present Court and so five pounds for each General Court that shall be during the time of his said neglect for the future.”

Note that Edward employed a Quaker wedding ceremony in 1654, 3 years before the first Quaker congregation was established in Plymouth Colony, and 4 years before he formally joined that organization. The Quaker religious movement had been going since the late 1640’s, so there is nothing strange about him being a practicing Quaker before a Quaker “meeting” (congregation) existed in his area. The fact that his father-in-law, a very tolerant Puritan, was Lt Governor helped to deflect some of the Puritan anger, but the fines were still massive.

The Plymouth Colony records contain an entry for 7 Mar 1654 under the heading of “fines”: “Edward Perry, for unorderly proceeding, contrary to order of the Court, about his marriage, is fined five pound.” On the same date: “Thomas Tupper, for his negligence in not causing Edward Perry, of Sandwidg, to bee by him orderly married, being by the Court appointed to merry persons there, was required henceforth to desist, and is not intrusted with that business any more.”

On 6 Jun 1654 the Court again imposed a fine: “Edward Perry, for refusing to have his marriage rattifyed before Mr. Prence according to the order of Court, is fined five pounds for this present Court, and soe five pounds for every Generall Court that shall bee during the time of his said neglect for the future.”

On August 1, 1654, Edward was again fined. The final outcome of the conflict isn’t know but Edward’s difficulties didn’t cease.  At the beginning of June 1658, he and thirteen other men from Sandwich appeared before the Court to give reason for refusing to take the oath of fidelity. Because of their religion, they replied that it was unlawful for them to take the oath. The Court fined them 10 pounds apiece.

About 1657, he joined the newly formed Society of Friends. In 1658, the Quakers in Sandwich began having monthly meetings and the Court issued the third decree against them. It forbid, under severe penalties, holding or attending meeting. Following the decree, the fines and complaints against Quakers became so numerous that in June (1658), a marshal was chosen to help the constable.  That October, Edward and ten other men appearaed before the Court “to answer for their refusing to take the oath of fidelity and remaining obstinate.” The Court fined each of them ten pounds. In addition, “Edward Perry for using threatening speeches to abuse the marshal is fined to the use of the colony twenty shillings.”

Regularly throughout the years Edward’s name appeared in the court records. In 1658, 1659, and 1660 he and other Quakers were fined for refusing the oath of fidelity. In 1659 he was fined for “using threatning speeches” to the marshall. In 1663 he was called to account for a “rayling letter which hee wrote to the Court”. Nevertheless, he was respected enough to be appointed to share in community duties.

March, 1659/60 – The Court summoned Edward and six other men to answer about whether they would take the oath of fidelity. Edward and another man didn’t appear. The men who did appear said that they had not been duly summoned. There isn’t a record of them being fined.

13 Jun 1660 – The Court summoned Edward and eleven other men and asked them if they would take the oath. After all of the men refused to do, the Court fined them five pounds each. That is the last record of them being summoned or fined for refusing to take the oath of fidelity. The cause for some of the relief from fines and punishments appears to be due to interference from King Charles.

Arthur Howland and Elizabeth Prence

1657 –  Arthur Howland Jr.,  an ardent Quaker and son of Arthur HOWLAND Sr., was brought before the court.  Elizabeth Prence, daughter of Gov. Thomas PRENCE (also our ancestor)  and Arthur Howland Jr., fell in love. The relationship blossomed and matrimony seemed inevitable. However, it was illegal and punishable by court sanction for couples to marry without parental consent. Thomas Prence urged Elizabeth to break off the relationship, but to no avail. He then used powers available to him as Governor. Arthur Howland, Jr., was brought before the General Court and fined five pounds for

inveigling of Mistris Elizabeth Prence and making motion of marriage to her, and prosecuting the same contrary to her parents likeing, and without theire mind and will…[and] in speciall that hee desist from the use of any meanes to obtaine or retaine her affections as aforesaid.”

2 Jul 1667 – Arthur Howland, Jr., was brought before the General Court again where he “did sollemly and seriously engage before the Court, that he will wholly desist and never apply himself for the future as formerly he hath done, to Mistris Elizabeth Prence in reference unto marriage.” Guess what happened! They were married on December 9, 1667 and in time had a daughter and four sons. Thus a reluctant Thomas Prence acquired a Quaker son-in-law, Quaker grandchildren and innumerable Quaker in-laws of Henry Howland.

22 Dec 1657 – Arthur, his brother Henry and Henry’s son Zoeth were called before the Plymouth court to answer for entertaining a Quaker, and suffering and inviting sundry to hear said Quaker.  They were fined for using thier homes for Quaker meetings.’   The families of Arthur Howland and his brother  Henry, were two Plymouth families most identified as practicing Quakers. The families ceased attending Plymouth religious services and allowed their homes for the conduct of Quaker meetings.  Throughout his life, Arthur’s brother John HOWLAND (also our ancestor)  remained faithful to Separatist belief and practice, but his compassion for Quakers is not known.

1659 –  Arthur Jr.’s freeman status was revoked and in 1684 he was imprisoned in Plymouth.

1669 – Arthur was arrested for neglecting to pay his minister-tax; due to his advanced age and low estate he was excused from paying.

Sandwich Quakers

In 1657, “the people called Quakers” made their first appearance in Sandwich. In Bowden’s “History of the Society of Friends in America,”it is mentioned that two English Friends named ‘Christopher Holden  (See Puritans v. Quakers – Boston Martyrs) and John Copeland came to Sandwich on the 20th of 6th month ,1657, and had a number of meetings, and that their arrival was hailed with feelings of satisfaction by many who had long been burdened with a lifeless ministry and dead forms in religion. But the town had its advocates of reliigous intolerance and no small commotion ensued.” The Governor issued a warrant for their arrest, but when a copy of the warrant was asked for by William Newland at whose house the meetings had been held, it was refused and its execution was resisted. A severe rebuke and a fine was then inflicted upon them. The two prisoners were sentenced to be whipped, but the selectmen of the town declined to act in the case and the marshal was obliged to take them to Barnstable to find a magistrate willing to comply with the order.

Tradition reports that many meetings were held at a secluded spot in the woods which from the preacher’s Christian name was afterwards known as “Christopher’s Hollow.” Numerous complaints were made against divers persons in Sandwich for “meetings at private houses and inveighing against magistrates;” and several men and women were publicly whipped for “disturbing public worship, for abusing the ministers,” for “encouraging” others in holding meetings, for “entertaining the preachers and for unworthy speeches.”

Robert Harper

It seems probable that much of Edmund PERRY’s son-in-law Robert Harper’s land and personal property was taken from him because of his refusal to take the oath of Fidelity and for absenting himself from the authorized church worship. His name appears at the head of a list of Quakers, with fines of £44.  It may be that because of this he had few worldly goods to leave, as no record of the probate of his estate has come to light, nor can we find the date of his death.

1 June 1658 – Robert appeared before the court for failure to take the “oath of fidelitie”, and was fined £10  on at Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA, New England.

2 Oct 1658 – Robert Harper was fined £5 for refusing to take the “oath of fidelitie”, along with twelve others of Sandwich, and was fined £5.

7 Jun 1659 – Robert appeared before the court for failure to take the “oath of fidelitie”, and fined £5  at Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA, New England.

6 Oct 1659 – Robert appeared before the court for failure to take the “oath of fidelitie”, and fined £5 at Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA, New England.

8 or 13 June 1660 – Robert Harper was fined fined £5 for refusing to take the “oath of fidelitie”. This fine was imposed by the court in regards to the 7 Mar 1660 appearance. on  at Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA, New England.

2 Oct 1660 – Robert was convicted for refusing to take the “oath of fidelitie”, at the General Court in Plymouth; fined £6 at Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA, New England.

2 Oct 1660 – Robert Harper and Deborah Perry were fined £4, “for being att Quakers meetings”.

1 Mar 1663/64 – Robert Harper appeared before the court for “intollorable insolent disturbance” and was ordered to be publicly whipped at Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA, New England.

Henry DILLINGHAM and Elizabeth PERRY 

1659 – Henry DILLINGHAM and his wife  Elizabeth PERRY were early adopted the Quaker faith and suffered persecution in common with others of that sect.  Henry was son of  Edward DILLINGHAM  and Elizabeth was the daughter of Edmund PERRY., The trouble seems to have begun about 1656. In 1657 neither he nor his father appears on a list of those subscribing to support the minister.

Sandwich was the site of an early Quaker settlement. However, the settlement was not well-received, as their beliefs clashed with those of the Puritans who founded the town. Many Quakers left the town, either for further settlements along the Cape, or elsewhere.

7 June 1659 – Henry was fines 50 shillings “for refusing to serve in the office of constable,being chosen by the town of Sandwich”In the same year he was again fined 2 pounds, ,10 shillings.

In 1659 he was fined 15 Shillings ” for refusing to aid the Marshall in the execution of his office” (relating to Quakers) and in the same year his wife was fined 10 shillings for being at a Quaker’s meeting.

Henry seems later to have mortified his views,or possibly the authorities had grown more tolerant,as in 1666 he served a constable.

Daniel and Stephen Wing

Daniel and  Stephen Wing, two sons of John WING refused to take the “oath of fidelity,”not on the ground that they declined all oaths, but because this particular oath pledged them to assist in the execution of an intolerant enactment.

Among the fines inflicted on Daniel Wing we find March 1658 for entertaing Quakers, 20 shillings. For refusing to take the oath of fidelity, £5. imposed 4 times: Oct 1658, Oct 1669, Mar 1660, Jun 1660. December, 1658, excluded from the number of freemen.
For refusing to aid the marshal, £10.

Indeed, so generally were the laws against free worship condemned in Sandwich, that the constable was “unable to discharge his duty by reason of many disturbent persons there residing,” and itwas enacted that “a marshal be chosen for such service in Sandwich, Barnstable and Yarmouth.” In 1658 a list was made out by the Governor and other magistrates of “certain persons who refused to take the oath of fidelity” and for that reason had no legal right to act as inhabitants. They were, therefore, each fined five pounds to the colony’s use, and it was ordered that each and every one of them should henceforth have no power to act in any town meeting till better evidence appeared of their legal admittance, nor to claim title or interest in any town privileges as town’s men, and that no man should henceforth be admitted an inhabitant of Sandwich, or enjoy the privileges thereol, without the approbation of the church and of Mr. Thomas PRENCE (the Governor and also our ancestor), or of the assistants whom they shall choose. Many were summoned to Plymouth to account for nonattendance upon public worship, and distraints were exacted from these recusants in Sandwich to satisfy for fines to the amount of six hundred and sixty pounds. Of these fines Daniel Wing paid not less than twelve pounds.

Up to this time Daniel Wing, with others who acted with him appear simply as friends of toleration and resisters of an oppressive law. But it was not long before he and most of these sympathizers became active converts to the persecuted sect. “In 1658 no less than eighteen families in Sandwich recorded their names” in one of the documents of the Society. Writers of that period (1658-60) say: “We have two strong places in this land, the one at Newport and the other at Sandwich; almost the whole town of Sandwich is adhering towards them,” and the Records of Monthly Meetings of Friends show that “the Sandwich Monthly Meeting was the first established in America.”  Its records extend as far back as 1672, which is earlier than any other known in this country. It was not until the accession of King Charles the Second (about 1660) that these proceedings against the Quakers were discontinued by the royal order, and the most obnoxious laws were repealed in the colony of Plymouth, when we are told that “the Quakers became the most peaceful, industrious and moral of all the religious sects.” la the fervor of religious zeal, and while smarting under severe injuries, they doubtless at this early period provoked the authorities by indiscretions which none ofIheir successors inthe faith would attempt to justify, and yet every descendant of the Puritans must regret that those who had themselves suffered so much for their conscientious convictions should have inflicted such severities upon dissenters from their own views.

Daniel Wing officially declared his affiliation with the Quakers who had established a Friends meeting at Spring Hill in Sandwich, the first in America, and between the months of March to December, was arrested and brought before the Courts a total of five times and fined extensively. By October of that year, he, his brother Stephen, Thomas Ewer, and six others were not only no longer legally given admittance into the town of Sandwich, but risked execution, for on the 19th of that month, the Court order was passed that “banish both resident and visiting Quakers by pain of death if they return”. Ingeniously, however, by early December with the aid of his brother John, Daniel with foresight had his estate confirmed to his children in order to escape the fines levied due to his Quakerism, thereby preserving his home and personal assets, and in light of the Southwicks, his family, as his seventh child, Beulah was born just a month later.

Daniel embraced the new Quaker religion and suffered greatly under the Quaker persecution. The constant fines had come to the point where he was afraid of losing his homestead. In order to escape that fate, he had his estate probated during his lifetime and given to his children. This event has caused much confusion to family historians ever since.

Stephen Wing, with his brother Daniel, embraced the new Quaker faith around 1658. He was repeatedly fined for his beliefs, but not to the same level that his brother faced. After the Quaker percecution ended Stephen became the Town Clerk for Sandwich. Stephen was probably the last surviving original settler of Sandwich. He died on 24 APR 1710. He almost certainly lies in an unmarked grave at the original Friends’ Cemetery at Sandwich.

Rose Allen Holloway Newland

2 Oct 1661 – Rose Allen HOLLOWAY Newland and her second husband, William Newland, were fined 10 shillings for being at a Quaker meeting, and that same year, William Newland was complained of for having entertained a Quaker in his home.

Anthony Colby and Thomas Macy

1661 – The year after Anthony COLBY’s  death, his widow, Susannah sold 60 acres near Haverhill, MA to her son Isaac to pay for her board. From the public divisions she received land in 1662 and 1664. In the latter year she married William Whitridge, a carpenter from Gloucester, and he died in 1669. In the meantime, Susannah had to defend her homestead against the claim of Thomas Macy from whom it had been purchased. At about the time of the sale, Macy had fled to Nantucket to escape the penalty of sheltering two Quakers during a thunderstorm, but later he denied the sale and tried to expel the widow and her family by legal process. He was unsuccessful and the premises were in the possession of Susannah’s descendants as late as 1895. In 1678, the son of Thomas Macy was deeded half of all the lands remaining in consideration of services rendered to the widow, and in 1682 the homestead was deeded to Susannah’s son, Samuel Colby, who cared for her during the infirmities of old age.

259 Main Street, Amesbury, MA The Macy-Colby house is open on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm during the summer. Other times are available by appointment. To arrange an appointment contact: Kathy Colby 978-388-3054 colbykathleen@verizon.net

Captains Of Industry Or Men Of Business Who Did Something Besides Making Money – James Parton 1884 – 1891

In August 1659 in Salisbury, Mass, Thomas Macy was caught in a violent storm of rain, and hurried home drenched to the skin. He found in his house four wayfarers, who had also come in for shelter. His wife being sick in bed, no one had seen or spoken to them. They asked him how far it was to Casco Bay [Maine]. From their dress and demeanor he thought they might be Quakers, and, as it was unlawful to harbor persons of that sect, he asked them to go on their way, since he feared to give offense in entertaining them. As soon as the worst of the storm was over, they left, and he never saw them again. They were in his house about three quarters of an hour, during which he said very little to them, having himself come home wet, and found his wife sick.

He was summoned to Boston, forty miles distant, to answer for this offense. Being unable to walk, and not rich enough to buy a horse, he wrote to the General Court, relating the circumstances, and explaining his non-appearance. He was fined thirty shillings, and ordered to be admonished by the governor. He paid his fine, received his reprimand, and removed to the island of Nantucket, of which he was the first settler, and for some time the only white inhabitant.

William Hammond

William HAMMOND’s independence in religious matters  may have made him unpopular with his more puritanical neighbors, although he does not appear to have been so unpopular as some of his most intimate friends. His near neighbor and most intimate friend appears to have been John Warren, who came from the same locality in Suffolk County, England, and between whose family and his own there appears to have been considerable intimacy for several generations prior to the settlement in America.

On occasion there were fines “for an offense against the laws concerning baptism,” and “for neglect of publick worship” 14 Sabbaths at 5 shillings each. Warnings were given “for not attending publick worship”.

27 May 1661 – The houses of “old Warren and goodman Hammond” were ordered to be searched for Quakers, for whom they were known to have considerable sympathy. Considerable independence in religious matters, great love of liberty and sympathy for all who are persecuted for conscience sake seem to have been inherent family traits for generations past. It is probable that William Hammond and his intimate friend, Warren, were both inclined toward the religious teaching of Roger Williams, but were too conservative to subject themselves to the persecution that his more radical followers were compelled to endure. This view is supported by the fact that many of their descendants were rigid adherents of the Baptist Church. The tendency, however, in this family has been toward great liberty of thought in religious matters and many of the descendants have been connected with the Unitarian and Universalist denominations, while many in the later generations have held membership in no church

Daniel Butler

Thomas HOWES’ son-in-law, Daniel Butler was arrested by marshal George Barlow for entertaining a strange Quaker in his house and for resisting arrest, for which the court sentenced him to be whipped on 13 Jun 1660.

At a court of 5 Oct 1663, “Mr. Thomas Hawley complained against William Allen and Daniell Butler… to a damage of £40, with all other damages, for taking away his mare in a violent and royetous maner.” The jury found for the plantiff and awarded fifty shillings damages and costs “if the mare and colt delivered to the plaintiffe. otherwise £16.” This item is interesting for two reasons: (1) As we have seen, Thomas Butler had appeared on behalf of his son Daniel in the tar case of 5 May 1663. This would imply that Daniel Butler may have reached his majority between the two dates, so that his father was not responsible for the son in Oct 1663. (2) The implication is that the parties concerned did not consider this a case of theft. One wonders whether this mare may not have been one which was taken from the Quakers by the marshall since, if so, the question of maral ownership by Hawley may have been in doubt, which would explain the comparative mildness of the award to the plaintiff, as well as the wording of the entry. William Allen was a leader of the Quaker faction.

With the outbreak of the Pequot War in 1675, Daniel Butler was required to serve in the militia. As a Quaker he could not do so, and was fined £8 as a “deliquent soldier” 10 Mar 1675/6.

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6 Responses to Puritans v. Quakers – Trials & Tribulations

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