Nottingham Quakers Chide Friends Who Fail to Uphold Peace Testimony

In Bi-Centennial of Brick Meeting-House, Calvert, Cecil County, Maryland () is an account of some of the confessions made by Quakers from the Nottingham Meeting concerning individual failures to abide strictly by the peace testimony.

“The period of the Revolutionary War was the most trying period for Nottingham Friends to maintain their discipline against war and control their members from entering or assisting in military operations,” writes the section’s author, who gives these examples from the archives:

Hannah Stubbs, a young woman of Little Britain, “her dissatisfaction in satisfying a constable, with a sum of money on her brother’s account, who was for a substitute fined.”

Rachel Brown, Jr., acknowledged “her uneasiness in having sold two blankets to an officer of the militia though afterwards found it to be her duty to return the money, as also making use of Continental currency.”

Jeremiah Sergeant acknowledges “that he made use of money left by an officer for blankets, which he acknowledged to be wrong.”

Jacob Reynolds, of West Nottingham, acknowledged that “he had some cattle taken from him, and that he took them again in a manner not becoming our religious society, with his sons and others.”

Samuel Coppack, of Little Britain, acknowledged “setting forth his unfaithfulness for reclaiming a creature (horse) for substitute fine.”

Joseph Reynolds and Jacob Reynolds, Jr., acknowledged “they had helped to fetch back some cattle that were taken by military men in a manner not agreeable to our peaceable profession, and are convinced of the evil thereof.”

Hezekiah Rowles and Elizabeth Rowles acknowledged “they had not stood clear as they ought in selling some small matters to soldiers, and suffering some of their family to make and wash some of their clothes.”

Ann Sidwell acknowledged “that she assisted to bring home a mare that was taken for a substitute fine.”

Joseph Wood acknowledged he “assumed a sum of money that his brother-in-law had paid for him in lieu of personal service in war.”

Ann Trimble acknowledges that she “received pay for a blanket that was taken away, and also something as pay from a doctor who came and lodged some time with us, whilst he was employed in the service of the army.”

Joshua Brown acknowledges that he “did agree to pay and without his parents’ consent or knowledge, a man who had redeemed a horse that had been taken from his father by military men.”

A number of other acknowledgments are made for paying military fines, and fines for substitutes and for taking the oath of allegiance.

Several who did not make acknowledgments were disowned for different offences, and several others were disowned for entering the military service in some form.

At Nottingham Monthly Meeting, held , a list of property taken by distraint from diverse Friends of this meeting was produced by the committee on sufferings, amounting to sixty-six pounds and seven shillings.