Saturday, April 17, 2010

Quaker Meeting. Rowlandson & Pugin, Artists: Acquatint by Stadler. London: [n.p.], 1804

In August 1670, the Quaker meeting place in Gracechurch Street London was closed by the authorities. A group of Quakers convened in the street. William Penn and William Meade preached to this group, but it was quickly surrounded by non-believers who heckled and disrupted the assembly. The crowd grew more unruly and the authorities were called to break-up the disturbance. The two preachers were arrested, hauled before the Lord Mayor and committed to Newgate Prison for “preaching to an unlawful, seditious, and riotous assembly.” They were tried under the Conventicle Act, which banned all religious gatherings in which the established church liturgy was not used.


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