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Aldam, Thomas (1616?–1660), Quaker preacher and writer, was born in Warmsworth, near Doncaster, although no further details of his parentage are known. He was a relatively affluent yeoman. He married Mary Killam (d. 1660) in 1644, and the couple had at least one child, ...

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Alexander, Mary (1760–1809), Quaker minister, was born on 7 February 1760 at Needham Market, Suffolk, the third of the eight children of Dykes Alexander (c.1724–1786), shopkeeper, and his wife, Martha Biddle (1727–1775), of whom five survived childhood. Both her parents were established Quakers, her father being an elder and her mother a minister. ...

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Ames, William (d. 1662), Quaker preacher, was born at Frampton Cotterell, near Bristol; his parents' names are not known. He was not well educated and when young was prone to lying, drunkenness, and licentiousness. During the civil war he joined the king's army and later served as a marine under ...

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Ashbridge [née Sampson], Elizabeth (1713–1755), Quaker minister and writer, was born in Middlewich, Cheshire, the daughter of Thomas Sampson, a ship's surgeon, and his wife, Mary. Few details are known about Elizabeth's early life, parents, and family; indeed, most of the information about her later life and career is taken from her spiritual autobiography (composed about 1745), which records her 'remarkable experiences' (the title of some versions of the narrative indicated) after she left home aged fourteen. About 1727 she eloped with, and married, a stocking weaver, who died within the year. ...

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Audland, John (c. 1630–1664), Quaker preacher, was born near Camsgill, Kendal, Westmorland, to 'parents and kindred of good repute' (Thomas Camm's testimony). A linen draper, he lived at Crosslands, near Preston Patrick, Westmorland. Early on he became an eminent preacher and 'great multitudes of people would flock after him' (...

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Backhouse, Edward (1808–1879), Quaker minister and historical writer, was born at Darlington on 8 May 1808, the son of Edward and Mary Backhouse. He lived from his youth at Sunderland, where he was partner in the collieries and the bank with which his family had been connected for many years, although he took no active part in the business. He was fond of travel, a good amateur painter, and a student of natural history. He devoted himself chiefly to the promotion of philanthropic and religious causes. He was a generous supporter of various institutions in ...

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Benson, Gervase (d. 1679), Quaker leader, lived at Haygarth in Sedbergh, Yorkshire, and Kendal, Westmorland; he also had a house at Borratt in Sedbergh. A notary public before 1640, and later commissary of the archdeaconry of Richmond at Kendal, Benson was the first ecclesiastical lawyer to join ...

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Biddle, Hester (1629/30–1697), Quaker minister and writer, spent her childhood in Oxford. She twice refers to having been born an Anglican, but nothing else is known of her family origin. She wrote only under her married name, so her marriage to Thomas Biddle (...

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Blaugdone, Barbara (c. 1609–1704), Quaker preacher, was 'a Woman of good Parts and Education' (Besse, 2.37) and well connected. Her husband, about whom nothing is known, probably died young, leaving her a widow with a small income which she supplemented by teaching. She was converted to Quakerism in 1654 by ...

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Blaykling, Ann (fl. 1652–1708), Quaker preacher, was probably born at Draw-well, near Sedbergh in Yorkshire, the daughter of Thomas Blaykling, of whom nothing is known except that he shared a substantial house with his son John (1625–1705). Another son, Richard, was a puritan minister. When ...