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Title: A believing people in a changing world : Quakers in society in north-east Norfolk, 1690-1800
Author: Stevens, Sylvia.
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2005
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A few of the eighteenth-century Quakers who lived in the area of north-east Norfolk that is the focus of this study were well-known within their locality and among Quakers nationally; others were probably known only within their own regional meeting for church affairs and their own small towns or villages. Leaving few printed records of their experiences, they appear fleetingly or not at all in works of synthesis on the history of Quakerism. This thesis argues that it is important to attempt to restore at least some of these men and women to their places in their meeting houses and parishes in order to provide a wider base from which to make assessments about the nature of eighteenthcentury Quakerism. It uncovers new evidence about generational change. It uses a local study to investigate the ways in which, within their local and national circumstances, and within and beyond their own religious group, these men and women negotiated the balance between sustaining and witnessing to their beliefs, and incorporating new circumstances and interests into their lives. Deliberately set outside the main urban centre in order to avoid over-concentration on well-known Friends, the study covers a period that is still under-researched, and examines a wide range of sources, some previously unavailable. A case study analyses how a retired Quaker sailor and a Quaker shopkeeper who exhibited curiosities negotiated their Quaker values with the interests of polite society. The thesis opens up consideration of the written and spoken word as means of transmission within middle-ranking societies, and initiates an analysis of under-used material relating to late eighteenth-century witness stories and providentialism that crossed denominational boundaries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available