Covering three hundred years of history, G.B. Burnet uncovers the beginnings and downfall of the Scottish Quaker movement, which, during its period of 1650-1850, had an estimated 1500 adherents.
The story of Quakerism can be divided into four main periods: its rise during the few years of Cromwell’s rule; the ‘epic’ period during the latter Stuart dynasty, during which it reached a height and simultaenously underwent its cruellest persecutions in Aberdeen; its gradual decline with occasional surges of social activity; and its dwindling activities in the nineteenth century.
Burnet writes with clarity and depth on the four main periods, taking the reader along the movement’s history from Edinburgh to Aberdeen, Angus, the Borders, the Highlands and beyond. As the study approaches the end of the nineteenth century, Burnet addresses the ultimate question of why Quakerism failed in Scotland. An Epilogue, written by William H. Marwick, Clerk to the Friends’ General Meeting for Scotland, expands still further on the progress of Quakerism from 1850-1950.
The pioneer Quakers were nothing if not strong in zeal to win converts, and the Movement had hardly obtained a footing in England before the ‘dark carnal people’ of Scotland were marked down for missionary enterprise.
From Chapter One: Quakerism Arrives in Scotland
I. Quakerism arrives in Scotland
II. First stirrings in Edinburgh
III. Up and down Scotland
IV. First persecutions in Scotland
V. George Fox and his friends in Scotland
VI. The Quakers and the Army of Occupation
VII. The Last Years of the Commonwealth Period
VIII. The Quakers and the Restoration Acts
IX. Progress and Conflict in Aberdeen
X. The Flowing Tide of Persecution in Aberdeen
XI. The Conventicle Act and the Declaration of Indulgence
XII. Through the Parishes of the North of Scotland
XIII. The Height of the Persecution in Aberdeen
XIV. George Keith
XV. The Barclays of Mathers and Urie
XVI. Quakerism in Angus and the Mearns
XVII. In Edinburgh and the Borders
XVIII. Meeting Houses and Burial Grounds
XIX. Quaker Schools in Scotland
XX. The Revolution Settlement and the Advent of Toleration
XXI. The Quakers and the Covenanters
XXII. Turbulent Years in Edinburgh and Glasgow
XXIII. Factors contributing to the Decline of Quakerism
XXIV. Personalities amid the Ruins
XXV. Quakers and Jacobites in the Highlands and Islands
XXVI. Famous Visitors to Scotland
XXVII. The Quaker Contribution to Social and Humanitatian Activities in Scotland
XXVIII. The Quakers and Scottish Churchmen of Last Century
XXIX. Why Quakerism failed in Scotland
Epilogue: Friends in Scotland during the Last Century
Places in Scotland which Quakerism Reached
Notes and References
Endorsements and Reviews
… remains the most extensive discussion of Scottish Quakers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. … provides a valuable starting point for any historian of Scottish Quakerism and a wealth of information and sources for further work.