Reference code(s): GB 0214 DSF
Title: Society of Friends in Wales, records
Short title: Society of Friends in Wales, records
Dates of creation: 1659-1997
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 0.72 cubic metres
Name of creator(s): Various meetings of the Society of Friends in Wales
Administrative and biographical history: Quakerism grew directly out of the radicalism associated with the English Civil War (1640-49). The founder of this Christian sect was George Fox, a radical preacher who was imprisoned in Derby gaol on a charge of blasphemy and imprisoned at Nottingham for interrupting a church service. From 1652 the numbers who were drawn to the movement greatly increased. The early adherents were men and women of principle who were resentful of ecclesiastical authority. The father of Welsh Quakerism was John ap John of Ruabon, co. Denbigh, who had visited Fox in 1653. By the late 1650s, John ap John and a small number of early Quakers were making inroads into the Baptist congregations of mid Wales, and in the Glamorgan towns of Cardiff and Swansea. By the time Fox published his Rule for the Management of Meetings in 1668 there were groups meeting in Wales in Montgomeryshire, Merionethshire, Pembrokeshire and Monmouthshire. As a dissenting Christian body, they suffered severely under the laws which were passed in the 1660s and 1670s to suppress dissent and nonconformity. In the 1680s, a number of Welsh Quakers emigrated to Pennsylvania in search of religious freedom. Individual congregations were grouped together regionally into monthly meetings, forming part of divisions meeting quarterly. For much of the time, there were two main divisions, covering North and South Wales. The North Wales division included Shropshire, England.
Scope and content: Wales yearly, half-yearly and quarterly meetings, 1682-1797; North Wales quarterly meetings, 1668-1797; South Division of Wales yearly, half yearly and quarterly meetings, 1662-1947; South Wales ministry and oversight committee, 1908-1951; Carmarthenshire and Glamorgan / South Division of Wales monthly meeting, 1672-1996; Cardiff elders' and overseers' meetings, 1959-1982; Cardiff preparative meetings, 1887-1993; Carmarthenshire monthly meeting, 1724-1768; Friends home service committee, 1972; London yearly meeting, 1971-1974; Merioneth and Montgomeryshire monthly meeting, 1785-1829; Milford Haven preparative meeting, 1955-1979; Monmouthshire quarterly and monthly meeting, 1660-1883; Monmouthshire and Radnorshire quarterly meeting, 1718-1797; Montgomeryshire preparative meeting, 1800-1814; Neath preparative meeting, 1831-1932; Pembrokeshire monthly meeting, 1660-1868; Pentre preparative meeting, 1931-1939; Shropshire and Montgomeryshire monthly meeting, 1693-1714; Swansea preparative meeting, 1852-1981; overseers executive yearly meeting, 1969-1972; general printed material, 1968-1974; licences and memorials, 1691-1863; school records, 1970-1973; miscellaneous documents, 1667-1958; deeds, 1659-1935; plans and contracts, 1797-1945; meeting houses, 1951-1980; South Wales monthly meeting, 1898-1997; and certificates of removal, 1763-1873.
Conditions governing access: In general, these records are closed for fifty years. Access to the material may, however, be granted for family history research. Requests for access for any other purpose should be made to the depositor via the Glamorgan Record Office.
Conditions governing reproduction: Normal Glamorgan Record Office conditions apply
Finding aids: A handlist is available at the Glamorgan Record Office
Accruals: Accruals are not expected
Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited at the Glamorgan Record Office by various Friends' meetings in Wales, 1950-2002
Related units of description: Related material is Glamorgan Record Office, DSFX.
Archivist's note: Compiled by David Morris for the ANW project. The following sources were used for compilation: Glamorgan Record Office finding aids; Rowlands, John (ed) Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research (Llandysul 1993); Jenkins, Geraint H. The Foundations of Modern Wales: Wales 1642-1780 (Oxford 1987)
Rules or conventions: Description follows Archives Network Wales guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition; AACR2 and LCSH.
Date(s) of description: May 2005