Church History

Research Article

Moderates in London Yearly Meeting, 1857–1873: Precursors of Quaker Liberals

Edwin B. Bronnera1

a1 Professor of history and curator of the Quaker Collection in Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania.

The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, which originated in England in the middle of the seventeenth century, has gone through many changes. After the exuberant, expansive early years, most Friends entered a period of quietism, in which they waited patiently for divine direction and largely withdrew from the society around them. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the majority of Friends on both sides of the Atlantic embraced the evangelical movement which had taken hold in both the Anglican church and the newer Methodist denomination. While some Quakers were caught up in such ultra-evangelical activities as revivals and the holiness movement, others turned away and accepted the new liberalism which appeared in Protestantism.