Records of the Society of Friends (Quakers), East Yorkshire

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The Library holds extensive Quaker records catalogued as DQR and DQR(2) and these have arrived in several deposits between 1974 and 1994. They are complemented by the research notes of local Quaker historian, Fred Fletcher, at DFF.

DQR includes Preparative Meeting minute books for Bridlington (1774-1828), Hornsea (1910-1957), Kirkbymoorside (1702-1781), Malton (1815-1911), Pickering (1718-1843), Scarborough (1718-1942), Whitby (1726-1853, 1900-1938). Monthly Meeting minute books are held for Hull (1829-1838), Malton (1669-1789), Pickering (1795-1859), Pickering and Hull (1859-1938), Scarborough and Malton (1789-1834), Scarborough and Whitby (1669-1788). Records of births and deaths are included in the Monthly Meeting minute books for the Pickering and Pickering and Hull meetings and there are separately-catalogued records of births (1828-1908), marriages (1838-1940) and burials (1822-1961). Women's Preparative Meeting minute books are held for Malton (1823-1886) and Whitby (1719-1800) and women's Monthly Meeting minute books for Malton (1725-1767), Pickering (1781-1859), Pickering and Hull (1859-1902) and Scarborough (1810-1874). The records for these meetings include miscellaneous correspondence and printed material. Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting statements are held for 1855, 1865, 1905 and 1932. DQR also contains a large number of title deeds.

DQR(2) is a more varied deposit with many recent records. For the Beverley Meeting there are miscellaneous twentieth-century records including correspondence and financial statements and some nineteenth-century papers related to the plan of the burial ground. There are Preparative Meeting minute books and accounts for Bridlington (1929-1964) and the Helmsley Meeting account books (1844-1874). There are the Preparative Meeting minute books for Hull (1930-1966; includes correspondence) as well as nineteenth- and twentieth-century records of meetings of elders and overseers and removals into and out of the Hull Monthly Meeting. Preparative Meeting minute books and accounts are also held for Kirkbymoorside (1843-1855, 1947-1982) and Malton (1911-1983) and there is a women's Preparative Meeting minute book for Kirkbymoorside (1833-1843) and twentieth-century minutes of meetings of elders and overseers for Malton. For the Owstwick meeting and the Owstwick and Cave meeting there are eighteenth-century records of Monthly Meetings with certificates of disownment and removal.

DQR(2) has twentieth-century Preparative Meeting minute books for Pickering and minutes of the meetings of elders and overseers and very extensive material of the same nature is also held for the Pickering and Hull Monthly Meeting. Records for the latter span 1938-1993 and also include correspondence interleaved in the minute books, correspondence on a variety of subjects in envelopes which includes letters from a number of MPs such as John Prescott, Patrick Wall and Kevin McNamara, correspondence, accounts and papers of the treasurer to the Monthly Meeting and committee papers and plans related to property. Certificates of removal into and out of the Hull and Pickering Monthly Meeting span 1950-1985. There is a preparative meeting minute book for Pickering and Kirkbymoorside (1858-1869). Records for Scarborough include Preparative Meeting minute books (1942-1978) with records of meetings of elders and overseers, Ladies' sewing meetings, subscription schedules, plans of property and notebooks, letters and related papers on a variety of issues such as the Korean War and the Meeting's unemployed welfare committee. For Whitby there is a Preparative Meeting minute book with accounts and correspondence (1939-1983).

The remainder of the papers in DQR(2) relate to other areas of Quaker activity and the collection has been catalogued as follows: Missionary Helpers' Union, Scarborough (1891-1918) being a single minute book; Yorkshire Young Friends' Committee (1935-1946) being a single minute book; Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting (1768-1968) being a variety of papers including several related to schools and childhood education; Meeting for Sufferings (1849-1859) including papers about slavery and the Negro and Aborigines' Fund; London Yearly Meeting (1693-20th century) being largely minutes and addresses.

In addition DQR(2) has nineteenth- and twentieth-century birth, marriage and burial records as well as reports, accounts and related papers for the following Quaker schools: Ackworth School, Pontefract; Bootham School, York; Brookfield Agricultural School, Ulster; Friends' School, Croydon; Friends' School, Great Ayton; Leighton Park School, Reading; The Mount School, York; Rawden School, Leeds; Wigton School, Carlisle.

Administrative / Biographical History

Quakerism in Yorkshire took hold at the beginning of the Quaker movement, partly because John Fox travelled and preached through the North and East Ridings between 1651 and 1652 before being welcomed at Swarthmoor Hall, the house of Judge Fell in Cumbria. Quakers organised into local groups of worshippers called Particular or Preparative Meetings with area or Monthly Meetings as the main local administrative unit which was responsible for matters of membership. Regional Meetings called Quarterly Meetings were also held with a Yearly Meeting in London bringing all together. In East Yorkshire, there was the Holderness Monthly Meeting (later Owstwick Monthly Meeting) which comprised in 1669 of the Particular Meetings of Owstwick, East End (Welwick), Paull, Sutton, Hull and Hornsea. There was also the Elloughton Monthly Meeting (later changed to Cave Monthly Meeting) and North Wolds Monthly Meeting (later Bridlington Monthly Meeting). Along with eleven others they made up the total Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting (Rigby, `Quakers and their records', pp.8-9; Fletcher, `Quakerism in East Yorkshire', chpt.1).

From early in the history of Quakerism, records of membership, marriages, births, deaths and burials were kept and some of the earliest records held by the Brynmor Jones Library are from the 1660s for Scarborough. However, the bulk of Quakers records held for East Yorkshire date from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Minutes tend to take the form of democratically-agreed decisions taken by local worship groups. The records also reflect the rise and decline of local groups as well as mergers and Quaker involvement in local issues, most particularly education and the setting up of Quaker-run schools (Rigby, `Quakers and their records', pp.8-9; Fletcher, `Quakerism in East Yorkshire', chpt.1).

Conditions Governing Access



Originally published by Access to Archives - A2A. The data in this finding aid is in the copyright of the place of deposit.

Other Finding Aids

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Related Material



Fletcher, Fred, `Quakerism in East Yorkshire 1652-1952', BA, University of Hull (1985)

Rigby, Brenda, `Quakers and their records', Paragon Review, 5, (1995)