Records of Otley Preparative Meeting of the Society of Friends

Scope and Content

Minutes of Preparative Meeting, 1761-1792, and of Women's Preparative Meeting, 1777-1790 (1 vol.) [D 17]; Title deeds for Askwith Meeting House, 1700-1932 (6 items) [T 8/1-6]; Title deeds for land in Askwith, 1666-1800, with correspondence and papers about sale of burial ground, 1962-1982 (17 items & 1 bundle) [T 10/1-18]; Title deeds for Otley Meeting House, Cross Green, 1726-1887, with related correspondence, 1886-1887 and 1974-1980 (6 items & 2 bundles) [T 5/1-9]; Plan of Askwith Meeting House, no date [DD 19]; Plan of Otley Meeting House and burial ground, no date (3 items) [T 5/8]; Ordnance survey map covering Otley Meeting House and land, 1890 [LL 81

Administrative / Biographical History

There were Quakers in this area of the West Riding from as early as the mid 1650s, based in Weston, Askwith, Farnley and Otley. The sufferings of the Thompson family of Weston were particularly acute and date from 1654, when Henry Thompson "having reproved the Priest of that Parish for lying, was beaten by him in the open Street". The local vicar Thomas Thwaite was a notorious persecutor of Quakers. A burial ground was in use in Askwith from c.1660, on land owned by Edmund Greenwood, and in 1665, a wooden Meeting House was built on the same site. Despite this, it was recorded in that same year as Otley Meeting, within Skipton Monthly Meeting. By 1669 it was known as Weston Meeting and formed part of Knaresborough Monthly Meeting. Its leading members were Henry Thompson, Nicholas Pawson, and Robert and William Smith. Several houses were licensed for worship in Askwith and Weston in 1689. The Meeting House in Askwith was rebuilt in stone in 1705 and around this time, the Meeting became known as Askwith. Two cottages on Main Street in Otley were converted for a Meeting House in 1776 and Friends began to meet there from around that time. The Meeting was then known as Otley until its closure in 1822. Burials continued until 1849.


The records are numbered and arranged according to the system used when they were in Carlton Hill Meeting House

Conditions Governing Access

The conditions of deposit include a clause requiring written prior permission from a Friend Custodian for access to consult current legal documents and any material less than fifty years old

Acquisition Information

The collection of archives of the Society of Friends formerly held at the Friends Meeting House at Carlton Hill, Leeds


In English

Other Finding Aids

Contents listed in Handlist 99, Inventory of the records of Brighouse, Knaresborough, Leeds, and Settle Monthly Meetings of the Society of Friends formerly preserved at the Friends Meeting House, Carlton Hill, Leeds, 2nd edition, 1997

Conditions Governing Use

As with access, the photocopying of current legal documents and any material less than fifty years old requires the permission of a Friend Custodian

Related Material

Related material in Leeds University Library: Records of Settle and Knaresborough Monthly Meetings


See M. Long & M. Pickles eds., The Society of Friends in mid-Wharfedale and Craven 1650-1790 (Mid-Wharfedale Local History Research Group, 1998)

Additional Information

The records are deposited and remain the property of the Society of Friends