Records of Selby Preparative Meeting of the Society of Friends

Scope and Content

Minutes of Preparative Meeting, 1698-1875 (4 vols.) [A 21.1-21.3, 21a]; Minutes of Women's Preparative Meeting, 1836-1876 (1 vol.) [A 21a]; Birth notes, 1828-1875 (3 vols.) [K 6.1; L 2, 13]; Burial notes, 1836-1877 (2 vols.) [L 3; M 1.14]; Papers re. Meeting House, 1947-1951 (1 bundle) [B 30.6]

Administrative / Biographical History

George Fox first visited Selby in 1651, after his release from gaol in Derby. There is no evidence that he actually preached in the town at that time, but he had already made contact with John Leake of Selby, who had visited him in prison. Some of the first Friends to be convinced in the town were John Leake and his wife Ann, and Richard and Elizabeth Tomlinson. William Dewsbury preached in Selby in the early 1650s and was probably responsible for settling the Meeting. Mary Fisher, counted as one of the Valiant Sixty, came from Selby and began to preach in the local area as early as 1652. The Meeting was recorded in 1665 as part of Pontefract Monthly Meeting, and again in 1669 as part of York Monthly Meeting. It encompassed the villages of Cottingwith, Skipwith, Aughton and Brayton, as well as Selby. Its leading members included George Canby, who compiled the history of the origins of Quakerism in Selby printed in The First Publishers of Truth (1907). Both he and John Leake were imprisoned in early 1661 along with hundreds of other Friends in Yorkshire. Land was purchased in Gowthorpe for a burial ground in 1692; it is probable that the Meeting House also dates from this time, although it was substantially rebuilt in 1785. The Meeting closed in 1877.


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

Access Information

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 in Clifford Street, York


In English

Other Finding Aids

Contents listed in Handlist 75, Inventory of the records of Yorkshire General Meeting and York and Thirsk Monthly Meetings of the Society of Friends formerly preserved at the Friends' Meeting House, Clifford Street, York (1986)

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 York Monthly Meeting

Additional Information

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