Records of Helmsley Preparative Meeting of the Society of Friends

Scope and Content

Minutes of Preparative Meeting, 1783-1814 (1 vol.) [A 18]

Administrative / Biographical History

Ampleforth Meeting was settled from Thirsk at some point after 1669, and formed part of Thirsk Monthly Meeting. In the mid 1660s local Quakers included members of the Garbutt, Baites, Dale and Swailes families. Thomas Swailes died in York Castle in 1678 after imprisonment for non-payment of tithes. After meeting in various villages in Ryedale for many years, a Meeting House with a burial ground was built in 1693 in Carr Close (now Westwood Lane) in Ampleforth, on land leased from William Stead. The majority of local Friends came from Helmsley, but the Meeting also included the parishes of Coxwold, Kilburn and Scawton. By 1743 only two of the 59 families in Ampleforth were Quaker. The Meeting changed its name to Helmsley in 1797 and by 1803, was meeting in a house rented by Simon Hutchinson in Bridge Street, Helmsley. By 1812, the number of Friends had outgrown the size of the premises. A new building was completed the following year, on the same site. The Meeting was transferred to Guisborough Monthly Meeting in 1827, and then Pickering Monthly Meeting in 1833. It was discontinued in 1841 and its remaining members joined Kirkbymoorside Meeting. Special meetings for worship were held in Helmsley in 1876 and 1877, as part of a wider Quarterly Meeting effort to spread the Quaker message, but this did not lead to a revival of the local Meeting.


The records are numbered 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)

Alternative Form Available

There is an additional microfilm copy of A 18

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 Thirsk Monthly Meeting. Related material in other repositories: Records of Guisborough Monthly Meeting, North Yorkshire County Record Office. Records of Pickering Monthly Meeting and other records of Helmsley Preparative Meeting, Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull


See J.H. Rushton, They kept faith (Beck Isle Museum, 1967), p. 215

Additional Information

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