Society of Friends in Wales, Records

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Wales yearly, half-yearly and quarterly meetings, 1682-1797; North Wales quarterly meetings, 1668-1797; South Division of Wales yearly, half yearly and quarterly meetings, 1662-1947; South Wales ministry and oversight committee, 1908-1951; Carmarthenshire and Glamorgan / South Division of Wales monthly meeting, 1672-1996; Cardiff elders' and overseers' meetings, 1959-1982; Cardiff preparative meetings, 1887-1993; Carmarthenshire monthly meeting, 1724-1768; Friends home service committee, 1972; London yearly meeting, 1971-1974; Merioneth and Montgomeryshire monthly meeting, 1785-1829; Milford Haven preparative meeting, 1955-1979; Monmouthshire quarterly and monthly meeting, 1660-1883; Monmouthshire and Radnorshire quarterly meeting, 1718-1797; Montgomeryshire preparative meeting, 1800-1814; Neath preparative meeting, 1831-1932; Pembrokeshire monthly meeting, 1660-1868; Pentre preparative meeting, 1931-1939; Shropshire and Montgomeryshire monthly meeting, 1693-1714; Swansea preparative meeting, 1852-1981; overseers executive yearly meeting, 1969-1972; general printed material, 1968-1974; licences and memorials, 1691-1863; school records, 1970-1973; miscellaneous documents, 1667-1958; deeds, 1659-1935; plans and contracts, 1797-1945; meeting houses, 1951-1980; South Wales monthly meeting, 1898-1997; and certificates of removal, 1763-1873.

Administrative / Biographical History

Quakerism grew directly out of the radicalism associated with the English Civil War (1640-49). The founder of this Christian sect was George Fox, a radical preacher who was imprisoned in Derby gaol on a charge of blasphemy and imprisoned at Nottingham for interrupting a church service. From 1652 the numbers who were drawn to the movement greatly increased. The early adherents were men and women of principle who were resentful of ecclesiastical authority. The father of Welsh Quakerism was John ap John of Ruabon, co. Denbigh, who had visited Fox in 1653. By the late 1650s, John ap John and a small number of early Quakers were making inroads into the Baptist congregations of mid Wales, and in the Glamorgan towns of Cardiff and Swansea. By the time Fox published his Rule for the Management of Meetings in 1668 there were groups meeting in Wales in Montgomeryshire, Merionethshire, Pembrokeshire and Monmouthshire. As a dissenting Christian body, they suffered severely under the laws which were passed in the 1660s and 1670s to suppress dissent and nonconformity. In the 1680s, a number of Welsh Quakers emigrated to Pennsylvania in search of religious freedom. Individual congregations were grouped together regionally into monthly meetings, forming part of divisions meeting quarterly. For much of the time, there were two main divisions, covering North and South Wales. The North Wales division included Shropshire, England.

Conditions Governing Access

In general, these records are closed for fifty years unless stated otherwise. After the closure period has ceased, access for family history research may be granted; requests for access for any other purpose should be made to the depositor via Glamorgan Archives.

Acquisition Information

Deposited at the Glamorgan Record Office by various Friends' meetings in Wales, 1950-2002

Note

Compiled by David Morris for the ANW project. The following sources were used for compilation: Glamorgan Record Office finding aids; Rowlands, John (ed) Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research (Llandysul 1993); Jenkins, Geraint H. The Foundations of Modern Wales: Wales 1642-1780 (Oxford 1987)

Other Finding Aids

A handlist is available at the Glamorgan Record Office

Archivist's Note

Compiled by David Morris for the ANW project. The following sources were used for compilation: Glamorgan Record Office finding aids; Rowlands, John (ed) Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research (Llandysul 1993); Jenkins, Geraint H. The Foundations of Modern Wales: Wales 1642-1780 (Oxford 1987)

Conditions Governing Use

Normal Glamorgan Record Office conditions apply

Normal Glamorgan Archives conditions apply.

Appraisal Information

All records which meet the collection policy of the Glamorgan Archives have been retained.

Accruals

Accruals are not expected

Related Material

There are a considerable number of publications and articles relating to the history of the Friends (Quakers) both in Britain and in Wales. The following are likely to be most useful:

'A History of the Quakers in Wales' by the Rev T. Mardy Rees (Carmarthen 1925)

'Glamorgan Quakers' by Fay M. Williams in 'Morgannwg' V (1961

'The Dissenters' by M.R. Watts (Oxford 1978)

'The Beginnings of Quakerism' by W.C. Braithwaite (Cambridge 1961)

'The Foundations of Modern Wales 1642-1780' by Geraint H. Jenkins (Oxford 1987) and references cited.