The Quakers: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

George Fox (1624-1691)

Campaigner for Freedom and Recognition


George Fox was born in July 1624 in the Leicestershire village of Drayton-in-the-Clay, now known as Fenny Drayton. His father was Christopher Fox, a successful weaver and local churchwarden.


He was apprenticed to a local shoemaker but soon became recognised for his contemplative temperament. He began to aim for a more simple life, questionning many of society's formalities.


Fox began preaching publicly around 1647 and though an exact date for the formation of the Quakers is hard to pin down, George is often described as the founder. Fox believed in simplicity and equality for all and though repeatedly imprisoned, he continued to preach and gain more followers.


The name of 'Quakers' was first used in 1650 when Fox was being mocked by a magistrate for refusing to take off his hat and pay tithes to the church.


Fox died on 13 January 1691 in London but his influence on the Quaker organisation remained with the publication of his life journals in 1694.

Map of Fenny Drayton, Leicestership, birthplace of George Fox»

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