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Notes and Documents A Holograph Manuscript of George Fox By Henry J. Cadbury PAPERS written throughout by George Fox are comparatively rare. Though he endorsed hundreds of Swarthmore Manuscripts in his own hand, his own letters and other longer pieces he usually dictated. Of pieces extant today the relatively small number of real autographs may be learned by going through the Annual Catalogue of George Fox's Papers as published in 1939 and noting how few of the items given in heavy-faced type are marked also "holograph." The original catalogue, made about 1694, also indicated with an abbreviation mppr (presumably manu propria) items in Fox's hand. This also will be found to occur with great infrequency. The recent acquisition, therefore, by Haverford College of a page partly filled with Fox's writing is a noteworthy matter. It was purchased from the autograph firm of Walter R. Benjamin. Miss Benjamin had bought it from the English auctioneer Sotheby's through Maggs Brothers. Its earlier history has not been traced. Its authenticity is unquestionable. Fox's handwriting including the spelling is very distinctive.1 AntiQuaker writers like Daniel Leeds and Francis Bugg made much ridicule of this fact. It is a fact that may be used to verify specimens quite as much as to ridicule them. The memorandum, which is printed verbatim and literatim below, was evidently intended to accompany another document. Symbols in the upper left-hand corner are an index hand and a cross such as Fox or his editors used to indicate, both on the main text and on the added sheet, that the latter was to be inserted . The lost document or pamphlet to which this was attached must have been somewhat similar to the folio pamphlet 1 Among most recent reproductions of specimens of Fox's handwriting are plates in the Cambridge Journal (1911), I, opp. p. 68, and Journal of the Friends' Hütorical Society, XI (1914), opp. p. 157. 98 Notes and Documents99 printed in 1661 to which this fragment refers: For the King and both Houses of Parliament, being a Short Relation of the Sad estate and Sufferings of the Innocent People of God, called Quakers; for worshipping God, and exercising a good conscience towards God and Man. That is signed by Thomas Coveney, Ger. Roberts, Edward Brush, and others.2 Its title is imitated or partly repeated in this fragment. But the deaths in prison in the printed piece (p. 6) were thirty-two before and fourteen after the king came in, whereas the manuscript raises the latter figure to fifty-seven and evidently is later; in fact, as it says, some time after the act made against meetings, probably the Quaker Act of May, 1662. The separate enumeration of victims in London and Southwark is not in the printed piece. The phrase "this city" suggests that Fox was in London at the time, as was the case in 1663. Besse's Sufferings gives the deaths during or resulting from imprisonment in Newgate alone as twenty-nine for 1662 and twenty-five for 1664.3 This was given to the king & both houses of parliament being a brief & plain & true relashon of som of the late & sad suferinges of the people of god in skorne cald quakers for worshiping god & exersising a good conscience towards god & man by reason whereof 89 have sufered till death, 32 of which died befor the king came into england & 57 since, of which 57 by hard imprisonment & cruell usage, 43 have dyed in this city of London & Southwark since the act were made against meetings. The L~y] have thus sueferd as you may see in at larg in the paper that was given with ther names that did suefer to the king & parlement 1661. 2 Joseph Smith, Catalogue of Friends' Books (London, 1867), I, 456; cf. II, 64, 660. 3 London, 1753, I, 388ff, 404f. Cf. A Brief Rehtion of the Persecutions and Cruelties . . . in and about the City of London since the beginning of the 7th Month last, 1662. ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 98-99
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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