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"Book of Epistles of George Fox, Founder of Quakerism"


This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Fox, George, 1624-1691
Richardson, Thomas, 1680-1761
"Book of Epistles of George Fox, Founder of Quakerism"
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
0.33 Linear feet
Cite as:
"Book of Epistles of George Fox, Founder of Quakerism," by Thomas Richardson (MC.975.07.031), Quaker & Special Collections, Haverford College, Haverford, PA.
PDF Version:

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George Fox (1624 – 1691) was an English Dissenter and a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers or Friends. George Fox was born in Dreyton-in-the-Clay, now called Fenny Drayton, in Leicestershire, England in 1624. He was the son of Christopher Fox, a weaver, and Mary Lago Fox.

Fox left Drayton-in-the-clay in 1643, to travel around the country as his religious beliefs began to take shape.In 1647, Fox began to preach publicly. Fox married Margaret Fell in 1669. His ministry expanded and he undertook tours of North America and the Low Countries. Between these tours, he was imprisoned for more than a year. He spent the final decade of his life working in London to organize the expanding Quaker movement. George Fox died in 1691.

Thomas Richardson (1680-1761) was born in Rhode Island, the son of William Richardson and his second wife, Amy Borden. Richardson married twice; his first marriage was to Anne Newberry, who died in 1728, and his second marriage was to Mary Wanton in 1729. Richardson was an active Quaker and served as Clerk for his meeting for a number of years. He was the General Treasurer of Rhode Island from 1748-1761. Richardson died in Newport, Rhode Island on April 28, 1761 at the age of eighty.

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of the two volumes of the "Book of Epistles of George Fox, Founder of Quakerism." The volume was originally written by Thomas Richardson in 1714, with copied epistles of George Fox. These manuscripts are typed transcripts of the original document, as compiled by Thomas Richardson's descendants: Edward Wanton Smith, Esther Morton Smith, and Anna Wharton Wood. The manuscript includes an introduction which discusses the history of Thomas Richardson's volume of the epistles of George Fox and its inheritance to subsequent generations, and provides biographical information for Thomas Richardson. Letters in the volume include: letters to Men and Women's Quarterly and Monthly Meetings, to Friends in Barbados, to Friends in Maryland and Virginia, and to Friends in Dublin.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections,  September 2015

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Kara Flynn

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17).


The two volumes of the "Book of Epistles of George Fox, Founder of Quakerism" were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College, in 1944 by Mrs. Edward Wanton Smith and Anna Wanton Wood.

Processing Information

Processed by Kara Flynn; completed September 2015.

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Related Materials

Related Materials

  • MC 861 British Friends' letters
  • MC 862 George Fox papers

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Controlled Access Headings

  • Letters
  • Manuscripts
  • Quakers
  • Quakers--History

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Collection Inventory

Vol. 1, 1937-1938.

Vol. 2, 1937-1938.