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date: 29 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter looks at the history of the family in a Quaker context and the development of George Fox’s vision of ‘gospel family-order’. It explores the uniquely identifiable features of Quaker domesticity between the seventeenth and mid-nineteenth centuries using examples from the rich source material for transatlantic family networks and for trends in the historical demography. The ending of the practice of endogamy might be seen as something of a watershed in the history of the Quaker family. Also significant was the influence of evangelicalism, as illustrated by the way in which those Quakers involved in missionary activity in Africa interpreted family values. Wider tensions in contemporary Quakerism are reflected in a spectrum of opinions on family units, marriage, and parenting. However, a distinctive sense of religious family remains a fundamental part of Quaker identity.

Keywords: Quaker family, domesticity, historical demography, endogamy, family, values, evangelicalism

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