Fox, George
( 162 4-1691 )
   founder of the Quaker movement
   George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends, popularly known as the Quakers, was born in July 1624 in Fenny Drayton, Leicestershire, England. During his teen years, as an apprentice shoemaker, his religious speculations led him to withdraw from the Church of England. As early as 1643, he was traveling around England speaking against grand church buildings and ordained ministers as irrelevant to one's personal relationship with God. His preaching took on a more positive tone after a divine revelation in 1646. He became convinced that God dwelled within each person, and that communication with God was possible. Christ communicated to people through what Fox termed the Inner Light.
   Fox organized an initial group, the Friends of Truth, which became the core group for the Society of Friends. The Friends withdrew from the Anglican community and refused to pay their church tithes. They were first called Quakers, originally a derisive label, by Justice Bennet of Derby, in reference to Fox's call to tremble before the word of the Lord.
   By 1660, the movement had acquired some 20,000 adherents, but Fox and the Quakers did not fare well under the Restoration. More than 300 were killed in assaults or died in prison; another few hundred were sent into slavery, and more than 13,000 were imprisoned. The persecution slowed but did not stop their growth.
   Among Fox's early converts was Margaret Fell (1614-1702), wife of the vice-chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. She provided a haven in Britain for Quakers at her estate, Swarthmore Hall. As a widow, she married Fox in 1669. Women were to play a prominent role in the developing movement.
   Fox visited Germany and Holland in this period, and then crossed the Atlantic to visit the American colonies, Barbados, and Jamaica. William Penn, his close associate and founder of two havens for Quakers in America, frequently accompanied Fox. Fox traveled until his death in 1691.
   Fox worked out the Quaker organization, which relied on a set of monthly (congregational), quarterly (district), and annual (national) meetings. The movement appointed elders to care for ministry, and overseers to care for the poor and provide for the education of children. They adopted a simple lifestyle; their meetings consisted of waiting for communications from the inner Light to prompt witnesses to speak.
   Penn asssumed leadership of a group that gathered and published Fox's Journal, his major literary output, which appeared in 1694.
   Further reading:
   ■ T. Canby Jones, George Fox's Attitude toward War (Richmond, Ind.: Friends United Press, 1984)
   ■ George Fox, The Journal of George Fox, ed. by John L. Nickalls (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, 1995)
   ■ Philip F Gura, A Glimpse of Sion's Glory: Puritan Radicalism in New England 1620-1660 (Middle-town, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1984)
   ■ H. Larry Ingle, First among Friends: George Fox and the Creation of Quakerism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fox,George — Fox, George. 1624 1691. English religious leader who founded the Society of Friends, or Quakers (1647 1648). * * * …   Universalium

  • Fox, George — born July 1624, Drayton in the Clay, Leicestershire, Eng. died Jan. 13, 1691, London English preacher and founder of the Society of Friends, or Quakers. The son of a weaver, he left home at age 18 in search of religious experience. Probably… …   Universalium

  • Fox, George — (1624–91)    Denomination Founder and Devotional Writer.    Fox was born in Leicestershire, England and was apprenticed as a young boy to a shoemaker.    In 1643 he felt called to give up all his worldly ties and he travelled around the… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Fox, George — ► (1624 91) Reformador religioso inglés. Fundador de la secta Sociedad de Amigos. (V. cuáquero.) * * * (jul. 1624, Drayton in the Clay, Leicestershire, Inglaterra–13 ene. 1691, Londres). Predicador inglés y fundador de la Sociedad de los Amigos.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • FOX, GEORGE —    the first of the Quakers, born at Drayton, Leicestershire; son of a poor weaver, and till his twentieth year plied the trade of a shoemaker; conceived, as he drudged at this task, that he had a call from above to withdraw from the world and… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • FOX, George — (1624 1691)    English MYSTIC and PROPHETIC figure who suffered considerable persecution for his FAITH and founded the QUAKERS or SOCIETY OF FRIENDS in 1652. Disillusioned by existing CHURCHES and systems of THEOLOGY, he stressed the need for… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Fox, George — (1624 1691)    Religious enthusiast, and founder of the Society of Friends, b. at Drayton, Leicestershire, was in youth the subject of peculiar religious impressions and trances, and adopted a wandering life. The protests which he conceived… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • George Fox — (Leicestershire, Reino de Inglaterra; julio de 1624 – Londres, Reino de Inglaterra; 13 de enero de 1691) fue un disidente inglés y el fundador de la Sociedad Religiosa de Amigos, cuyos miembros son comúnmente conocidos como cuáqueros . Vivió en… …   Wikipedia Español

  • George Fox — (* Juli 1624 in Drayton in the Clay, Leicestershire, heute Fenny Drayton; † 13. Januar 1691) war einer der Gründerväter der Quäker („Religiöse Gesellschaft der Freunde“).[1] George Fox …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George III Du Royaume-Uni — Pour les articles homonymes, voir George III. George III …   Wikipédia en Français

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