Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History

Contents:

Show Summary
Religion

V. CONFORMITY AND DISSENT

The Quakers

Whereas it is evident of late time that certaine persons under the names of Quakers and other names of separation have taken up and maintained sundry dangerous opinions and tenets, and whereas the said persons under pretext of religious worship doe often assemble themselves in greate numbers in several parts of this colony to the greate endangering its publique peace and safety and to the terror of the people by maintayning a secrett and strict correspondency among themselves, and in the meane time separating and dividing themselves from the rest of his majesties good and loyall subjects, and from the publique congregations and usuall places of divine service, for redressing whereof and for better preventing the many mischiefs and dangers that may and doe arise by such dangerous tenets and such unlawful assemblyes, Be it enacted by this present grand assembly and the authority thereof that if any person or persons commonly called Quakers, or any other separatists whatsoever in this colony shall at any time after the publishing of this act in the severall respective counties departe from the place of their severall habitations and assemble themselves to the number of five or more of the age of sixteene yeares or upwards at any one tyme in any place under pretense of joyning in a religious worship not authorized by the laws of England nor this country that then in all and every such cases the party soe offending being thereof lawfully convict by the verdict of twelve men, or by his owne confession, or by notorious evidence of the fact, shall for the first offence fforfeite and pay two hundred pounds of tobacco, and if any such person or persons being once convicted shall againe offend therein, and shall in forme aforesaid be thereof lawfully convicted shall for the second offence forfeite and pay five hundred pounds of tobacco to be levyed by distresse and sale of the goods of the party soe convicted, by warrant from any one of the justices before whome they shal be soe convicted rendering the overplus to the owners (if any be), and for want of such distresse or for want of ability of any person among them to pay the said fine or fines then it shalbe lawfull to levy and recover the same from the rest of the Quakers or other seperatists or any one of them then present, that are of greater ability to pay the said fine or fines; and if any person after he or she in forme aforesaid hath bin twice convicted of any of the said offences shall offend the third time and be thereof lawfully convicted, that then every person soe offending and convict as aforesaid shall for his or her third offence be banished this colony of Virginia to the places the governor and councell shall appoint.

And be it further enacted by the power and authority aforesaid, that each master of ship or vessell that shall import and bring in any Quaker into this colony to reside after the first day of July next, unles by virtue of an act of Parliament made in England the nineteenth day of May in the fourteenth yeare of the raigne of our soveraigne Lord the King, shalbe fined five thousand pounds of tobacco to be levyed by distresse and sale of the masters goods by warrant from any justice of peace in the county where such person or persons shall arrive, the same being proved by suffitient evidence, and further shalbe enjoyned to carry him or them out of the country againe when his ship returnes and to take especiall care to secure him, her or them soe brought in as aforesaid from spreading any seditious tenets whilst he she or they remaine in the country.

And be it further enacted that any person or persons inhabitants of this country that shall entertaine any Quakers in or neare their houses, that is, to teach or preach shall likewise be fined five thousand pounds of tobacco for each time they do entertayne them, to be levyed by distresse and sale of the persons goods by order of the justices of peace in the next county court held for that county where the fact was committed before whome the same shalbe by evidence proved.

And be it further enacted that for prevention of neglects in the due execution of this act by any majestrate or majestrates officer or officers of this colony that in case any justice of the peace or any other officer shall neglect the performance of their duty in prosecuting this act or shall directly or indirectly connive at any breeches thereof he or they for every such offence shalbe fined two thousand pounds of tobacco to be levyed by distresse and sale of the goods of the party soe offending, he being thereof lawfully convicted by the verdict of twelve men or by his owne confession or evidence of the fact.

Text—Hening: Statutes at Large, Vol. II, pp. 180–2.

Contents:

Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options


Title: Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: "The Quakers," Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History 14–15. Original Sources, accessed September 30, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KR4DQZJDRLPZW35.

MLA: . "The Quakers." Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, pp. 14–15. Original Sources. 30 Sep. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KR4DQZJDRLPZW35.

Harvard: , 'The Quakers' in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History. cited in , Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, pp.14–15. Original Sources, retrieved 30 September 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KR4DQZJDRLPZW35.