Suffering and Early Quaker Identity: Ellis Hookes and the "Great Book of Sufferings"
Early Quakers formed group awareness and identification through patient suffering. The developing Quaker bureaucracy encouraged them to witness to their faith according to sanctioned practices and to have reports recorded into the "Great Book of Sufferings." Using Lancashire as an example, this thesis examines the structure, contents, and overall purpose of the suffering accounts. The Society of Friends initially used its members' sufferings as a public advocacy tool to end religious persecution. By the late 1680s, the focus shifted as persecution lessened. Friends subsequently sent in their reports as part of a ritual that built internal solidarity through joyful suffering and created a quasi-martyrological tradition. Beginning around 1660, Ellis Hookes, clerk to the Quakers, copied countless accounts into two volumes of the "Great Book of Sufferings." He began a practice, which lasted over a century and filled another forty-two volumes, of linking Quakers together through their suffering accounts.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:quakers suffering early modern england religious group identity martyrdom ellis hookes
Date of Publication:01/01/2008