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English Baptist women under persecution (1660-1688): a study of social conformity and dissent: the Baptist denomination in England experienced tremendous growth during the seventeenth century despite much opposition (1).

The Baptist denomination in England experienced tremendous growth during the seventeenth century despite much opposition. Persecution of Baptists and other dissenting groups reached its height between 1660 and 1688, the period known as the Great Persecution and the Restoration of the Monarchy. Most of the scholars who have written about this persecution and the growth that Baptists experienced during those years have done so from a male perspective or with an emphasis on contributions made by Baptist men. The attention to Baptist women during this period has been rather minimal. Why is that so? Perhaps a majority of scholars gleaned their insights from works written by men because of the lack of primary sources from the hands of women. (2) Or perhaps, as Leon McBeth noted, "Most [Baptist] history is written by men, about men." (3) Karen Smith, on the other hand, suggested that "not simply the lack of sources, but the type of sources," which scholars have examined, attributes to the lack of attention paid to Baptist women. (4)

The need for a specific study of the roles and functions of English Baptist women in English society, in the family, and in Baptist congregations during the Restoration still exists. (5) This article, then, both seeks to fulfill the society and family aspects of this need and contends that English Baptist women during the Restoration period assumed both conforming and dissenting roles and functions in English society.

Belonging mostly to the lower and middle classes of society, Baptist women performed roles and functions within society, many of which were identical to those of conforming women in the Restoration period. (6) Some of these roles and functions, however, were unique to Baptist women's circumstances. In many cases, the differences in how women perceived and responded to their societal expectations were due to the Baptist women's religious persuasions. One needs to study these women's functions and roles against the backdrop of the patriarchal structure of English society as this formed the context in which these women lived.

Biblical injunctions such as "wives, be subject to your own husbands" (Eph 5:22-23) located the power over the family with the husband and father. (7) Taking patriarchy from the family level to the political level, one understood the king to be the father. In the latter half of the seventeenth century, according to S. D. Amussen: "Royalist contract theorists added to [this image] the analogy between the relationship of king and people to that between husband and wife: once the marriage had been entered into, it was indissoluble, as was the contract between king and subjects. [This analogy] thus often supported an authoritarian-absolutist, and usually a divine right, theory of monarchy." (8)

Although women from different sectors of society challenged the patriarchal aspects of society during the Civil War and the Interregnum and played roles in the public sphere, the Restoration of the Monarchy connoted the return to patriarchy and the suppression of agitators. (9) At this point, society viewed women in the three main stages of their lives-feme sole, feme coven, and widow. (10)

Daughters and Feme Sole

Except for the poor, all English girls received some type of formal education. In general, however, a moral and social curriculum, rather than an academic one, educated girls for marriage. (11) The majority of the daughters in each class of society received informal education from the mothers. Until their daughters were about fourteen years old, mothers taught that in order for their daughters to be wives and mothers, they needed to excel in housewifery, which contemporaries considered "a quintessentially female skill." (12) As Amy Louise Erickson noted, a woman's "excellence in housewifery was a measure by which to judge every woman from the cottager's wife to the great lady." (13) Along with housewifery, reading, but not writing, was apparently a basic skill for women as mothers often trained their daughters simultaneously in piety and in reading. Both parents taught their daughters and sons Mike the concept of obedience. As obedience was thought to be characteristic of pious families, society expected children to obey their parents. (14) For Baptists, as for other Protestants, obedience went as far as agreeing to the parents' choice with regard to the child's trade and marriage partner. (15) Problems could arise when single adult Baptist daughters were living with their non-Baptist parent(s), as in the case of Agnes Beaumont (1652-1720). (16)

Literate families with Baptist parents read Baptist educational textbooks and instructed their children through these books. (17) The first Baptist textbook, Benjamin Keach's The Childs Instructor, provides insights as to how the upbringing and education of daughters in Baptist families differed from that of sons. Although parents taught their daughters and sons alike with regard to spiritual matters, they educated their daughters particularly about the sin of pride. Keach wrote in the father's instruction to his daughter:
 But since I see those of your Sex are in these evil Days so
 exceedingly addicted to Pride, I do forewarn you of it. For my
 part, while you are under my Roof, I will never suffer you to wear
 foolish and antick Garbs and Fashions: 'Tis a shame that Parents
 professing Godliness, should be allured by the Devil to please
 their Childrens natural and pernicious Appetites; by which means,
 they become Slaves to Lucifer, by sending their little Daughters
 to School to learn to dance.... And thus being bravely drest
 up, and the Sparks of Pride kindled in them, they go with
 stretched-out Necks and haughty Hearts.... And thus growing
 wanton, the Devil teaches them other hellish Inventions, ... to
 get rowling Eyes, to cast amorous Glances, to read Love Romances,
 and frequent Play-Houses. (18)

The ideal Baptist daughter dreaded pride "more than the Plague," gave herself "up to prayer," strove "to be Sober and Vertuous," graced herself with "modest Apparel," and labored "after the Ornaments of the inward Man." (19) Such a daughter knew how to behave herself whether she married or remained a feme sole.

"The term 'feme sole' described the single woman after childhood and especially after the age of twenty-six, the average age for middle-class and lower-class women to enter marriage." (20) Contemporaries, holding marriage as the norm for women, stigmatized single women by implying their "failure to marry." (21) Whereas some English women preferred to remain single, other women, wanting to marry, encountered an uneven sex ratio. (22) A similar uneven sex ratio in most of the Baptist congregations provided single women with a dilemma. (23) If a woman joined a Baptist church while she was single, her prospects of finding a spouse dwindled significantly; first, because of the male minority in the church, and then also because the Baptist congregations stipulated that one could only marry a fellow Baptist. (24)

Perhaps then, a single woman's membership in a Baptist church indicated that the woman was committed to God rather than to the pursuit of marriage. She also may have preferred to remain a feme sole because this status connoted an advantage over that of a married woman. The benefit was that, in theory, a feme sole's legal status was equal to that of a man. (25) This legal status allowed the single woman both to trade on her own, as she could sue and be sued, and to own property. (26) Whereas for upper-class women the role of feme sole provided a certain measure of independence, for single women from the lower and middle classes this role was not desirable due to their limited resources. (27)

Based on The Poor Law (1601), each parish collected rates from its wealthier inhabitants that it distributed only among the conforming "'impotent' poor: the sick, the very young, the old, and the incapacitated." (28) The General Baptist churches, therefore, stipulated that "the poor Saints belonging to the Church of Christ, are to be sufficiently provided for by the Churches" and that the deacons were responsible for the distribution of relief. Baptist congregations also regarded it as their duty to relieve impoverished people outside their churches. (29) The Baptist church in White's Alley, London, relieved its poor members with weekly amounts of money and with occasional sums of money "to meet temporary demands: such as paying rent, purchasing winter fuel, discharging surgeons' bills, &c." (30) A single Baptist woman's financial situation, however, altered when she married.

Feme Covert and Widow

With marriage, the single woman's role changed from feme sole to feme covert. The concept of coverture may be defined as "the common law fiction that a husband and wife were one person and that one was the husband; she being figuratively covered by him, she had no independent legal identity at common law for purposes of civil, and to some extent criminal, suits." (31) Despite the wife's loss of her legal control over her property, income, and body, she still played a significant role in the family, albeit in submission to her husband. (32) Whatever the theory underlying the wife's inferiority, most contemporary writers, in line with the teaching of the Church of England, agreed that God had intended marriage for procreation and to avoid fornication and uncleanness. (33)

Society taught that the wife was most prone to commit fornication as the stereotype of the whore indicated. Such a woman "had lost all womanly qualities, such as modesty, fidelity, and love, ... [and] was capable of all kinds of villainy." (34) Striving for the preservation of her family's honor by protecting her reputation for sexual chastity was imperative for a woman. Furthermore, society considered it "monstrous and unnatural" for a wife to leave the church that her husband attended and to become a member elsewhere without her husband's permission. (35) While some of the wives who left their husband's churches joined Baptist churches, others attended Baptist meetings with their husbands.

Baptists thought of husband and wife as being one in flesh. The male, however, as the ruler or head, received the authority over the family because of Eve's trespass against Adam. The wife expressed submission and obedience to her husband in "faithfulness and constancy of Affection," with readiness, and by silence. (36) The husband's greatest duty, according to seventeenth-century Baptist pastor Thomas Grantham, "Should be to live with his Wife, as a Joint-Heir of the Grace of Life, and therein to help her, lest Satan beguile her of that Inheritance, as he beguiled Eve of an Earthly Paradise. In this behalf the Christian Husband is to take care that no Temptation prevail to shut his Mouth from praying for his Wife, and with her also." (37)

Grantham's writing on marriage demonstrated that the husband was to lead and help his wife. Both the conforming and dissenting interpretation of the biblical teachings on marriage and patriarchy, therefore, defined the Baptist woman's role as feme covert. Only after her husband's death did a woman's role change again. Now a widow, a woman regained her legal status and independence. Often the husband left his property to his wife, which added to her measure of independence. (38) Many widows, however, were impoverished and depended on relief from the parish or, in the case of Baptist widows, from a Baptist congregation. Some Baptist widows fulfilled roles as hosts of conventicles or supported their ministers. (39) Baptist widows had one advantage over conforming widows in that Baptist widows could be ordained to the office of deacon. (40) Furthermore, widows often continued their husbands' trade.


Women in England held various occupations apart from their domestic responsibilities. (41) These occupations included official, paid positions, but also were activities women enjoyed doing without receiving any payment in return. Several primary sources allow one to examine three types of occupations which some Baptist women held.

First, several Baptist women wrote accounts of their religious beliefs and experiences. Some women had their works published without the required consent of the authorities. (42) Like Anglicans and sectarians, Baptist women wrote declarations, autobiographies, prophetic judgments, doctrinal disputes, appeals for toleration, epistles, and accounts of sufferings. (43) The response to women's writings was both positive and negative. Contemporary women warmly received the published writings in general and the prophetic writings in particular. (44) The Church of England and the state, however, sought to suppress women's writings, especially those from middling-rank and plebeian women because they considered these women's works as threats to the societal order. (45)

One of the earliest printed works from the hands of Baptist women during the Great Persecution was produced by Katherine Sutton (fl. 1630-1663), who functioned as a governess, performed the role of prophetess, and based her right to write and share her spiritual experiences on the words of Luke 24:24: "And they found it even so, as the Women had said." (46) After losing her first writings in a storm at sea, Sutton recalled her religious experiences over a period that spanned thirty years during which she received the gifts of prophecy and of singing. (47) In her times of intimacy with God, Sutton found:
 That when a poor soul is faithful and single hearted for God walking
 up to the light it hath received, this is the very way to injoy the
 presence of God and his blessing upon him, in what state and
 condition so ever he is in; for this I can declare from mine own
 experience that lose is the way to gain, troublet is the way to
 peace, sorrow is the way to joy, and death is the way to life. (48)

The sufferings Sutton alluded to in this quotation consisted of not being assured of salvation; of losing three of her children; of her own paralysis and illnesses; and of living through a storm at sea on her way to Holland where she probably became a member of Hanserd Knollys's Baptist congregation (1662). (49) In his foreword to Sutton's A Christian Womans Experiences, the well-known Baptist minister Knollys, acknowledging Sutton's gifts of prophecy and singing, encouraged the reader to reflect on these gifts. Knollys also drew attention to "her extraordinary Teachings of God by his holy Spirit and Word" for which "this godly Woman ... would not loose any opportunity she could get either in publicke or private for her precious soul" to experience God's teachings. (50)

While Sutton's recollections primarily dealt with her spiritual experiences rather than with theology, she did claim that God showed her scriptural truths that convinced her to turn away from the established church and to seek believer's baptism in a Baptist congregation. (51) Her work did not contain any radical notions or accusations against Baptists, nor did it make any unorthodox theological assumptions; therefore Knollys's endorsement of Sutton's writing was not surprising. Sutton, then, performed her roles as writer, singer, and prophetess without attacking the male hierarchy in the Baptist congregation.

Whereas Sutton published her work during her lifetime, other women kept their writings private. Some of those private works, like that of Agnes Beaumont, were published posthumously. (52) Beaumont wrote a detailed account of the problems she encountered with her father when she was in her early twenties. When her father prohibited her from visiting John Bunyan's church, Agnes's response was, "Yow Cant Answere for my Sins, nor stand in my steed before god; I must looke to the Salvation of my Soul, or I am undone for ever." (53) Her conviction of personal responsibility before God was clearly evident.

Book trader, in the form of publisher, printer, or seller, was another occupation some Baptist women assumed. In London and elsewhere, a group of dissenting women engaged in illegal publishing and book selling. One of these women was the Baptist Elizabeth Calvert (?1620-1675) who worked with her husband in his printing shop in London. After his arrest in 1661 and even after his death and the death of her son, Calvert continued to publish and sell sectarian and radical literature. (54) She was arrested four times and spent at least seven months in jail between 1661 and 1664. (55) As a result of related legal expenses, she incurred massive debts. (56) She also saw her shop destroyed by the Great Fire in 1666, but still she did not quit her trade. The authorities, however, seized Calvert's books and arrested her on three more occasions. In 1671, the Stationers' Company dismantled Calvert's secret press in the house of Elizabeth Poole in Southwark and brought Calvert to trial. (57)

Other Baptist women may have functioned as publishers alongside their husbands or other male relatives. To determine this is difficult, however, because only the male's name appeared on the cover page of a writing. (58) This short discussion of the Baptist book trader Calvert, however, demonstrates that she was committed to distributing her religious convictions despite the sentences which the authorities enforced according to The Licensing Act.

A third occupation, which some Baptist women performed, is that of midwife. In addition to conformity for the ideal licensed midwife, discretion and modesty were required of any midwife. (59) Because dissenting midwives refused to swear the oath, they could not hold licenses. (60) Unlike licensed midwives, sectarian midwives did not report the birth of an infant from dissenting parents to the authorities because the parents did not want the parish priest to baptize their child. (61)

Interestingly, a parish record mentioned a Baptist widow, Rose, at whose house a conventicle met and who was known as a midwife. (62) Given the requirements for licensing and Baptist thought on the matter, it seems highly unlikely that Rose applied for a midwifery license. (63) The records did not indicate whether she received a license for her house to be a meeting place. The authorities seemed not to have been concerned with her profession. Perhaps, widow Rose was a poor woman whom the authorities allowed to continue her practice as long as she worked only with impoverished women. (64) Since Rose did not conform to the Church of England, the ecclesiastical courts probably did not find her suitable to be a witness in court to "ensure the filiation of bastards," nor to testify "on behalf of married couples accused of ante-nuptial fornication." (65) Although in case of necessity licensed midwives had the authority to baptize the newborn, (66) had she been licensed, widow Rose, in line with her religious belief that God has mercy on infants who die, probably would not have baptized the newborn baby. (67) However, she may have reported the birth of a child to Baptist parents to the local Baptist congregation. (68)

During the Restoration period, Baptist women may, after the example of Dorothy Hazzard, have served as midwives when they aided dissenting women who delivered their babies in the country in order to avoid baptism and churching in their own parish. This practice dissented significantly from that which was the norm for conforming women in English society.


In the patriarchal class society of seventeenth-century England, the majority of the Baptist women belonged to the middle and lower classes. Baptist women in the roles of daughter, feme sole, feme covert, and widow took on these roles in largely the same manner as conforming women. Regarding women's roles, the two main differences between Baptist and conforming women related to the regulations for marriage and poor relief. On a deeper level, theological convictions and religious conscience caused Baptist women to separate from the Church of England. Baptist women's interpretation of their occupational roles and functions also demonstrated their dissent. Whereas Baptist women functioned similarly to conforming women in most occupations, like housewifery and other conventional employments, they dissented in their practice of writer, book trader, and midwife.

(1.) The author's M.A. Th. thesis formed the basis for this article. For the complete study, see Kirsten Thea Timmer, "English Baptist Women under Persecution (1680-88): A Study of Social and Religious Conformity and Dissent" (M.A. Th. thesis, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2004).

William L. Lumpkin, Baptist Confessions of Faith, rev. ed. (Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1969), 238; John Clifford, "English Baptists: Their Origin and Growth," in The English Baptists, Who They Are, and What They Have Done, ed. John Clifford (London: E. Marlborough & Co., 1881), 22. Michael R. Watts, The Dissenters, vol. 1, From the Reformation to the French Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978; reprint, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985), 160.

(2.) Patricia Crawford, Women and Religion in England 1500-1720, Christianity and Society in the Modern World, ed. Hugh McLeod and Bob Scribner (London: Routledge, 1993), 2; Elaine Hobby, Virtue of Necessity: English Women's Writing 1649-1688 (London: Virago Press Ltd., 1988), 6.

(3.) H. Leon McBeth, Women in Baptist Life (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1979), 9.

(4.) Karen E. Smith, "Beyond Public and Private Spheres: Another Look at Women in Baptist History and Historiography," Baptist Quarterly 34, no. 2 (April 1991): 82.

(5.) See The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., s.v. "Function" and "Role" for examples of how seventeenth-century writers employed the terms. Based on these examples, this article employs the terms of 'role' and 'function' as follows: The term 'role' in this context refers to non-stipulated activities women performed while the term 'function' relates to an office held either in the congregation or in society.

(6.) The Episcopal Returns of 1669 in G. Lyon Turner, ed., Original Records of Nonconformity under Persecution and Indulgence, vol. 1, Text (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1911), 29, 32, 39, 45, 63, 67, 82, 89, and 117; Richard L. Greaves, Deliver Us from Evil: The Radical Underground in Britain, 1660-1663 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986), 10; Alan Betteridge, "Early Baptists in Leicestershire and Rutland (4)," Baptist Quarterly, no. 1 (January 1976): 214.

(7.) S. D. Amussen, "Gender, Family and the Social Order, 1560-1725," in Order and Disorder in Early Modern England, ed. Anthony Fletcher and John Stevenson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 196-217.

(8.) Ibid., 198.

(9.) Sara Mendelson and Patricia Crawford, Women in Early Modern England: 1550-1720 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), 394-418; Anne Laurence, "A Priesthood of She-Believers: Women and Congregations in Mid-Seventeenth-Century England," in Women in the Church, ed. W. J. Shells and Diana Wood (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990), 345-63; Keith Thomas, "Women and the Civil War Sects," Past and Present 13 (1958): 42-62.

(10.) Mendelson and Crawford, Women in Early Modern England, 33, 66; Anthony Fletcher, Gender, Sex and Subordination in England 1500-1800 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995), 376.

(11.) Fletcher, Gender, Sex and Subordination, 376.

(12.) Amy Louise Erickson, Women and Property in Early Modern England (London: Routledge, 1993), 53; Mendelson and Crawford, Women in Early Modern England, 91.

(13.) Erickson, Women and Property, 53-54.

(14.) H. Foreman, "Some Seventeenth Century Baptist Educational Textbooks," Baptist Quarterly 30, no. 3 (July 1982): 122; Fletcher, Gender, Sex and Subordination, 207; Thomas Grantham, christianismus Primitivus (London: The Sign of the Elephant and Castle, 1678), book 3, 69; John Bunyan, Christian Behaviour, in The Works of John Bunyan, ed. George Offor, vol. 2 (London: Blackie & Sons, 1875; reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977), 562-64.

(15.) Foreman, "Educational Textbooks," 115; Grantham, Christianismus Primitivus, book 3, 70.

(16.) Patricia L. Bell, "Agnes Beaumont of Edworth," Baptist Quarterly 35, no. 1 (January 1993): 10; G. B. Harrison, ed., The Church Book of Bunyan Meeting 1650-1621 (London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1928), 53; Agnes Beaumont, The Narrative of the Persecution of Agnes Beaumont in 1674, ed. G. B. Harrison, Constable's Miscellany of Original & Selected Publications in Literature (London: Constable and Co. Limited, n.d.), 37-39.

(17.) Foreman, "Educational Textbooks," 112.

(18.) Benjamin Keach, The Childs Instructor (London, 1664), 40-41.

(19.) Ibid., 42. Foreman, "Educational Textbooks," 114.

(20.) E. A. Wrigley and R. S. Schofield, eds., The Population History of England 1541-1871: A Recon struction (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981), 255; Patricia Crawford and Laura Gowing, ed., Women's Worlds in Seventeenth-Century England (London: Routledge, 2000), 71.

(21.) Mendelson and Crawford, Women in Early Modern England, 167; T. E., The Lawes Resolutions of Womens Rights (London: Iohn More, 1632), 6, 59.

(22.) Mendelson and Crawford, Women in Early Modern England, 167.

(23.) Watts, Dissenters, 319; Thomas, "Women and Sects," 45; Crawford, Women and Religion, 189.

(24.) W. T. Whitley, ed., Minutes of the General Assembly of the General Baptist Churches in England, with Kindred Records, vol. 1, 1654-1728 (London: The Kingsgate Press, 1909), 23-24; Edward B. Underhill, ed., Records of the Churches of Christ Gathered at Fenstanton, Warboys and Hexham. 1644-1720 (London: Haddon, Brothers, and Co., 1854), 263-64, 278; Lumpkin, Baptist Confessions of Faith, 284-85.

(25.) Mendelson and Crawford, Women in Early Modern England, 37, 54, 337.

(26.) Ibid., 169; Peter Earle, The Making of the English Middle Class: Business, Society and Family Life in London, 1660-1730 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), 159-60.

(27.) Mendelson and Crawford, Women in Early Modern England, 169.

(28.) Ibid., 282. "Those willing and able to labour were to be given work; the unwilling were punished and forced to labour. Formal relief could be temporary or long-term. Parishes gave small supplements for immediate crises and payments over a long period of time for the destitute." Also, seeking "to make family members provide for their own poorer relatives," the authorities intended parish relief as the last recourse, Ibid., 289-98, 292; The Poor Law Amendment Act in Andrew Browning, ed., English Historical Documents: 1660-1714, English Historical Documents, ed. David C. Douglas, vol. 8 (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1953), 464-46.

(29.) Lumpkin, Baptist Confessions of Faith, 230-31, 323-24.

(30.) Adam Taylor, The History of the English General Baptists, vol. 1, The English General Baptists of the Seventeenth Century (London: T. Bore, 1818), 446.

(31.) Erickson, Women and Property, 237; T. E., Lawes Resolutions, 130.

(32.) Amussen, "Gender, Family and the Social Order," 201, 203.

(33.) T. E., Lawes Resolunons, 63; John E. Booty, ed., The Book of Common Pruyer 1559: The Elizabethan Prayer Book (Washington, D. C.: Folger Shakespeare Library, 1976), 290-91.

(34.) Mendelson and Crawford, Women in Early Modern England, 71.

(35.) Thomas, "Women and Sects," 52-53.

(36.) Grantham, Christianismas Primitivus, book 3, 61-62, 64-65; Bunyan, Christian Behaviour, 560-62.

(37.) Grantham, Christianismus Primitivus, book 3, 63.

(38.) Mendelson and Crawford, Women in Early Modern England, 68-69.

(39.) Barbara J. Todd, "The Remarrying widow: A Stereotype Reconsidered," in Women in English Society 1500 1800, ed. Mary Prior (London: Routledge, 1985), 76.

(40.) Timmer, "English Baptist Women," 62-69.

(41.) Mendelson and Crawford, 101, 169, 178-79, 258, 313-36.

(42.) The Licensing Act of 1662, in Browning, ed., English Historical Documents, 67-69.

(43.) Maureen Bell, George Parfitt, and Simon Shepherd, A Biographical Dictionary of English Women Writers 1580-1720 (Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., 1990), 258, 270.

(44.) Ibid., Biographical Dictionary, 252, 255.

(45.) Ibid., 255-56.

(46.) Katherine Sutton, A Christian Womans Experiences of the glorious working of Gods free grace (Rotterdam: Henry Goddaeus, 1661), cover page.

(47.) Ibid., 13-14, 16, 20-22, 24, 30, 41-44.

(48.) Ibid., 11.

(49.) Ibid., 2, 4-5, 10-11, 14, 20-22; Ian M. Mallard, "Hymns of Katherine Sutton," Baptist Quarterly 20, no. 1 (January 1963): 23-4.

(50.) Sutton, Christian Womans Experiences, 1-2.

(51.) Ibid., 7, 10-12, 14-16.

(52.) Bell, Parfitt, and Shepherd, Biographical Dictionary, s.v. "Beaumont, Agnes."

(53.) Beaumont, Narrative of the Persecution, 40.

(54.) Dorothy R Ludlow," Shaking Patriarchy's Foundations: Sectarian Women in England, 1641-1700," in Triumph over Silence: Women in Protestant History, ed. Richard L. Greaves, Contributions to the Study of Religion, ed. Henry W. Bowden, vol. 15 (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1985), 114.

(55.) Bell, Parfitt, and Shepherd, Biographical Dictionary, s.v. "Calvert, Elizabeth."

(56.) Ibid.

(57.) Phyllis Mack, Visionary Women: Ecstatic Prophecy in Seventeenth-Century Englund (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), 96.

(58.) Bell, Parfitt, and Shepherd, Biographical Dictionary, 288.

(59.) David Harley, "Provincial Midwives in England: Lancashire and Cheshire, 1660-1760," in The Art of Midwifery: Early Modern Midwives in Europe, ed. Hilary Marland, The Wellcome Institute Series in the History of Medicine, ed. W. F. Bynum and Roy Porter (London: Routledge, 1993), 35.

(60.) For some examples of ecclesiastically-licensed midwives among the Quakers, see Doreen Evenden, "Mothers and Their Midwives in Seventeenth-Century London," in The Art of Midwifery, 16.

(61.) Harley, "Provincial Midwives," 35; O. Knott, "The Baptists of Liverpool in the 17th Century," Baptist Quarterly 4 (1928-29): 219.

(62.) Turner, ed., Original Records, vol. 1, 82; G. Lyon Turner, ed., Original Records of Nonconformity under Persecution and Indulgence, vol. 2, Classified Summaries and Indexes (London: T Fisher Unwin, 1914), 840.

(63.) Patricia Crawford, "Public Duty, Conscience, and Women in Early Modern England," in Public Duty and Private Conscience in Seventeenth-Century England, ed. John Morrill, Paul Slack, and Daniel Woolf (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), 64.

(64.) Mendelson and Crawford, Women in Early Modern England, 284.

(65.) Harley, "Provincial Midwives," 37.

(66.) Thomas, Religion, 55, 259.

(67.) Lumpkin, Baptist Confessions of Faith, 318; Ernest E Kevan, London's Oldest Baptist Church: Wapping 1633-Walthamstow 1933 (London: The Kingsgate Press, 1933), 41.

(68.) Ann Giardina Hess, "Midwifery Practice among the Quakers in Southern Rural England in the Late Seventeenth Century," in The Art of Midwifery, 51; Grantham, Christianismus Primitivus, book 3, 56.

(69.) Roger Hayden, The Records of a Church of Christ in Bristol, 1640-1687, Bristol Record Society's Publications, ed. Patrick McGrath and Elizabeth Ralph, vol. 27 (Gateshead: Northumberland Press Limited, 1974), 11, 15, 28, 36-42, 88, 90, 103-05.

Kirsten Thea Timmer received an M.A. in Theology and an M.A. in Islamic Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently serving as a resident chaplain at Huguley Memorial Medical Center, Fort Worth, Texas.
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Author:Timmer, Kirsten Thea
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Date:Jan 1, 2006
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The Baptist light: free and fragile: in March 1993 the "Storm of the Century" inundated the Deep South. In a region where a dozen or so snowflakes in...

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