Home | Slavery | Resistance | Campaign | Abolitionists | Thomas Clarkson | Sources | Teaching

Resource Date: 1783

Number: 34

Record Office: The Library of the Religious Society of Friends

Record Office Location Number:


Petition from London Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends, presented to Parliament on 16 June 1783

The petition that the Yearly Meeting sent to Parliament is transcribed in both the Yearly Meeting minutes (Volume 17/298 - 307) and Meeting for Sufferings minutes (Volume 36/ 408 - 413).  This transcript is from the Yearly Meeting minutes.

This was the first petition made to Parliament and was signed by 273 Quaker members.

First Petition to Parliament


Transcription from the Yearly Meeting minutes (Volume 17/298 - 307)

To the Commons of Great Britain, in Parliament assembled.

The Petition of the People called Quakers,

Sheweth -

That your Petitioners met in this their annual assembly, having solemnly considered the state of the enslaved negroes, conceive themselves engaged in religious duty, to lay the suffering situation of that unhappy people before you, as a subject loudly calling for the humane interposition of the Legislature.

Your Petitioners regret, that a nation professing the Christian Faith, should so far counteract the principles of humanity and justice as by a cruel treatment of this oppressed race, to fill their minds with prejudices against the mild and beneficent doctrines of the Gospel.

Under the countenance of the laws of this country, many thousands of these our fellow-creatures, entitled to natural rights of mankind, are held, as personal property, in cruel bondage; and your Petitioners being informed, that a Bill for the regulation of the African trade is now before the House, containing a clause which restrains the officers of the African Company from exporting Negroes. Your Petitioners, deeply affected with a consideration of the rapine, oppression, and bloodshed attending this traffic, humbly request that this restriction may be extended to all persons whatsoever, or that the House would grant such other relief in the premises, as in its wisdom may seem meet.

Signed in and on behalf of our yearly meeting, held in London, the 16th day of 6th month, 1783.

[Page 300]

Joseph Docwra

Isaac Wilson

John Coakley Lettsom

Thomas Corbyn

John Pryor

Jacob Hagen

John Beaumont

George Boone

John Warder

Robert Walker

Thomas Bradshaw

William Rathbone

[Page 301]

Jacob Hagen Junr.

John Foote

Samuel Marsh

William Heath

John Eliot

Mark Batt

John Pim Junior

Elijah Salthouse

Joseph Savory

Herbert Camm

George Keen

David Barclay

Robert Maddock

William Belch

Richard Shackleton

John Barton

William Hayhurst

William Sewell

William Pryor

Benjamin Webb

John Goldsbury

Joseph Smith

Robert Lambert

Robert Davis

Joseph Hatton

John Hippsley

Joseph Williams

Thomas Cruttenden

John Page

John Rittson

Thomas Shillitoe

James Lewis

John Brown Junior

Thomas Hull

Thomas West

Robert Eeles

James Backhouse

Thomas Hayman

William Heald

John [Messer]?

James Alexander

Thomas Soundy

David Hodgson

Stephen Miller

Henry Melhuish

Thomas H.Strangman

[page 302]

Samuel Burns

John Crowley

William Bryan

Rich. Bush

John Moline

John Townsend Junior

Sam Driver

John Stead

John Corbyn

John Grubb

Henry Rice

John Chalk

Robert Howard

Thomas Nichols or Nichalls

Joseph Greenwood

Richard Lowe

Henry Knight

Sam West Junior

John Gurney

Joseph Atkinson

Edm.d Peckover

John Russell

Henry Sterry

Joseph Freeth

Joseph Storrs

William Strangman

Edward May

Saml. Baker

John Hill

Joseph Fry

John Dollin

John Plant Fry

Benj. Marshman

John Abbott

Robert Lovell

William Platt

Isaac Brightwen

John Townsend

John Lury

John Stordy

Morris Birkbeck

Moses Neave

Thomas Willis

Joseph King

Benj. Angell

John Mayott

[ page 303]

Willm. Elgar

James Maddock Junr.

Thos. Day

Richard Harris

Henry Hawkes

John Evans

Joseph Row

Benjn. Hughes

Owen Weston

Joseph Taylor

John Kaye

Thomas Goad

John Wright

John Rice

Zach. Clark

John Masterman

Wm. Simons Junr.

Henry Wilkins

Jereh. Waring

John Hustler

Joseph Naish

John Routh

Willm. Crotch

Thos. Knowles

Danl. Burns

John Storer

Sparkes Moline

Richd. Leaver

Joseph Eglin

James Healey

Thos. Phelps

Thomas Crewdson

Thos. Green

Willm. Gunn

John Row

Robr. Coleman

Edwd. Hubbard

Simon Bailey

Willm. West

Saml. Hoare Junr.

Morris Birbeck Junr.

Joseph Ball

Richard Reynolds

John Post

Benjn. Birkbeck

Dunn Weedon

[page 304]

Thos. Crowley

Wm. Pattison

Joseph Taylor

Rich. Sterry

Thos. Wagstaffe

John Burgess Junr.

Thos. Priestman

Danl. Mildred

Thos. Gilkes

Jonan. Hopkins

Benjn. Cookworthy

John Bevans

Jacob Woodward

Thos. Bennet Smith

Henry Taylor

Adey Bellamy

Willm. Spriggs

Willm. Barnes

William Tuke

Sampson Lloyd

Richard Pike

Thos. Melhuish

Michl. Phillips

Benjn. Evens

Benjn. Simkin

James Hack

James Pollard

Josiah [M or H-----]

Isaac Selfe

Isaac Sargeant

Thomas Ball

Wm. Fairbank

Ellington Wright

Henry Millard

Jacob Agar

John Whitehead

Jonathan Binns

Wm. Hunt

Willm. Speakman

Thomas Cox

Thos. Thompson

Robr. Trickett

Solomon Chapman

Jno. Wallis Junr.

Warner Ellkington

Geo. Harrison

[page 305]


Jas. Townsend

Benjamin Sterry

Abm. Sutcliffe

Willm. Smee Junr.

Samuel Brady

John Ady

James Phillips

Edmd. Barker Allen

Edwd. Shewell

Wilson Birkbeck

John Lister

George Vaux

John Gawthorne

Richard Chester

John Chorley

Edmund Gurney

Willm. Dilliwyn

John Townsend

Thomas Brown

William Bleckley

Willm. Hack

Robr. Dudley

Joseph Garratt

Joseph Elgar

Jas. Jenkins

Richd. Lowe

John Alexander

Benj Middleton

James Fell

George Gibson

Thos. Scantlebury

Matthew Boyle

Josh. Brook

Willm. Littell

Thomas Cash

Thos. Greer

Willm. Phillips

[Caled or Obid] Cook

Saml. Alexander

Hagger Allis

Richd. Routh

John Goad

Jno. Richardson

John Lloyd

Jeffery Beavington

[page 306]

James Waring

John Barlow

William Dew

Robert Grubb

William Topper

Thomas Smith

Joseph Burtt

Robert Harris Junr.

Anthony Horne

John Fry Junr.

James Beesley

Edward Johnson

Thomas Howard

Thomas Pace

John Holmes

William Squire

James Blakes Junr.

Abr. De Horne

Matthew Johnson

Ellis Chandlee

Benjamin Kaye

Willm. Freeth

William Forster

John Blakes

Thomas Martin

James Cooper

John Ashby Junr.

Danl. Mildred Junr.

James Webb

Thos. Brookbank

William Markes

Total 273

Source Files:

<< Previous Source | Source List | Next Source >>
© Copyright E2BN - East of England Broadband Network and MLA East of England 2009 | Contact Us | Terms and Conditions
E2B® and E2BN® are registered trade marks and trading names of East of England Broadband Network (Company Registration No. 04649057)