Why Did Irish Quakers Immigrate To The 'New World'?


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Gillian Smith answered
Quakers emigrated to America from England, Ireland and Wales.

The founder of Quakerism in Ireland was William Edmundson 1627- 1712> he was a soldier of Oliver Cromwells arny and born in Westmorland, England. On his death in 1712 he was called the Father of Irish Quakerism

The Quaker movement was not confined to Ulster and people were encouraged to turn to this 'new 'religion. However most converts were of English or Scottish origins. Native Irish Catholics were not drawn to the religion.

Irish Quakers began to remove to several of the American colonies but by far the largest movement of people was to Pennsylvania between 1682-1750

Religious percecution was one of the factors which facilitated this movement but even after the Act of Tolerance in 1689 many people moved because to do so offered economic benefits not available in Ireland, The Quakers had been great protesters against Tithes. Tithes to the established church had always been a matter of contention.

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