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This study shows the change in the Society of Friends (Quakers) in Scotland from the beginning of the nineteenth century, when it was in a perilous state and appeared unlikely to survive, to the end of the twentieth, by which time its membership was steadily increasing – in marked contrast to many other denominations. By analysis of primary sources, including minutes of Meetings, birth, marriage and death records, and contemporary journals, the demographics of Society membership are charted over the two centuries under consideration. While demonstrating that Scottish Quakerism was rescued from oblivion largely by the efforts of immigrants from England during the nineteenth century, the book also provides an analysis of the views and attitudes of contemporary Scottish Quakers which demonstrate the continuing appeal of an ‘active and united body.


“The Society of Friends has been a small but extremely influential presence on the Scottish religious scene since the eighteenth century. Dr. Paul Burton’s study is the first consolidated exploration of its social history and development during the last two hundred years ... Dr. Burton’s work takes its place as a stunning exemplar of social-science technique in the study of the social history of religion ... It will surely stand the test of time as the authoritative account of Scottish Quaker history in the modern period.” – Callum G. Brown FRSE, Professor of Religious and Cultural History, University of Dundee

“I am happy to recommend Dr. Burton’s work as a significant contribution to the religious and social history of Scotland ... This exceptionally thorough study of one of Scotland’s smaller religious denominations will provide an excellent stimulus for comparison both with larger denominations in Scotland and with the larger Quaker community in England.” – Dr. Hugh Mcleod, Professor of Church History, University of Birmingham

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface by Callum Brown
1 Introduction: The Society of Friends in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
2 Quakerism in Britain: The Historical Background
3 Quakerism in Scotland: The Historical Background
4 Migration and Social Change in the Society in Scotland during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
5 Occupational Change in the Society in Scotland during the Nineteenth Century
6 Families and Family Relationships in Scotland, 1800-2000
7 The Society of Friends in Scotland at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century
8 Education and Employment of Scottish Friends at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century
9 Change in the Society: The Perceptions of Scottish Friends
10 Conclusion
Appendices 1-10

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