THE TRADERS MEDLEY
I'VE FOLLOWED THE ROOTS OF MY MATERNAL LINE OF COCKNEY CLARK ANCESTORS TO THE PORT OF LONDON AND EAST END DOCKS...link here to a summary of
The living environment of kith and kin.
Within this den of iniquities were a community of shopkeeper/traders who were converted to the Religious Society of Friends, (founded by Lancashire non-conformist, George Fox).
It was a risky business becoming a Quaker.
Quakers believe everyone has what they call 'that of God' within them and that each of us has direct access to God. There is, therefore, no need of clergy or only receiving Divine Truth from the Bible alone!
The Parish of Stepney was a haven of Dissenters in the 17th century, and my ancestors are recorded at the Redcliffe Meeting house and the Bunhill Cemetry on Broad Street/Schoolhouse Lane.
Being a Dissenter means arbitary persecution so to keep the Faith is a revolutionary act.
7th Great Grandfather Abraham Aker's birth was recorded at the Meeting House at Ratcliff in 1740.
He and wife Ann(Fern) were Grocers of Broad St, Ratcliff Cross.
The rate records show they went from renting their premises to owning it.
The faith of George Fox and beliefs of the early Quakers were very attractive to London's abundance of small business people - 'the middling sort'. They didn't have to doff their hats to anyone...except God!
8th Grt. ABRAHAM AKERS 1715-1743 was a Tallow Chandler at Ratcliffe Cross (Candle maker. He would have been a member of the Guild who set the standards and measurements of the business).
Imports/Exports of London Port 17th century.
The Religious Society of Friends were excellent record keepers! Thankyou brave spirited ancestors!
They were very concientious in recording marriages as many Parishioners from St Dunstans Cof E
considered Quaker couples to be living in Sin because they didn't have a Priest to officiate.
9th Grt Grandparents
|George and his Friends didn't believe in monuments or gravestones but enough later Quakers thought it was important to mark the place where the founder of their Religious creed was buried.|
|Quakers were similar to the Levellers in an active pursuit of the principle of egalitarian respect.|
Unlike most of Westminster Parliament, Calvinist doctrine of Pre-destination was far away from the minds of Quakers. God did not discriminate in His Love for us - we are born as a being of Love not full of sin, not born destined to go to Hell..as the Puritans believed, only the Elect go to Heaven.
BEST - Quakers and Shoemakers of Limehouse
This little baby ancestor ANN BEST may not be pre-destined to find her marriage mate - but growing up in the same Stepney Parish there's a high probability they will meet and find a lot in common!
The Quakers made much improvement on recording births, marriages and deaths in their registers. While Geneologists are grateful to Henry Tudor for requiring registers(for purposes of taxation), this birth record of my 9th Great Grandmother shows a recognition for the Midwife and female supporters.
There is an informative web site about this period:ExLibris.org