George Fox

George Fox ( * July 1624 in Drayton - in-the- Clay, Leicestershire, Fenny Drayton today; † January 13, 1691 ) was one of the founding fathers of the Quakers ( " Religious Society of Friends ").


He came from the family of a wool merchant and later became an apprentice to a shoemaker. From an early age by his own testimony (G. Fox, Diary ) facing the brooding over religion objects attacked him at the age of 19 years mystical visions and revelations, which initially plunged him into a deep spiritual crisis.

Beginning of missionary activity

1649 he first came to public. He held a protest speech at a church in Nottingham, was arrested and sentenced for the first ( of eight total ) spent in prison ( for blasphemy ). A year later, he was sentenced in Derby again to one year in prison. 1651 Oliver Cromwell offered Fox to serve in his army with the rank of captain, but he refused. The benevolent attitude of Cromwell protected George Fox in his other life but some times from something worse.

Most probably went the nickname " Quaker " (English, Shakers ') back to a speech by Fox. Fox had a very graphic language, and often resorted to metaphors. Here is a brief excerpt from his diary (in translation 1908 translator Margaretha Stähelin ):

The Foxsche pathos seemed very charismatic on many others, it attracted just a mockery.

1652 met George Fox, Margaret Fell, whom he married in 1669. His wife was significantly wealthier than he. That's not him economic calculus was rumored, he joined in the marriage contract of any inheritance rights. 1653 George Fox was imprisoned in Carlisle. However, a letter from the Parliament sat him free again. 1656 reached the conflict between George Fox and James Nayler its peak and led to a break between the two, to reconciliation through the efforts of William Dewsbury three years later, shortly before the death of James Naylers.

Attempts to establish a well-established community

In the years 1664 to 1666 Fox was serving a prison sentence in Lancaster and Scarborough. Despite poor health, he began after his release, to travel through the country to set up monthly meetings, which he held for the continued existence of the Quakers essential. Since 1671 he began to travel in the 13 colonies to the Netherlands and Northern Germany to win the Mennonites, Labadisten and other Christian factions for his teaching. He died after being. Nor secure the existence of his community under William III experienced. His grave is on the Bunhill Fields in London.

The purity of his efforts and his change themselves have conceded his enemies. His writings collected in three volumes published 1694-1706.

The Journal

  • The Journal of George Fox. A revised edition by John L. Nickalls. With an epilogue by Henry J. Cadbury and an introduction by Geoffrey F. Nuttall. Cambridge, University Press, 1952; ISBN 0-900469-16-1
  • Diary / George Fox. [ Translator's by Martha Röhn ]. Bad Pyrmont: Friedrich, 1950 (Journal, dt ) - ( The English edition of John L. Nickalls should be considered when reading for information).


  • Evangelical: January 14 in the Protestant calendar name
  • Anglican: January 13