FAMILY GROUP RECORD OF
JACOB MEE AND
Jacob Mee was christened 22 July 1734
in Heanor, Derbyshire, England. He
was the son of Benjamin and Hannah Mee. He married Catherine
Abbott 1 November 1756 in St. Alkmunds, Derbyshire. Catherine
was christened 2 December 1732 in Horsley, Derbyshire, the
daughter of John Abbott and Anne Shaw.
for Jacob Mee and Catherine Abbott - "Married Jacob Mee,
and Catherine Abbot, both of Little Eaton in this parish
Alkmunds parish register.
Jacob and Catherine had the following
christened 22 May 1758 in St. Alkmunds.
christened 20 May 1763 in St. Alkmunds.
christened 24 June 1766 in Duffield, Derbyshire.
christened 13 March 1769 in Darley Abbey, St. Alkmunds; married
John Fowlke 5 March 1792 in St. Alkmunds; died 25 January 1849
christened 19 July 1772 in St. Alkmunds.
christened 5 February 1775 in St. Alkmunds; married 1) Ann
Chambers 15 May 1797, of Little Eaton, St. Almunds; married 2)
Martha Lander 18 September 1809 of Little Eaton, St. Alkmunds.
SOURCES: IGI, “Genealogy of
William Marrott and Louisa Fowlke, LDS Pioneers”, Kenneth C.
Bullock; 929.273 M349b; St. Alkmunds parish register;
GROUP RECORD OF
BENJAMIN AND HANNAH MEE
Benjamin Mee was christened 20 September 1693 in Eastwood,
Nottinghamshire, the son of Thomas Mee and Rebecca More.
Eastwood is about nine miles from Heanor. It is a village and
parish in Nottinghamshire on the border of Derbyshire.
Eastwood was the birthplace of D.H. Lawrence. There was a
local coal mine, and later stocking-making industry. Benjamin
worked as a labourer.
Benjamin and Hannah Mee had twin
sons, Isaac and Jacob. Benjamin's name had been transcribed in
the IGI as Canaman or Conan, however the original parish
register for Heanor clearly shows his name as Benjamin. The
name is very readable in the microfilm, but does not copy
well. The parish register (FHL #2104171) says: "Isaack
& Jacob sonns of Benjamin and Hannah Mea of Little Eaton
baptized July 22".
christened 22 July 1734 in Heanor, Derbyshire, England; married
Catherine Abbott 1 November in St. Alkmunds, Derbyshire.
christened 22 July 1734 in Heanor, Derbyshire, England (twins).
IGI, “Genealogy of William Marrott and Louisa Fowlke, LDS
Pioneers”, Kenneth C. Bullock; 929.273 M349b; St. Alkmunds
parish register; Eastwood parish register.
GROUP RECORD OF
THOMAS MEE AND
Thomas Mee was christened 27 February 1666 in Eastwood,
the son of Thomas and Rachel Mee. He married Rebecca Moore in
about 1690. Thomas' occupation was laborer.
and was 5 September 1720 in Eastwood. Thomas died and was
buried 16 November 1746 in Eastwood.
Thomas and Rebecca had the following children:
1. Ann, christened 3 July 1691 in Eastwood.
*2. Benjamin, christened 20 September 1693 in
Eastwood; married Hannah.
3. Alice, born 25 December 1698 in Eastwood;
christened 22 January 1699 in Eastwood; married Robert Flint 5
June 1723 in Ilkeston, Derbyshire; buried 1 March 1784 in
4. Rachel, christened 5 March 1701 in Eastwood; buried
20 March 1702 in Eastwood.
5. Catherine, born 13 December 1704 in Eastwood:
christened 14 December 1704 in Eastwood; married Robert Howet
18 May 1731 in Eastwood; buried 27 April 1742.
6. Esther, born 2 April 1707; christened 6 April 1707
in Eastwood; buried 5 April 1710 in Eastwood.
7. Hannah, christened 20 February 1708 in Eastwood;
married Samuel Stanerod.
8. Thomas, born about 1711 of Eastwood; buried 6 April
1715 in Eastwood.
9. Esther, born 5 November 1715 in Eastwood.
10. Elizabeth, born and christened 24 June 1719 in
Eastwood; married John Carlin 9 February 1740 in Eastwood, he
was a framework knitter; had children Samuel, William, Henry,
John, Joseph, Samuel, Ann, Mary, George, Robert, Jonathan,
Benjamin and Samuel; died 1792; left will proven 6 Mar 1792.
Horsley parish register; Eastwood Bishop's Transcripts;
GROUP RECORD OF
THOMAS AND RACHEL MEE
Thomas Mee was christened 23 March 1632 in Eastwood, the son
of Laurence and Susanna Mee. He married Rachel. His occupation
Thomas and his father were Quakers. "The Mee family during
that period were Quakers and a large group of Quakers were
well established in the geographical triangle formed between
Nottingham, Derby and Mansfield. In 1689 Lawrence and
Thomas Mee were allowed to affirm instead of taking the oath
of allegiance. Thomas was brought before the church court
for failing to attend divine service for four consecutive
weeks." (Researcher Ray Marsden) About forty Quakers were reported to be
in Eastwood in 1669.
From The Sufferings of the
Quakers in Nottinghamshire, 1649-1689: In 1676, Thomas Mee
testified in court in behalf of William Day of Newmenleas
near Eastwood who was fined for preaching.
The Toleration Act of 1689 allowed the Quakers in
England to affirm instead of taking the oath and the
following made Statutory Declaration:
Eastwood - Elis. England, Willm. Day, Jos.
Potter, Lawr. Mee and Thom. Mee
(Extracted from the Book - Nottinghamshire County Record -
Thomas died 15 January 1699. His record is found in the
Monthly Meeting of Chesterfield Quaker records.
Death record for Thomas Mee of Eastwood in the Monthly
Meeting of Chesterfield Quaker Records
Rachel died and was buried 20 March 1708 in Eastwood.
Thomas and Rachel had the following children:
1. Prudence, christened 27 February 1666 in Eastwood
(twin); buried 3 March 1666 in Eastwood.
2. Thomas, christened 27 February 1666 in Eastwood
(twin); married Rebecca Moore; died and was buried 16 November
1746 in Eastwood.
3. Elizabeth, christened 18 November 1668 in Eastwood;
Horsley parish register; Eastwood Bishop's
Transcripts; www.familysearch.org; e-mail from Ray
Marsden; The Sufferings of the Quakers in Nottinghamshire,
Monthly Meeting of Chesterfield Quaker records on
GROUP RECORD OF
AND SUSANNA MEE
Laurence Mee was born about 1600 of Eastwood. He married
Susanna. Laurence was a Quaker. Susanna died and was buried 27
March 1668 in Eastwood.
Laurence and Susanna had the following children:
1. Thomas, christened 23 March 1632 in Eastwood;
2. Francis, christened January 1634; buried 8 January
1634 in Eastwood.
3. Prudance, christened 28 May 1636 in Eastwood.
www.familysearch.org; Eastwood Bishop's
Quakers in Nottinghamshire
"The early Quaker movement tended to be centred in the
north of the county of Nottinghamshire, around Mansfield...The
beginnings of the Quaker movement can be directly ascribed to
one man, namely George Fox who was born in 1624 at
Drayton-in-the-Clay, Leicestershire where he was an apprentice
shoemaker. George took to ‘wandering’ around the
Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire countryside in
his search for God whilst at the same time trying to convert
the local populace to his way of thinking. It was on one of
these ‘wanderings’ that George visited a meeting at Broughton,
(it is unclear whether or not it was Nether Broughton or Upper
Broughton), of Baptist Separatists, who were also known as
‘Shattered’ Baptists. At this meeting George had a vision of
‘The Inner Light’ that he believed was a divine spark of light
which was from God and was to be found in every person. This
Inner Light made all men equal before God and their lives were
likewise precious. This was very radical for 17th century
England. Certainly the established church would not agree with
Fired with that zeal that is the mark of the zealot George
began his crusade to help others to discover their ‘Inner
Light’. So it was that in the 1640’s he settled in Mansfield
and was soon recruiting members to his new creed. It was in
Mansfield that George made his first converts...From Mansfield
George spread his message and gained followers throughout the
country as further people were converted to the creed.
In 1676 a survey was undertaken by the Anglican Church to
identify how many papists and ‘dissenters’ were sheltering in
each parish. The incumbents in each parish were required to
compile a register of all such persons...As is usual with
radical thinkers like George it wasn’t too long before he was
in trouble with the authorities, which in his case was the
Anglican Church. George took it upon himself to enter churches
whilst services were being taken and disrupt the service by
proclaiming to the assembled congregation that what they were
doing was wrong, indeed even heathen. According to George
there was no need for services to be conducted in grand
buildings, which were expensive to build and maintain. Neither
was it necessary to follow a strict theology laid down by a
non-representative ruling body, or be compelled to pay tithes
to that body. In George’s eyes there was no need for a priest
to intercede between a person and God, the individual could
communicate directly with God himself via his ‘Inner Light’.
Unsurprisingly this sort of behaviour often led to trouble
both from the church authorities and also the church
congregation. It was even not unknown for him to be attacked
by a hostile group of churchgoers.
Disrupting church services was a criminal offence so it wasn’t
long before George found himself in front of the local
magistrates...All of this was occurring with the English Civil
War as a backdrop. Nottingham had strong Royalist sympathies
and persons like George, who were rocking the proverbial boat,
with their perceived anti-royalist views were not looked on
Jail in no way dampened George’s religious ardour. Upon the
completion of his sentence, which entailed several months in
jail, George returned to Mansfield where he was soon back to
disrupting church services. From Mansfield George then
travelled across the county border to the town of Derby, where
he was once again in trouble with the law for creating yet
another disturbance in a church. The year was 1650 and this
brush with the law led to a legendary episode. Whether or not
it is absolutely true is debatable but the story goes that Fox
found himself once again before the bench. The result was that
George was imprisoned after being found guilty of blasphemy.
George told by Justice Bennett, the judge who sentenced him,
that he ought to ‘tremble at the word of the Lord, whereupon
the judge called George a ‘Quaker’ as a term of derision. Far
from being insulted George took to the term and thereafter
wore the name ‘Quaker’ much like a badge of honour. From
thenceforth adherents of the cause were known as ‘Quakers’.
George Fox continued on his ‘wanderings’, trying to bring
enlightenment to other souls, often succeeding and often
finding himself inside jail again for his troubles. Indeed,
there were very few years during the 1650’s when George didn’t
enjoy a spell of imprisonment at some time or another in some
English town or city’s jail. Nevertheless the Quaker movement
flourished, thousands were converted to George Fox’s religious
views. Indeed, such were the numbers being recruited into the
creed that that period of time was christened the ‘Quaker
Explosion’. Equally a great many of them found themselves
imprisoned for their beliefs. At one time there were around a
thousand Quakers in jails up and down the country. Many also
had to pay swingeing fines that left them all but destitute.
The authorities were exceptionally hostile towards the
movement, fearing, not unnaturally, that if the movement
managed to get itself seriously established then it would pose
a very real threat to the established church and government.
It was as a result of all these brushes with the law that
George developed a loathing for oaths. The law of the land
dictated that all of the monarch’s subjects swear an oath of
allegiance towards the crown. Likewise, in court evidence was
given under oath. George refused to do either, indeed the
refusal to swear an oath of any kind became one of the tenets
of the Quaker movement. Another binding principle of the
movement was that no Quaker would take up arms against another
man. At a time when the country was riven by civil war this
was a radical concept.
Whilst the Quaker movement had no established theology it did
have a set of basic tenets, some of which are the following: -
1. An opposition to steeple-houses and the
hireling priesthood. ((Since church buildings and other
‘houses of God’ were anathema to them Quakers held their
meetings wherever it was convenient to do so. It may have been
at a Quaker’s house or it may have been at a property
specifically acquired for the purpose. There was no formal
order of service. Each Quaker communed with God in whatever
way suited them. Perhaps someone might offer a prayer to God
or the meeting might be conducted in total silence as each
Quaker communed with God via his or her Inner Light.)
2. A refusal to pay tithes and church rates.
3. Hat honour. (Quakers all wore similar
hats and refused to take them off as a sign of respect for
someone deemed to be their social superior.)
4. The use of the second person singular;
i.e. persons were referred to as ‘thee’ and ‘thou’.
5. The use of the first day and first month.
The names of the days and months were deemed to have heathen
or pagan origins and thus, not to be used. Therefore both days
and months were simply numbers; i.e. January in month one,
February month two and March month three etc. Thus July 12th
would be referred to as day 12 of the seventh month.
6. The refusal to be married or buried in
7. The refusal to take oaths.
8. Pacifism, although this became
commonplace after the end of the Civil War.
9. Simplicity of dress.
Because of their beliefs Quakers were in constant danger of
falling foul of the law of the land. The penalties that were
imposed by the State when the law was broken verged on the
Draconian. To live the life of a devout Quaker called for a
considerable degree of fortitude and determination. The
tribulations that were visited upon the Quaker movement
because of their faith were called ‘sufferings’. These
‘sufferings’ were recorded in the form of pamphlets and other
literature and these were distributed amongst the followers,
hopefully giving them strength and courage to pursue their
One way in which the State attempted to combat the perceived
threat that Quakerism posed was by imposing laws specifically
aimed against the movement. In this respect a whole raft of
laws were introduced, covering all manner of offences from
alleged treason at one end to meeting illegally at the other.
The penalties for transgressing these new laws could very
severe, ranging from transportation, imprisonment and fines.
Quaker meeting were open to all so it was a simple matter for
the powers that be to send a spy along to any meeting and then
inform the authorities of any wrongdoing. Informants were
often entitled to a reward so there was never a shortage of
willing informants. The most common punishment for any
lawbreaking was a fine, If the fine could not be paid then
goods and chattels were taken in lieu. This had the effect of
causing great financial hardship to many of the followers. It
was not unknown for a Quaker to be reduced to the level of a
pauper. By and large though such laws rarely have the desired
effect and the Quaker movement continued to thrive. As time
progressed so many of these laws fell into disrepute. It was
seen that they were manifestly unfair and they were not having
the desired effect. Many judges and jurors began to be
sympathetic to the Quakers and the law began to be implemented
with less vigour. Reducing Quakers to paupers merely placed a
financial burden on the local parishes and this was in
nobody’s best interest.
By the time that George died the laws against groups such as
the Quakers had been greatly relaxed. Indeed the Act of
Toleration, which was passed in 1689 (two years before
George's death) effectively ended the state persecution of
(A Persecuted People - Early Quakers in
Nottinghamshire; Derek Walker;
Sufferings of the Quakers in Nottinghamshire, 1649-1689
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