Caton, William

Caton, William a member of the Society of Friends, was born in England about 1635. When quite young, he seems to have been the subject of very marked religious impressions, In 1652 he became an avowed Friend. Shortly after he began to preach in steeple-houses and markets," and soon experienced the usual persecutions of Quaker preachers in those days. He made a religious visit to Holland in 1655, and repeated it the next year. At Middelburg he was arrested, in August, 1656, and cast into prison, where he remained several days, and, when taken out, was placed on board a ship of war to be sent back to England. He endured great sufferings for about two weeks, but was not discouraged, and soon went again to Holland, where he remained about a year, laboring in various cities, and then returned to England. In 1659 he went once more to Holland, and, after several months labor, took ship for England, but came very near being, taken by a pirate, and barely escaped shipwreck in a fearful storm. In 1661 he went to Germany, where he was very kindly received by the prince palatine, in Heidelberg. Aug. 4, 1663, he was arrested and thrown into prison in Yarmouth, England, where he remained until Feb. 22,1664. After many trials, and a life of constant activity in his calling, he died in Holland, it is supposed, in November, 1665. He was the author of An Abridgment of the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, etc. (Rotterdam, 1661, 1689). See the Friends Library, 9:434-479. (J. C. S.)

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