Edmundson, William

Edmundson, William a noted minister of the English Society of Friends, was born in Westmoreland in 1627. He was apprenticed in York as a carpenter, served in the army under Cromwell, but resigned in 1652, and in 1653 became an earnest Quaker. Subsequently he resided at Antrim, Ireland, and in the spring of 1654 removed to County Armagh, devoting himself to secular pursuits.. He established meetings at his own house, and soon after, in company with John Tiffin, from England, went through Ireland preaching. Subsequently he visited England and urged George Fox to send preachers into Ireland, and when some of these arrived he accompanied them through the country. Having been made a minister himself, he preached: in public places with great effect. At Armagh he was thrown into prison, and subsequently was brought before the justices at the Sessions Court, who ordered his release. In 1655 he travelled into Leinster, holding, meetings in most of the towns. At Finagh the innkeepers refused to lodge him because he was a Quaker. At Belturbet his meeting was brokenl up, many of his followers were arrested, and he was put in the stocks in the market-place, but eventually was triumphantly acquitted. For several months he suffered confinement in a dungeon at Cavan, where he nearlylost his life from suffocation. Being set at liberty, he visited the North of Ireland. While preaching at Londonlderry, on a market-day, he was arrested and imprisoned. In 1661 the persecution of the Quakers was renewed with increased violence and he was incarcerated at Maryborough. He made three voyages to North America and the West Indies between 1670 and 1684, and died June 30, 1712. See The Friend, 6:167; Reid, Hist. of the Presb. Church in Ireland.

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