Thomas Phipps and Quaker Candle Makers

An interesting-sounding document is held by the Berkshire Record Office in Reading, Berkshire, England and listed in the National Archives website.

The document is cataloged as “Confessions of Joseph Oram and Thomas Phipps, and deposition of Anne Terrill, relating to the burial of William Dee in a Quaker burial ground, Reading St Laurence.”

This record is dated 1678. St. Laurence, or Lawrence, is one of the parishes in Berkshire. The record concerns the burial of William Dee in a Quaker cemetery.

Margaret Spufford, ed., in The World of Rural Dissenters, 1520-1725 (Cambridge University Press, 1995), refers on p. 410 to the marriage of Elizabeth Dee of Reading being witnessed by William Dee, Elizabeth’s father, and by John Raunce, described as a “leading Quaker” of High Wycombe.

You can read a Quaker book by John Raunce, here. Even William Penn wrote to John Raunce.

We’ve referred in past posts to High Wycombe, which was a very short distance from Hughenden, which was home to the earlier Phips, Phips, Phyppe, etc. religious dissenters known as Lollards. One would suspect a possibility of some sort of connection between the Quakers and the earlier Lollards.

One would assume that this is the same William Dee who left a will dated 13 March 1678, according to a National Archives listing. The year of the will, 1678, is the same as the year as the record associating Thomas Phipps with William Dee, and the will refers to William Dee as a tallow chandler (see the last post).

Are we honing in on a group of Quaker candle makers?

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