Talk:George Fox

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Featured article George Fox is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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On the wikipedia page for William James' 'Varieties of Religious Experience' it says: "Many of the scientists in James' audience, and many today, immediately reject all aspects of the Quaker religion because evidence suggests that Fox was schizophrenic." Is there any evidence for this and should it be mentioned? or is James simply mistaken? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:18, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Woe to the bloody city of Lichtenfield. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:38, 29 July 2013 (UTC)


OK, I've just added vast tracts of text to the first part of the article. There's still lots to cover - the entire 1660-1690 period is currently summed up in a single paragraph. Beyond his early life, the journal isn't very clear about how his religious opinions came to develop; while it's possible to say that such-and-such was the first known example of his refusal to swear oaths, that's not quite enough. Obviously there are plenty of episodes from the journal that could be recounted, but I'd like to aim for a high-level summary rather than a blow-by-blow account of where he preached when. --AlexG 18:35, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Second half is now fleshed out a bit more. --AlexG 01:26, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Damn. Nice work. Wow, I learned a lot! Quadell (talk) 03:15, Sep 11, 2004 (UTC)

Dear--AlexG, thnks for the tips, I've corrected the links to English Dissenters, I've believed that English Dissenters are a specific historical theme from the XVII and XVIII centuries, distict of the general religious dissenters.

Restored page after it had been "amended" by some vandal - presumably some pimply jerk with too much time on his hands and no brains...


I am considering starting FA removal procedure. This would not pass modern FA requirements: 1) lead is too short (see Wikipedia:Lead) 2) references are not properly formatted (see Wikipedia:Cite sources) 3) external links should be removed from text, preferably replaced by footnotes (see Wikipedia:Footnotes). If anybody is taking care of this article, please fix this. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:19, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Starting and advertising and building up a FARC community, and then trolling through all the past FAs in order to find ones with poor leads or citations would be far more work than actually going through the past FAs and correcting them. thames 19:40, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I disagree that changes 2 and 3 are necessary: we don't have any compulsory citation-styles yet, unless I missed the news. A longer lead section would indeed be good, though. — Matt Crypto 00:01, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Matt, do check Wikipedia:What is a featured article section 7. Bottom line is that this article fails the FA criterias! I'd object to this as FA, and if it was in FAC, its creator(s) would fix those problems or fail. Minor changes are needed but they are necessary. Please fix this, especially if you care about this article and want it to reamain on the same level as our newer FAs. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:19, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You could make fixes, too, you know (especially since you're the one raising the issue). — Matt Crypto 21:35, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, I could, but I am busy working on articles I know more about/find more interesting/etc. Whoever promoted this to FAC should keep this up to standard. I had assumed that there are people taking care of this. If not, FARC will take it sooner or later anyway, even without my meddling. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:09, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
1) The lead definitely has to be fixed to be longer per WP:LEAD. 2) The references have to be formatted according to WP:CITE, including the inline citations. 3) I took care of this; using the new <ref> system. AndyZ 00:30, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Nice work[edit]

Thanks to those responsible; I enjoyed reading this! — Matt Crypto 00:01, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

RSoF vs SoF[edit]

I think it was appropriate for Doradus to remove the alias to Society of Friends and leaving the link to the Religious Society of Friends for three reasons: 1) That's the current name of the article, so if you want to discuss the proper name of the Friends and that article then I believe it's best done as part of that article not this. 2) That's the name that most Friends meetings and Yearly meetings bear (to the best of my knowledge). 3) This article discusses George Fox and he predates this discussion (to the best of my knowledge). I think my real answer here is that we ought to use whichever name Fox used (which I haven't had the time to look up this afternoon), and if he used both interchangeable, then see 1 and 2 above. Since the replacement alias was done backward, that needed to be fixed anyway, I have fixed that without altering the text of the article so this can have proper discussion if others feel it's warrented. --Ahc 18:57, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Actually Fox never referred to either the "Society of Friends" or the "Religious Society of Friends". He used longer descriptive phrases rather than proper names when speaking of the movement as a whole. For example, he referred to Friends in the title of one pamphlet as "the elect people of God in scorn called Quakers". And in a well-known declaration that he and other Friends sent to King Charles II, they say that it is a declaration "from the harmless and innocent People of God called Quakers". Another term he often used for both the Quaker message and the movement that embraced it was the disarmingly simple and yet seemingly presumptuous "the truth". It was also common in his epistles for Fox to speak of "the church" when referring to the Quaker movement and "the churches" when referring to various Quaker Meetings. I believe that Friends began speaking of themselves as a "religious society" only in the 18th century and this, too, was originally a descriptive phrase rather than a proper name. --Richquaker 20:17, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject notice[edit]

Hello, if anyone is interested, I just started a Quaker WikiProject, which can be found at WP:WQ or Wikipedia:WikiProject Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Zach 00:31, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Addition of an external link[edit]

I added a link to a new web page on the writings and life of George Fox, edited by Hall and Joan Worthington.--Richquaker 19:53, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

The link appears to be to a site with an agenda. The holders acknowledge they have changed and modernized the language of the Journal. Perhaps a more neutral site with the original Journal would be more appropriate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:10, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Lengthy - time to create subtopics?[edit]

The page shows a size warning of 58kB or so on editing - lots of suitable content, but perhaps its time to look at subtopics, or even sort out which content is more suited to the George Fox bio and which should be part of the Religious Society of Friends article which itself may need to go into subtopics. Dl2000 17:59, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Edits throughout the month of June[edit]

I thought that I had this article on my watch list, but I didn't. Somebody has added lots of new material with clumsy and repetitive links, so that now, a large percentage of the article is linked quotations. I have tried to clean it up, and have had difficulty understanding the best way to do the footnotes. I think that the article needs to be returned to something like its earlier state before these massive edits, although some of the new material is good. I am tempted to simply revert to the earlier version, and look for bits from this long string of edits that might be useful. I will do so in a few days, unless there is more discussion. Logophile 14:06, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I like the linked Quotations because it resolves all the controversy going back to the journal, the older version did not quote the journal directly but rather quoted others opinions about what the journal meant, please dont revert to the earlier version.Victor128 18:20, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not the place to house big chunks of George Fox's journal. A few illustrative quotes would be sufficient. If you look at editing guidelines and at other biographical aricles, you will notice that it is the general practice not to simply write a string of quotes from the subject's autobiography. It is important to present the facts about the subject, not just his or her own views about himself/herself. You will also notice that editors don't usually link phrases of text to external sources; rather they use footnotes. Whatever quotes are kept need to be linked in a more tidy, elegant way. I suggest that an interested person write a Wikipedia article on the Journal and also upload it to Wikisource. Logophile 00:56, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
I also like the way it is now. I think it is more true to the history of George Fox. There is a lot of very relevant information that I would hate to see removed.--Tamrab 17:32, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
I aggree with logophile, there is too much text here that is just chuncks out of the journal. If people are insteaded in reading the journal, I believe they should follow logophile's advice above. People should also keep in mind that the older version was a featured article, and while there is always still room for improvement, it got a great deal of attention and review at that time.
Logophile, so answer your question about references: the wikipedia guide to footnoting is at Wikipedia:Footnotes. There are a couple of styles around, but that one seems to be the easiest I've found so far. --Ahc 18:31, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
I have made the reversion, but believe me, I did not do it lightly. The article as it now stands could use a bit of polishing, but it has been a Featured Article, and many of the recent edits seemed to me to detract from its quality. I promise to look through those edits and add in anything that looks helpful to the article, in order to reinsert it. I think that the editor(s) who wanted to add so much of the Journal should write an article about the Journal. Logophile 06:22, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Hyperlinking as digression[edit]

This remark may apply to Wiki praxis across the board, but was triggered by reading the lovely work done on George Fox.

Also note that I'm not a Wiki regular, so I don't know whether this matter has been previously discussed.

Unthinking inclusion of links for extremely common terms and concepts considered harmful.

Is a reader likely to need or to even use some of these links?

Two examples in "George Fox," although I could make a laundry list from the same article: "weaver" and "North America."

Are general-purpose discussions of "weaving" or "North America" really germane to George Fox, or are they digressions? 14:11, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Date of Death[edit]

The article states George Fox died on 13th of First Month, 1691. The headstone shown in the article gives the date as 13th of Eleventh Month, 1690. Does anyone know why the difference, and which one is correct? TedTalk/Contributions 20:34, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Before the Calendar Act of 1752, the New Year began on 25th March, Lady Day. Therefore March was the first month of the year and consequently January was the eleventh. So the year 1690 did not end until 24th March. For further details go to:

Naresh Sonee[edit]

Twice now I've removed versions of the following text. I've pulled them for two major reasons.

  1. I don't see what a 20th century author has to do with the biography of George Fox
  2. The writting quality is quite poor (although if not of issue 1 I'd be happy to fix it).

--Ahc 16:16, 27 September 2006 (UTC) Removed text:

'In India' where there are countless religion.
Some similarity is there of George Fox with a poet in India who writes in Hindi as well as English. Naresh Sonee ‘Soham Sutra’ born in February 11, 1958. He too started writing mystical poems since age of eleven and has a logical point of view coincidently but still more relevant in today's age. The author had written a Hindi book ‘Brhmand Pujan’ means ‘Universal Prayers’ which time-n-again get appreciations of praise from media and mass. This author is against forming any group or society as he feels religions are already enough in this world . There should be no place for one more extra religion for mankind. However Soham Sutra strongly suggest every religion should update and approve ‘goods’ of every religion eliminating all bad such as myths, superstitions, orthodoxy including hatred for others’ religion’. He further suggest every religion should come under one umbrella of Universe- loving , sharing , mingling and merging with wise and sane full though to uplift and accelerate civilization.
Naresh Sonee says-‘The Self Created -Brhmand –Who created all earth born Gods private else universal . since ‘Time’ immortal there exist only 'One Sole Soul' above every or any religion of the world. This Self Created Time-The Brhmand who had created infinite galaxies , planets including this tiny earth where all Gods had come from had went away with time after making their present felt for specific time , in specific era and places or religions . But the Time along with Universe was and still existing before all earth born private Gods. Still the wise human or their religion refuse to acknowledge the Universe as God. However the author in his own form comes up with every logical reasons which explains to every religion that the world or this tiny earth have no reason to dictate or underestimate the power or force of the Universe. But comparing to the ‘Universe’ all earth born Gods had to restrain for specific time, era, region and religion. But UNIVERSE – The BRHMAND still prevails since before or after all. So he suggests every body should worship ‘Universe’ along with their God. He further adds time has come , many obsolete things in every religion which still are practiced should be buried as taboo. This author from India question – Why still there had come no single ‘Religion or God’ who could 100 % succeed to convince the entire world about ‘Self’ that they are the ‘exclusive one’ to offer their wise religion to entire world ?

Shaggy Locks[edit]

Some unregistered user added "In your old leather britches and your shaggy, shaggy, locks, you are pulling down the pillars of the world, George Fox. (Quaker hymn) to the top of the article. Whilst I do not doubt the good faith of this person, I do not regard it as an appropriate addition to an encyclopaedia article. It is not a Quaker hymn, it is a song by Sidney Carter and probably in copyright. Vernon White . . . Talk 22:21, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

obscure bit[edit]

I don't start to understand:

Though by no means the only charismatic throughout church history, being open to the Spirit could include the charismata. Among other things Fox recorded being used in exorcism, divine healing, and "a word of knowledge" (1 Cor.12:8–10).

Could somebody rephrase? Morenoodles (talk) 07:18, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

You're right. In the absence of an explanation, I think we should just remove it. DrKiernan (talk) 11:35, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Portrait in InfoBox[edit]

The portrait used in the infobox is 19th C and is unlikely to resemble George Fox. Vernon White . . . Talk 19:46, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

There are only two supposed "contemporary" images known:
However, both the picture of Fox by Gerrit van Honthorst (left) and the picture supposedly (and unbelievingly) by Peter Lely from Fox's later life (right) may also be unlike him. Some maintain that Fox refused to have images of himself made.
W. W. Fenn makes an interesting point in The American Historical Review, Vol. 31, No. 3 (Apr., 1926), pp. 513-515: "The outstanding problem is how Fox developed from the maudlin enthusiast shown in Honthorst's picture of 1654, into the benign, sedate, and sagacious leader depicted in the Lely portrait, if indeed the latter be authentic." Fenn's point is that the journal has been so heavily edited and written so far after events that we are no longer able to look at printed sources that fully explain Fox's development, and perhaps the two contrasting images hint at the change that must have occured between "the youth mooning about England in the early 'fifties" to "the wise organiser of the 'eighties".
J. Lewelyn Curtis in Notes and Queries (1852), vol. s1-VI, p. 156, appears to take an opposing view. He lists a number of nineteenth century engravings but indicates that he has been unable to trace the original "Honthorst", which does not appear to be in any of Fox's original works. I infer from this that he is implying that it is neither original nor taken from life. I further infer from his letter that as this image ("in a devotional attitude") is quite unlike any other, he considers it less likely to be authentic.
The "Lely portrait" is not like any other Lely work; I'm sure a Lely expert would make short shrift of it. The ODNB doesn't seem to believe it is either Fox or Lely, leaving it out of its "List of likenesses". However, alongside Fairland, it does list Honthorst. So, presumably they do not agree with what I infer to be Curtis's critical stance. DrKiernan (talk) 16:59, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
So can the spurious portrait be removed from the InfoBox and Dr Kiernan's scholarly references be added under "Legacy", omitting the remarks about ODNB, as I will take the matter of authenticity up with them, unless this is not desired. It would also be good to remove the spurious p[ortrait from the head of the Religious Society of Friends article. Vernon White . . . Talk 20:49, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I've tried an alternative. I don't mind if the images are swapped around or all included, but I think there should be an image in the infobox, with a suitable explanation. DrKiernan (talk) 07:18, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Regardless of who might have done this "portrait," it is not "contemporary," so that word should be removed. Lingle (talk) 20:15, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Category:Victims of British political repression[edit]

Category seems off-target (the topic appears to deal with religious persecution rather than political). Tedickey (talk) 12:07, 11 April 2009 (UTC)