Considerations on the Quakers Solemn Affirmation; and Make-ing the same Perpetual; Humbly Proposed to the Consideration of the High Court of Parliament
London: 1715. Broadsheet, 14½ x 9¼ inches. pp., including printed docket title. Printed in two columns. Disbound. Early folds and early stab holes in left margin. Small portion of lower inner margin excised, with no loss to text. Mild foxing.
A scarce and highly informative letter to Parliament offering a critical history of the Quakers' "solemn affirmation."
In 1696, after experiencing decades of exclusion and imprisonment for conscientiously refusing to take loyalty and court oaths, Quakers were granted the right by Parliament to take a "solemn affirmation" in legal situations in place of an actual oath. Over the next two decades, many Quakers continued to object over the use of God's name in the affirmation, and various non-Quakers continued to express their resentment over the entire matter. In 1715, a bill was under consideration in Parliament to renew indefinitely the Quakers' right to the affirmation. The author of this document, Francis Bugg, recommends against passing it "Without a Universal Obligation upon them...without a Penalty upon every Quaker that shall neglect or refuse to take it in due Form," pointing to hypocrisy and disingenuousness he has perceived among that community. Bugg (1640-1724?) was a Quaker apostate who published numerous writings against Quakerism from about 1680 through the 1720s. Dated May 5, 1715, and signed in print by F. Bugg. Not listed in Joseph Smith's Biblioteca Anti-Quakeriana or A Descriptive Catalogue of Friends' Books. ESTC lists copies at three institutions: the British Library, the Library of the Religious Society of Friends, and Oxford.
DNB III, pp.226-8.