Some Reasons Humbly Offered, to the Considerations of Both Houses of Parliament, why the Quakers Affirmation should not pass instead of an Oath [caption title]
London: 1715. 4pp. Printed in two columns. Disbound. Small folio. Early folds and early stab holes in left margin. Some foxing.
One of Two Known Copies
A rare and expansive appeal to Parliament against the 1715 bill to renew the Quakers' right to the "solemn affirmation" in place of the legal oath. In 1696, after experiencing decades of exclusion and imprisonment for conscientiously refusing to take loyalty and court oaths, Quakers were granted the right by an act of Parliament to take a "solemn affirmation" in legal situations in place of an actual oath. In 1715, a bill was under consideration in Parliament to renew that act indefinitely. Significantly longer than most lobbying documents from this time, this petition asks that Parliament only extend the act if the affirmation be made "of no Force where they are concern'd in Interest, but where they only Affirm as Witnesses between others, there being no Temptation for them to Lye, when it brings no Profit to them." Many Quakers by this time had achieved significant prosperity in manufacturing and commerce, adding fuel to their enemies' resentment. The author of this pamphlet charges various Friends with hypocrisy, greed, and swindling and reprints an earlier petition describing six widows of commanders of two "Guinea ships" allegedly defrauded by Quakers (including one Quaker from Maryland). Not listed in Joseph Smith's Biblioteca Anti-Quakeriana or A Descriptive Catalogue of Friends' Books. ESTC records only one copy, at Oxford.