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On Quakers, Medicine & Property: The Autobiography of Mary Pennington (1624-1682)

Mary Pennington is best known in Quaker scholarship as William Penn's mother-in-law. But her story was a fascinating one for its own sake long before her daughter met William. Orphaned at three, Mary grew up in an upper class English household and was profoundly influenced by her foster-mother, who was a practicing physician and active patron of Puritan preachers. After Mary's second marriage, to Sir Isaac Pennington, the couple met George Fox and converted to the Quakers; while Sir Isaac was busily writing Quaker treatises, Mary supervised the finances, bought property, designed a "simple" house, and directed the workmen in its construction. She reminds Sir Isaac, with pleasure, that the money is hers; he lost his! Sir Isaac happily agrees. This book is an unabridged reprint of Mary's memoirs, a manuscript hidden in a wall shortly before her death and only discovered forty years later. It is an original testimony of a remarkable woman, and will interest readers in the history of religion, women's studies, conversion and biography.

Table of Contents


Text of the Original Edition Used Here (see contents below)

Preface to the original edition

Diary, 1672

Dream, July 30, 1676

Diary, September 30, 1681

Letter to her Grandson, 1680