Sender Place

Warrington, Lancashire, England


James Harrison

Receiver Place


Repository holding original letter

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Full Date


Document Type


Country, State, Location 1

53.401859, -2.568022


William Gibson, Warrington, James Harrison, Pennsylvania, William Penn, Quaker, Society of Friends, social network, meetings, East New Jersey, persecution, John Gibson, travel, colonies


Letter dated June 24, 1684 (June 14, 1684 Old Style) from William Gibson to James Harrison. Gibson relates to Harrison the persecutions and disrupted meetings in England since the Harrisons settled in Pennsylvania. He also admits, regretfully, that he would be unable to travel to the colonies because of a recent illness.


Warrington 14 4/mo 84 [14th day 4th month 1684]

Dear J. H [James Harrison]

Whom I Love in ye [the] truth wch [which] is pure & [and] unchangible [unchangeable] Therein do

I tenderly salute ^thee [you] & [and] [illegible—strikethrough]^ [strikethrough: wife] thy [your] Dear wife [Ann Harrison] & [and] sonn [son] [Phineas Pemberton?] & [and] Daughter [Phebe Harrison] whose

prosperity therein I heartylie [heartily] desire with all ye [the] Rest of my

ffaith full ffriends [Faithful Friends] in those parts as though perticulerly [particularly] named

My Endeared Brotherly Love flowes [flows] towards you all, In Christ

Jesus our prince of unfaigned [unfeigned] Love Life & [and] sweet peace Truly

you are often in my Remembrance & [and] my tender Breathings

are unto our heavenly father on your [abbreviation—'ur' assumed] Behalfe [behalf] yt [that] you all may

fflourish [Flourish] in Rightiousness [Righteousness] in xt [Christ] ye [the] hevenly [heavenly] [armie? [army]] & [and] in him bring

fourth [forth] much ffiruite [Fruit] to ye [the] praise of our heavenly father & [and]

Remaine stedfast [remain steadfast] with him as his Inclosed [enclosed] Garden In that

Willdenrness [wilderness] Land Even so bee itt [be it] Amen

Dear James [James Harrison] Thyne I Recd [your letter I received] about 6 weekes [six weeks] since I have itt [it] not

now by mee [me] the Date I Remember not I was glad of itt [it] & [and] to hear

of your [abbreviation—'ur' assumed] welfare [welfare] in ye [the] Lord for which prayses bee givein [praises be given] to him

who is ye [the] god of all our Mercy & [and] in whom are all our fresh

springs who keepes [keeps] us alive to him selfe [himself] & [and] in ye [the] Living & [and]

truly Loveing [loving] Remembrance one of another I did Comuncate [communicate]

the Remembrance of thy [your] Brotherly Love to ye [the] Anceit Bre [Ancient Brethren]

at our Late yearly Meeting & [and] they wear [were] glad to hear of your [abbreviation—'ur' assumed]

wellbeing whose true Love I know is not wanting to thee & ye [you and the]

Rest of the faithfull [faithful]

Concerning ye [the] affairs of truth in this Land of our nativeaty [nativity?] J H [James Harrison?]

is well with ^the^ sincere & [and] upright in heart & [and] so J H [James Harrison?] will Ever bee [be]

sufferings doth abound [do abound] in many parts of this Land for Rightious^nes^ [Righteousness]

sake, But Consolations doth much [do much] more abound in xt [Christ] Jesus to

the Rightious sufferers; upon such yt faithfull [that faithful] saying

is fullfilled [fulfilled] (viz) [that is] If yee [thee] [you] suffer for Rightiousness [Righteousness] sake

Happie [happy] are thee [you] ye [you] [spk [speak]?] of grace & [and] of glory Resteth [rests] upon

your ffriends [Friends] are Chearfull [cheerful] & [and] honnourable [honorable] in their —

sufferings [strikethrough: itt?] our sufferings beaing [being] onely [only] ffor [For] our obedye^ce^ [obedience] [partially illegible—page tear]

to the Liveing [Living] holy pure god who has brought ye [the] faithfull [faithful]

to peace with himselfe [himself] & [and] one with another, And into true

Love to our Ennymies [enemies] yea into good will towards all men The Lord

is pleading ye [the] [Innocent?] Cause of his people in this Land with ye [the]

Rulers thereof, our peaceablenes [peacefulness] & [and] harmlessnes [harmlessness] towards

them doth [does] [...] more ^appear to them^ & [and] the Chiefist [chiefest] [strikethrough: hath] have Confesed [confessed]

to itt [it] & [and] this Run through ye [the] Land as from ye mouthes [the mouths] of the

Chiefest that ye [the] Quakers are clear of ye Evell Consperi

=cyes & Evell Designes [the evil conspiracies and evil designs] that other people are Charged

with & [and] a Love & [and] pitty [pity] Springs in ye [the] hearts of Rulers and

others in many places towards ffaithfull [Faithful] friends in their sufferings

the sence [sense] of wch [which] is a Comforte [comfort] to ffriends [Friends], The Divers [diverse] sorts

of other Decenters [dissenters] in this trying Day [strikethrough: to] do fall under their

procicuters [prosecutors] Either by going to the worship as ye [the] Rulers

Require, or by Absconding, soe [so] that ffriends [Friends] as with Respect

to publicke [public] [strikethrough: o... p...] [illegible—strikethrough] Meetings are as ye [yours/the?] onely butt [only but] Left

to [shuttar [shutter]? / shutt at [shut up/close]?] Especually [especially] where perscution [persecution] appears sharp

as in London & [and] in any other place, so that through these

Exersieses [exercises] the Glory & [and] beuity [beauty] of ye [the] truth Ariseth [arises] & [and]

is seene [seen] more & [and] more praysed [praised] bee [be] ye [the] Lord god for the same

& [and] maney [many] tender people in & [and] about London Enquire [inquire] after truth

to Com [come] to meeting Espessually [especially] about Ratlife [Radcliffe] & [and] Southwark

[Written in left margin]

Dear James [James Harrison] Lett thy sonn [let your son] P. P [Phineas Pemberton know that I have often spoken

to Geo: Greene [George Green] Getting the Money wch [which] is oweing [owing] to thy sonn [your son] [Phineas Pemberton] & [and] [^he?^] saith [says] [from?] [tyme [time]?]

[to try to?] [partially illegible—obscured by binding tape] that hee [he] can [get?] [done/one?] of him

[page 2]

Southwark & [and] other parts whear [where] meetings ^are^ [els [else] / oft [more often?] oft distur

=beed [disturbed] then [than] in other parts & [and] Meetings are sweet & [and]

precious praysed bee ye Lord [praised be the Lord]

That wch [which] seemes [seems] to bee [be] Insinuated as ye [the] greatest —

matter agt [against] som [some] friends, by such who [...] on suferings [sufferings]

agt [against] us, is that they wear [were] [illegible—strikethrough of author's misspelt attempt] Concernened [concerned] in Elle

=ctions [elections] of members of [Parliament?] [fancy P—abbreviation?] & [and] others wch [which] did not please

if this bee [be] a trespase [trespass] agt [against] them in their account —

they ought to forgive itt [it] according to their owne prin

=cipall [own principle] & [and] profesed [professed] & [and] often Repeated prayers There is som [some] Cause to hope that they at Least som [some] of

them will better Considder [consider] of this then [than] they

have yett [yet] Dun [done] houever [however] tis [it is] Certaine [certain] truth is strong

=er [stronger] & [and] will prevaile [prevail] & [and] outlive & [and] wear out Decait [deceit] false —

=hood [falsehood] & [and] Cruallty [cruelty], Dear James [James Harrison] to write to thee [you] of the

affairs & [and] prosperity of ye [the] precious truth is ye [the] most

pleaseat [pleasant/pleased?] subject to mee [me], And I am asured [assured] to hear of

Its prosperity will bee [be] pleasant to thee [you] & [and] all ye [the] best

of the faithfull [faithful] there & [and] there a wayes [thereaways], And this good

newes [news] thou [you] may Communicate to faithfull [faithful] ffriends [Friends]

there as publickly [publicly] as thou pleaseth [you please], perticulerly [particularly]

to Dear W. Penn [William Penn] & [and] ye [the] Rest of my fellow Laburers [laborers]

In ye [the] work & [and] fellowshipe [fellowship] of ye [the] Gloryous [glorious] gospell [gospel] of

peace, Lett [let] W: Penn [William Penn] know that aboute [about] 6 weekes [six weeks]

since I was a att [at] a Large and precious Monthly meeting

att [at] his house his wife [Gulielma Maria Springett Penn] children & [and] famaly [family] wear [were] then

very well & [and] shee [she] & ye [the] children &c [et cetera] Chearfully [cheerfully] ta^l^king [talking]

of Com ing [coming] to him this sumer [summer], The god of all [our?]

[Mercy?] & [and] presenece [presense] & [and] bring them safe unto him

I writt [wrote] fully to him not Longe [long] since & [and] am now

[straytned [strained]?] for tyme [time] if I write not I Expect another

oppertunity [opportunity] [Eare [ere/before]] Long Lett him know yt [that] I Reqest [request]

a few Lynes [lines] from him in Answer to ^somthing [something]^ [in lyne [in lines/a letter]?] Lately sent

by ye [the] [Gulyemus?] [Gulielma?, ship name] or another shipp [ship] wch [which] went about yt [that]

tyme [time] I Remember not her name I Gave ye [the] Letter

to P: fford [Philip Ford] for Conveance [conveyance]

Dear James [James Harrison] as to what thou writt [you wrote] of Dislike to somthing [something]

Concerning [strikethrough: ye [the]] the affairs of East Jersey I shall say

Little to at presant [present] haveing [having] not thy [your] Letter here

But this I Cann [can] with much Clearnes [clearness] say that I am

noe [no] way Conscious to my selfe [myself] of Either doeing [doing] or

designing [wring [wrong]?] to W: P [William Penn] or any person [fancy P—abbreviation] Else in that pro

=vince [province] or Else wheire [elsewhere], I am willing to hope that G:

Lowry [Gawen Lawrie] & [and] W: P [William Penn] will Com [come] to a good understanding of Each

other as with Respect to the affairs of East Jersey &c [et cetera]

& [and] that a p^r^udent [prudent] Care will bee [be] taken amongst you in all ye [the]

three provinces that Right bee dun [be done] to all Conserned [concerned]

without partiallty [partiality], Indeed there is much need of Great

Care & [and] wisdume [wisdom] ^in^ the [strikethrough: & [and]] the settling & [and] Managing ye [the] publicke [public]

affairs of these provinces your [abbreviation—ur] [Exercyses [exercises ]?] will no doubt bee [be]

[page 3]

Bee [be] great manny wayes [many ways], & [and] many Eyes are upon you

both here & [and] there & [and] much talke [talk] [here/hence] is among

people here about your [abbreviation—ur] Governments & [and] you are

not I [Conclud [conclude]?] unsencible [insensible] that you have Ennyes [enemies] as

well as friends both there & [and] here The [senser desire?]

of your [abbreviation—ur] frends [friends] are that The Lords [Lord's] peace [peacable [peaceable]?]

wisdom may sway Rule & [and] Govern amongst you

& [and] ^that^ In itt [it] you May [Cutt [cut]? / Call?] of occation [occasion] from those who

do or may seeke occation agt [seek occasion against] you, And herein you

will give true occation [occasion] to your [abbreviation—ur] friends who watch for

good to Rejoyce [rejoice] in ye [the] good [wch [which] / with] ye [the] Lord god by you as —

Instruments shall worke [work] to ye ye [the the] Renowne [renown] & [and] pray^e^ [pray]

of his owne [own] holy name to whome [whom] bee [be] glory for

=ever [forever] more amen

Dear James [James Harrison] as to what thou writt [you wrote] Concerning my Intentio

=ntious [intentions] to Com [come] to give you a visitt [visit] my Intentious [intentions] wear [were]

Really with submition [submission] to ye [the] providence of god to

give you & [and] other friends in that part of ye [the] world a

visitt [visit] but providence hath hetherto [has hitherto [has so far]] Interposed

to wch [which] [strikethrough: wch [which]] I willingly submitt [submit] whether provide^nce^ [providence]

will yett [yet] order mee [me] to see you or not tyme [time] will manny

=fest [manifest] I cannot Detirmin itt [determine it], but if god should soe [so] order

I am through ye [the] Mercy of god Much Recovered of me

Bodily weakness yett [yet] am much weaker then [than] I was —

before ye [the] Late Great weakness fell on mee [me] being

much disabled by a settled paine [pain] in my Right side

wch [which] I Conclude proceed from winde [wind], But ye [the] Lord is

good to mee [me] in & [and] through the Mannyfold [manifold] great Exer

=sises [exercises] wch hath [which has/have] fallen on mee [me] of Late tyme [time]

But tis [it is] well with inwardly & [and] outwardly praysed [praised]

bee [be] his holy name, Wee [We] had of Late our yeare [year]

meeting in sweet peace & [and] unnity [unity] since wch [which] I Came

through some parts of Stafordshire [Staffordshire] & [and] Chesshire [Cheshire]

Into this County in ye [the] said Countyes [counties] have been at

[times?] divers [diverse] good sweet & [and] peacable [peaceable] Meetings tho [though]: ye [the] Enny

=mies [enemies] of truth are at their Evill worke [evil work] in these parts [fancy P—ar]

Dear James [James Harrison] to Conclude this Longe [long] Letter I Must put thee [you]

In minde [mind] of my sonn [son] John [John Gibson] whome [whom] I have at his owne [own]

Earnest desire sent to East Jersey with Gavin Lowry [Gawen Lawrie]

I gott [got] him Efectually [effectually] instructed in ye [the] art of Survey

=ing [surveying] & [and] [bought?] him Choyse [choice] Instruments for his use

in ye [the] said art our Company of propryators [proprietors] Gave

him their Letter of [recomendation] [partially illegible—page torn, 're' assumed] [recommendation] to ye [the] Survayers

Generall [Surveyors General] of the said [province] [partially illegible—page torn] to Encouriag [encourage] him

[page 4]

him by imploying [employing] ^him^ in Survaying [surveying] ^our^ Land in yt [that] provence [province] wch [which]

understand that S: Groom [Samuel Groom] ^who^ was by us appainted [appointed] for ye [the] said place

is deceased wch [which] occations [occasions] my [Care?/Cause?] to bee [be] ye [the] greater Concerning

sonn [son] not knowing ^who^ may suceed [succeed] in that place, G: Lawry [Gawen Lawrie] [pro...] [illegible—obscured by binding tape]

=ed [promised?] mee [me] to take Care of him Concerning whom I am willing to

hope well, I purpose [intend] to send a few Lynes inclosed [lines enclosed] in this [...] [illegible—obscured by binding tape]

my sonn [son] wch [which] I Reqest [request] thee [you] Carefully to Convey to him I [shuld [should]?] [partially illegible—obscured by binding tape]

take it kindly if thou [you] will write a few Lines to him & [and] Encouriage [encourage] [partially illegible—obscured by binding tape]

him to Love & [and] wa^l^ke [walk] in ye [the] truth And to bee [be] Diligent & [and] Care

full [careful] in his busines [business], In my Last [last letter] to Dear W: Penn [William Penn] I writt [wrote] [some?] [partially illegible—obscured by binding tape, 'me' assumed]

thing [something] aboute [about] him my Care is much Concerning him, I shall [take] [partially illegible—obscured by binding tape, 'ke' assumed]

Itt [it] kindly of you or any other of my ancent Bre: [Ancient Brethren] that you

will take notice of him & [and] Encouriage [encourage] him in yt [that] wch [which] is good

The Lord god allmighty [almighty] preserve you & [and] us all in faithful

=nes [faithfulness] unto him selfe [unto himself] unto this End Amen This [unfaile [unfailing]?] [partially illegible—obscured by binding tape]

Love ffrom [From] thy [your] Endeared friends [and] Bro: [brothers] in god Couvnant [God's Convenant] of [illegible—obscured by binding tape]

Life & [and] peace

Wm Gibson [William Gibson]


James Harrison

these present


Pensillvaina [Pennsylvania]

[Written in a more modern hand, located in bottom left and oriented to left margin]

William Gibson


4 mo 14. 1684 [4th month 14th day 1684]


James Harrison












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