Some important dates in history  (particularly the history of Quakers in Tavistock Smile) Return to primary History page 
1534Henry VIII breaks with Rome
1611King James I: Authorised Version of the Bible widely distributed
1624George Fox born
1642Beginning of the English Civil War
1647George Fox has the opening that ‘there is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition’
1649Charles I executed: Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans govern Britain
1652George Fox’s vision on Pendle Hill of a great people to be gathered.He visited Swarthmore Hall, home of Judge Thomas Fell and Margaret Fell, who married George after her husband died but hardly ever saw him
1654‘Valiant 60’ missionary work starts
1655George Fox came to Kingsbridge, Plymouth and Cornwall.About this time John Evelyn, diarist, described Quaker as “a near fanatic sect of dangerous principles, who show no respect to any man, magistrate or other, and seem a melancholy, proud sort of people, and exceedingly ignorant”
1656James Nayler’s entry to Bristol, & trial by Parliament, then punished for blasphemy.First Friends arrive in North America. Others set off for the Vatican and the Sultan of Constantinople The Epistle from the Elders of Blaby “send unto the brethren in the north these necessary things following; to which, if in the light you wait,to be kept in obedience, you shall do well”.......... “Dearly beloved Friends, these things we do not lay upon you as a rule or form to walk by; but that all, with a measure of the light, which is pure and holy, may be guided: and so in the light walking and abiding, these things may be fulfilled in the Spirit, not in the letter, for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”
1658Death of Oliver Cromwell
1660Boston matyrs: Four Quakers including Mary Dyer hanged on Boston Common. Charles II starts his reign, expressly forbids the execution of Quakers.
1660Death of James Nayler.
1661First General Meeting held in Newport, Rhode Island, start of New England Yearly Meeting, the oldest such body in the world
1662‘Quaker Acts’ forbid Quakers to meet in England
1668First Quaker schools in England. London Yearly Meeting established
1670Trial of William Penn and William Meade establishing rights of juries
1673George Fox travels in America
1676Robert Barclay’s An Apology for the True Christian Divinity’ – Quaker theologyMeeting for Sufferings organised in London
1681William Penn obtains charter for Pennsylvania; Philadelphia Yearly Meeting starts
1685James II
1688Germantown Meeting in Pennsylvania protests against slavery
1689William and Mary
Toleration Act in England passed by parliament, religious pluralism legalised.
Death of Robert Barclay & George Fox
1694George Fox’s Journal published
1698Blasphemy Act made denial of the Trinity punishable by imprisonment.
1702Margaret Fell dies. Quakers in Tavistock, Devon. Quakers form 1% of British population, equivalent to 600,000 in 2012. Quietism period of Quakerism starts
1722Recording of Ministers established in Britain
1737Lists of Settlements create a formal list of members
1739-48Methodism started amongst Anglicans, became a separate denomination in 1791
1773Boston Tea Party – a key event leading to the American war with Britain in 1812
1783First ‘Book of Extracts’ (book of discipline) published in Britain (see Elders of Blaby)
1796York Retreat, the first modern mental hospital, founded by Friends in Britain
1813Elizabeth Fry, sister of Joseph John Gurney (Gurney Bank) works on prison reform
1816First Peace Society in England founded by William Allen & Joseph T Price
1823-76Quaker Meeting in Tavistock flourishes. Meeting House for 100 members on land belonging to the Duke of Bedford demolished in 1876
1827-28The Great Separation in North America into Hicksite and Orthodox branches
1837Joseph John Gurney travels to America
1843John Bright enters Parliament. Anti-slavery Friends leave Indiana YM.
1845The Gurneyite-Wilburite separation in New England
1846-47Quaker famine relief in Ireland
1847Adult School and Home Mission movements in Britain become established
1848Lucretia Mott initiates first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York
1852Friends Temperance Union formed in Britain
1862American Quakers relief and educational work for freed slaves
1866Rachel Metcalf sent by British Friends to do missionary work in India
1870-71British Quaker relief work in Franco-Prussian War
1882John Bright resigns from cabinet in protest at bombardment of Alexandria
1895Manchester Conference held in England leads to Summer Schools
1903Opening of Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, Birmingham
1909First fully united men’s and women’s London Yearly Meeting
1914War Victims Relief Committee established by British Friends. Friends Ambulance Unit created to provide care for soldiers and civilians injured in World War I
1917American Friends Service Committee established
1919-24At request of President Herbert Hoover (Quaker), Friends start feeding programme for German children, which then expands into Poland, Russia & other European countries
1930American Quaker Study Centre established at Pendle Hill
1937-39Non-partisan relief work in Spanish Civil War
1939-46Quaker war relief in Europe and Asia
1946East Africa Yearly Meeting formed, the first such body in Africa
1947Nobel Peace Prize awarded to American Friends Service Committee and Friends Service Council (Britain) on behalf of the Religious Society of Friends.
1951-54Quaker Meeting in Tavistock lasts only a short time
1952Third World Conference of Friends held in Oxford, England
1955Meetings divided by the 1827 separation rejoin, forming united YMs in New York, Canada and Philadelphia.
1967Quarterly Meetings in Britain were styled General Meetings
1974Bolivian Friends Yearly Meeting established
1975Present Tavistock Meeting started
1985First World Gathering of Young Friends held at Guilford College, North Carolina
1995London Yearly Meeting changes its name to Britain Yearly Meeting
2007General Meetings in Britain were removed from the administrative decision making chain of Local Meetings – Monthly Meetings – General Meetings - Yearly Meeting. They could either cease to exist or become Gatherings to consider subjects of common interest. Monthly Meetings in Britain were styled Area Meetings, and Preparative Meetings were styled Local Meetings.
2008East and West Devon Area Meetings united to form Devon Area Meeting.
D&C General Meeting ended. D&C Arrangements committee formed instead – a collaborative committee between the two Area Meetings, charged with specific tasks.