Thomas Bond of Lancashire England
Above is pictured Lancaster Castle where numerous Quakers were imprisoned including my 9th great grandfather Thomas Bond. Story by Randi Bowles-Meentzen 2007
Thomas Bond: The Bond Family and Quaker Origins
Thomas Bond , my 9th great grandfather ,was born in Woodacre, Lancashire, England in 1630. A wealthy iron monger**, he published some of the first Quaker writings in 1655. In 1673 he was imprisoned in Lancaster Castle . He had refused to take an oath in court when he was on trial for failure to pay tithes. As was the fate of many Quakers ,he was imprisoned for 9 weeks. The wealthy fared better in prison than those with no means. Shackles of the legs and arms would be removed if money passed hands to the guards. A better room might be acquired for financial consideration.The incarcaration would have been a hardship on anyone and meals would have seemed particularly spartan to Thomas Bond who would normaly have had a sturdy diet of oatmeal, beef, bacon, mutton, potatoes and butter. Perhaps Thomas Bonds incarceration was less grueling than the prison time of the less well healed Quaker leader George Fox . Fox was "summoned to the Lancaster Assizes on a number of occasions, the most famous of which was in September 1664 when he refused to take the oath and was remanded in custody until the next Assizes. He described his incarceration at Lancaster Castle prison:Then I was put into a tower, where the smoke of the other rooms came up so thick, that it stood as dew upon the walls, and sometimes it was so thick that I could hardly see the candle when it burned; and I being locked under three locks, the under-jailer, when the smoke was great, would hardly be persuaded to come up to unlock one of the upper doors, for fear of the smoke, so that I was almost smothered. Besides, it rained in upon my bed; and many times, when I went to stop out the rain in the cold winter season, my shift would be as wet as muck with the rain that came in upon me. And the place being high and open to the wind, sometimes as fast as I stopt it, the wind, being high and fierce, would blow it out again. In this manner did I lie all that long cold winter, till the next Assize; in which time I was so starved with cold and rain, that my body was greatly swelled, and my limbs much numbed. "
Thomas Bond lived another ten years after his release from Lancaster Castles prison. Today this same Castle holds the distiction of being the oldest working courtroom in England and the court which has passed the most death sentences. The room where the Quakers and the Lancashire withches were out on trial is now a jurors waiting room.
Thomas Bond may have had intentions to move to America. Two years before his death he acquired 1000 acres in the County of Bucks. Some of his children including his daughter Jane Bond accompanied other Quakers to Bucks Co, Pa. where she married John Scott. After John Scotts' death, John Whittacre Sr., who had also come to America with the Quakers from Lancashire England, anounced at the Falls Monthly Meeting of 6 January 1702.,his intention to marry the widow Jane Bond Scott . The union was approved.
My descent from this line is as follows:
John Whitacre Sr and Jane Bond
John Whitacre Jr and Naomi Hulme
George Whitacre and Ruth Wilson
Joshua Whitacre and Rachel Wilson
Nancy Whitacre to Joseph Strickling
Robison Strickling to Louisa E. Baker
Alexander Strickling to Emma Jane Bigley
John William Strickling to Florenca Ann Watson
Vera Mae Strickling to Harley E. Bowles
Robert Heston Bowles
This line of my family is intermarried in several places with the Hayhurst line. Cuthbert Hayhurst, the well known Quaker is my 1st cousin, 11 generations past as his grandmother Elizabeth Hayhurst was married to John Bond. John Bond is my 11th ggrandfather .
A timeline of Quakers and Lancaster Castle is as follows and excerpted from the following websites:
Timeline of Quaker Activity in Lancaster 1652 + John Lawson, Lancaster's first Quaker, is converted by George Fox. [His tombstone can be seen in the porch of the Meeting House on Meeting House Lane. 1652 or 3 P Quaker George Fox from Ulverston is summoned to the Court of Sessions in Lancaster on a blasphemy charge which is thrown out for lack of evidence. Dr. William Marshall, Vicar of Lancaster, and two priest's sons were witnesses against him.
1653 P [approximately] Quaker George Fox is thrown out of Lancaster Priory and people throw stones at him along the street. He takes refuge in a shop..
1658 N Oliver Cromwell dies.
1677 + The Society of Friends (Quakers) build a Meeting House on the southern slopes of Castle Hill. [It is rebuilt in 1708.]
1681 P Seth Bushell appointed Vicar. He was noted by Quaker William Stout, as a 'person of a moderate disposition' who 'much discuraged persecution for religion . . . and very corteous to Dissenters of all denominations'. . [See Note 3]
1682 V Seth Bushell, Vicar of Lancaster. . [See Note 3] 1702 N Anne, sister of Queen Mary and second daughter of King James II is made Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. She remains a Protestant. [She is the last British sovereign of the house of Stuart.] 1708 + The Society of Friends (Quakers) rebuild their Meeting House on the southern slopes of Castle Hill. [On Meeting House Lane. The tombstone of John Lawson, Lancaster's first Quaker, can be seen in the porch.
** The earliest records suggest that the Ironmongers, then known as Ferroners, were an effective body in 1300, when they took action against the smiths of the Wealds of Kent and Sussex over the quality of iron supplied for the wheels of carts in the City of London. By 1328 they were regarded as a firmly established brotherhood, joining in the elections of the City officials and choosing four of their members to treat with the Mayor and Sheriffs.The Ironmongers' received a grant of arms in 1455, describing them as the "Honourable Crafte and Fellasship of Fraunchised Men of Iromongers", and a charter of incorporation from Edward IV in 1463, which was reconfirmed in 1558, 1560, 1604 and 1687 by various monarchs.