CollectionYearly Meetings
DescriptionWomen's Meeting:
Epistles and rules of discipline for women's meetings, 1757-1821.

List of twelve 'Rules agreed upon by the National Men's Meeting, 12th May 1757 for the direction of Women's Meeting in the conducting of discipline'.

1 'To see that women friends be diligent in attending meetings of worship and discipline.'
2 'Let women meetings be weightily concerned' with the education of children in the Lord and in their apparel.
3 'When they hear of or observe any of their sex professing with us, that deviate from the plainness of speech, apparel, address or salutations---or whose conversation is in any other respect, is disorderly or unbecoming. The self-denying followers of Jesus Christ, that they appoint suitable members of their Women's Meetings, who are clear and exemplary themselves, to give direction and advise to such'.
4 'In order to prevent clandestine marriage when they hear of or suspect any of their sex keep company with those that are not of our profession or when with those that are without consent of parents or guardians, that they enquire into the truth thereof, and precaution such and where they find their parents, masters or guardians, have not kept their places as they ought, let the Men Friends be acquainted therewith, that they may join in a proper care'.
5 'That they be careful to discharge backbiting, whispering tattling and tale-bearing and deal with those that defend therein'.
6 'That according to the good order [?] Practised in Women's Meeting, they continue to receive presentations of marriages and that two women friends be appointed to inquire concerning the woman's ? And make a report at the second presentation and if nothing appears to obstruct that then the parties be referred to the Men's Meeting, but if anything doth appear upon their inquiry, that the men have notice thereof'.
7 'As the women friends well know the expense of clothing and feeding sickly, infirm or helpless persons and children, they should enquire into the necessities of such especially widows and orphans, and where they cannot relieve themselves, that they make report to Men's Friends, both who such are and what they think a suitable weekly allowance and otherwise'.
8 'Let it be careful observed that Women's meetings appoint two or more overseers who in their turn shall faithfully discharge the meetings care when they shall hear of anything or observe it themselves which shall need their assistance and report to the several women's meetings during their continuance in such service, how they have discharged themselves of the trust reposed in them, also where there are suitable qualified Women Friends, let them be appointed to visit those of their own sex in the families of friends'.
9 'And let care be taken that every particular Monthly Women's Meeting have a book to set down and record business and passages that are done or agreed upon in every monthly meeting'.
10 'Likewise there be a book in every Province for the Quarterly meetings to attend the service of which each Monthly Meeting of Women Friends is desired to appoint a woman friend or more as their representatives who are to be furnished with answers to the queries of that meeting and other things that their meeting may have to offer thereon'.
11 'It is likewise recommended to the monthly meeting to take care that each particular meeting hold a preparative meeting at suitable seasons in the intervals of the monthly meetings'.
12 A spiritual expression giving encouragement to younger women to be good wives, mothers etc. In conclusion it is stated that 'though ye be looked upon as the weaker vessels, yet the strong powerful God, whose strength is made perfect in weakness, he made you bold and valiant soldiers of Jesus Christ', 1 volume.
AccessContact Repository.
Century18th, 19th
Repository NameReligious Society of Friends in Ireland Historical Library
AddressQuaker House Dublin Stocking Lane Rathfarnham Dublin 16
EircodeD16 V3F8
Telephone(01) 499-8003
Repository Web Address