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The Norfolk Controversy

In 1698 a meeting was held in St. Andrew's Church West Dereham between the Norfolk Clergy and the Quakers. It was the result of a series of letters between the two parties.

The Rector of Barton Bendish was Laurence Parke who also preached in West Dereham Church. Apparently he had preached against the Quakers for a number of years.Another key figure was Frances Bugg an apostate of the Quakers who had written several books against them.

Neither side admitted to being the first challengers but the Norfolk clergy (John Meriton, Lancaster Topcliffe, Laurence Parke) accused the Quakers of blasphemy.

The meeting began at 10 am on the morning of December 8th and lasted until 4 pm

Both sides issued pamphlets and books subsequent to the meeting detailing their viewpoints. Use the links on the left to access these.