Monday, May 9, 2016

A Baptist Quaker?

                Mercy Stackhouse Lovett’s mother was Margery Cutler Stackhouse.  Margery’s family was also a member of the Society of Friends’ Middletown Monthly Meeting.  Her birth is recorded in the Middletown Minutes as being November 23, 1732.  Her parents were Benjamin and Mercy Cutler, so Margery named her daughter Mercy after her mother.  Another interesting tidbit gleaned from this birth record is that Mercy’s sister, Elizabeth, was born just nine months later.  Margery married Joshua Stackhouse in 1753.  They had at least seven children.  It is interesting that there are two daughters named Agnes, their oldest and their youngest.  This was not unusual, for when a child died early in their life, another child was named that same name.

                There is a record of Joshua and Margery “removing” their membership from the Middletown Monthly Meeting to the Buckingham Monthly Meeting.  This could indicate that they indeed, had moved to a different property, or it could simply be that the Middletown Monthly Meeting had grown so large, that smaller congregations were started from it.  I did find an article that said Buckingham was “set off from Falls in 1720.”  A beautiful stone meeting house was built in 1768, which served as a model for many future Quaker meeting houses.  The Buckingham Meeting House is still in use each week, having services at 10:30 on Sunday.  It is located at 5684 York Road in Lahaska, PA on Route 202 and 263.  The building was used as a hospital during the Revolutionary War.
Buckingham Meeting House
Location of Society of Friends Meeting Houses in Eastern PA

                Benjamin Cutler, Margery’s father, was born in 1709 as recorded in the Middletown Meeting records.  He married Mercy Bills in 1731.  His parents were John Cutler and Margery Hayhurst. 
John and his brother, Edmond, arrived on the ship “Rebecca” in 1685.  They came bearing a letter of recommendation from the Quaker meeting in Settle, England.  Edmond came with his wife and three children, but John was single and had to be “cleared” as having no marital obligations left back in England.  Some researcher believe that John was employed by William Penn in England.  In America, he worked as a surveyor, schoolmaster, and coroner.  He brought two servants with him, not slaves, but two young men who probably agreed to work for him for a certain period of time in exchange for their passage being paid. 

     This is a rather difficult family to research because there are so many women named Mercy and Margery, and so many men in the area named John and Benjamin Cutler.  I believe it is “our” John Cutler, who was disciplined for following the teachings of the “Keithian Quakers.”  The Quakers believed that everyone has an “inner light” leading them to spiritual truth and did not believe in any sacraments, such as baptism, or preaching from the Scripture.  A split in Quaker faith was led by a man named George Keith, who taught from the Scriptures, believed in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, and led followers in believer’s baptism.  The Keithians later became part of the Baptist denomination for the most part.  John recanted his Keithian beliefs and was accepted back into the Middletown Monthly Meeting. 
Difficult to read, but an apology from John Cutler for following
the Keithian teachings and asking to be reinstated in the
Middletown Monthly Meeting.

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