Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Quaker Before William Penn Was A Quaker!

                The wife of John Cutler was Margery Hayhurst (also spelled Hairst and Hearst).  She was born in Easington, Yorkshire, England on March 29, 1671.  She arrived in America on one of William Penn’s ships, with her parents and four siblings in 1682.  The Hayhursts were some of the earliest Quakers in England, including Margery’s parents and grandparents.  They became Quakers in 1652, about fourteen years before William Penn!  Margery's father, Cuthbert Hayhurst III, was in a position of leadership in the church, and suffered persecution for his beliefs.  He was imprisoned several times, including one time for a period of twelve years, 1654-1666.  Cuthbert III and Mary Rudd (or Reed) were married in England in 1666. Imagine their excitement when they heard of the possibility of going to America, where they could worship as they pleased!  Sadly, Cuthbert died in the spring following his arrival to America in 1682, but he died knowing his family would never be persecuted for their beliefs.   As was common with the Quakers, another member wrote a testimony of Cuthbert’s Christian life, which follows:

                “That faithful servant of the Lord, Cuthbert Hayhurst, who departed this life, at his own house in the County of Bucks in Pennsylvania, about the 5th of the 1st month, 1682-83, near the fiftieth year of his age.  He was born at Easington, in Bolland, in the county of York, in Old England, and was one of the worthies in Israel.  My spirit is comforted in a sense of that power, which did attend him in our meetings, for many years in the land of our nativity, and also after he came into these parts; he having been a valiant soldier for the Truth, and borne a faithful testimony to the same, in word, life, and conversation.  He went through many great exercises and imprisonments, and was a comfort unto the faithful and true believers, who follow the Lamb through many tribulations.  He was a worthy instrument in the Lord’s hand against the false teachers and hirelings, going several times to their steeple-houses, and testifying against their deceiving the people.  He also went to several market towns, and, at their crosses, declared and published the Truth as it is in Jesus.  I accompanied him and his dear wife at one of them, where he faithfully warned the people, and exhorted them to repentance; the Divine power and presence eminently attending him, which my soul was made sensible of, to my comfort and satisfaction.

                I can say he was of great service to me and many others, being instrumental in ringing us near unto the Lord, whose name over all we have cause to bless on his behalf; and although his body is gone to the earth, his memorial liveth among the righteous, and I am persuaded his soul is in the enjoyment of peace with the Lord.  I was often with him in the time of his sickness, and beheld his meek, innocent, and lamb-like deportment; being also by his bedside when he departed, which was in a quiet and truly resigned frame, like one falling into a sweet sleep; so that I have great cause to believe he is one of those that died in the Lord, and is at rest with Him for ever.”


Source: U.S. and UK Quaker Published Memorials, 1818-1919.

                Mary died just four years later, when Margery was only 16 years old, in a new country, when both of her parents had died.  She married John Cutler in 1702 and died in 1723.       


For Further Reading:
The History of Bucks County, From the Discovery of the Delaware to the Present Day by William Watts Hart Davis (available on Google Books).      

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