The “Tidbits” included in this issue of The Meetinghouse are all taken from transcriptions of meeting minutes recorded at various times and location in the meetings then established in Upper Canada. The excerpts broadly relate to items of business which came before and “claimed the aattention” of the Preparative (PM) or Monthly (MM) meeting. Quaker meetings then, as now, applied considerable attention towards aligning meeting discernment with established principles. As can be seen below, earlier meetings maintained, by common consent, a diligent oversight of all aspects of their members personal behavior. These excerpts provide a glimpse into the hopes and challenges experienced by individuals and meetings in these earlier times. 

Concerning Care of Children (1)

Yonge Street Preparative Meeting 1804- 1862 CYM Archives Designation O-11-1

“The Committee appointed to take into consideration the accomadations on the meeting ground report their sense that it would be right to enclose a yard for each sex the length of the meeting house and 20 feet back with a board fence and a necessary convenience in each apartment, with which this meeting unites. “

Concerning Care of Children (2)

From Leeds MM 1838-55, 0-4-6 image 103 

“Leeds Monthly meeting held at Farmersville 12th 2nd mo 1852

The Comt appointed to collect the information required by the yearly meeting respecting schools report as follows viz  That the most of the schools within our limits at which most of the children of Friends are receiving their Education are Sectional Schools (commonly called District schools) in which no Teachers are Licensed to teach except those of good morrals, as for the religeous character of the schools we think it would be best explained by an extract from the 14th section of the School act which in substance is as follows, nor shall any perfect?

in any such School be required to read or studdy in or from any religious book or join in any exercise of devotion or religion which shall be objected to by his or her parents or gardions and shall be allowed to receive such religious instruction as their parents or gardions may desire

          The number of children of an age suitable to attend school is 14 most of which are attending Sectional Schools 2 friends Boarding School,  We believe they are all in a way to acquire the necessary portion of school learning except one which is incapable of being taught in our schools being deaf and Dum whos care we believe should claim the particular attention of the monthly meeting, Which having been read friends have full unity there with, and in regard to the child alluded to in said report This meeting would taking into consideration the pecuniary state of its members and the lowness of its funds lay her case before the Quarterly meeting for and trust it will claim its particular attention  she is in the strict sence of the word an orphin left by her mother under the care of Friends, her father having been disowned by friends pays no regard to her education nor contributes in any way to wards her support”

 [ Editors note:the  identity of the special needs child has so far not been found. ]

Concerning  Marriage (1)

“At Pelham Monthly Meeting of women friends held at Black creek 4 of 7 mo 182Proposals of marriage were produced to this meeting between Daniel Birdsal and Gulielma Willson with consent of parents this meeting appoints Sarah Spencer and Mary M. Taylor to inquire into Gulielma’s clearness of preengagements and report next month where they are left to appear for an answer”

“At a Monthly Meeting of women friends held at Pelham 1st of 8th Mo. 1827.

The committee appointed to inquire into Gulielma Willsons clearness of preengagements report their is no obstruction on her side, but their is on his and she requests to have their proposals withdrawn with which this meeting concurs”

Concerning Marriage (2)

Pelham MMW 1810-42 H-7-5 reel 42

“Pelham Monthly meeting of women friends held 5 day of 12 mo 1838

The friends to prepare a testification against Mary Hairett forwarded one to this meeting which read approved and signed by the clerks – Hannah Page is appointed to hand her a copy and report

            Mary Hairett Having had a right in membership with friends has so far deviated as to neglect the attendance of meetings and to be dissatisfied with her husband which appears to be without a cause – for which she has been treated with without the desired effect – we therefore disown her her [sic] from being any longer a member amongst us –

            Signed in and by direction of Pelham monthly meeting held the 5 day of 12th mo 1838

                                           Isaac Willson clerk for the day

                                          Ann Morris – clk to the meeting this year”

Concerning Attending Non-Quaker Marriage(3)

Yonge St MM Bk 3 1828-51 H-16-3

“Yonge Street Monthly Meeting of friends held at yonge Street the 15th of 10th mo 1840

This meeting recieved the following communication (to wit)  We the undersigned having attended a marriage of a member who went out from us (the most of) from want of proper consideration and under the impression that from the late alteration and wording the Query in that particular that such attendance was not a breach of Discipline  We therefore request the Overseers to inform the monthly meeting the circumstances and that we are desirous to be found Supporting the Discipline in evry respect as the same is or may be established by the yearly meeting

Signed by  Nathan Dennis, Thomas N Watson, James Armitage  Elizabeth Dennis, Clarissa Watson, Mary Armitage, Elizabeth Phillips, Dorcas Hughes, Edith Hughes  Elmira Armitage  after deleberating on the aforesaid communication the meeting concluded to accept the same as Satisfactory and appointed Peter Willson, Mordica Widdifield, and Samuel Hughes, to inform them of this conclution and report to next meeting”

Concerning Marriage (4)

“Pelham Monthly meeting of women friends held at Black Creek 6th of 1st month 1830

Gulaelma Birdsall formerly Willson had had a right of membership amongst Friend but being so regardless of her right as to accomplish her marrige contrary to our Discipline for which this meeting disouns her and she is not to be considered a member of our society until she condemns the same to the satisfaction of Friends

            Signed in and by order of pelham Monthly Meeting held at black creek the 6th of the first mo 1830

                                                            Isaac Willson } Clerk

                                                            Rebecca L. Pound Clerk for the day”


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