The Story of James Naylor, The Most Controversial Quaker

During the time of George Fox, Quaker — and the Valiant Sixty — James Nayler (or Naylor) was a powerful and respected Quaker preacher, who, at the beginning of the formation of the Religious Society of Friends, traveled extensively preaching the Quaker message and writing prolifically.

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During the time of George Fox, Quaker — and the Valiant Sixty — James Nayler (or Naylor) was a powerful and respected Quaker preacher, who, at the beginning of the formation of the Religious Society of Friends, traveled extensively preaching the Quaker message and writing prolifically.

After being in prison in Exeter, Nayler and a group of followers traveled North, embodying “signs” in each town they came across, eventually getting arrested in Bristol. Nayler was tried in front of Parliament and convicted of high blashphemy, whipped through the streets of London, branded with a ‘B’ and had a hole bored through his tongue with a hot iron.

I first discovered Nayler while working on my Senior project for the Quaker Leadership Scholars Program (QLSP) at Guilford College. The project (and this song especially) convinced me of Quakerism.

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