London: Printed and Sold by T. Sowle, 1706. First edition of the works of George Fox (1624-1691), founder of the Society of Friends (Quakers). This is an important collection of over 150 key writings by Fox, published nearly fifty years after his death. With the ink signature of Irish Quaker and linen merchant Thomas Christy Wakefield (1772-1862) on the title-page, with the date 1824. A very good, crisp copy, with an interesting provenance. Contemporary paneled calf, rebacked to style and recornered, new endpapers. Gilt burgundy morocco spine label, edges sprinkled red. Folio. , 167, . -1090,  pp. Item #16895
Very little is known of the early life of George Fox, who was born in Drayton-in-the-Clay (now Fenny Drayton), Leicestershire, the son of a weaver. He rebelled against religious and political authorities and traveled throughout Britain as a dissenting preacher. His travels eventually extended to the Low Countries and North America. He was respected by Thomas Cromwell and William Penn. Fox and Quaker history played a key role in English constitutional history and "in American history they occupy an important place because of the very prominent part which they played in the colonization of New Jersey and Pennsylvania" (Encyc. Brit.). William James remarked in the Varieties of Religious Experience that the Quaker religion was "something more like the original gospel truth than men had ever known in England: (p. 7). Following his death, three major posthumous works were published, his Journal (1794), Collection of...Epistles (1698), and the present work, the largest of the three. "A complete edition of Fox's voluminous writings, both published and unpublished, remains to be achieved" (Oxford DNB).
Thomas Christy Wakefield (1772-1862) was from a Quaker family. Born at Hallswill, now Larencetwon (Laurencetown) House in County Down, he was apprenticed to a linen worker at age fourteen later inherited a linen and bleaching business and substantial property from his grandfather. He was a member of the Dublin Society. He kept a journal, which was published after his death by his daughters as A Brief memoir of Thomas Christy Wakefield (1861). He was a notable collector of armorial porcelain from China. Although there are many copies of this title in libraries, especially older libraries, it is uncommon on the market. Due to its size, when it is available, it is often found with broken hinges or rebound.