the friend online
22 December 2006


Joshua Whiting: citizen, countryman & Quaker - preview

The Diary of Joshua Whiting from 1861 to 1873, compiled by Sarah Graham (Sessions, £10 from the Quaker bookshop).

Here's an affectionate picture of a Quaker community, playing its part in the life of a small Hertfordshire town, Hitchin, at a time when the Society was approaching the end of its long period of introversion and decline, and unaware of the renewal which was to come at the end of the century

  • To settle down to read Joshua Whiting's diary of these twelve years is an experience both calming and stimulating
  • It is not a 'spiritual journal' such as many Friends have kept, but a simple record of a very simple existence
  • The continuing themes are Joshua's garden and its produce through the changing seasons, his bee-keeping enthusiasm, and the lively human web of his connections with relatives, townsfolk and the meeting
  • All this is underpinned, first, by his beloved wife Rebecca and second, by a secure job as a clerk (for forty years) at 'the Bank', the enterprise of prosperous Quakers of the town, which was to become Barclays in 1896
  • If such a restricted life seems far distant, and of little interest today in our over-stimulated life of travel, job contracts, television, email and mobiles, let me assure you that the contrast is a tonic and the Diary simply breathes contentment

  • David Firth

    This is a preview of the full article - to see the whole thing, or to post a comment you need to login, or alternatively you could try a free sample!


    This week's .pdf
    In this week's online edition... rss edition

    News round-up

    Clare Marie White
    Crocodiles & cobras for the Christmas holidays
    Rowena Loverance
    An orthodox Christian perspective on Christmas
    Ian J Prior
    Thoughts from the river
    Barbara Mitchels
    Welcome to Quaker Writers, the new Friend adventure

    Quakers & Buddhists together
    Clare Griffin
    The Grimké sisters
    John Lampen
    Doing December Differently
    Judy Kirby
    Be ye doers of the word…
    David Boulton
    Joshua Whiting: citizen, countryman & Quaker
    David Firth
    Christmas Spirit
    Sally Aspden
    Philani’s work
    Fiona Burtt

    Things to do, where to stay, people to see etc...

    download this issue

    save this page

    most recent comments:
    Letters, Ala
    Quaker approach to business under the spotlight, David Hitchin
    Tackling the pay gap from both ends, anonymous poster
    Some more equal than others?, anonymous poster
    Climate Camp experience, Frances Laing
    Climate Camp experience, Frances Laing
    The centrality of worship, Andrew Hatton, Maldon LM, Essex
    In the care of the Meeting?, chrissie hinde
    Lockerbie grief and justice, Jennifer Barraclough
    The centrality of worship, Peter Arnold
    The top ten reasons (plus three) why bottled water is a blessing, Fee Berry
    Letters, David Hitchin
    Marriage and committed relationships, Fee Berry
    George Fox and same gender partnership, Chris Bagley
    Marriage and committed relationships, Chris Bagley
    Meeting for meditation?, Barry
    Meeting for ‘weorthscipe’?, Gerard Guiton
    Report shows that all is not well in multicultural Britain, chrissie hinde
    Johann Sebastian Bach and the Jews, Peter Arnold
    Prisons: our growth industry, Peer Arnold

    Save on your phone bills with:
    the phone co-op - your voice counts