on the topographical origins of the quakers

so we’ve seen that the earliest quakers were from the north of england, mostly from the geographical highland zone of england, but there were also quite a few from the intermediate zone. this distribution doesn’t seem to have changed all that much over time — from Albion’s Seed [AS – kindle locations 7308-7310]:

This was the region [the six counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lancashire, east Cheshire, west Yorkshire and southern Westmorland] where the Quakers first appeared. It long remained their strongest base. The founder, George Fox (1624-91), was a Leicestershire weaver’s son who developed his doctrine of the Inner Light by 1646 and made his early converts mostly in the North Midlands. By the year 1654, 85 percent of Quaker meetings were in the northern counties of England.7

footnote 7 [kindle locations 24244-24247]:

“Pratt, ‘English Quakers and the First Industrial Revolution,’ 53-65; especially helpful is chap. 3, ‘The Geography of Nonconformity,’ which concludes that ‘the Quakers had always been a northern religion.’ By the end of the 17th century, there were Quakers in every English county and city. In the 18th century, many Quakers moved south to London and Birmingham. But the largest number remained north and west of the River Trent.”

andrew mentioned a couple of weeks ago (thanks, andrew!) that hackett-fischer and other researchers have pointed out that this region of england saw a lot of viking settlement. from AS [kindle locations 7285-7290]:

“This region shared a common cultural condition, and also a common history. The North Midlands, more than any other part of England, had been colonized by Viking invaders. Historian Hugh Barbour writes, ‘…in the central region of the North, the Pennine moorland, where Quakerism was strongest, the villages were mainly Norse in origin and name, and Norse had been spoken there in the Middle Ages. From the Norsemen came the custom of moots, or assemblies in the open at a standing-stone or hilltop grave, which may have influenced the Quakers’ love for such meeting places. The Norse custom was individual ownership of houses and fields: the Norman system of feudal manors imposed in the twelfth century was always resented.’3

naturally! (~_^)

the locations of scandinavian place-names in england are certainly awfully suspicious (see also maps on this page):

scandinavian place-names in england

and the genetics backs this up as well (see also oppenheimer).

taking a look again at the map of the distribution of early quakers in england, a viking-quaker connection could explain the absence of quakers in northumberland — doesn’t look like too many vikings settled in that region.

but why no quakers in lincolnshire? or what looks like the southern parts of lancashire? or not really south of the severn-trent line either?

i’m going to go with topography (map adapted from this one):

england topography - quakers

quakerism seems to have developed, and been the most successful … yes … in areas of viking settlement in england, but more specifically in upland areas having had viking settlement. and uplanders (and other populations livining in remote, marginal environments) appear to have a tendency towards close matings.

here’s more from AS on how the quakers were uplanders [kindle locations 7311-7326]:

The Quakers were most numerous in the poorest districts of this impoverished region. In Cheshire, for example, Quaker emigrants to Pennsylvania came not from the rich and fertile plains in the center and southwest of the county, but mostly from the high ridges and deep valleys on the eastern fringe of the county. This was rough country, with settlements that bore names such as Bosely Cloud and Wildboarclough. In the seventeenth century, much of this region was still densely wooded, the ‘last refuge in England of the wolf and the boar.’ The climate was more severe than in the lowlands — with bitter ‘close mists’ that settled in the valleys, and the dreaded ‘wireglass’ that glazed the ridges and killed many an unwary traveler. The sense of desolation was deepened by the forbidding appearance of small isolated farmhouses, constructed of a harsh gray-black millstone. On the steep slopes of eastern Cheshire, they may still be seen to this day.8

In Nottinghamshire, the Quakers came not from the rich alluvial lands of the Trent Valley, but from the craggy uplands. The men of the Monyash monthly meeting once wrote, ‘…we are a poor, unworthy and despised people, scattered amongst the rocky mountains and dern valleys of the high peak country.’9 In Derbyshire, the pattern was also much the same. Here the Quakers lived mostly in the ‘coal measures’ on the east side of the county, and also in the Peak District. Comparatively few came from South Derbyshire.10

In the West Riding of Yorkshire, Quakers tended to be poor dalesmen who lived in places such as Lotherdale, a secluded valley on the border between Yorkshire and Lancashire. In the seventeenth century this area was described as ‘perfectly inaccessible by road.’ Remoteness was indeed one of its attractions. Some Quakers fled there to escape their persecutors.11
_____

what’s the history of the mating patterns in these regions? not sure.

the area would’ve been part of the anglo-saxon kingdoms of northumbria and mercia — and, later, the danelaw obviously. were there any discouragements against cousin marriage in those centuries? no idea.

had the vikings — who came from both norway (mostly to the west coast of england) and denmark (mostly to the east coast) — been marrying close cousins? don’t know. they were certainly at least somewhat clannish having feuding and wergeld systems and all that — but did they have strong clans like the irish and the scots? or did they have looser kindreds more like the other germanic populations? dunno, but i intend to find out!

fast-forward a bit to mid-1500s-1600s cumbria — which definitely had quakers in the 1650s — and folks in that part of the world did have a tendency to marry closely, although i don’t know if we’re talking first and/or second cousins here. from AS [kindle location 10809]:

“In many cases the husband and wife both came from the same clan. In the Cumbrian parish of Hawkshead, for example, both the bride and groom bore the same last names in 25 percent of all marriages from 1568 to 1704.”

hmmmm. was the rest of the region where quakers appeared like that? don’t know.

further to the south in myddle in shropshire — a town which supplied some later quakers to the new world and a county which appears to be mostly in the geographic intermediate zone — barry levy says that young people of the 1600s often defied their parents in deciding whom they would marry [Quakers and the American Family: British Settlement in the Delaware Valley – kindle locations 555-557]:

“When Richard Gough’s gossip about courtship in seventeenth-century Myddle is systematized, it suggests that love-matches were common; that the children of poorer tenant farmers were more likely than the children of gentry to both initiate their own marriages and to rebel if necessary against parents or kin; and that they were less likely to be placed into marriages by parents and relatives.”

that, to me, sounds as though perhaps cousin marriage was not common in this region of england, since cousin marriage and arranged marriages often go hand-in-hand. was this pattern typical of the areas that quakers came from? or was the cumbria pattern more typical? cumbria’s a much more upland region, so perhaps the answer is that it varied. again, dunno.

one thing’s for certain, though — in the new world, quakers banned first cousin marriage — and frowned upon second cousin marriage [AS – kindle locations 7904-7907]:

“Quakers also condemned dynastic marriages which were made for material gain. They forbade first-cousin marriages which were commonplace in Virginia. During the eighteenth century, many Quaker meetings even discouraged unions between second cousins — a major restriction in small rural communities, and an exceptionally difficult problem for the Delaware elite.6

was this a continuation of how they had done things back in england? it’s likely, yes, but the important question is: for how long had these northern english populations been avoiding cousin marriage?

previously: geographical origin of the quakers and the myddle people and the radical reformation and random notes: 07/30/13 and the flatlanders vs. the mountain people and consanguinity in england – north vs. south

(note: comments do not require an email. quakers!)

35 Comments

  1. Here is the tricky part.

    Even if mating patterns cause certain cultural patterns, what were the cultural or other environmental conditions that caused a change in mating patterns in the first place? You get to the problem of it maybe being turtles all the way down with each cause being an effect of a previous cause(s).

    This is particularly complicated with subjects like this where thousands of years of factors have to be considered and most of the factors over that time period are unknown or immeasurable. Furthermore, with all the factors considered, the relationship between them requires immense speculation. All you can do is look for patterns and similarities to other more well understood examples.

    The study of cultures ends up being more of an art than a science. You can scientifically study small parts of cultures, but putting the pieces together requires a lot of subjective judgment. I’m a person who loves pattern-seeking and so this doesn’t bother me. Other people, however, find the act of correlating diverse patterns less compelling, especially those more strictly adherent to ‘hard’ science. The ways those patterns could be correlated are only limited by our imaginations. I’m not sure how to determine probability of correlations in cases like this.

    Motivations for human behavior such as mating patterns are hard to objectively calculate as they are of subjective and inter-subjective experience. These people are long dead and so the psychological and sociological is almost entirely inaccessible to us at this point. In intellectual humility, all we can say is we think a change in mating pattern happened, but we could be wrong and we can’t be sure why it happened or what it meant at the time. Not very satisfying, but limited raw data rarely is satisfying.

    The fun part is the speculation, of course.

    Reply

  2. For everyone’s education; “dern” is an archaic word meaning ‘out-of-the-way, wild, dark, sombre’. The second edition of the Oxford English dictionary doesn’t give a relevant meaning for wireglass (for “wire-glass” it describes glass with wire threaded through it), and I can’t find anything helpful when I Google™ it with ‘fog’. I’ve looked for alternatives, and my suspicion is that it’s an error in ‘Albion’s Seed’.

    Reply

  3. @wijjy – “I think you should consider the possibility that it is more old Welsh (pre Anglo Saxon English) than Viking. Cumbria is one of the few places where ‘Welsh’ placenames are still present.”

    ah! thank you. (^_^) yes, i will keep that in mind.

    i don’t know where to draw a (what was obviously very porous) border between where the anglo-saxons settled/predominated and where mostly the britons/natives were left. and i don’t know that anybody knows where it sould be drawn. anybody know?

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  4. @aidan – “The second edition of the Oxford English dictionary doesn’t give a relevant meaning for wireglass (for ‘wire-glass’ it describes glass with wire threaded through it), and I can’t find anything helpful when I Google™ it with ‘fog’. I’ve looked for alternatives, and my suspicion is that it’s an error in ‘Albion’s Seed’.”

    huh. nope — no “wireglass” in my oed, either (it is just the shorter oed, however). weird!

    Reply

  5. @benjamin – “Here is the tricky part. Even if mating patterns cause certain cultural patterns, what were the cultural or other environmental conditions that caused a change in mating patterns in the first place? You get to the problem of it maybe being turtles all the way down with each cause being an effect of a previous cause(s).”

    yes, that is the tricky part. (^_^)

    i have said before that i recognize that biology and culture (i was talking more specifically about ideology at the time) feed back into each other.

    culture, although i think it is to a substantial degree influenced by genetics (like i said, genetics influences the “flavors” of cultures), is also, obviously, our environment. part of our environment. and an organism’s environment is what puts selection pressures on it — selection for genes. so, yes — ’round and ’round we go in a very, very complicated system — absolutely yes!

    i’m obviously very interested in following the genetics thread through all of this, but i do understand and acknowledge that environment is very important, too — culture being a part of that. biology is genetics+environment — the one means little or nothing without the other when you’re trying to figure out how organisms behave and evolve.

    i think the genetics thread is crucial to understand because this is where our limitations come from. neither you nor i can fly our way out of harm’s way (without some sort of machine) because we’re just not built that way — we don’t have the genetics for wings (dr*t!). similarly, some peoples are going to have a harder time than other peoples in building trusting societies because, on average, they seem to be given to cheating and corruption (and some of that’s due to clannishness, i think). it’s a limitation — a genetic limitation to culture. that’s all.

    @benjamin – “The study of cultures ends up being more of an art than a science.”

    absolutely!

    (and, once again, for anyone out there who thinks that i think that i’m doing science … no … i do NOT think that, thankuverymuch.)

    @benjamin – “You can scientifically study small parts of cultures, but putting the pieces together requires a lot of subjective judgment.”

    yes. (^_^)

    @benjamin – “…all we can say is we think a change in mating pattern happened….”

    with many nw european groups we can say that, definitely, a change in mating patterns happened. the church and tptb wouldn’t have gone through all the trouble that they did in banning cousin marriages if cousin marriages hadn’t have been happening — the historians are in agreement about this. there was a good deal of cousin marriage in northwestern europe pre-christianity, and now there’s next to none.

    @benjamin – “Even if mating patterns cause certain cultural patterns….”

    remember that it’s not just mating patterns=certain cultural patterns.

    it’s: mating patterns alter selection pressures + those new selection pressures = certain (broad) cultural patterns [see here].

    Reply

  6. @hbd chick – Let me be clear. I didn’t intend my comment as a criticism. If I didn’t appreciate your intellectual humility, I would feel little interest to comment here.

    My comment was more just me thinking out loud. I’m fascinated by all of this, but I’m never sure what to think of it.

    There were all these cultures that were mixing in the centuries and millennia preceding the Quakers, in particular the Britons and Vikings. Out of the population of Northern England, a small percentage became Quakers. Among those Quakers, some went to the colonies where many ended up in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylania, they were a small minority whose cultural influence was greater than their direct genetic influence.

    To then more fully understand Pennsylvania, you also have to trace all the othe influential groups that shaped the society. You have to also figure out the complicated histories of at least the Germans. I know even less about the specific Germans than I do about the Quakers.

    My interest begins with Midlands. Tracing all this background forms a tangled web. It is hard to know what culture means in all these interconnected factors. It is like looking at the eddies and currents of a river and from that trying to determine the shape and consistecy of the rocks below and where upstream they tumbled from.

    It is this difficulty that makes it so enticing. These patterns emerge in the data and they begin to take particular shape when overlaid on various maps. But what was going on at the time that are behind it all? Trying to comprehend a historical culture is the near impossible task of getting into the minds of a long gone people.

    Something like Quaker pacifism really is a mystery. In all this data, I can’t see why pacifism took hold among some people here. Why didn’t it take hold with other people from the same area? And why didn’t it take hold with other similar people from other areas? The Quakers don’t quite fit the expected pattern of semi-clannish poor people living in rural highlands. What made them shift from the typical behavior of this type of people?

    Reply

  7. Pacifism seems like one of those emergent results that can’t be predicted by the preceding factors and conditions.

    As a culture becomes less clannish, something like pacifism becomes more probable or maybe just less improbable. Quakers came out of a society that was still semi-clannish and the Quaker elite in Pennsylvania also seemed to be still acting semi-clannish, a clan ruling over other clans, although with a developing strain of non-clannishness. Even among the most non-cannish societies, pacifism as an official doctrine is extremely uncommon.

    I can’t think of many things stranger than Quaker pacifism. The only stranger thing among American religious groups would be the Shaker practice of non-breeding. Beginning in the 1780s, many of the Shaker communities lasted well into the 20th century with 12 left in 1920 and supposedly one still operating today with a few members. It is impressive to keep a society going that long without its members having children.

    The wild card for Quakers is William Penn. For example, as a young man in France, Penn was influenced by a French Hugenot theologian with whom Penn studied at a French Protestant academy. Later with his colony, he placed advertisements in France that were written in French. Because of this, Pennsylvania had a French Hugenot settlement.

    Quakers had diverse theological influences and seemed to have quickly become an international religion. Quakers are inflenced both by Calvinists and Anabaptists, but is itself neither. It is hard to know which influences were most predominant, both among Quakers overall and in terms of individual Quaker leaders. There was more to Quakers than merely the cultural region of Northern England.

    Reply

  8. I don’t think it’s helpful for comprehension of modern political tendencies to go back to the not very numerous Viking settlers the North of England. I have read US Quakers mainly originated from Wales and ireland. Many of the Irish ones were English settlers and soldiers in Ireland who converted. So those US-Irish Quakers definitely did not become tender-minded pacifists as a result of their Quaker marriage practices. They were self selected. This, and the transportation of criminals to the south is a problem with all Albion’s Seed type arguments.

    Reply

  9. @ hbd chick: “i don’t know where to draw a (what was obviously very porous) border between where the anglo-saxons settled/predominated and where mostly the britons/natives were left. and i don’t know that anybody knows where it sould be drawn. anybody know?”

    Depends who to believe in terms of estimates of possible numbers of migrants. Based on genetics Oppenheimer suggests migrations from the same regions long before 5th century, possibly going back as far as mesolithic. I’m inclined toward the view that Anglo-Saxon impact was more cultural than genetic, and that there was no large scale invasion. Brythonic river names and place name roots, or hybridised Anglo-Saxon/Brythonic place names turn up all over the country, but it was the far western side of Britain where Anglo-Saxon cultural impact was weakest.

    Here are a couple of interesting sites:-

    http://www.proto-english.org/

    “English was not imported by the Anglo-Saxons..”

    http://hysterical.foxearth.org.uk/2011/01/celtic-origins-for-east-anglian-place.html

    “Celtic Origins for East-Anglian place-names?”

    Reply

  10. @sean – It could be problematic, but I’m thnking it is more of a complication. There are lots of pieces of the puzzle and even more pieces missing.

    No one can be an expert in everything. There are just too many factors behind culture for one person to comprehend and one theory to contain.

    This can be frustrating, but I don’t think someone like Fischer should be criticized for attempting the near impossible task of gathering as many pieces as could be found and coherently pieced together. There probably will always be more pieces to be found and new ways to put them together.

    Since Fischer’s work, there have been many new pieces and theories considered. It is about time for a new synthesis.

    Reply

  11. @chris – “Maybe ‘wireglass’ is derived from French ‘verglas’”

    @aidan – “The OED does have verglas; apparently a more usual English word for the phenomenon is ‘silver thaw.’”

    ah ha! excellent. thanks, chris! (^_^)

    @aidan – “Wieder was gelernt bei hbdchick!”

    mich auch! (~_^)

    Reply

  12. @chris – “Depends who to believe in terms of estimates of possible numbers of migrants.”

    yes, tricky. =/

    oppenheimer’s got a lot of great data in his book, but i don’t know if i believe his theory of a greater germanic north sea area including england/britain. maybe. can’t decide.

    personally, i like the anglo-saxon invasion theory — maybe not of suuuuch an enormous scale, but a good-sized one anyway. that would fit the historic accounts of the day — and i like all those old accounts. could be wrong, though. they may have been exaggerating their dire circumstances to make them seem more dire.

    *sigh* tricky. =/

    Reply

  13. @benjamin – “My comment was more just me thinking out loud.”

    no problem! (^_^) i was just thinking out loud right back at ya. (^_^)

    @benjamin – “Out of the population of Northern England, a small percentage became Quakers.”

    yes. this important for us (me!) to remember. the quakers were, of course, a self-sorted group — and a minority out of the broader population. still, i think that they can tell us something — a little, anyway — about that broader population, since they seem to have arisen out of that northern england population and not really anywhere else. they didn’t arise in east anglia. they didn’t arise in cornwall. they didn’t arise in ireland. and they certainly didn’t arise in the arabian peninsula. (~_^) the quakers must be indicative of something unique in that population.

    @benjamin – “You have to also figure out the complicated histories of at least the Germans. I know even less about the specific Germans than I do about the Quakers.”

    you and me, both! and i agree — we need to understand the germans — and those sub-populations of germans in particular (the “familists” that luke mentioned a couple of weeks ago). they are absolutely on my “to do” list (along with everyone else on the planet — heh!).

    Reply

  14. @benjamin – “Something like Quaker pacifism really is a mystery. In all this data, I can’t see why pacifism took hold among some people here. Why didn’t it take hold with other people from the same area? And why didn’t it take hold with other similar people from other areas? The Quakers don’t quite fit the expected pattern of semi-clannish poor people living in rural highlands. What made them shift from the typical behavior of this type of people?”

    the pacifism thing is really interesting, and thank you for mentioning it repeatedly to draw it to my attention, because it wasn’t really something i was thinking much about (i often need to be bashed over the head repeatedly to get me to notice something, so feel free! — that goes for all ya’ll out there! (~_^) ).

    first, i think we should remember that the quakers are a self-sorted bunch, so they are (among) the individuals in that northern england (and ne wales) population that didn’t like violence — but as you said in another comment somewhere, there were other pacifists out there pre-dating the appearance of the quakers, too, so pacifism was starting to be in the air (i actually don’t know anything about this, but i’ll take your word for it).

    i’m going to throw a speculation out there and propose that the reason only some people in northern england (all of england?) at that time were pacifists is because we’re looking at a population in transition. or, perhaps, even more correctly, we’re looking at a snapshot in time (populations are nearly always — or are often — in transition … eh, maybe mostly the ones affected by the agricultural revolution?).

    i don’t know if you’ve read pinker’s Better Angels, but he made a big point of the steadily declining rates of violence/homicide in england/nw europe beginning in the 1200s. i posted about those declining rates here.

    one biological/genetical theory for why this happened (and one in which i put a lot of stock) is that, once the state took over meting out justice in the form of executions for violent crimes — as opposed simply retribution in the form of wergeld payments — the rates of violent crimes went down because violent criminals and their violent genes were taken out of the gene pool.

    i think that sounds pretty right/likely, but i don’t think it’s the whole story. i think my inbreeding/outbreeding theory applies here as well because, i theorize, if you take the “clannishness” out of a population by outbreeding them, there will just be less fighting/homicides because fighting/killing is a part of what it means to be clannish. (and this is why we see, in europe, the homicide rates going down in england first, scandinavia later, and italy last — that’s exactly the pattern that the history of outbreeding in europe would predict.) also, why would people begin to put their faith in a state at all when they could handle things in their usual clannish ways? i think because they weren’t so clannish anymore.

    anyway — back to pacifism — if the population of england (europe) did have violent/homicidal tendencies bred out of them via 1) removing the worst offenders from the population and 2) outbreeding (i like the idea of a combination of both of those), then it wouldn’t be strange to see pacifism arising in these populations. peaceful, nonviolent individuals would’ve been the ones to succeed and reproduce the most in this brave new world, and, perhaps, their decendents were just quite pacifistic in their natures.

    if this is at all right, then pacifism should’ve arisen earliest in europe in 1) those areas that had the earliest, strongest states which implemented capital punishment and/or 2) those areas that had the longest, strongest history of outbreeding. no idea if this is the case or not.

    that not everybody in northern england became pacifists like the quakers is probably just a reflection of the fact that there is always variation in every population — not everyone is average. in fact, the quakers might’ve been rather unaverage for their region in this regard.

    Reply

  15. @benjamin – “In Pennsylania, they were a small minority whose cultural influence was greater than their direct genetic influence.”

    certainly some of the things that the quakers did in pennsylvania/the midlands seriously affected the culture of that region for generations afterward — some of the most important must be the civic/legal institutions that they established. people who subsequently settled in the region would’ve had to adapt their behaviors/behavioral inclinations to those institutions.

    but i really think it’s important, too, to remember that people self-sort themselves — at least in the new world they have, when they could. those individuals who were attracted by the ways and customs of the midlands would move there! and those who didn't like it would move out. self-sorting — very important, i think.

    Reply

  16. “I think you should consider the possibility that it is more old Welsh (pre Anglo Saxon English) than Viking. Cumbria is one of the few places where “Welsh” placenames are still present.”

    Agree. That’s not to say the Viking element isn’t relevant – both sets btw – the Vikings who settled Dublin and were later expelled and settled in NW England

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Scandinavian_Dublin

    and the Danes from the other direction. Cumbria is itself a Welsh-derived word and part of the relatively late conquered Brythonic kingdom of Rheged.

    So you have quite a mix but i’d imagine given the sequence of conquest is brythonic – saxon – viking that the people living in margina terrain on the hill-tops were either had brythonic roots or were a brythonic-saxon mix.

    Taking that idea I think “wireglass” could be welsh / brythonic as from the context

    “with bitter ‘close mists’ that settled in the valleys, and the dreaded ‘wireglass’ that glazed the ridges and killed many an unwary traveler”

    it sounds like it might be a word for a killer icy mist or fog and as “glass” can be an anglicization of the gaelic word for warrior or soldier as in gallowglass

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallowglass

    – so “mist-warrior” or “mist-killer” maybe. You’d need to know those languages to know if there was a word which could plausibly be anglicized to “wire” though.

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  17. “i don’t know where to draw a (what was obviously very porous) border between where the anglo-saxons settled/predominated and where mostly the britons/natives were left. and i don’t know that anybody knows where it sould be drawn. anybody know?”

    Bede and the anglo-saxon chronicle say there was a fairly dramatic mass invasion including families which took over most of the eastern half or third of the country. The second half of the process was much more piecemeal, carried out a little at a time by gangs of younger sons including taking more wives from among the conquered and thereby becoming more mixed saxon-brythonic on an east to west cline. That fits the facts as far as i can see. Place-names for example are mostly saxon but not all and with the proportion of pre-saxon ones increasing as you go west.

    Which to me, if the Quakers originally came from peoples pushed into the most marginal terrain in the northwest then i think they’d be more likely to have brythonic roots or after the Viking conquests maybe a mixture of brythonic and saxon.

    Reply

  18. “Brythonic river names and place name roots, or hybridised Anglo-Saxon/Brythonic place names turn up all over the country, but it was the far western side of Britain where Anglo-Saxon cultural impact was weakest.”

    The vast majority of place-names are saxon so either there was an invasion or most of the England was speaking Anglo-Saxon without there being an invasion.

    Reply

  19. dreaded ‘wireglass’ that glazed the ridges and killed many an unwary traveler.

    “A moderately-transparent bluish green with low stability. Often mixed with, or glazed over lead white or lead-tin yellow because of its transparency.

    verdigris – old french vertegreze

    “. It’s a copper acetate, used often, from antiquity through the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque. Today is rarely sold as an artists pigment due to its toxic nature.Verdigris was the most vibrant green available until the 19th century. The most reactive and unstable of all the copper pigments often aging to a dark brown or black.”

    Maybe it’s a stretch but I can certainly see how ice on the green landscape might bring the pigment to mind. But would the people who lived there have seen Roman verdigris objects?

    Kate

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  20. @ Greying Wanderer: “The vast majority of place-names are saxon so either there was an invasion or most of the England was speaking Anglo-Saxon without there being an invasion.”

    I agree more with the latter view. Clearly migrations from the Jutland peninsula region took place in the early 5th century, and their cultural impact was significant. But based on genetics [see Oppenheimer, etc.] I believe that it was in the context of a series of longer term migrations, including trading voyages or raids, stretching right back into prehistory.

    One need only consider the trade in Baltic amber during the Bronze Age. An example of this is Wessex Culture:-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wessex_culture

    “The Wessex culture is the predominant prehistoric culture of central and southern Britain during the early Bronze Age…
    ..They appear to have had wide ranging trade links with continental Europe, importing amber from the Baltic, jewellery from modern day Germany, gold from Brittany as well as daggers and beads from Mycenaean Greece and vice versa..”

    According to the British Museum:-

    “having considered patterns of amber exploitation over a wider area of Europe, Beck and Shennan (1991) concluded that most of the British Early Bronze Age amber would have come from beyond the North Sea..”

    See:- Chapter 8: Networks of Contact, Exchange and Meaning; the Beginning of the Channel Bronze Age (Stuart Needham)

    http://www.britishmuseum.org/pdf/8%20Chapt.pdf

    Decorated tin-bronze axes of British/Irish origin have been found in southern Scandinavia and northern central Europe.

    Bronze Age metal objects found in Sweden were found to have come from mines or ore deposits in the British Isles, but also from Cyprus, Sardinia, the Iberian Peninsula, the Massif Central in France, and the Tyrol:-

    http://dienekes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/links-between-mycenaeans-and-scandinavia.html

    In fact, this was all part of the wider cultural complex referred to as the Atlantic Bronze Age:-

    “Commercial contacts extended from Sweden[2] and Denmark to the Mediterranean.[1] The period was defined by a number of distinct regional centres of metal production, unified by a regular maritime exchange of some of their products. The major centres were southern England and Ireland, north-western France, and western Iberia.[3]..”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Bronze_Age

    So this is why I’m more inclined to consider the likelihood of cultural and genetic influence from the regions of northern Germany, northern Netherlands, and southern Scandinavia as being part of a pattern that began long before the early 5th century.

    Reply

  21. @chrisdavies

    I agree with most of that. I think there was a base Atlantic population spreading from Northern Iberia to Southern Scandinavia which had originally been part of the same cultural complex going back to megalithism and who were very similar genetically.

    I think what has happened is because historians in the past *assumed* there were distinct genetic differences as well as cultural differences between these labelled populations: brythonic, pictish, saxon etc, that now they’re finding limited genetic difference they’re assuming these groups were one happy family.

    Personally I think these populations were genetically similar and had been for a very long time (with varying amounts of later Germanic admixture) but that doesn’t stop tribes fighting.

    The only reason there’s a debate over the traditional view (lots of big invasions) is an earlier assumption was wrong i.e. that the Saxons and Danes and Normans were distinctly Germanic and the Britons distinctly Celtic. I think they were all part Atlantic and part Germanic but in varying proportions, hence the confusing genetic signal.

    That’s my opinion anyway.

    Reply

  22. @hbd chick – “the quakers must be indicative of something unique in that population.”

    Exactly! That is what I keep thinking about. I see all these patterns in the data and I wonder what is the unique meeting point out of which Quakers arose. It is more obvious how they are a product of their environment in some ways and less so in other ways.

    “we need to understand the germans — and those sub-populations of germans in particular (the “familists” that luke mentioned a couple of weeks ago).”

    Yeah. I forgot about the familists. They do sound influential on the Puritan controversy, on Quakers, Baptists, etc. There is also the relationship the French Hugenots who influenced both the German Pietists and the Quakers. There are also the Hutterites, Moravians, Mennonites and Amish, but I don’t know what significant influence they may or may not have had.

    From what I gather, along with the English religious dissenters, these earlier religious groups would be the origins of many Quaker beliefs. The familists had something akin to pacifism that went back to the 16th century, but I don’t know if it was ever full-fledged pacifism. They were called the Family of Love. They sought survival by being conformist, inoffensive and unthreatening. Quakers took a less reserved tactic, but similarly Quakers tried to make clear to the government that they weren’t a political threat and so shouldn’t be persecuted as political dissidents.

    Looking at some of the buildings of the German groups, I was reminded of something I’ve seen discussed before.

    The German immigrants thought in the long-term. They built these massive stone buildings that are still standing centuries later. Their farming practices were similar in using sustainable practices for they often assumed their own descendants would still be working the same land.

    The Celtic people such as the Scots-Irish were very different. They were known to live in shacks, sometimes with one side without a wall. It just never occurred to most of them to build houses that would last centuries. Besides, they didn’t know how to build houses that would last for centuries. They also didn’t know how to farm sustainably which was an endless problem in the South with soil depletion and constant migration looking for new land. This brings to mind my own Lowland Scottish ancestors, the Peebles. Their name meant tent-dwellers for they were used to their homes being destroyed and so built homes that were designed to be destroyed with pits below them to hide family members.

    The Germans also built their cultures to last and they went to great effort to preserve their cultures. They resisted assimilation like few other ethnic groups. If not for two world wars involving Germans, large parts of America probably would still be dominated by German culture and language. The Amish and Mennonites, for example, still survive because of their jealous defense of their German culture. I can’t think of any non-German groups that even come close to that.

    You have to give the Germans credit for their industriousness and perseverence. Even when they were working in proto-socialist communities, they worked tirelessly for the common good. The Moravians to this day still have communities like this. I’m sure the Celtic people were more fun at parties, though.

    Reply

  23. @hbd chick – “the pacifism thing is really interesting, and thank you for mentioning it repeatedly to draw it to my attention, because it wasn’t really something i was thinking much about”

    I didn’t think much about it in the past. I had the modern bias of not recognizing how unusual is pacifism. It was only with studying the violent English Revolution that I had a context for seeing how much pacifism stood out in contrast.

    “first, i think we should remember that the quakers are a self-sorted bunch, so they are (among) the individuals in that northern england (and ne wales) population that didn’t like violence”

    I’m definitely convinced by the self-sorting explanation. That seems to be a major factor in how new religions and cultures develop. The self-sorting also explains how people of different backgrounds self-sort into the same regions such as with immigration, thus mixing or merging their self-sorted traits and becoming something entirely new from the origins of any of the groups alone.

    “but as you said in another comment somewhere, there were other pacifists out there pre-dating the appearance of the quakers, too, so pacifism was starting to be in the air (i actually don’t know anything about this, but i’ll take your word for it).”

    I came across mention of it a couple of times, but I couldn’t tell you exactly where I read it at this point. Looking at some of the earlier religious dissenters, I see that at least some of them have something like pacifism. The Familists stand out in this regard.

    “i’m going to throw a speculation out there and propose that the reason only some people in northern england (all of england?) at that time were pacifists is because we’re looking at a population in transition. or, perhaps, even more correctly, we’re looking at a snapshot in time ”

    That could be an explanation. The early Quakers certainly were in transition. I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of early Quakers weren’t pacifists or were undecided on the matter. Like most things, it probably began with a few people who acted as examples and who preached it. I think it was likely something in the air following the Protestant Reformation, but it took sometime to become formalized theology.

    “i don’t know if you’ve read pinker’s Better Angels, but he made a big point of the steadily declining rates of violence/homicide in england/nw europe beginning in the 1200s.”

    No, I haven’t read it. But you make it sound interesting.

    “anyway — back to pacifism — if the population of england (europe) did have violent/homicidal tendencies bred out of them via 1) removing the worst offenders from the population and 2) outbreeding (i like the idea of a combination of both of those), then it wouldn’t be strange to see pacifism arising in these populations. peaceful, nonviolent individuals would’ve been the ones to succeed and reproduce the most in this brave new world, and, perhaps, their decendents were just quite pacifistic in their natures.”

    Plus, pacifist people seem to be very industrious: Quakers, Amish, Moravians, Shakers, etc. Industriousness makes for a successful society, even if only internally. The Amish aren’t wealthy in monetary terms, but they have a whole lot of social capital. It takes a lot of work to build a distinct culture that can survive and possibly influence the larger society. Quakers, in particular, were often wealthy businessmen and so they were outwardly successful in ways non-Quakers could appreciate. Pacifism seems conducive to many pro-social behaviors that society rewards. This in turn might influence self-sorting and mating patterns. I don’t know.

    Reply

  24. @ greying wanderer: “I think there was a base Atlantic population ..”

    I agree with all that you said, I think you summarised it pretty well. The base population being largely the product of expansions out of different ice age refugia mixed together, plus or minus, on a gradient in different directions. I believe that they were using watercraft from early on, probably in the mesolithic. In the neolithic, there was genetic and cultural influx to this base population from the Mediterranean region, and long distance seaborne trade increased.

    Reply

  25. A short introduction to how Quakerism arrived in north east Wales:-

    “Quakerism began in Wrexham in 1649. Morgan Llwyd, the notable nonconformist minister had sent one of his congregation, John ap John, to enquire of George Fox in Lancaster about his teaching. John ap John returned a convert, and remained active among Friends for many a year. ”

    http://www.northwalesquakers.org/wxmhistory.html

    Incidentally: HBD Chick, are you going to look at the geographical origins of Mormons in the near future? Some of the earliest British converts to Mormonism were from Lancashire, the Welsh Borders, Wales, and Scotland. About a fifth of Utah’s population today is of Welsh descent apparently.

    Reply

  26. @chris – “Incidentally: HBD Chick, are you going to look at the geographical origins of Mormons in the near future?”

    you must be reading my mind! i was just thinking about the mormons yesterday (or was it the day before?). definitely will have to look at the mormons … although i don’t know about the “near” future. (^_^)

    Reply

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