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The history of Swarthmoor Hall

During the 17th-century Swarthmoor Hall was home to Thomas and Margaret Fell and their eight children. Margaret Fell was an early Quaker leader and the hall was a hub of Quaker activity, particularly during the very early years of the movement. For more about the history of Quakerism, go to

Margaret’s youngest daughter Rachel was the heir to part of the Swarthmoor Hall estate, and her husband Daniel Abraham bought the remaining parts from the rest of the family. Their son John inherited the hall in 1732, but ran into some money troubles and was forced to sell the property in 1759.

The hall was used as a farm building for over a century, eventually falling into disrepair. Part of the house fell down entirely. In 1912 it was bought by Emma Clarke Abraham, a descendant of the Fells, with the support of several prominent Quakers. She restored the neglected building and filled it with authentic furniture.
After Emma Clarke Abraham died, her nephew sold the hall to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Header: George Fox’s signature taken from his papers in the Luke Howard manuscripts collection.
© Quakers in Britain