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Daniel Eccleston of Lancaster 1745-1821: a man not afraid to stand on the shoulders of giants

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/03/2006
<mark>Journal</mark>Quaker Studies
Issue number2
Volume10
Number of pages30
Pages (from-to)203-242
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

It is unusual for an historian to be able to establish in great detail the life of any but those considered one of 'the great and the good'. The substantial amount of documentary sources, both by, and about, the Quaker radical Daniel Eccleston of Lancaster (1745-1821), provide an opportunity to view a turbulent period in British history through the experiences of one individual. The links between industrial and scientific advance, Nonconformity in religion and calls for political reform were growing increasingly common as the eighteenth century progressed. This paper attempts to show the centrality of Eccleston's Quaker upbringing to his later political radicalisation. Although Eccleston was not an Erasmus Darwin, Thomas Paine or Richard Price, he was an Enlightenment radical, prepared to defend with his pen and a consequent loss of his liberty, the rights of the British to freedom of thought, speech, worship and writing.