Hubberthorn, Richard (DNB00)

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HUBBERTHORN, RICHARD (1628–1662), quaker writer, only son of John Hubberthorn, a yeoman, was born at Yealand-Redmayne, in the parish of Warton, near Carnforth, Lancashire, and baptised at Warton on 8 June 1628. He was brought up in puritan principles, became an officer in the parliamentary army, and preached to his troop. He left the army on becoming a quaker towards the end of 1648. In 1652 he devoted himself to the work of the quaker ministry, being one of the earliest of George Fox's travelling preachers. He accompanied Fox in his Lancashire journeys, and had a hand (1653) in one of his publications. In 1654 he went with George Whitehead on a mission to Norwich; next year he travelled with Fox in the eastern counties. It appears from his report to Margaret Fell [q.v.] that he was sometimes permitted to speak 'in the steeple-house.' Norwich was still his headquarters in 1659. He came with Fox to London in 1660, and had an audience of Charles II soon after his restoration. A minute account of the interview was published, and is given in Sewel. Charles promised that quakers 'should not suffer for their opinion or religion.' In 1662, during renewed persecution, Fox and Hubberthorn drew up a spirited letter to Charles. Hubberthorn was arrested at Bull and Mouth meeting in June 1662, and committed to Newgate by Alderman Richard Brown. He died in Newgate of gaol fever on 17 Aug. 1662.

Adam Martindale describes him as 'the most rational, calm-spirited man of his judgment that I was ever publicly engaged against.' He is an excellent sample of the early quaker, of the type anterior to Barclay and Penn, without the emotional genius, at the same time without the overbalanced mysticism of James Nayler [q. v.], in conjunction with whom he wrote two tracts. His writings are almost all controversial, and their tone is more moderate than that of some of his contemporaries. His works are contained in `A Collection of the several Books and Writings of … Richard Hubberthorn,' 1663, 4to. Smith enumerates thirty-seven separately published pamphlets; the most important are: 1. 'Truth's Defence,' &c., 1653, 4to (partly by Fox). 2. `The Immediate Call,' &c., 1654, 4to (part by James Parnel). 3. 'The Real Cause of the Nation's Bondage,' &c., 1659, 4to. 4. 'The Light of Christ Within,' &c., 1660, 4to. 5. 'An Account from the Children of Light,' &c., 1660, 4to (part by Nayler). 6. 'Liberty of Conscience asserted,' &c., 1661, 4to parts by Crook, Fisher, and Howgil).

[Fox's Journal, 1694, pp.84-250; Sewel's Hist. of Quakers,1725,pp. 87 sq., 246sq.,363;Life of Adam Martindale(Chetham Soc.), 1845, p. 115; Webb's Fells of Swarthmoor, 1867, pp. 133 sq.;Smith's Cat. of Friends' Books, 1867, i. 1010 sq.; Barclay's Inner Life, 1876,p. 286; extract from baptismal register of Warton, per Rev. T. H. Pain.]

A. G.