Gurneyites

An American Quaker group named after Joseph John Gurney (1788-1847), a Quaker philanthropist. Born near Norwich, England, he briefly attended Oxford University, and became a Quaker minister in 1818. Many American Friends had by that time become intrigued by evangelical concepts and the revivals sweeping the country, when most of the Protestant denominations were engaged in the Second Great Awakening.* The Friends experienced a schism in 1827 when Elias Hicks of Long Island rebelled against a thoroughly evangelical statement of faith adopted by most of the Philadelphia Quakers (see Hicksites). During 1837-40 Gurney toured America and the West Indies, preaching widely and becoming a rallying point in conforming to the revivalistic pattern, and eventually giving his name to the movement. His followers in time took on the characteristics of normative Protestantism, using the sacraments and having a minister preach at worship services. On his return to England, Gurney helped his sister, Elizabeth Fry,* in her work, and collaborated with Thomas Clarkson* and others for the abolition of the slave trade. He also wrote tracts on temperance and other subjects.