George Fox in Lichfield - 1651

Brevity has its disadvantages because it cannot do justice to he quality of the talk - nay duet - given by Anthony Wilson and Ruth Winterbottom at our meeting in St Mary's Centre on 22nd October.

If numbers in attendance are a measure of success then this was a highly successful evening. I estimated that nearly 70 people came to hear the account of George Fox's brief sojourn in our City and to look at Robert Spence's painting "Woe to the bloody City of Lichfield". Both the painting and George Fox have a fascinating history. Despite the inferences in the title of the painting, Fox seems to have received a welcome in the city with concern by people "for his feet which were getting cold". He came to the market square after suffering imprisonment in Derby, a place and a populace for which he appears to have understandable little regard. One might say the same of Bonnie Prince Charlie who, having seen Derby, decided that his invasion of England was not worthwhile and promptly turned back to Scotland.

Anthony provided the narrative and context for the talk. Ruth quoted form George Fox's Journal. It was more like a visit to the theatre than a conventional Civic Society meeting. They are to be congratulated and thanked for providing such an enjoyable occasion. Many people have expressed to me how much pleasure they derived from it.

Mike Tole
October 1996