William Gibson (1629-1684): London Quaker

William Gibson (1629-1684) was the father of William Gibson II (1668-1703) who was the father of George Gibson (1704-1761) who was the father of Thomas Gibson (1750-1784) who was the father of Samuel C. Gibson (1775-1864) was the father of Samuel Thompson Gibson (1812-1887) who was the father of Andrew Jackson Gibson (1845-1902) who was the father of Albert Gaines Gibson (1871-1922) who was the father of Idabel Amanda Gibson (1892-1983) who was the mother of Jeanette Anne Williams (1921-1968) who was the grandmother of Curt Bright.

  • William Gibson was a well-known London Quaker. He was also a Proprietor of NJ, although he never came to America. “Before [William] Penn left for America in August 1682 a significant alteration took place in the composition of the East Jersey proprietorship. The twelve associates agreed “to take in twelve persons more, to make up the number of proprietors [to] twenty four.” This was accomplished by each owner transferring half his share to a new proprietor. Since Wilcox had sold his share, there were eleven old proprietors and thirteen new proprietors. The new proprietors consisted of five London men, all Quakers; two Dublin men, both Quakers; and six Scots, three of whom were Quakers. The London men were Edward Byllynge, gentleman and brewer, of Westminster and chief proprietor of West Jersey, now solvent again; William Gibson, citizen and haberdasher and a prominent Quaker minister; Thomas Barker, merchant; Gawan Lawrie, merchant; and James Brain, son-in-law of Groom, and a merchant.”

    “William Gibson was a noted London Quaker who was many times imprisoned, fined, and distrained of his goods. His name appears with those of Penn, Whitehead, Barclay, and others as a signer of epistles sent to the monthly meetings. Gibson was not only one of the Twenty Four Proprietors but a first purchaser of land in Pennsylvania with an interest of 500 acres. He never came to America but did attend the proprietors’ meetings in London until his death in 1684. His widow and two children were his heirs. Thomas Boell, their agent, secured for them 500 acres at Wickatunk and 2,000 acres on the Millstone. In 1687, however, the Gibson propriety was purchased by Robert West and Thomas Cox and in 1689 Cox as trustee for West sold it to Dr. Daniel Coxe. In March 1692 when Coxe sold his holdings to the West Jersey Society he owned two East Jersey proprieties. One he referred to as “the West share,” and this was the share he had purchased from Byllynge and later regained control of. The other, “Mew’s share,” he had purchased from the heirs of Gibson since it was one-half of Gibson’s original undivided propriety.”
    Source: Pomfret, John E. “The Province of East New Jersey 1609-1702.” Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1962 (pgs. 132 & 246)

    “The Short and Itinerary Journals of George Fox” has about a half dozen references to William Gibson listed in the index. Most of the journal entries consist of a day by day listing of where Fox went and who he met with. Gibson is listed among a group of 66 Quaker ministers who met at a yearly meeting dated 12 iv. 1677 “at Ellis Hookes his chamber.”

    There is also a footnote on William Gibson: “His [William Gibson’s] name appears frequently in the Haistwell Diary between the years 1677 and 1678 . . . Sewell mentions Gibson’s convincement among instances of a sudden change: “William Gibson, whom I know well, and who at the time of the civil wars, being a soldier at Carlisle, he and three others having heard that a Quaker meeting was appointed in that city they agreed to go thither and abuse the preacher whose name was Thomas Holmes,” but Gibson “who came to scoff remained to pray” and became a zealous Minister. He resided in Lancashire till about 1670, when he removed to London. His wife was Elizabeth Thompson, of Crossmoor, Co. Lancaster; they were married in 1662,… He took a prominent part with Fox and others in the Wilkinson-Story Controversy, dealing especially with Raunce and Harris. In 8 mo. 1684, he was reported “nigh death” (Penn’s letter to M. Fox). It is said that more than a thousand Friends followed his remains from Lombard Street to Bunhill Fields.”
    Source: Fox, George “Short Journal and Itenerary Journals of George Fox- In Commemoration of the Tercentenary of his Birth (1624-1924). Edited by Norman Penney with an Introduction by T. Edmund Harvey. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1925. 1 4 3

  • Residence: ABT 1670 London, County Middlesex, England 3
  • Occupation: He was a haberdasher and Quaker minister. London, England1 3
  • Birth: 1629 in Caton, Lancashire, England 5
  • Event: Author
  • Note: published some theological books
  • Birth: 1655 in London, England 1
  • Residence: BEF 1670 Lancastershire, England 3
  • Note: He was a soldier at Carlisle during England’s Civil Wars; he served in the Parliamentary army, endured much suffering for refusing to take oaths and pay tithes 3
  • Note:

    The greater part of this township is hilly, the land sloping north from Clougha Pike and Ward’s Stone, 1,836 ft. above sea level, to the wooded valley of Artie Beck, then rising again to Caton Moor, where over 1,000 ft. is reached, and then descending to the Lune. By the riverside is a level tract of land, where the pleasant village is placed, with the church at Brookhouse a mile and a half to the east of it and the hamlet of Caton Green still further east on higher ground. Artle Beck, already mentioned, rises near the centre of the eastern border, flows west and north-west for over 3 miles, passing Crossgill and Hawkshead and receiving various tributary brooks, the chief being Foxdale and Udale Becks from the southern side; it then turns north by Grassyard, reaching the Lune to the east of the village. By the church Tarn Beck, joined by Kirk Beck, runs down to the Lune. The hill-side district south of Artie Beck is called Littledale. Apart from the wooded land named there are some other plantations in this part of the township. The area of the whole is 8,395 acres, (fn. 1) and in 1901 there was a population of 1,181.

    The principal road, that from Lancaster to Hornby, passes through the northern end of the township, having branches north to Halton by a bridge over the Lune, and south to Quernmore. Nearly parallel to it, but on higher ground, is another road, from the village past the church and Caton Green to Claughton, where it joins the main road again, and from it a road branches off to Crossgill on the southeast. The Midland Company’s railway from Lancaster to Hellifield runs through the township on the north side of the main road, and has a station at the village named Caton.

    Mason, the friend of the poet Gray, thus described the view looking east from Caton: ‘The scene opens just 3 miles from Lancaster. To see the view in perfection you must go into a field on the left. Here Ingleborough, behind a variety of lesser mountains, makes the background of the prospect: on each hand, up the middle distance, rise two sloping hills, the left clothed with thick woods, the right with variegated rock and herbage; between them in the richest of valleys the Lune serpentines for many a mile, and comes forth ample and clear through a well-wooded and richly-pastured foreground. Every feature which constitutes a perfect landscape of the extensive sort is here not only boldly marked, but also in its best position.’ (fn. 2)

    A Roman milestone was found in Artie Beck. (fn. 3)

    William Gibson, one of the early Quakers, was born at Caton in 1629. He served in the Parliamentary army, endured much suffering for refusing to take oaths and pay tithes, and published some theological books. He died in 1684. (4)

    4 Dict. Nat. Biog. Thomas and John Gibson purchased land in 1562; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 24, m. 223. John Gibson was plaintiff somewhat later; Chan. Proc. (Ser. 2), bdle. 76, no. 35.

  • Death: 23 NOV 1684 in London, England
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