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Smithfield Market

from A Few Songs Occasioned (2006) by Jon Watts

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interview with max carter 11/30/05


So... early Quakers, many of whom were musicians, were faced with a choice. To become a part of the Quaker movement... to become a Quaker meant rejecting these forms of the world. Many of their vain pursuits or creaturely activity as they called them.

Solomon Eccles, who was a noted violinist, an accomplished violinist, when he became a Quaker, burned his violin.

He’s the same one who, after the famous breakup of the Bull and Mouth Meeting, the Quaker Meeting that was held in the old Bull and Mouth tavern there on Aldersgate Street in London, early 1660’s...

When the King’s forces came in and broke up the Meeting because it was illegal according to the Quaker Acts (the ecumenical acts).

They beat up folks so badly that blood flowed in the gutter... one Quaker was killed, many many injured.

The next day, Solomon Eccles stripped down to his altogether and put a basket of burning coals on his head and marched naked through the Smithfield Market in London as a visible sign of the spiritual nakedness of the culture and the fire and brimstone that would come down on such an evil society.


from A Few Songs Occasioned (2006), released April 25, 2006
piano, guitar, drums played by jon watts


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Jon Watts

Quaker songwriter & video maker. Inspired by mountains, deep silences, and love.

Founder QuakerSpeak and Thee Quaker Project.

Clothe Yourself in Righteousness.

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