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Benjamin Furly

(1636—1714) merchant and religious writer


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(1636–1714), Quaker leader. Furly was born in Colchester, Essex, the son of a wealthy linen draper. In 1655, Furly joined the Quakers. Four years later, after a short stay in Amsterdam, he settled in Rotterdam, where he was to remain for the rest of his life, and where he soon became the unofficial but unquestioned leader of Dutch Quakerism. Around 1665, he married Dorothy Grainge, with whom he had five children. Thanks to his increasingly successful trading business, Furly was able to turn his house into an international gathering place for his coreligionists and for a host of foreign scholars seeking refuge or just pleasant company. His famous library, the Bibliotheca Furliana, contained more than four thousand titles, mainly on religion, and must have added considerably to the attraction of visiting his home.

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From Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945).


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