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Sarah Baker A Woburn Quaker

The Society of Friends, also known as the Quakers, was founded by George Fox in the middle of the 17th century. A Collection of the Sufferings of the People Called Quakers Volume I was published in 1753 and covers acts against Quakers from 1650 to 1689 throughout the country. Each county has a chapter and that for Bedfordshire notes that in 1658: "Sarah Baker of Wooburne, for giving some Christian Exhortation to the People there, in the publick Place of Worship, was also sent to the common Gaol; and after about two Months Imprisonment, at Midsummer Sessions sent to Bridewell for one Month".

The volume notes that she again suffered in 1670: "Sarah Baker, a poor Widow, for 15s. Fine suffered Distress of the few houshold Goods she had; among which, having boiled Milk in a Skillet for two sick Children, the Informers threw away the poor Babes' Sustenance, and made Prize of the Skillet".

Clearly Sarah was not put off. The assizes for 1678 [HSA1678/W/16] records: "Woburne: Rob Bushby, Will Gosly & John Blick present Francis Colman, Francis Irland, Will Abrigth, Will Barber, Joseph Barber, &  Sarah Baker for not repairing to thare parish Church to hear devine servis for three weekes last past".

She may have been the daughter of William Fruite of Cranfield (where three people were arrested at a Friends' meeting in 1655) as we have letters of administration granted by Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector to a Sarah Baker, widow (alias Fruite) as his only child in 1658 [AD3370].