Quaker Missionary Langdale Writes from Germany to Her Husband in England, Important

Quaker Missionary Langdale Writes from Germany to Her Husband in England, Important

Missionary Margaret Langdale writes from Germany to her husband (and ultimately their local society of Friends) in England that she is well, has found attentive listeners, and hopes that she will submit if God directs them to go to “Americay.” Langsdale was in Friedrichstadt, a town in northern Germany just south of the Danish border, with a diverse population of Lutherans, Catholics, Remonstrants, Quakers, Jews, and Mennonites. George Fox, a founder of the Quakers, had established a Society there in 1677. A large proportion of Quaker traveling ministers were women, who often traveled in pairs.


MARGARET BURTON LANGDALE PRESTON, Autograph Letter Signed, to her husband Josiah Langdale, July 19, 1717, Friedrichstadt, Germany. 2 pp., 8.25" x 12.75". Some edge tears and one small hole, affecting three words; some small tears on folds.



“by theas liens I give the to understand i And my good Companyons peeter Leenders and An gearard Are in good health which faver is to be much prised  i was glad to heare that thou with our dear Children And Hannah inioyed the Like privalidg”


“Allthough deprived of meeting bodyly with you yet i feind our felowship in spiritt is mentained by the incomes of that Love which has broughtt us neare one unto Another to be Children of one father And members of that holy body that Christ Jesus is the heade of in which our felowship stands And is precious”


“And not onely so but the mistery of iniquity Allso in which Saton the ould Adversary worketh in order to betray the feet of the simple  deare friends wayte in the Lightt to know Saton to be brused under your feet for he goes About Like A Cuning sirpentt creping upon his beley As well As Like a Roreing Lion  he Allso transforms himself into the Likeness of An Angell of Lightt but he is sealed downe into darkness And there must remaien to All Eternaty  i fiend it upon me from the Lord to warn freinds ispeshally them that Are young in years And such who take An undue Liberty to the flesh to beware of his Aleureing bayts And not to run into Iniquity As the horse dos into the battell”


“i Confess when i begun this Letter i intended it for my husband but in my goeing on i felt my Love in the truth to flow forth to freinds in generall  i disire therefore it may be red publickly on the first day in the forenoune meeting And Conclude with the salutation of treu Love to you All in which i disire to be remembered by you in your nearistt Aprochis before the Lord whose delivering Arm i have seen in An emenantt maner since i saw your facis for which my spiritt is often bowed in treu thankfulness”


“heare is in this place many that Love to heare the truth declared preists And people Comes to the meetings And are very sober”


“my dearly beloved I crave this faver of the to Copy my Letter over before it be red in the meeting And send my sadle to London And i shall order what place in Esix i would have it sent to  i can give the no Acountt as yett when I shall return for ingland  we have the meetings in fresland to visitt in our return”


“And if providence have A hand in ordering our Lots to go to Americay i hope i shall submitt”


“if there by Anye words misplaced in my Letter to freinds i would have the to Allter them  disire my good freind Nathan to reed it in the meeting”



Margaret Burton Langdale Preston (1684-1747) was born in England. She married fellow Quaker Josiah Langdale in 1710, and they had two children before his death. While he served as a Quaker missionary in America, she did similar missionary work in Ireland. She then traveled in continental Europe as a Quaker missionary. They left England in 1723, bound for Philadelphia, but he died during the voyage, and she arrived in Philadelphia with their two young children, Mary Langdale (1713-1770) and John Langdale (1715-1769). About a year later, she married Quaker businessman and widower Samuel Preston (1665-1743), who had served as mayor of Philadelphia in 1711-1712, and was treasurer of the province of Pennsylvania from 1714 until his death. She continued her traveling ministry in America, visiting New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina between 1724 and 1729. Her testimony, “being lively, sound and edifying” was well-received by other Quakers.


Josiah Langdale (1673-1723) was born in Yorkshire, England. He left the Church of England around 1690 and joined the Society of Friends. In 1700, he made his first missionary visit to America. He returned to England and reported on his work in 1705. In 1710, he married Margaret Burton, and they had two children. In 1715-1716, Langdale made a second missionary trip to America, sailing first to Boston. By 1720, he had resolved to move permanently to America and traveled a third time to make living arrangements. He acquired property near Philadelphia. He and his family left England in 1723, bound for Philadelphia, but Langdale died aboard ship.




Item: 65708

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