John Edenborah

April 20, 2015

The religious faith of Edenboroughs in the United Kingdom were, in the main, of the Established Church (Church of England) so it was of great interest to find a record of one Edenborough appearing to be of the Quaker faith.

Clawson quaker burial

The above photo, “Clawson. John Edenborah buryed ye 11th: 10th mo: 1716”, is taken from RG6/1397 – General Register Office: Society of Friends’ Registers, Notes and Certificates of Births, Marriages and Burials; Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Rutland – Monthly Meeting of Leicester, Old Dalby.

Among the large number of religious denominations that emerged during the early-to-mid-17th century in England was the Seekers. And while Leicestershire-born George Fox has been considered the founder and leader of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the Seekers are best thought of as the forerunner of the Quakers, with whom many of them subsequently merged.

George Fox’s journal attributes the name “Quaker” to a judge in 1650 calling them Quakers “because I bid them tremble before the Lord”. Quakerism gained a considerable following in England and Wales during and after the English Civil War (1642-1651) increasing to a peak of 60,000 by 1680.

By 1657, a Friends’ meeting had been settled at Long Clawson and in 1673 a cottage and close for a meeting house and burial ground had been secured.

Fox's movement ran afoul of Oliver Cromwell's Puritan government, as well as that of Charles II, when the monarchy was restored, because Fox’s followers refused to pay tithes to the state church, would not take oaths in court, declined to doff their hats to those in power, and refused to serve in combat during war.

The 1753 published book, A Collection of the Sufferings of the people called Quakers, by Joseph Besse, reports of the hundreds of atrocious accounts forced upon the non-conformist society. Just one such example at Long Clawson being:

quaker 1

Quakers used plain language and dating practices to avoid using the names of months derived from heathen gods and goddesses so that “ye 11th: 10th mo: 1716”, translates to the 11th of December 1716.

So just who was the John Edenborah buried at Long Clawson?

I’m pretty sure that this John Edenborah is the same person as John Edenburrow of Hose, Leicestershire, who left the following will dated 15 December 1716.

will 1In the name of God Amen I John Edenburrow of Hose in the County of Leicester Webster being of infirm health of body but of a good and perfect memory (praised be God) do make this my last will and testimony hereby revoking all former wills by me heretofore made in manner and form following (that is to say) I give unto my loving sister Ann  Burton twenty shillings which my executors hereafter mentioned shall pay within six months after my decease and as for all the rest and remainder of my goods and chattels of what kind soever it be which I shall be possessed of at the time of my death after my debts legacies and other expenses are discharged I do give unto my loving wife and son Charles and do make them sole executors of this my last will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand and seal this sixth day of December in the second year of the reign of our sovereign Lord George by the grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland king defender of the faith etc Anon Domini 1716


Although I have no proof at present, he may also be the Jno Edinborow of Hose who in 1683 gave a Quaker Intent of Marriage to Mary Blake of Harby. This would also tie in with the son Charles mentioned in the above will and I have a record of a Charles Edenborough born approximately 1686 in Hose, Leicestershire. My records show, though, that Charles practised the faith of the Established Church.

So was John a one-off? Perhaps acquiescing to a Quaker wife?


Jennie Fairs

Member 1006



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