This week in 1718, William Penn died. He was the founder of the state of Pennsylvania as well as the a well-known leader of the Religious Society of Friends, whose members are colloquially known as “Quakers.” After returning to England later in life and suffering from two strokes, Penn died on July 30.

In the mid-1600s, the society was established as a Protestant Christian denomination in England and was brought to North America by Quakers hoping to proselytize and escape persecution. However, oppression of the Friends did not end in North America. In 1682, William Penn founded Pennsylvania, a state that promised religious freedom and quickly drew in crowds of Quakers.

Today the Quakers are often identified with their beliefs in simplicity and pacifism or with their practice of silence when worshipping. This video, courtesy of Quaker Speak, explores what its members enjoy most about this aspect of worship. 

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