It deprived the Quakers of their part in the control of the government and forced many Conservatives into the Loyalist party.
The repeal of the Test Act, the admission of Quakers to Parliament in consequence of their being allowed to affirm instead of taking the oath (1832, when Joseph Pease was elected for South Durham), the establishment of the University of London, and, more recently, the opening of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge to Nonconformists, have all had their effect upon the body.
The pious Quakers of Pennsylvania at the end of the 18th century had realized a deeper duty towards the offenders than their extinction, and sought to amend and reform the living.
The task was not easy; for it was necessary to make two sacraments the most prominent objects in the allegory, and of all Christian theologians, avowed Quakers excepted, Bunyan was the one in whose system the sacraments held the least prominent place.
The Pennsylvanian Quakers advised their members against the trade in 1696; in 1754 they issued to their brethren a strong dissuasive against encouraging it in any manner; in 1774 all persons concerned in the traffic, and in 1776 all slave holders who would not emancipate their slaves, were excluded from membership. The Quakers in the other American provinces followed the lead of their brethren in Pennsylvania.
He ordered Fox's liberation, and in November 1657 issued a general order directing that Quakers should be treated with leniency, and be discharged from confinement.
In 1798 Joseph Lancaster, himself a Friend, opened his first school for the education of the poor; and the cause of unsectarian religious education found in the Quakers steady support.
Under his authority the colony of Massachusetts Bay made rapid progress, and except in the matter of religious intolerance - he showed great bigotry and harshness, particularly towards the Quakers - his rule was just and praiseworthy.
But the growing power of the Scotch-Irish, the resentment of the Quakers against the proprietors for having gone back to the Church of England and many other circumstances strengthened the anti-proprietary power, and the assembly strove to abolish the proprietorship and establish a royal province; John Dickinson was the able leader of the party which defended the proprietors; and Joseph Galloway and Benjamin Franklin were the leaders of the anti-proprietary party, which was greatly weakened at home by the absence after December 1764 of Franklin in England as its agent.
The particulars of the proceedings of Governor Endecott and the magistrates of New England as given in Besse's Sufferings of the Quakers (see below) are startling to read.