Antedating of "Friend" (= Quaker)

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sun Aug 10 14:47:46 UTC 2014

A website called "Quaker Historical Lexicon" gives the following antedating for "friend" (OED, 7.b., 1656):

But the single word “Friends” appears just as early, as in the following sentence from a 1653 letter from Gervase Benson to George Fox and James Nayler, reproduced in A.R. Barclay’s Letters, &c of Early Friends (1841) p. 3:

As for the Friends’ enlargement at Kendal, George Taylor, I hope, hath or will give you an account.

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

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