38 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
being the year of birth of Sarah Galton (nee Button). In Bristol all the men in these years were put in prison ; then the women kept up the meetings and they also were seized. Then the Friends' children were left alone with the servants, and the children under 16 kept up the meetings. Notwithstanding that the law could not properly reach them nineteen of them were carried to the house of correction and threatened with a whipping. Most of the Friends committed to prison were traders and craftsmen, and they endeavoured to carry on their trades in gaol, but were not permitted. It was a time of stringent selection and many children suffered, but it brought the " grandly stubborn " into a community, and gave Francis Galton a factor of his ancestry, which is too influential to be passed over.
We now reach the Farmer and Abrahams families. In both of these we find an ancestor killed in the Civil Wars (see Pedigree Plate I)) probably but not certainly on the Puritan side, for the sons of both became Friends. Two sisters, Sarah and Abigail Abrahams, married two brothers, Joseph' and Thomas Farmer, in 1711 and 1713 respectively.
Again in 1686
"On the 12th of the Month called April this Year, Robert Button, a Grocer of Taunton, being Overseer of the Poor, appeared before the Commissioners of' Enquiry into the Rebels Estates upon Summons. They would have administered an Oath to him, which he refused to take, mildly telling them, that he' should do his Duty as faithfully as those who did Swear. One of the Commissioners upon this began to examine him : When he had been at Church and when he took the Sacrament? To which Robert answered, That he thought he was not summoned here for that, and that he did not come to accuse himself. Whereupon the Commissioners required the Mayor and another Justice present to tender him the Oath of Allegiance, which they did, and on his refusal to take it, committed him to Taunton Bridewell, where he was confined about two weeks" (Besse, Vol. i, p. 648).
It will be seen that Robert Button was obviously a man respected in his own district, for he was Overseer of the Poor, and he was clearly recognised as a leader, for when others are fined he is sent to gaol. In England, I think, few were more frequently or longer in gaol than this father~n-law of John Galton of Yatton. Yet those who will read the history of Admiral Thomas Button's fight with the Admiralty, will understand that Robert Button was not "grandly stubborn" because he was a Quaker, but a Quaker because he came of "grandly stubborn" stock.
1 This Joseph appears to be the man referred to in a deed of 1720. Joseph Farmer, Ironmaster of Birmingham, entered into articles of agreement with Joshua Gee of London, William and Thomas Russell of Birmingham, Ironmasters, John Ruston of Worcester, Ironmaster, and Stephen Onion of Brewood, Stafford, Ironmaster, to purchase land in Baltimore County in 1720 (March 17), and also gave directions to John Copson to purchase other lands in Cecil County, convenient for navigation into