Camm, Anne (DNB00)

CAMM, ANNE (1627–1705), quakeress, daughter of Richard Newby, was born at Kendal, Westmoreland, in 1627. Her parents sent her, when thirteen years old, to London that, under the care of an aunt, she might perfect her education. During her residence in London she connected herself with some sect of puritans. At the end of seven years she returned to Kendal and joined a company of ‘seekers,’ part of whose worship consisted in sitting in silence. At these meetings she became acquainted with John Audland, whom she married in 1650, and by whom she had a son. Audland and his wife attended a meeting at Fairbank in 1652, which was conducted by George Fox; both joined the quakers, and were chosen preachers. Mrs. Audland's first ministerial work lay in the county of Durham, and at Auckland she was arrested for preaching and sent to gaol, but she continued her discourse from the windows of her prison. She seems to have been discharged the same night. During 1653 she was illtreated and arrested at Banbury on a charge of blasphemy. She was tried at the assizes for having affirmed that ‘God did not live,’ a perversion of the quotation she acknowledged to having used, viz. ‘Though they say the Lord liveth, surely they swear falsely’ (Jer. v. 2). The jury returned a verdict that she had been guilty of misdemeanour only, which, forming no part of the indictment, amounted to a verdict of acquittal; but the judge refused to liberate her unless she found bond for good behaviour. This she refused to give. She was committed to a prison partly underground, destitute of any means of heating, and through which ran the common sewer. She was liberated after eight months, and then seems to have constantly accompanied her husband on his preaching expeditions till his death in 1663. She remained a widow for two or three years, when she married Thomas Camm [q. v.], by whom she had a daughter, and with whom she lived happily for nearly forty years. After her second marriage she does not appear to have been much molested. She died after a short illness in 1705. It seems to have been owing to her efforts that quakerism obtained the firm hold it once had in Oxfordshire. Her only work, ‘Anne Camm, her Testimony concerning John Audland, her late Husband,’ printed in 1681, was exceedingly popular among the early Friends.

[A Brief Account of her is given in the Friends' Library, vol. i., Philadelphia; see also Besse's Sufferings and Fox's Journal of his Life, Travels, &c.]

A. C. B.