Camm, Thomas (DNB00)


CAMM, THOMAS (1641–1707), quaker, was born at Camsgill, Westmoreland, in 1641, and was the son of John Camm [q. v.] As both his parents were quakers, he was educated in their faith, and when very young became one of its ministers. In 1674 he was sued by John Ormrod, vicar of Burton, near Kendal, for small tithes, and in default of payment was imprisoned for three years. In 1678 a magistrate broke up a meeting of quakers held at Ackmonthwaite, committed several Friends to prison, and also seems to have fined them, for Camm, who had been the preacher at the meeting, lost nine head of cattle and fifty-five sheep. Shortly after this another distraint was made upon his property by warrant from the same justice. Somewhat later he was imprisoned for nearly six years in Appleby gaol, probably for some offence against the Conventicle Act. Camm did much to prevent the growth of the schisms to which quakerism at that time was liable. He continued his preaching expeditions till he was advanced in years, died after a short illness in 1707, and was buried in the Friends' burial-ground at Park End, near Camsgill.

Camm wrote considerably, and his works were fairly popular among the early Friends, but they are now utterly forgotten; a full list is given in Joseph Smith's ‘ Catalogue of Friends' Books.’ The most important are: 1. ‘The Line of Truth and True Judgement stretched over the heads of Falsehood and Deceit …’ 1684. 2. ‘The Admirable and Glorious Appearance of the Eternal God, …’ 1684. 3. ‘Thomas Camm's Testimony concerning John Camm and John Audland,’ 1689. 4. ‘A Testimony to the fulfilling the Promise of God relating to … prophetesses, …’ 1689. 5. ‘An Old Apostate justly exposed,’ 1698. 6. ‘Truth prevailing against Reason, …’ 1706. 7. ‘A Lying Tongue reproved, …’ 1708.

[A short account of Thomas Camm is given in the Friends' Library, vol. i. (Philadelphia, 1841); see also Swarthmore MSS., Besse's Sufferings.]

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