Francis Bugg
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Francis Bugg 1640-1714?

Francis Bugg portrait by F. H. Van Hove of 1698> Simply click to enlarge... then use the [Back] button to returnA wool-comber, one time Quaker and writer of virulent anti-Quaker pamphlets. Francis Bugg, writer against Quakerism; was a wool-comber [DNB] of Mildenhall who lived at Oakland House on Mill Street in Mildenhall. He may also have worked as a carrier - his trade token show a packhorse. A Quaker from his youth, he became disenchanted with the society, and in 1675 was suspected of informing against a Quaker meeting. He left the society after a long quarrel in 1680. From 1682 until his death he issued virulent pamphlets against the Quakers. Information in Mildenhall Museum puts his death in 1714, the DNB gives '1724?'.

From about 1650 to 1672 there was a great shortage of low value coinage throughout the country. Bugg was amongst the many businessmen who issued token farthings and halfpennies to assist trade during this period. Examples of his halfpenny token, produced in 1667, are still sometimes found.

Boyne's Trade tokens of the 17th Century gives the following brief biography of Bugg.

"Francis Bugg was born at Mildenhall, of reputable parents, in 1640. In his book, "The Pilgrim's Progress from Quakerism to Christianity," he states that he was brought up in the profession of the Church of England, and that at the age of about seventeen, being then living at Lakenheath, an adjoining village, and having "itching ears" to hear the Quakers who came there from Norwich, Thetford, and other places, in a few years he "became a very zealous member," and "to silent meetings went." After living in their society many years and becoming dissatisfied with their false doctrines and writings, he wrote many letters, remonstrances, and works, in orders to expose their views. At a general Quakers' meeting, held at Haddenham, in 1682, he was adjudged "to have greatly abused and misrepresented faithful ministers of the Gospel and antient Friends," and thereupon was expelled. The Bishop of Norwich, in 1697, gave a certificate that "thro' the hardness of the times, several losses, and the publishing of useful books to convert the Quakers, he was reduced to great difficulties, and deserved the bounty of well-disposed persons as a sober, honest and industrious man;" this gained him many friends at the colleges of Cambridge and elsewhere. In 1700 the second edition of the "Progress" was published, to which his portrait, engraved by Van Hove, ęt. 6o, is prefixed, a previous one appearing in the quarto edition of 1698. In his work, "Quakers Set in their True Light," quarto, 1698 (pp. 48), is a list of sixteen works written by him to confirm his views. Afterwards eight or more others appeared; but his last, entitled "Finishing Stroke; or, Gleanings from Quakers' Books," was published in 1712. His family continued Quakers, and his son, Francis Bugg, junior, was a member of their meetings at Mildenhall in 1687."

"Philip Crannis lived with Bugg, and was a man of good reputation. He signed a declaration that Bugg has suffered lately very severely through the persecution of the Quakers, to the injury of his trade and business."Williamson, George C.: Boyne' s Trade Tokens (Trade Tokens issued in the Seventeenth Century in England, Wales and Ireland, by Corporations, Merchants, Tradesmen etc, A new and Revised Edition of William Boyne's Work): Elliot Stock: London:1891  &  also Dictionary of National Biography: included in Infopedia UK 96, CD Rom published by Softkey


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