Shaker hymnody

The shakers, or ‘Shaking Quakers’ (in worship they were ‘taken with a mighty trembling’ or ‘a mighty shaking’) were a dissident group of Quakers who emigrated from Manchester, England to the USA in 1774, led by Ann Lee (1736-1784), known as ‘Mother Ann’. The full title of this body was ‘The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing’; it was one of many millenarian sects that flourished at this time, but it was more interesting and successful, and more creative, than many of the others. From the first settlement near Albany, New York, the membership spread until there were some 4000 to 6000 Shakers in 20 villages from the East Coast to Kentucky. They lived lives of humility...

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