William Sewel


William Sewel (1654–1720) was a Dutch-English Quaker historian. He was son of Jacob Williamson Sewel, a free citizen and surgeon of Amsterdam where he was born. His paternal grandfather, William Sewel, a Brownist of Kidderminster, emigrated from England to escape religious persecution, and married a native of Utrecht. His mother, Judith Zinspenning, daughter of a German Catholic, afterwards a Baptist, joined the Quakers in 1657, after hearing William Ames. She became an eloquent minister, visited England in 1663, was author of 'A Serious Reproof to the Flemish Baptists,' 1660, a 'Book of Proverbs’ (translated into English by William Caton, London, 1663), ‘An Epistle, and other short books. She died at Amsterdam on 10 September 1664, aged 34. Her husband predeceased her. Sewel was brought up by an uncle. At eight he was fairly proficient in Latin, but was soon apprenticed to a weaver, and pursued his study of languages while employed. At fourteen he visited his mother's friends in England. Returning to Holland after a sojourn of ten months, he obtained work as a translator, contributed regularly to the Amsterdam Courant and other papers, wrote verses, and conducted a periodical. In  ( Wikipedia article )


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