This 1980 speech by Kingdon Swayne, former clerk of Newtown Monthly Meeting and former mayor of Newtown, poses a surprising hypothesis on why it took so long for Quakers to create a meeting house in a town that was laid out in 1684 by William Penn, Pennsylvania’s most prominent Quaker. On the other hand, Kingdon Swayne is dumbfounded as to why Quakers painted the interior in 1889.
In 1976, former Newtown Meeting member Lois Mammel compiled the historical data that would qualify Newtown Monthly Meeting as an historical site in 1977. Her narrative explains the unusual configuration of windows overlooking the center of the meeting. She also touches on intriguing bits of history: the role of Edward Hicks, the reason Hicks’ tombstone is ordinary, and the waning of singsong ministry.
Prominent folk artist Edward Hicks was beloved by this meeting for his spiritual leadership.
A Brief Biography of Primitive Painter Edward Hicks.