History of Quakers in Broadstairs

History of Quakers in Broadstairs

Whilst I have been unable to locate any documents relating to the history of Quakers in Broadstairs, Thanet has a substantial Quaker record. Elizabeth Fry, Quaker prison reformer and philanthropist lived for a while, and died, in nearby Ramsgate. Michael Yoakley was in nearby Margate. The following material is copied from the Michael Yoakley Charity website.


“The Charity was established in 1709 following the death of Michael Yoakley, a Quaker businessman. He had been born in the Margate area of poor parentage, but at the age of 14 he started work as a ship’s boy on hoy boats which sailed between the Kent ports and central London.

He worked his way up the seafaring career ladder eventually captaining and owning shares in ships which sailed from Britain to the newly discovered America in the late 1600’s. He invested his earnings in property in various parts of South East England, some in central London.

Throughout his successful career, he showed great care and concern for his mother who had been widowed early in his life.  He married but had no children of his own, and in his Will he stated that all his assets should be used to provide accommodation for the “deserving poor” older persons of the Margate area. The first Trustees of the Charity created in his name began meeting in 1709 in London and the committee included his wife Mary. They commissioned the building of the first 9 almshouses, which were completed in 1710 and are still standing and in full occupation today.”

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