"George Fox" (July 1624 – January 13 1691) was an English Dissenter and a major early figure — often considered the founder — of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers. Living in a time of great social upheaval, he rebelled against the religious and political consensus by proposing an unusual and uncompromising approach to the Christian faith. His journal is a text popular even among non-Quakers for its vivid account of his personal journey.
George Fox was born at Drayton-in-the-Clay, Leicestershire, England (now known as Fenny Drayton), 24 km (15 miles) southwest of Leicester. His father, Christopher Fox, was a weaver, called "righteous Christer" by his neighbours; his mother, Mary Lago, was—he tells us—"of the stock of the Martyrs". From childhood, Fox was of a serious, religious disposition. His education was based around the faith and practice of the Church of England, of which his parents were members; he had no formal schooling but learned to read and write. Even at a young age, he was fascinated by the Bible, which he studied continually. "When I came to eleven years of age," he said, "I knew pureness and righteousness;...