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Doncaster Features: Famous Doncastrian: Thomas Aldham
Thomas Aldham or Aldam (c. 1616–1660) was an English Quaker from a Warmsworth farming background, near Doncaster.
Aldham was an early disciple of George Fox, with whom he was instrumental in establishing the Balby meeting of the Quaker movement. The Warmsworth House building is listed and is still standing since 1706.
Fox, who had suffered violent assaults in Tickhill and Doncaster, preached for several hours under a walnut tree in Balby in 1652 to a large crowd.
A chair in the present Doncaster Meeting House is made from wood from this tree, and a table made from it was sent to America in 1967.
Aldham was imprisoned in York in 1652 for speaking in a church, and fined 40 shillings for refusing to pay taxes, serving 2 and a half years. He then travelled to various prisons where Quakers were confined and tried to obtain their release. He was also physically attacked by non-Quakers in 1654, 1655, and 1658.
He did much to document and protest against the wrongful imprisonment of Quakers.
In 1644 Thomas Aldham married Mary Killam (d. 1660).
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