Thomas Wight (Bandon)

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Thomas Wight, 1640–1724, was a native of Bandon, County Cork, Ireland, and author of the first History of the Quakers in Ireland. His father was Rice Wight, Church of Ireland minister of Bandon and a son of Thomas Wight, A.M. (fl. 1619-49) also a minister and a native of Guildford, Surrey.

Bandon, County Cork Town in Munster, Ireland

Bandon is a town in County Cork, Ireland. It lies on the River Bandon between two hills. The name in Irish means Bridge of the Bandon, a reference to the origin of the town as a crossing-point on the river. In 2004 Bandon celebrated its quatercentenary. The town, sometimes called the Gateway to West Cork, had a population of 6,957 at the 2016 census. Bandon is in the Cork South-West constituency, which has three seats.

County Cork County in the Republic of Ireland

County Cork is a county in Ireland. It is the largest and southernmost county of Ireland, situated in the province of Munster and named after the city of Cork, Ireland's second-largest city. The Cork County Council is the local authority for the county. Its largest market towns are Mallow, Macroom, Midleton, and Skibbereen. In 2016, the county's population was 542,868, making it the third-most populous county in Ireland. Notable Corkonians include Michael Collins, Jack Lynch, and Sonia O'Sullivan.

Church of Ireland Anglican church in Ireland

The Church of Ireland is a Christian church in Ireland and an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. It is organised on an all-Ireland basis and is the second-largest Christian church on the island after the Roman Catholic Church. Like other Anglican churches, it has retained elements of pre-Reformation practice, notably its episcopal polity, while rejecting the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. In theological and liturgical matters, it incorporates many principles of the Reformation, particularly those espoused during the English Reformation. The church self-identifies as being both Catholic and Reformed. Within the church, differences exist between those members who are more Catholic-leaning and those who are more Protestant-leaning. For historical and cultural reasons, the Church of Ireland is generally identified as a Protestant church.

While a clothier's apprentice, Wight attended Quaker meeting out of curiosity. He was impressed by a speech by Francis Howgill - "Before the eye can see, it must be opened; before the ear can hear, it must unstopped; and before the heart can understand, it must be illuminated." Edward Burrough was a further influence in causing Wight to move away from the Church of Ireland to becoming a Quaker himself.

Francis Howgill was a prominent early member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in England. He preached and wrote on the teachings of the Friends and is considered one of the Valiant Sixty—men and women who were early proponents of Friends beliefs and who suffered for those beliefs.

Edward Burrough (1634–1663) was an early English Quaker leader and controversialist. He is regarded as one of the Valiant Sixty, early Quaker preachers and missionaries.

He married in 1670 and had a large family. According to the History of Bandon

"His increased responsibilities induced him to attend very closely to his business-which was not confined to the clothing trade alone, he being also engaged as a commission agent-and in all likelihood Wight would have been in a short time a wealthy man, had he not been providentially stopped in his sinful career by an illumination direct from heaven, which threw a great deal of light into his dark mind, causing him to reflect much, and satisfying him "that he could not be heir to two kingdoms at once." He saw his great danger, and, like a thorough Christian he flung all his worldly gains to the winds, and devoted himself entirely to the truth. Being an able scribe, he was appointed clerk to the meeting in Cork, and for the province of Munster. He was also the compiler of an historical account of The first rise and progress of the truth in this nation, which he perfected in the form of annuls, up to the year 1700."

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