Thomas Ellwood (1639-1713) was an English religious writer. He became a Quaker and was friends with William Penn and John Milton. He was persecuted and imprisoned for his faith. He outlived this turbulent time and spent his latter years in peace. Elwood describes the Quaker faith as follows," They would have no formal prayers, no formal preaching, but sought to speak with each other as the Spirit prompted, soul to soul. They would not, when our plural pronoun "you" was still only plural, speak to one man as if he were two or more. They swore not at all; but their "Yea" and "Nay" were known to be more binding than the oaths of many of their persecutors. And as they would not go through the required form of swearing allegiance to the Government whenever called upon to do so, they were continually liable to penalties of imprisonment when imprisonment too often meant jail fever, misery, and death."