Contemporary court documents show frequent prosecutions against Quakers - over 2,000 (out of a total of 50,000) were tried during the Interregnum. Locally they were detested and easily identifiable by their dress and manner of speech. Oliver Cromwell was not, unlike many of his contemporaries, concerned with the Quakers' religious beliefs, so long as they remained socially acceptable. The Protector had a relatively close relationship with George Fox, and on several occasions intervened to protect Quakers from prosecution when there lacked good reason. Notable was the case of James Nayler in 1656 who rode into Bristol imitating Christ's entry into Jerusalem (though Cromwell could do little against Nayler's blasphemy and he was sentenced to severe corporal punishment).

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