William Reckitt (1706-1769) was born in Lincolnshire to honest parents, both of whom died when he was very young. When an adolescent, serving as an apprentice to weaver, he was convinced of the Truth through the ministry of a Friend on a religious visit, and by diligently harkening to the Light of Christ that shined in his heart, he was preserved from the many temptations to which unguarded youth are commonly exposed. In 1742, at the age of thirty-six, he first came forth in the work of the ministry, and in 1756, when en route to America, he and several others on board were taken captive by a French privateer and brought to Morlaix. There he was detained in a painful state of captivity for about six months, but was preserved throughout in remarkable quietness and resignation, to the great admiration of some of the French inhabitants.
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The journal of William Reckitt, a devoted minister in the Society of Friends, relating his lengthy imprisonment in France, his travels and experiences in the ministry, and the correspondence between himself and his family while absent in America.