Chapter 18 » 18.10

Memorial concerning Joseph Bewley (1795–1851):

Humility was a conspicuous trait in the character of Joseph Bewley; for although he had acquired considerable influence among his brethren, he sought no pre-eminence. ‘A meek and quiet spirit’, united with kindness of heart and equanimity of temper, obtained for him the love and esteem of a large circle of relatives and friends. He was naturally diffident and retiring, and seemed to feel himself restrained from taking much part in public affairs, and to consider that a narrower path of duty was assigned to him. But his desires for the welfare of his fellow-men, and his sympathies for the sorrowing and afflicted, were not circumscribed by the bounds of religious association. His heart was open to feel for the sufferings of every class; and his pecuniary means were liberally but unostentatiously employed in the alleviation of distress, and in contributing to increase the comforts of those whose resources were limited. The wide-spread affliction, resulting from the general failure of the potato crop in 1846, called forth in his mind feelings of deep commiseration for his famine-stricken countrymen. He originated the movement for their assistance which led to the formation of the ‘Friends’ Relief Committee’; and, as one of its secretaries, he devoted himself with unwearied assiduity to the arduous endeavour to alleviate the distress which then so extensively prevailed.

Dublin Monthly Meeting, 1852

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