The Quakers, originally called “Friends of Truth” (John 15:15) were also known as the Religious Society of Friends. Blaugdone consistently uses the word “Friends” to address the Quaker community.
 Shoreditch was the site of the first Elizabethan theatre. It was located just outside the official city limits of London, and was therefore not under its jurisdiction, which allowed for a more relaxed censorship.
 Conversion to Quakerism arose in individuals through the shared internal experience of the Light of Christ.
 Steeple-house is a pejorative Quaker term for a Catholic or Protestant church. Quakers believed that true religious experience comes from within and that ornate religious art was idolatry.
 George Bishop was a Quaker in the 17th century who wrote several works on Quaker doctrines.
 Vagrancy was a trend which worried late medieval and early modern society. Early punishments for vagrancy consisted of enslavement, banishment, and even death after a third offense. After the establishment of the Poor Laws in 1601 which remained in effect until 1834, men who were found to be vagrant could be banished, or most commonly branded with a V, which if continually caught could result in harsher punishments. Women, in contrast, were generally whipped.
 This accusation can be read as a reference to the Lord’s Day Act of 1657 which penalized any one who disrupted the course of a service. While many Quaker ministers chose to speak after the service was over, thus not interfering with the service, many were imprisoned simply for open contempt for ministers and magistrates.
 Topsom (Topsham) is 3.9 miles southeast of Exeter.
 Bristoll (Bristol), 66 miles north of Topsham is the site of “The Friars,” a Quaker meeting house built in 1670. Quakers have been active in Bristol since 1654, when John Camm and John Audland came to Bristol.
 I.e., ‘towards me’, God was sending his protection and guardianship over her.
 A reference to the story of Jesus’ birth in a manger with animals. Joseph and Mary were traveling in Bethlehem, and Mary “brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn:” (Luke 2:7).
 I was made to kneel down and pray for him: Blaugdone was commanded by God to pray for the Mayor and, being a stout Quaker, obeyed.
 Thomas Robertson and Ambrose Rigg: Quaker preachers who traveled together throughout the southern countries; Rigg was imprisoned at least five times, a few of those in the company of Thomas Robertson and is believed to have lived from 1635 to 1705.
 Howgill and Burrough were well know Friends who led the Quaker missions in Southern Ireland. They began their mission to Ireland in August 1655 and were banished from the country in late February 1656, just as Blaugdone was arriving.
 The Deputy: Henry Cromwell (1628-1674, fourth son of Oliver Cromwell) was commander of the Irish army at the time, a position titled Lord Deputy. He was subordinate to Ireland’s lord-deputy Charles Fleetwood but acted as lord-deputy in Fleetwood’s absence. Cromwell officially became lord-deputy in 1657, roughly two years after the event Blaugdone details.
 The Nation of Ireland. Possible allusion to the changed dynamic of power within the nation caused by the constant civil warring, which had recently placed Protestants in positions of authority.
 They all stood bare-headed: While this is seen in many circles as a sign of respect, Quakers did not remove their hats to anyone, as it was a sign of acknowledging someone other than God as one’s master. Blaugdone’s non-Quaker contemporaries, in turn, saw this image as a metaphor that when one takes off one’s hat, one is uncovered by the spirit of the Lord. She may have meant this reference to be a sign of the sinful nature of attempted deceit.
 A Priest: most likely Cromwell’s Independent minister, Mr. Harrison.
 Gamaliel: a celebrated doctor of Law in the New Testament (Acts v.34). He advised that St. Peter and the Apostles not be put to death despite their continued preaching after a ban was put into place. Despite disagreements with his stance, his word was taken and they were saved.
 The radical religious and social reformations the Quakers offered scared many people in England and Ireland alike. As a result, Cromwell ordered his army to begin arresting and banishing Quakers from the country.
 Words spoken by Jesus to the people of Nazareth, the town where he grew up. They refused to believe in his teaching because they considered him one of themselves and therefore without authority to preach to them. The expression is now used of anyone whose talents and accomplishments are highly regarded by everyone except those at home.
 Dungarvan is a town and harbor on the south coast of Ireland in the province of Munster. The town's Irish name means "Garbhan's fort", referring to the Saint Garbhan who founded a church there in the seventh century.
 Foundered (floundered): struggled violently and clumsily; plunged, rolled and tumbled about in or as in mire.
 There was no law that prohibited the Judge from speaking to Blaugdone, but many people of the time were terrified by the Quakers. It is possible the Judge could not stand to speak to Blaugdone himself.
 Tradition was to leave inheritance (land) to the eldest son if there was more than one child over the age of twenty-one. This land would then not be able to be claimed by another child until the original heir was dead having left no children behind.
 Smote: knocked.
 Cleared my self of him: freed myself from charge, or blame; Blaugdone is suggesting that she cleared her conscience by calling on the Judge to confess, so she would not be held accountable by God for failing to save his soul.