In Massachusetts, being a Quaker was not just frowned upon—it was illegal. Puritans despised Quakers for reasons of theology (they heretically believed they could have a direct relationship with God), power (they refused to pay taxes to support Congregational Church), and man- ners (the zealous Quakers sometimes interrupted church services and banged pots and pans in the streets). The punishment for being a Quaker was whipping on the first offense, having an ear cut off after the second, and execution on the third. The authorities enforced the law with sadistic enthusiasm. One elderly Quaker, William Brend, was whipped 117 times with rope “so that his flesh was beaten black and as into a jelly, and under his arms the bruised flesh and blood hung down.”
Source: New England legends and folklore in prose and poetry. Illustrated by FT Merrill, 1884.