Early Quakers, wanting a mark that would distinguish them from worldly ostentation, adopted a plain style of clothing that came to be known as ‘Quaker grey’. Not all of them approved of this, however. Opposition came even from Margaret Fell, often seen as the Mother of Quakerism, who had lived all her life in south Lakeland, with its vibrant colours of hills, sky and sea. She wrote with some acidity against the grey uniform:

we must look at no colours, nor make anything that is changeable colours as the hills are, nor sell them, nor wear them: but we must all be in one dress and one colour: this is a silly poor Gospel. It is more fit for us, to be covered with God’s Eternal Spirit, and clothed with his Eternal Light, which leads us and guides us into righteousness. Now I have set before you life and death, and desire you to choose life, and God and his truth.