How the Quaker Movement started

George Fox (1624-91) is generally credited with the founding of the Quaker movement, although he came to be helped by a great number of very capable preachers such James Nayler, Margaret Fell, Edward Burrough, Francis Howgill, Richard Hubberthorne, Richard Farnsworth, and William Dewsbury, all drawn initially from the north of England. Fox himself grew up in Fenny Drayton in Leicestershire. His religious seeking led him to leave home in 1643 when he was 19 years of age.
In the following passage from his journal, dated 1647, we read of the transforming experience that came over him:

Now after I had received that opening from the Lord that to be bred at Oxford or Cambridge was not sufficient to fit a man to be a minister of Christ, I regarded the priests less and looked more after the dissenting people ... [But] As I had forsaken all the priests, so I left the separate preachers also, and those called the most experienced people; for I saw there was none among them all that could speak to my condition.

And when all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could tell what to do, then, oh then, I heard a voice which said, 'There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition' and when I heard it my heart did leap for joy.

Although there were some  Quakers in Winchester in the early days, there was no Meeting House in the City until 1973.