Mother Ann Lee
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On February 29, 1736, Ann was born to John Lees and his wife in the poor section of Manchester, England. Her father was a hard worker; during the day he worked as a blacksmith, and at night, a tailor to eke out a meager living for his family of ten. The name of Ann’s mother is not even recorded, but according to the book Mother Ann Lee, she was "esteemed as a strictly religious and very pious woman."

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Little information is known about Ann Lee’s childhood, with a few exceptions, including her private baptism with the established Church of England, on June 1, 1742, when she was six years of age. At the tender age of eight, she became employed in a cotton factory, and afterwards was a cutter of hatter’s fur. She was also employed as a cook in the Manchester infirmary, where she was distinguished for her "neatness, faithfulness, prudence, and good economy." Children in Manchester could not afford the privilege of an education during those times. Ann, like many others, never learned to read or write. She depended upon her memory, and developed a strong one, at that.

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     The people in the poverty-stricken, overpopulated town of Manchester often turned to drinking in taverns to escape the awful living conditions, and in Ann’s case, as many others, was a family affair. Having to live like this brought Ann to retreat into her own world of imagination. In childhood, she exhibited a bright, sagacious, and active genius. She was not addicted to play, but was serious and thoughtful. She was the early subject of religious impressions, and was often favored with heavenly visions. She had great light and conviction concerning the sinfulness and depravity of human nature, and especially concerning the lusts of the flesh, which she often made known to her parents entreating them for that counsel and protection by which she might be kept form sin.

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