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Category: History

Activity of women in sects of Quakers and People of the Fifth Monarchy

n. A. Voinova, A.A. Klyushnikova


MONARCHY In 1640-1700

Department of general history. The research supervisor - V.V. Noskov

Religious sects of the period of the English revolution had a huge impact on formation of the English society of Modern times. However if revolution long time was considered as the beginning of formation of this society, then origin and development of sects can be considered zaver-

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authors of religious treatises, names of female-sektantok often occur among those who signed any given petition and addressed with it in parliament and also preached the ideas of the sect. Therefore it is very important to find the right answer on a question

how their activity, their ideas influenced development of these sects.

In the history of the English sectarianism of the XVII century it is possible to allocate two periods: the first are the 1640-1960th, time of the radical, revolutionary ideas, millena-ristsky currents which looked for the only a right way in church, expressing it through prophecies. The second - the 1661-1700th - the period post-revolutionary when the society which again entered a framework of peaceful life demanded unity and sects begin to pay bigger attention to formation of the structure in frames -


ka of the complete church system of England, will rethink the ideas according to requirements peace times.

In the 1640-1960th about 300 female prophetesses, and from all number published in the XVII century are known of activity

prophecies for this period prikho-" 1 their most part - three quarters ditsya.

The deep religious and political crisis of the English society which caused also emergence of a large number of radical religious groups became the main reason of rough blossoming of prophetical activity. Among such associations the Puritan sect of People of the Fifth Monarchy, and in many respects thanks to expressiveness and eloquence of female prophetesses among which there were famous Anna Trapnel, Mary Cary, Elisabeth Avery, Ursula Adman enjoyed special popularity.

The main source of dogma of People of the Fifth Monarchy were bible the Book by the Prophet Daniil and Otkroveniye John the Evangelist. In the Book by Daniil it is told about four following one after another world empires (in interpretation of People of the Fifth Monarchy is the Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Roman empires), to replace which the new Kingdom of God which will break all previous [Dan will be erected. 2.44]. These empires are represented in the Book by Daniil in the form of four animals - a lion, a bear, a leopard and an indescribable animal with ten horns [Dan. 7.47]. Among ten horns of the last animal (or ten tsars of the fourth empire) there will be one more before which three of former will be destroyed [Dan. 7.8,20,24]. In a prophecy it is told that against God and violation Svyatykh this tsar will be punished for pronunciation of words then the power will be given in a charge Svyatykh and the Lord's Kingdom will forever be established [Dan. 7.27], or Fifth Monarchy. The bible horn of an indescribable animal for People of the Fifth Monarchy was personified at first by Charles I, "the tyrant, the haughty persecutor Svyatykh, abso-

the lyutny master of three states", and after dissolution in December, 1653 of Berbons-kogo of parliament (or Parliament Svyatykh) the embodiment of the injust sovereign became Oliver Cromwell, "a feigned klyatvootstupnik and the main villain in the world".

The fact that sectarians not only preached fast approach of the Kingdom of God and criticized the existing social system, but also took a number of the specific actions directed to preparation for transformation of the English state to the Fifth Monarchy is important. Active participation of leaders of sect in legislative activity of Berbonsky parliament and the organization of armed revolts belongs to their number. And while men in parliament or up in arms fought for establishment of the Fifth Monarchy, women extended the ideas of sect, performing with numerous prophecies and predictions.

Perhaps, Mary Cary and Anna Trapnel were the brightest prophetesses among People of the Fifth Monarchy. However their prophetical activity was various in a form and a source. Mary Cary's prophecies were based mainly on interpretation of texts of the Writing: it compared bible symbols of the Book of the Prophet Daniil and Otkroveniya John the Evangelist with modern to it events. Anna Trapnel prophecies, according to her, did not depend on her will and were sent it from above: she received them during an ecstatic trance when "The Lord was"


it in visions or she "heard voices".

Anna Trapnel came to sect in 1642 after acquaintance to the preacher of the Fifth Monarchy John Simpson, in the same time it began visions. The work & #34 became widely known; Crying камня" written down and published in 1654 by witnesses of its twelve-hour trance during which she said prayers and prophecies on approach of the Kingdom of the true sovereign in the form of spiritual chants. Explaining divine proiskhozhde-


ny the prophecies, it so described the feelings during a trance: "Heaven as if yawned it is necessary me and accepted me. I was absorbed by God's grace and could not speak". Anna Trapnel's predictions concerned also political affairs. For example, prophecy of 1654. The statement for fast falling of the power of the lord protector who "became an apostate" contained "Unusual and surprising news of Whitehall". In vision O. Cromwell was it in an image of a bull, but

The Lord promised to protect it, having punished the star-7 and

rya. Despite prosecutions from the authorities, Anna Trapnel did not stop prediction and continued criticism of the mode of protectorate.

Unlike Anna Trapnel Mary Cary did not receive a divine revelation and based the prophecies on the careful research Bibles. Since fifteen years she began to study prophetical books, and in the same time her first ideas were made out. The broad popularity of her work was gained in the 1650th. In them views of People of the Fifth Monarchy that the Kingdom of God approaches were in details stated, and Saints can bring closer it. In Mary Cary's prophecies also social expectations were expressed: in the come Fifth Monarchy the people "will not work and to work diligently day and night... to support others who live... in idleness". They "will quietly enjoy fruits of labor of the hands". Saints "will have many gold, silver and rich odezh-


dy". Mary Cary on an equal basis with men took part in political activity. In 1653 she convinced Berbonsky parliament to cancel tithes and common law, to pay priests from public funds and to reform a syst-" 10 mu formations.

However legislative initiatives of People of the Fifth Monarchy did not gain due development. The Berbonsky parliament was dismissed by Cromwell's supporters. Did not bring results and a revolt sektan-

t, last of which was suppressed in 1661. Arrests and death of leaders of the movement and also normalization of a social status in England during Restoration led to gradual falling of popularity of sect. With approach of relative public stability the ecstatic prophecies of People of the Fifth Monarchy ceased to answer conditions of time and gave way to a bit different phenomenon - preaching.

A prophecy, unlike a sermon, - the prediction and prediction of the future based that the prophetess receives the data from a supernatural source. The prophetess is sent by God to inform people of a certain message. Thus, she acts as the herald of the God. Such prophecies can be confirmed by visions, "prophetic" dreams. The sermon is created by the author and is lecture, manual in belief. The preacher - the teacher of the Word God's, her main goal is to convince listeners of the validity of the doctrine.


the Striking example of transition from prophecies to preaching was set by other famous sect of the period of the English revolution - Quakers, or "friends". This sect formed in 1648 by George Fox very quickly became the largest radical sect of that time. At the same time bigger number of members of sect made women. They very quickly managed to get influence among Quakers thanks to the prophecies which were very popular during the radical period of the English sectarianism.

Catherine Evans, Jane Holmes, Mary Whyte and, of course, Margaret Fell were the most famous Quaker female. Her husband George Fox was called "father" уийЯ1рР/у\и — & gt; Т^/Гятт^т^д-гт^^^р_ит^/шга-лму^и^у. UO

it was quite reasonable as if Fox created a theoretical basis of the movement in the works, then Fell proved religious equality of men and women. In the work "Women preach" it writes: "And if the Lord created the person

in his own image, He created both Muzhchina, and the Woman" and #34;.

Having acquired the right "to speak fluently", Quaker female, on an equal basis with other sektantka, begin to prophesy and preach actively. What distinguished them from women in other sects, so this ability to unite lines of the prophetess and mother. They could present to the followers both a religious consolation, and maternal care. Quaker female did not leave completely in nobody the hidden world of prophecies, they were present also at everyday life of the society: organized meetings of sect, did missionary work, charity work, visited prisoners and patients. Their virtues so popular in England 17th century, and irreproachable conduct helped Quaker female not only to get influence in own sect, but also to deserve respect of the English society.

From 50th of the 17th century of the woman will organize own meetings at which discuss the issues connected with charity and the help to patients and prisoners. These meetings quickly become the rule and a part of uniform structure of sect of Quakers. Formed originally to the vlondena, they soon extended through the whole country. At the same time prophecies of certain representatives of sects still have the greatest popularity.

However with the end of revolution and the end of prosecution of sects during Restoration the situation changes. The English society which endured crisis aspires to quiet life now and therefore loses interest in the prophecies predicting disasters and doomsday. Most of sects depart from the previous radicalism and begin more attention to pay to the structurization, seeking to join the uniform system of Protestant church.

It is no wonder that in such situation the popularity and influence of female preachers begin to fall. Descend from the arena of religious fight and sect where women

executed only one - prophetical function. However absolutely other situation developed in sect of Quakers. Certain prophetesses disappeared and there, but at the same time the community of Quaker female received still a greater influence in sect, having got into a control system and having influenced the policy of the movement. They managed to achieve it due to that maternal function which they executed also at the previous stage of development of sect.

Issues of marriage, charity and also discipline in sect continued to be discussed at monthly women's meetings. Actually, Quaker female began to play a parental role in sect, directing Quakers to a way of moral and spiritual clarification. Carrying out this role, Quaker female left the public arena and focused on internal life of sect.

The most famous Quaker female who were earlier prophetesses began to preach theoretical bases of sect both in it, and beyond its limits. Foremost "mother" of Quakers - Margaret Fell addresses in the messages "friends": "So, my beloved, be sure of God and in his mogu {an estvo, be true, and courageous, be betrayed to the Creator, and he will become you a support, and you will get the firm soil underfoot which neither storm, nor storms are terrible, and yes you will be unshakable because force it preserving you, above all, and you will eternally be in Lord's hands".

Thus, Quaker female for a short time managed to change a role of prophetesses to roles of preachers and mothers of sect. Thanks to the fact that women's societies in sect initially executed several functions they easily managed to join administrative structures and to make a main objective of the domestic policy maintaining unity of sect, its moral foundations and discipline. Since that moment as sect became a part of established church, prophecies stopped being nuzh-


but necessary the organized structure of sect which could join smoothly new post-revolutionary society, uniform structure of Protestant church became ny. This task became the main for Quakers and women made a lot of things in order that it was solved. In many respects thanks to them "friends" managed to keep the sect, to make it a part of new society and to inform of its foundations up to now.

The main ideas of People of the Fifth Monarchy were expressed in prophecies on the second coming, on approach of the thousand-year Kingdom of God which were characteristic of a crisis era. For this reason with the termination of social shocks of their idea lost relevance and could not find the environment for distribution in new conditions. Respectively, and the role of the women of sect who were full, mainly, prophetical function lost the value.

The sect of Quakers got a large number of followers, including women as a result their ideas had more general character in comparison with the ideas of People of the Fifth Monarchy which focused the followers on approach of a concrete event. Margaret Fell, having proved the equal religious rights of men and women, gave to women to Quakers the chance not only to prophesy, but also to preach, participate in management of sect. Thus, it set other activity of women in religious life of society that strengthened both viability of the sect, and a position of women in it. The ideas and activity of People of the Fifth Monarchy became the bright embodiment of a revolutionary era and remained in the past whereas "internal light" of Quakers lit peaceful future of the next generations.


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Solt LeoF. The Fifth Monarchy Men: Politics and the Millenium//Church History. - 1961. - Vol. 30.-

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TrapnelA. A Legacy for Saints. London, 1654. A Historical Dictionary of British Women. London, 2003. TrapnelA. The Cry of a Stone. London, 1654.

TrapnelA. Strange and Wonderful Newes from White-Hall. London, 1654. A Historical Dictionary of British Women. London, 2003. Saga M. The Little Horns Doom and Downfall. London, 1651.


K. Hipl. English Bible and revolution of the 17th century. M, 1997.

& #34; FellM. Women&s Speaking/www.qhpress.


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Shirley Taylor
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