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Philadelphia Resurrected: Celebrating the Union Act (1707) from Irenic to Scatological Eschatology*

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Part of the Christianities in the Trans-Atlantic World, 1500-1800 book series (CTAW)

Abstract

This chapter examines the state of the Philadelphian Society in the aftermath of Jane Lead’s death in 1704. It challenges the centrality of her matriarchal authority and portrays her instead as a controversial, divisive figure among the Philadelphians, whose Society had already collapsed by the time of her death. It shows how the arrival of the Camisards in London in 1706 gave the Philadelphian Society a second life, as both movements merged into the ‘French Prophets’ the following year in celebration of the Union Act. Yet if the Prophets became notorious for their spiritual performances, it is argued that this owed more to the Philadelphians’ influence among them than to their actual French followers. Overall, this chapter concludes that the Philadelphians proved far more radical than hitherto acknowledged and that Lead’s English legacy was almost non-existent.

Keywords

  • Cohesive Movement
  • Religious Society
  • Female Ministry
  • Miraculous Cure
  • Public Assembly

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Thune, Behmenists, pp. 136–37; Paula McDowell, ‘Enlightenment Enthusiasms and the Spectacular Failure of the Philadelphian Society’, Eighteenth-Century Studies, 35:4 (2002), pp. 515–33.

  2. 2.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fol. 83r.

  3. 3.

    Propositions Extracted From the Reasons for the Foundation and Promotion of a Philadelphian Society (London, 1697), pp. 4, 8.

  4. 4.

    Brian Gibbons, Gender in Mystical and Occult Thought: Behmenism and Its Development in England (Cambridge, 2003), p. 10.

  5. 5.

    The State of the Philadelphian Society (London, 1697), p. 1; Daniel Lafite, The Principles of a People Stiling Themselves Philadelphians (London, 1697), pp. 1–3.

  6. 6.

    Gibbons, Gender, p. 144.

  7. 7.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fols. 58r-62v; London Post with Intelligence Foreign and Domestick, no. 54 (6 October, 1699), p. 2.

  8. 8.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fols. 84r-85r.

  9. 9.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fols. 59r, 70v. Possibly related to Sir Patrick Murray of Auchtertyre, 2nd Baronet (d. 1735), Scottish Quietist close to James Keith (see below). G.D. Henderson (ed.), Mystics of the North-east, Including I, Letters of James Keith, M.D., and Others to Lord Deskford: II, Correspondence Between Dr. George Garden and James Cunningham (Aberdeen, 1934), p. 20.

  10. 10.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 832, fols. 94–95; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fols. 50–51.

  11. 11.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fol. 57v.

  12. 12.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fols. 69r-v.

  13. 13.

    William Gibson, ‘Dissenters, anglicans and elections after the toleration act, 1689–1710’, in Robert Cornwall and William Gibson (eds), Religion, Politics and Dissent, 1660–1832. Essays in Honour of James E. Bradley (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), pp. 129–46.

  14. 14.

    Lionel Laborie, ‘Who Were the Camisards?’, French Studies Bulletin, 32:120 (2011), pp. 54–57; W. Gregory Monahan, Let God Arise. The War and Rebellion of the Camisards (Oxford, 2014), pp. 39, 52–56. See also Hillel Schwartz, The French Prophets: The History of a Millenarian Group in Eighteenth-Century England (Berkeley, 1980).

  15. 15.

    Lionel Laborie, ‘The Huguenot Offensive Against the Camisards Prophets in the English Refuge’, in Jane McKee and Randolph Vigne (eds), The Huguenots: France, Exile & Diaspora (Brighton, 2013), pp. 125–33.

  16. 16.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fols. 15v, 20r.

  17. 17.

    Scott Mandelbrote, ‘Fatio, Nicolas, of Duillier (1664–1753)’, ODNB; Charles Andrew Domson, ‘Nicolas Fatio de Duillier and the Prophets of London: An Essay in the Historical Interaction of Natural Philosophy and Millennial Belief in the Age of Newton’ (PhD thesis, 1972). Fatio’s niece, Marie Huber (1695–1753), became a prominent female Pietist theologian in the eighteenth century.

  18. 18.

    Eric G. Forbes, Lesley Murdin and Frances Willmoth (eds), The Correspondence of John Flamsteed, the First Astronomer Royal (Bristol, 2002), vol. 3, pp. 334–36.

  19. 19.

    Henderson, Mystics of the North-East, pp. 56–61; G.D. Henderson, Chevalier Ramsay (Nelson, 1952), p. 19; Mirjam de Baar, ‘Conflicting Discourses on Female Dissent in the Early Modern Period: The Case of Antoinette Bourignon (1616–1680)’, L’Atelier du Centre de recherches historiques (04/2009), http://acrh.revues.org/1399. Lead also corresponded with Poiret c.1700–1703, see Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire de Lausanne (BCU), TS 1029, no. 1; FbG, Chart A 297, fols. 89–91.

  20. 20.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson, D 1152, fol. 11v; Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, EDC 5/1720/2, fol. 1.

  21. 21.

    Bibliothèque de Genève (hereafter BGE), Ms fr. 605/7a, fol. 1v.

  22. 22.

    Archiv der Franckeschen Stiftungen (hereafter AFSt), StaB/Nachlaß Francke 30/4:1, fols. 681–84; AFSt, H D71, fols. 109–110; Daniel Brunner, Halle Pietists in England: Anthony William Boehm and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (Göttingen, 1993), pp. 42–44; Richard Gawthrop, Pietism and the Making of Eighteenth-century Prussia (Cambridge, 1993), pp. 184–85.

  23. 23.

    Craig Spence, ‘Misson, Francis Maximilian’, ODNB.

  24. 24.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fol. 32r.

  25. 25.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fol. 32; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fols. 17v-18r, 20r-21r, 23r.

  26. 26.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fol. 85r.

  27. 27.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fol. 39v.

  28. 28.

    Tom Dixon, ‘Love and Music in Augustan London; Or, the “Enthusiasms” of Richard Roach’, Eighteenth-Century Music, 4:2 (2007), pp. 191–209.

  29. 29.

    Chetham’s, Mun.A.6.14/1, index V, fol. AA; Stack private collection, 1j, fol. 30; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fol. 57r-v. Critchlow’s house was not officially registered for dissenting meetings until 1 August, 1707, see; LMA, MJ/SP/1707/07/074.

  30. 30.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fol. 31.

  31. 31.

    Chetham’s, Mun.A.6.14/1, index V, fols. AA-FF; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fol. 58v; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1154, fols. 404v-05r.

  32. 32.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fols. 57r, 69r, 92r, 95v.

  33. 33.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fols. 59v, 62v, 71r, 83v.

  34. 34.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fols. 55r, 82r, 84v, 105r.

  35. 35.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fols. 61v-62r, 64r.

  36. 36.

    Hillel Schwartz, ‘Millenarianism’, Encyclopedia of Religion, vol. 9, p. 6029; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fols. 54–66.

  37. 37.

    Elias, or the Trumpet Sounding to Judgment, From the Mount of God (London, 1704); Markus Öhler, ‘The Expectation of Elijah and the Presence of the Kingdom of God’, Journal of Biblical Literature, 118:3 (1999), pp. 461–76.

  38. 38.

    Philip C Almond, ‘John Mason and His Religion: An Enthusiastic Millenarian in Late Seventeenth-Century England’, The Seventeenth Century, 24:1 (2009), pp. 156–76; William E Burns, ‘London’s Barber-Elijah: Thomas Moor and Universal Salvation in the 1690s’, Harvard Theological Review, 95:3 (2002), pp. 277–90.

  39. 39.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fols. 62r, 63v, 115r, 116v.

  40. 40.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fols. 39v, 113v; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fol. 32.

  41. 41.

    BGE, Ms fr. 605/7a, fol. 4v; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fol. 1v; Chetham’s, Mun.A.6.14/1, fols. 361–65; Chetham’s, Mun.A.6.14/2, fols. 173–90.

  42. 42.

    TNA: PRO, KB 28/22/29.

  43. 43.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fols. 53r, 54v, 55r, 63r, 95v.

  44. 44.

    Lionel Laborie, Enlightening Enthusiasm: Prophecy and Religious Experience in Early Eighteenth-Century England (Manchester, 2015), chapter 5.

  45. 45.

    Chetham’s, Mun.A.4.33, fol. 58.

  46. 46.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fols. 101r, 105r; Schwartz, French Prophets, pp. 113–25. A meeting was also held with William Penn in February 1708, see; BGE, Ms fr. 605/7a, fol. 3r.

  47. 47.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 832, fol. 185.

  48. 48.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fol. 90r; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 832, fol. 167.

  49. 49.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fol. 76v; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 832, fol. 218.

  50. 50.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fol. 107r; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fol. 55v.

  51. 51.

    Wilhelm Schmidt-Biggemann, ‘Apokalypse Und Millenarismus Im Dreißigjährigen Krieg’, in Heinz Schilling and Klaus Bußmann (eds), 1648: Krieg Und Frieden in Europa (Münster, 1998), vol. 1, pp. 259–63; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fol. 89r. On the origins of this prophecy, see Lesley Ann Coote, Prophecy and Public Affairs in Later Medieval England (Woodbridge, 2000), pp. 96–98.

  52. 52.

    Sarah Apetrei, Women, Feminism and Religion in Early Enlightenment England (Cambridge, 2010), pp. 232–35.

  53. 53.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fols. 31v, 96r, 116r; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fols. 54–66.

  54. 54.

    Phyllis Mack, Visionary Women Ecstatic Prophecy in Seventeenth-Century England (University of California Press, 1992), p. 234; Douglas Shantz, Between Sardis and Philadelphia: The Life and World of Pietist Court Preacher Conrad Bröske (Leiden, 2008), pp. 132–33.

  55. 55.

    Samuel Keimer, A Brand Pluck’d From the Burning (London, 1718), p. 80.

  56. 56.

    The French prophetess turn’d adamite (London, 1707); Keimer, Brand Pluck’d, p. 54.

  57. 57.

    Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, EDC 5/1718/9, EDC 5/1719/2, EDC 5/1720/2; John Lacy, A Letter From John Lacy, to Thomas Dutton, Being Reasons Why the Former Left His Wife and Took E. Gray a Prophetess to His Bed (London, 1711); Keimer, Brand Pluck’d, pp. 32, 57–58, 124.

  58. 58.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 832, fol. 34v; BGE, Ms fr. 605/7a, fols. 2v, 4r.

  59. 59.

    Keimer, Brand Pluck’d, pp. 53, 109–10.

  60. 60.

    Samuel Keimer, A Search After Religion, Among the Many Modern Pretenders to It (London, 1718), p.16; Keimer, Brand Pluck’d, pp. 38–39, 80, 111; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 832, fol. 200v; BGE, Ms fr. 605/7a, fol. 5.

  61. 61.

    Sarah Apetrei, ‘The “Sweet Singers” of Israel: Prophecy, Antinomianism and Worship in Restoration England’, Reformation and Renaissance Review, 10:1 (2009), pp. 3–23; The Tatler, no. 257 (30 November 1710), p. 2.

  62. 62.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1153, fol. 337r.

  63. 63.

    François-Maximilien Misson, A Cry from the Desart (2nd edn., London, 1707), p. xvii.

  64. 64.

    McDowell, ‘Enlightenment Enthusiasms’, p. 524.

  65. 65.

    Chetham’s, Mun.A.4.33, no. 1, 3–5, 9, 17, 24, 27, 33, 61, 93–94, 182, 190, 196, 295, 321, 340, 359, 389, 436, 439, 444, 491, 494, 496.

  66. 66.

    Keimer, Brand Pluck’d, pp. 71, 72, 76; Chetham’s, Mun.A.4.33, no. 41, 52, 79, 97, 280, 303, 351, 416, 461, 473–474, 483, 489, 520, 554; Schwartz, French Prophets, pp. 248–49.

  67. 67.

    Chetham’s, Mun.A.4.33, no. 44, 67, 80, 82–85, 87, 88, 99, 106–107, 305, 350, 387, 415, 452, 499–503, 530; Chetham’s, Mun.A.6.14/2, fols. 179–180; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1153, fols. 330v, 336r, 342r, 343v-44r, 347v.

  68. 68.

    Bibliothèque du Protestantisme Français, Paris (hereafter BPF), MS 302, fols. 4r-5r; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fol. 119r.

  69. 69.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fols. 112r, 115r; Esquire Lacy’s Reasons Why Doctor Emms was not Raised from the Dead (London, 1708), reprinted in Harleian Miscellany (1810), vol. 11, pp. 64–65.

  70. 70.

    Chetham’s, Mun.A.6.14/1, index IV, fol. viii, fols. 343–48. Abraham Whitrow lived in Little Kirby Street in Hatton Garden. His house was opposite the Philadelphians’ venue in Baldwin’s Gardens. Whitrow may also have been related to the Restoration mystic Joan Whitrowe (fl. 1665–1697), who prophesied against social and economic injustice; see my forthcoming entry in ODNB.

  71. 71.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fol. 123r; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1153, fol. 199v.

  72. 72.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fol. 31; BGE, Ms fr. 605/7a, fol. 3r; Chetham’s, Mun.A.6.14/1, fols. 431–32.

  73. 73.

    BGE, Ms fr. 605/7a, fol. 3v.

  74. 74.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1152, fol. 107r; Caleb Gilman, Veritas exultans, truth exalted and self abased (London, 1708).

  75. 75.

    Chetham’s, Mun.A.4.33, fols. 336–38; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1318, fols. 55r-56v.

  76. 76.

    Chetham’s, Mun.A.6.14/1, Index IV, fol. viii.

  77. 77.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1318, fol. 61v.

  78. 78.

    Chetham’s, Mun.A.4.33, fols. 341–42.

  79. 79.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1318, fols. 63v-64v.

  80. 80.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1318, fols. 65–66; Chetham’s, Mun.A.2.114, fols. 179–182.

  81. 81.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1318, fols. 67r-68v; Apetrei, Women, Feminism and Religion, pp. 225–30.

  82. 82.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 832, fols. 78v-79r; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fols. 33–46.

  83. 83.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fol. 47. Keith was a convinced believer in the Quietist Mme Guyon. Henderson, Mystics of the North-East, p. 60; William Munk, The Roll of the Royal College of Physicians (London, 1861), vol. 1, p. 344, vol. 2, pp. 18, 21. For Coughen see Ariel Hessayon’s discussion in this volume.

  84. 84.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 833, fol. 24.

  85. 85.

    Plan de la justice de dieu sur la terre, dans ces derniers jours et du relèvement de la chute de l’homme par son péché (1714); Quand vous aurez saccagé, vous serez saccagés: car la lumière est apparue dans les ténèbres, pour les détruire (1714), p. 114.

  86. 86.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1153, fols. 267r-v, 276r, 330v, 332r, 336r, 342r, 347v; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 832, fol. 183; Martin Greig, ‘Freke, William (1662–1744)’, ODNB.

  87. 87.

    DWL, MS Walton 1104: I.1, fols. 22r-34v, 40v-52v.

  88. 88.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1153, fol. 336r; Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1154, fol. 405r; James Cummins bookseller, New York, MS Ref. 6268 (17 August 1721).

  89. 89.

    Roach composed ‘Mariage à la mode, or the Camisar Wedding. A Ballad’ after Lacy’s adulterous liaison with Gray in 1711; see Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 832, fols. 192–205, printed in Keimer, Brand Pluck’d, pp. 59–70.

  90. 90.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1153, fols. 215r, 267r-v, 334v, 343v-44r.

  91. 91.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1153, fol. 290r-v.

  92. 92.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 832, fols. 92–93.

  93. 93.

    Bodl., MS Rawlinson D 1318, fols. 52–54; Dutch Royal Library (The Hague), KB, 72 E 14, fol. 5c. The Quaker merchant Benjamin Furly pointed theological resemblances with the radical Pietists Johannes Tennhardt and Johannes Maximilian Daut, see Eclair de lumière descendant des cieux, pour découvrir, sur la nuit des peuples de la terre, la corruption qui se trouve dans leurs ténèbres; afin de les inciter à la repentance (Rotterdam, 1711), p. viii.

  94. 94.

    BPF, MS 302, fols. 4r-5r.

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Laborie, L. (2016). Philadelphia Resurrected: Celebrating the Union Act (1707) from Irenic to Scatological Eschatology*. In: Hessayon, A. (eds) Jane Lead and her Transnational Legacy. Christianities in the Trans-Atlantic World, 1500-1800. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-39614-3_10

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