Fifth-monarchy-men

Fifth-Monarchy-Men a sect of Millenarians which sprung up in the time of Cromwell, and held that the millennial reign of Christ on earth, styled by them the fifth great monarchy, reckoned in succession with the Assyrian, Persian, Grecian, and Roman ones, was then to begin. Under the lead of Thomas Venner, a wine- cooper, they formed a plot to inaugurate their kingdom of the saints on April 9th, 1657, but were foiled by the vigilance of Thurloe, the secretary of state, and a number of the conspirators, arrested with arms in their hands, were sent to the Tower, though the penalty of the law, death, was not inflicted on any of them. On the 6th of January, 1661, some fifty' or sixty of these madmen, led by the same Venner, rose in insurrection, if we may term it such, against the government of Charles II, proclaimed "king Jesus," attacked the police force, and, after concealing themselves for two day's in Caen Wood, near Highgate, returned to encounter the train-bands, insanely believing that neither bullet nor steel could harm them. Most of them, refusing quarter, were slain outright; but Venner and sixteen others were taken, tried, and executed.-Knight, Popular Hist. of England, 4:206, 251; Pictorial Hist. of England, iii, 421, 679 (Chambers's ed.); Burnet, Hist. of His Own Times, vol. i, bk. ii; Baxter, Hist. of the Church of England, p. 606, 611; Neal, Hist. of the Puritans (London), 4:186. (J. W. M.)

 
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