James Nayler, originally a farmer in the West Riding of Yorkshire, served with the Parliamentarian army in the First Civil War, and in 1652 had a vision calling him to become a Quaker. Having joined a group in London in 1655, he soon became a prominent preacher, and was caught up in various heated doctrinal disputes. On a journey from London to Bristol in October 1656, Nayler and his friends formed a procession, in which he travelled on horseback, and then sang and laid clothes in front of him. This was seen by the authorities as a blasphemous attempt to recreate Christ's entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Nayler insisted the procession had merely been symbolic, but those dissatisfied with the levels of religious toleration permitted u…
Quaker, James Nayler, convicted of blasphemy by Parliament and viciously punished (187 words)
Historical Context Note
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