Fifth Monarchists

(161 words)

Historical Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : .

The Fifth Monarchists were an extremist Christian sect who flourished during the Interregnum, but could not sustain momentum once the Restoration was established. Taking their name from a reference, in the Books of Daniel and Revelation, to four ancient empires (those of Babylon, Persia, Greek and Rome), which would then be succeeded by a thousand-year rule by man (which they interpreted as the Papacy), they believed that the final, and imminent, stage in this process was the Millennium and the coming of Christ. Their zenith came during the Commonwealth, and they were influential in the Nominated Assembly of 1653, but they saw Cromwell's dissolution of it as a betrayal, and thereafter were involved in plots to overthrow him. Their last h…

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