Christopher Feake

Christopher Feake (1612–1683) was an English Independent minister and Fifth-monarchy man. He was imprisoned for maligning Oliver Cromwell in his preaching. He is a leading example of someone sharing both Leveller views and the millenarian approach of the Fifth Monarchists.[1] His violence was exclusively verbal, but he wrote against the Quakers.


He began public life as an independent minister in London. His earlier history is unknown. About 1643 he was lecturing at All Hallows the Great, with Henry Jessey and Robert Bragg.[2] Thomas Edwards reports that in 1645 he was a preacher in London without settled charge. At St. Peter's, Cornhill, St. Mary's Woolchurch, and elsewhere as he could, he discoursed in favour of close communion and gathered churches, and against tithes and the Westminster Assembly.

In January 1646 he obtained the sequestered vicarage of All Saints, Hertford. Here he did not observe the order of public worship prescribed by the Directory of Public Worship; he discarded psalm-singing and the use of the Lord's Prayer, and refrained from baptising infants. In his preaching he predicted the downfall of all governments, on the ground of their enmity to Christ; that of Holland was doomed for tolerating Arminianism. When articles were exhibited against Feake by a justice of the peace at the Hertford assizes, followers invaded the court, and the judge dismissed the case.

In 1649, on the sequestration of William Jenkyn, Feake received the vicarage of Christ Church, Newgate, and one of the lectureships at St. Anne's, Blackfriars. On 28 April 1650 he preached at Mercers' Chapel, before Thomas Foote who was Lord Mayor, a Fifth-monarchy sermon which was published. Soon after this he gathered or joined a Baptist church meeting at Blackfriars, and subsequently in Warwick Lane.

In October 1651 he was the leader of a radical group breaking away from Cromwell and the army leadership, who thought personal interests were getting the upper hand.[3] The launch of the Fifth Monarchist political movement, led by Feake and John Simpson, occurred in December 1651.[4] Feake's preaching became more and more virulent in its attacks on the existing government. In November 1653 he said that Barebone's Parliament was no improvement on the Rump Parliament.[5] He then spoke of Cromwell (18 December 1653) as "the most dissembling and perjured villain in the world."

For this kind of language he was brought before the council of state, deprived of his preferment, and committed to Windsor Castle. He appears to have been liberated in 1655, but was soon brought again before the council, and having been examined by Cromwell, was sent back to Windsor. Cromwell did not put him on trial, on the grounds that the sentence would have been death. In the summer of 1656 he still nominally a prisoner, living in London under a type of house arrest. He seems to have been set at full liberty on Cromwell's death, and in 1660 he disappears from view. At the time of his arrest (1653) he had a wife and eight children.


Feake's publications included:

  • The Genealogy of Christianity, &c. 1650, (sermon on Acts xi. 26, mentioned above; it is dedicated to the Lord Mayor).
  • 'Recommendatory Epistle,' prefixed to 'The Little Horns Doom,' &c. 1651, by Mary Carr, afterwards Rande, a millenarian.
  • Advertisement to the Reader,' signed by Feake and others, prefixed to 'A Faithful Discovery,' &c. 1653, 4to; 2nd edit. 1655, 4to (a work against the Yorkshire quakers by John Pomroy, Joseph Kellet, and Paul Glissen).
  • 'The New Nonconformist,' &c. 1654. 4to (written from Windsor Castle).
  • 'The Oppressed Close Prisoner in Windsor Castle,' &c. 1655.
  • Address 'to the Reader' prefixed to 'Mr. Tillinghast's Eight last Sermons.' &c. 1656; this also is written from his 'watchtower;' he mentions that it was his second imprisonment. John Tillinghast, who died early in 1655, was minister of a congregational church at Trunch, Norfolk, and a Fifth-monarchy man).
  • Address 'to the Readers' on church government, prefixed to 'The Prophets Malachy and Isaiah prophesying to the Saints,' &c. 1656. (mentions his house arrest).
  • 'The Time of the End,' &c. 1657, by John Canne, preface by Feake.
  • 'A Beam of Light,' &c. 1659, (pamphlet dealing with recent political history).

Feake is mentioned in The Declaration of Prophetick Proposals, touching Mr. Feak, &c. 1653 [i.e. February 1654], by Arise Evans. A tract entitled Proh Tempora! Proh Mores! 1654, by 'J. N., a Mechanick,' refers to a publication called Mr. Christopher Feakes Exhortations, and mentions that although Feake 'derides psalmsinging' he 'makes new songs.' A publication entitled A Word for All: or the Rump's Funerall Sermon, held forth by Mr. Feak to a Conventicle of Fanatiques at Bedlam, &c. 1660, is a lampoon on Feake.


  1. ^ Michael R. Watts, The Dissenters: from the Reformation to the French Revolution (1986), p. 138.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2007-06-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Blair Worden, The Rump Parliament 1648-53 (1977), p. 251.
  4. ^
  5. ^


Arise Evans

Arise Evans (or Rhys or Rice Evans) (1607-1660), was a Welsh prophet and fanatic.

Bryan W. Ball

Bryan W. Ball (born 11 July 1935) is a British theologian, academic, author, teacher, former Principal of Avondale College and former President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific.


Feake is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Charles Feake (c.1716 – 1762), English physician

Christopher Feake (1612–1683), English Congregationalist clergyman

Fifth Monarchists

The Fifth Monarchists or Fifth Monarchy Men were an extreme Puritan sect active from 1649 to 1660 during the Interregnum, following the English Civil Wars of the 17th century. They took their name from a prophecy in the Book of Daniel that four ancient monarchies (Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman) would precede the kingdom of Christ. They also referred to the year 1666 and its relationship to the biblical Number of the Beast indicating the end of earthly rule by carnal human beings. They were one of a number of nonconformist dissenting groups that emerged around this time.

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight (; also referred to informally as The Island or abbreviated to IoW) is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines. The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. It has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, and Britain's space rockets. The island hosts annual music festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970 was the largest rock music event ever held. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.

The isle was owned by a Norman family until 1293 and was earlier a kingdom in its own right. In common with the Crown dependencies, the British Crown was then represented on the island by the Governor of the Isle of Wight until 1995. The island has played an important part in the defence of the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, and been near the front-line of conflicts through the ages, including the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain. Rural for most of its history, its Victorian fashionability and the growing affordability of holidays led to significant urban development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Historically part of Hampshire, the island became a separate administrative county in 1890. It continued to share the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire until 1974, when it was made its own ceremonial county. Apart from a shared police force, there is now no administrative link with Hampshire, although a combined local authority with Portsmouth and Southampton was considered, this is now unlikely to proceed.The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea; three vehicle ferry and two catamaran services cross the Solent to Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.

John Canne

John Canne (d. 1667?) was an English Independent minister and printer.

John Pendarves

John Pendarves (1622–1656) was an English Puritan controversialist.

John Tillinghast

John Tillinghast (1604–1655) was an English clergyman and Fifth-monarchy man. He is known for his confrontation with Oliver Cromwell, and millenarian writings.

Mary Cary (prophetess)

Mary Cary Rand (or Rande) (ca. 1621-1653) was an English writer, prophetess and pamphleteer supporting the Fifth Monarchists during the English Civil War.

Peter Chamberlen the third

Peter Chamberlen M.D. (1601–1683), known as Peter the Third, was an English physician. The obstetrical forceps as invention has been credited to the Chamberlen family: the earliest evidence of what was a family trade secret points to his having it in 1630. He continued the family tradition of trying to bring the profession of midwifery under their control. His writings blend ideas associated with the Fifth Monarchists and Levellers with social schemes of his own with a utopian flavour.

William Jenkyn

William Jenkyn (1613–1685) was an English clergyman, imprisoned during the Interregnum for his part in the 'Presbyterian plot' of Christopher Love, ejected minister in 1662, and imprisoned at the end of his life for nonconformity.

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