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Lodowicke Muggleton

(1609—1698) co-founder of Muggletonianism


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Lodowicke Muggleton was born in London in July 1609 and died there on 14 March 1698. He was a tailor and co-founder of a religious sect with his cousin John Reeve, who had claimed, on the basis of conversations with God on three successive days in February 1652, that he and Muggleton were the Two Last Witnesses named in the Book of Revelation. They were characteristic products of ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ milieu of the 1650s, and were often associated with Quakers who had also emerged at this time. Their doctrines, however, were strikingly different. They were materialists, who argued that matter preceded the Creator; they were mortalists, who attacked the belief in the immortality of the soul; they were Unitarians, who dated the decline that set in after a past millennium (calculated as the first 300 years after Christ) to the rise of Trinitarianism. They survived as a movement (with ever-shrinking numbers) to as late as 1979 when the man commonly believed to be the Last Muggletonian, Philip Noakes, died.

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From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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