John Smyth

(1570—1612) Baptist minister

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(? 1570–1612),

the reputed founder of the General Baptists. Ordained in the C of E, he became a Puritan preacher at Lincoln and later (by 1607) was a Separatist pastor in Gainsborough. He led a company of exiles to Amsterdam c.1608 and there, after baptizing himself (hence his title, the ‘Se-Baptist’), in 1609 he established the first modern Baptist Church. He came increasingly under Mennonite influence.

Subjects: Christianity — Early Modern History (1500 to 1700).

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