Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2013

Capstone Advisor

Dr. Chris Kyle

Honors Reader

Dr. Alan Allport

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

European History | History | History of Religion | Political History


This project looks at the Fifth Monarchy Men, a radical religious and political group in early modern England. Two quotes from the historian Bernard Capp formed the foundation for this project. The quotes both stated that the Fifth Monarchy Men’s millenarian ideology changed based on the hopes and fears of the common people. Two components made up my analysis of the topic. The first was to find out what were the hopes and fears of the common people. The case studies used for this piece involved Nehemiah Wallington and the townspeople of Dorchester. Even though they were the hotter sort of Protestant, there are limited records of common people from this time. From this, it was found that the common people had an interconnected mixture of spiritual and practical concerns. The cases came from the most religiously minded, yet even they were concerned with the spiritual when it was connected to practical or personal concerns.

The second component of the analysis was to examine the Fifth Monarchy Men’s millenarian ideology. This was done by using a combination of primary sources and text written by historians. For the primary sources, there were a number of tracts used. There was a more detailed discussion of tracts written by four leading members: Anna Trapnel, Mary Cary, Vavasor Powell, and Christopher Feake. There were a variety of topics discussed in these sources, with a few common themes. One can see that the Fifth Monarchists were most concerned with religious issues, not the practical or personal issues of most concern to common people. The secondary sources show that the group lacked centralized leadership and cohesion. Thus, changes that did occur happened to individual preachers, not to the movement as a whole. This showed that for the Fifth Monarchy Men, the changes that did occur to their ideology were due to political pressures and individual preacher's preferences, not the hopes and fears of the common people.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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