Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wyrd Historye of Thee Daye: The Ranters

... not the ravers, kids.

As the Peonage takes advantage of our literacy and our employment in the Hallowed Halls of Information, the Kynge's Brewe is a constant companion to our serious scholarship of all manner of esoterica.

Ohiolink is a beautiful thing for acquiring unaffordable art books, books we want to read, books to write papers with, and sundry graphic novels and varyed musick, though the treasure trove of early English writings remains inaccessible to us.

Still, the headlines of said microforms make for entertaining reading, if one finds amusement in "Scurvie Alchemy" and whatnot.

There was quite a bit about The Ranters, which according to Wikipedia was a fringe religious sect that practiced some form of pantheism and general free love, which makes them something like 17th-century hippies. The screeds below make references to blaspheming song and other travesties with some amusing alliteration.

Needless to say, this didn't go over very well.

The routing of the Ranters, being a full relation of their uncivil carriages, and blasphemous words and actions at their mad meetings, their several kind of musick, dances, and ryotings, and their belief and opinions concerning heaven and hell. With their examinations taken before a justice of peace, and a letter or summons sent to their sisters or fellow creatures in the name of the Divel, requiring them to meet Belzebub, Lucifer, Pluto, and twenty more of the infernall spirits at the time and place appointed. Also, a true description how they may be known in al companies and the names of the chief ring-leaders of this new generation that excell all others in wickednesse.

The joviall crevv, or, The devill turn'd Ranter: being a character of the roaring Ranters of these times. / Represented in a comedie, containing a true discovery of the cursed conversations, prodigious pranks, monstrous meetings, private performances, rude revellings, garrulous greetings, impious and incorrigible deporements of a sect (lately sprung up amongst us) called Ranters. Their names sorted to their severall natures, and both lively presented in action.

The Ranters declaration: with their new oath and protestation; their strange votes, and a new way to get money; their proclamation and summons; their new way of ranting, never before heard of; their dancing of the hay naked, at the white Lyon in Peticoat-lane; their mad dream, and Dr. Pockridge his speech, with their trial, examination, and answers: the coming in of 3000. their prayer and recantation, to be in all cities and market-towns read and published; the mad-ranters further resolution; their Christmas carol, and blaspheming song; their two pretended-abominable keyes to enter heaven, and the worshiping of his little-majesty, the late Bishop of Canterbury: a new and further discovery of their black art, with the names of those that are possest by the devil, having strange and hideous cries heard within them, to the great admiration of all those that shall read and peruse this ensuing subject. Licensed according to order, and published by M. Stubs, a late fellow-Ranter.

The ranters last sermon : With the manner of their meetings, ceremonies, and actions; also their damnable, blasphemous and diabolicall tenents; delivered in an exercise neer Pissing-conduit. The third day of the week, being the 2 of August. 1654. With their mock-Psalme. Also God's wonderfull judgements shewed upon Ranters, Quakers and Shakers, and other wicked and profane persons at their meetings and exercises in London and other places. Written by J.M. (a deluded brother) lately escaped out of their snare.

The black and terrible vvarning piece: or, a scourge to Englands rebellion. Truly representing, the horrible iniquity of the times; the dangerous proceedings of the ranters, and the holding of no Resurrection by the shakers, in Yorkshire and elsewhere. With the several judgements of the most high and eternal Lord God, upon all usurpers, who deny His law, and His truth; and the manner how 130 children were taken away by the devil, and never seen no more; and divers others taken, rent, torn, and cast up and down from room to room, by strange and dreadfull spirits, appearing in the shapes of, a black boar, a roaring lyon, an English statesman, and a Roman fryer. Extracted out of the elaborate works of Bishop Hall, and Sir Kenelm Digby; and published for general satisfaction, to all Christian princes, states, and common-wealths in Europe

One of their founders later joined an apocalyptic proto-Unitarian group called the Muggletonians which I didn't know existed until about five minutes ago, and who liked to discuss the impending doom of the world over some beers at the local tavern.

In other words, nothing new under the sun, be they hippies or fundies, and history is awesome.


Randal Graves said...

Fellow-Creature, I can get behind Some Sweet Sips of Some Spirituall Wine, but A Fiery Flying Roll sounds too much like an extra-spicy egg roll, of course that's countered by discussing apocalyptic doom (Supermoon?) over a beverage.

Hail, Muggletonian!

thatgirl said...

Over said Kynge's brew, shall we discuss An Account Of Mr. Cawdry's Triplex Diatribe Concerning Superstition, Wil-Worship, And Christmass Festivall?

Anonymous said...

Randal Graves said...

But what can Christmass Festivall become but our funerall if not diuerse physickes ower emploied against Pus-mantia, the mag-astro-mancer? Playtes of Fruit-cakes becomme our Death-shroude!

Ricky Shambles said...

This must be the solid tradition of marriage the righties keep talking about.

Seriously, though, thanks. Knew not of the Ranters or Muggletons - I feel so smartlier!