- Abiezer Coppe
Abiezer Coppe (1619 – 1672) was one of the English
Rantersand a writer of prophetic religious pamphlets.
He was born in
Warwickon May 20, 1619, and was a pupil of Thomas Dugardat The King's School, Warwick. From there he went to All Souls College, Oxfordand also Merton College, Oxford. One of Coppe's major works is the " Fiery Flying Roll" of 1649, a (highly heretical) tirade against inequality and hypocrisy which vividly evokes the charged and visionary atmosphere that swept over England during the civil war and interregnum.
While Coppe's views were unpopular with Royalists, they were equally disliked by Parliamentarians, and shortly after the "Fiery Flying Roll" was published he was imprisoned at
Newgate Prisonand the book burned.
Coppe was later released and celebrated by publishing "Coppe's return to the ways of righteousness", in which he retracted his previous heresies, while adding a few more. Like
Lodowick Muggletonand the Diggers' leader Gerrard Winstanley, Coppe combined an egalitarian social vision with an apocalyptic religious one.
In 1657 he apparently changed his name to Dr Higham, and was buried under that name at Barnes church on August 23, 1672.
Coppe has been written about by
Norman Cohn, "M.A. Poultney" and the Marxisthistorians A. L. Mortonand Christopher Hill.
Religion in the United Kingdom
* "Selected Writings", Abiezer Coppe, edited and introdued by Andrew Hopton. 1987, Aporia Press, London. ISBN 0-948518-25-1
* "The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages", Norman Cohn. 1957
* [http://www.sdsmt.edu/student-orgs/tfs/reading/freethought/prophet.html "A Prophet of the Ranters"]
* [http://history.wisc.edu/sommerville/367/Coppe%20Fiery.htm Excerpts from Coppe's works]
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