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Adams, Mary (supp. fl. 1652), self-proclaimed virgin mother, is a fiction whose existence rests in the creation of one pamphlet formed around her alleged misdeeds and blasphemies. This work is called The Ranters Monster and was printed in London for George Horton in March 1652. ...

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Avery [née Parker], Elizabeth (fl. 1614–1653), prophetess, was the daughter of Robert Parker (c. 1564–1614) and his wife, Dorothy Stevens (d. 1649/50). She was one of three children; her sister, Sarah, was baptized on 15 April 1593 and her brother, Thomas Parker (1595–1677)...

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David Baker (1575–1641) after William Faithorne the elder? © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baker, David [name in religion Augustine] (1575–1641), Benedictine monk and mystical writer, was born in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, on 9 December 1575, the thirteenth and youngest child of William Baker (d. 1606), receiver-general of the barony of Abergavenny and recorder of the borough—two positions which at this time were virtually hereditary in the ...

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Mabel Barltrop (1866–1934) by unknown photographer, c.1930 The Panacea Charitable Trust

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Barltrop, Mabel [name in religion Octavia] (1866–1934), prophet and founder of the Panacea Society, was born at 1 Granville Terrace, Montpelier Road, Rye Lane, Peckham, Surrey, on 11 January 1866, the only daughter of Augustus Charles Andrews (1827/8–1875), banker's clerk, and his wife, ...

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Barton, Elizabeth [called the Holy Maid of Kent, the Nun of Kent] (c. 1506–1534), Benedictine nun and visionary, is of obscure origins. Nothing is known about her early life or family. Barton is unlikely to have received any sort of formal education during her childhood, and she was almost certainly illiterate. By the time she first entered the public arena, at the age of nineteen, she was working as a servant in the household of a certain ...

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Bathurst, Ann (b. c. 1638, d. in or before 1704), diarist and prophet, is of unknown parentage. What little is known of her origins is found in the eight-page autobiography that begins her two-volume diary, 'Rhapsodical Meditations and Visions', a manuscript that covers the period 17 March 1679 to 21 October 1696 (...

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See Knock, visionaries of

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See Knock, visionaries of

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See Knock, visionaries of

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See Knock, visionaries of

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Best, Samuel [nicknamed Poorhelp] (1737/8–1825), self-styled prophet, of whom details of parentage and early life are unknown, was probably employed as a servant to several London families, where he gained a reputation for dishonesty (Imposture, 42). Another account states that ...

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Alexander Gordon

revised by M. J. Mercer

Birch, James (d. 1800?), sectary and prophet, was born in Wales, but nothing more is known about his early life. As a young man he moved to London, where he worked as a watch-motion maker, living in Brewer's Yard, Golden Lane, Old Street...

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Bromley, Thomas (bap. 1630, d. 1691), mystical writer, was baptized on 1 February 1630 in the parish of St Michael Bedwardine, Worcester, a younger son of Henry Bromley (d. 1647) of Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire, a descendant of Sir Thomas Bromley, Elizabethan lord chancellor, and ...

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Richard Brothers (1757–1824) by William Sharp, pubd 1795 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brothers, Richard (1757–1824), self-styled prophet, was born on 25 December 1757 at Placentia, Newfoundland. His father was a gunner, and his family continued to live at Placentia long after Richard was sent as a boy to Woolwich, where he went to school, and from where in 1772 he entered the ...

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Bull, John (d. 1642), self-proclaimed prophet, is an obscure figure. Nothing is yet known of his early life. Shortly after his death an anonymous pamphlet appeared relating the 'true story' of 'two Weavers (late of Colchester) viz. Richard Farnham...