Fifth Monarchy Men

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Fifth Monarchy Men

Fifth Monarchy Men, religious group active during the time of the Commonwealth and Protectorate in England. They were millenarians expecting the imminent coming of Jesus to rule the earth. His monarchy was to be the fifth kingdom described in Dan. 2.36–45; according to their intepretation, the first four were the Assyrian, Persian, Greek, and Roman empires. The Fifth Monarchy Men objected to the Established Church and believed it their duty to establish Christ's reign by force, if necessary. They attempted an uprising in 1657 and again, after the restoration of the monarchy, in 1661. Their leaders were seized and executed for treason, and the group dissolved.

See studies by L. F. Brown (1912, repr. 1964), P. G. Rogers (1966), and B. S. Capp (1972).

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