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Fifth Monarchy Men

An apocalyptic movement that came to prominence in England during the Commonwealth and Protectorate. Its adherents hoped to see the prophecy of Daniel (cf. 2:44) fulfilled by the establishment of the rule of Christ and His saints upon earth as the successors to the Assyrian, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman empires. This was to be done by destroying all anti-Christian forms such as the established church. After the fall of the Commonwealth they supported Oliver Cromwell. The nominated or Barebones Parliament of 1653 raised their hopes of bringing in the Millennium, but the establishment of the Protectorate destroyed their hopes and they turned against Cromwell. One of their leaders, Christopher Feake, even called him “the most dissembling and perjured villain in the world.” This agitation led to the arrest of their leaders, including Maj.- Gen. Thomas Harrison, Maj.-Gen. Robert Overton, Feake, and John Rogers. A Fifth Monarchist, Thomas Venner, attempted two uprisings (1657, 1661), both of which were easily suppressed, and the movement died out.

See B.S. Capp, The Fifth Monarch Men (1972).