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Muggletonians

A sect taking its name from Ludowicke Muggleton (1609-98) who came under Puritan religious influence while working in London before the Civil War. Between 1640 and 1650 he came under a variety of further influences—e.g., the theology of J. Boehme* and the views of the Ranters.* He also formed an association with his cousin, John Reeve (1608-58), who shared similar views. They saw themselves as the “two witnesses” of Revelation 11, who received visions from heaven; they were to seal the elect in preparation for the forthcoming judgment of God on the world. Their views were set forth in a series of tracts. Their theology was antitrinitarian and dualistic (i.e., teaching the eternity of matter). The unforgivable sin was to disbelieve the “two witnesses.” After Reeve's death, Muggleton and his followers continued to propound their views and to engage in controversy, especially with Quakers. Small groups survived into the nineteenth century.