Philadelphians

Seventeenth-century English sect. John Pordage (1607-81), a Berkshire rector, impressed by mystical doctrines associated with J. Boehme,* gathered around him a group which in 1670 was formally named the Philadelphian Society for the Advancement of Piety and Divine Philosophy. A prominent member was Jane Lead (1623-1704), who from 1670 kept a diary entitled A Fountain of Gardens and subsequently published The Heavenly Cloud (1681) and The Revelation of Revelations (1683). The group was dependent on the personality first of Pordage (who had astrological interests), then of Mrs. Lead, and though Oxford graduate and surgeon Francis Lee (1661-1719) tried to extend the work, the sect did not long survive Mrs. Lead's death.