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).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
Fifth Monarchy Men
an English religious sect of chiliasts during the English bourgeois revolution of the 17th century.
The sect preached the approach of the “fifth monarchy” (hence the name)—the 1,000-year kingdom of Christ after the four “earthly” kingdoms of Assyria-Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, which also included medieval Europe. The sect’s adherents were primarily members of the peasantry and the urban poor. The Fifth Monarchy Men demanded radical reforms (the elimination of the tithe, decreased taxes, etc.). In 1657 they rose up in rebellion against the regime of O. Cromwell’s protectorate, and in 1661 they rebelled against the Stuarts (after their restoration). The sect was almost completely exterminated in 1661.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.