[Thomas Venner] This Helmet was a Crown by Revelation/ This Halbert was a Scepter for the Nation / So the Fifth Monarchy anew is grac'd / King Venner next to John a Leydon plac'd.
Engraving. Sheet 150 x 75mm (6 x 3"). Trimmed and mounted on album paper.
A portrait of Thomas Venner (d.1661.), the last leader of the 'Fifth Monarchists', a non-conformist sect active during the Interregnum and the early Restoration. Taking as their creed the Dream of Nebuchadnezzar in the Second Book of Daniel, they believed that the prophesised four monarchies had passed and they should prepare for the second coming of Christ in 1666 by armed revolt. On 1st January 1661 he lead a murderous band on a three-day spree of violence in London, in which Venner is said to have killed three men with a halberd in Threadneedle Street. Their rampage ended when General Monck holed them up in two pubs: his soldiers broke through the roof tiles and shot down on the Monarchists. Despite nineteen wounds Venner lived long enough to be hung, drawn and quartered. The last line of the verse equates Venner with Jan van Leiden (1509?-36), the Anabaptist who played a lead role in the Münster Rebellion of 1534.
[Ref: 33923] £140.00