Thomas Venner (died 19 January 1661) was a cooper and rebel who became the last leader of the Fifth Monarchy Men, who tried unsuccessfully to overthrow Oliver Cromwell in 1657, and subsequently led a coup in London against the newly restored government of Charles II. This event, known as "Venner's Rising", lasted four days (1–4 January 1661) before the Royal authorities captured the rebels. The rebel leadership suffered execution on 19 January 1661.
A cooper is a person trained to make wooden casks, barrels, vats, buckets, tubs, troughs and other staved containers from timber that was usually heated or steamed to make it pliable. Journeymen coopers also traditionally made wooden implements, such as rakes and wooden-bladed shovels. In addition to wood, other materials, such as iron, were used in the manufacturing process.
The Fifth Monarchists or Fifth Monarchy Men were an extreme Puritan sect active from 1649 to 1660 during the Interregnum, following the English Civil Wars of the 17th century. They took their name from a prophecy in the Book of Daniel that four ancient monarchies would precede the kingdom of Christ. They also referred to the year 1666 and its relationship to the biblical Number of the Beast indicating the end of earthly rule by carnal human beings. They were one of a number of nonconformist dissenting groups that emerged around this time.
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader. He served as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1653 until his death, acting simultaneously as head of state and head of government of the new republic.
Venner had moved to New England in 1637 and stayed for 22 years before returning to plot against Cromwell. He assumed leadership of the Fifth Monarchists after the execution of General Thomas Harrison at Charing Cross on 19 October 1660. Venner led a congregation, which included New Model Army veterans, that met in a rented room above a tavern in Swan's Alley off Coleman Street.
New England is a region composed of six states of the northeastern United States: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and north, respectively. The Atlantic Ocean is to the east and southeast, and Long Island Sound is to the south. Boston is New England's largest city as well as the capital of Massachusetts. The largest metropolitan area is Greater Boston with nearly a third of the entire region's population, which also includes Worcester, Massachusetts, Manchester, New Hampshire, and Providence, Rhode Island.
Major-General Thomas Harrison sided with Parliament in the English Civil War. During the Interregnum he was a leader of the Fifth Monarchists. In 1649 he signed the death warrant of Charles I and in 1660, shortly after the Restoration, he was found guilty of regicide and hanged, drawn and quartered.
Charing Cross is a junction in London, England, where six routes meet. Clockwise from north these are: the east side of Trafalgar Square leading to St Martin's Place and then Charing Cross Road; the Strand; Northumberland Avenue; Whitehall; The Mall leading to Admiralty Arch and Buckingham Palace; and two short roads leading to Pall Mall.
On Sunday 1 January 1661 he led a number of his men – Samuel Pepys said they later turned out to be only 50 although it had been thought they were 500 at first – to a bookseller called Mr. Johnson at St. Paul's to demand the Cathedral keys. On being refused they broke in and accosted passers-by asking who they were for. One answered "King Charles" and they shot him through the heart. A number of musketeers sent to dislodge them were beaten back and a troop of the Trained Bands under the Lord Mayor Major General Sir Richard Browne attacked them and they retreated to Ken Wood near Highgate.
Samuel Pepys was an administrator of the navy of England and Member of Parliament who is most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man. Pepys had no maritime experience, but he rose to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and King James II through patronage, hard work, and his talent for administration. His influence and reforms at the Admiralty were important in the early professionalisation of the Royal Navy.
Sir Richard Browne, 1st Baronet was a major-general in the English Parliamentary army during the English Civil War. He was subsequently Lord Mayor of London.
Highgate is a suburban area of north London at the north-eastern corner of Hampstead Heath, 4.5 miles (7.2 km) north north-west of Charing Cross.
On the Wednesday they attacked again at Wood Street and Threadneedle Street forcing the King's Life Guard of Foot (a force of 1200 men commanded by John Russell) to retreat. They then attempted to storm the Comptor Prison to liberate the inmates in order to join them, but were repulsed in fierce fighting. Venner is said to have killed three men with a halberd in Threadneedle Street.
Wood Street is a street in the City of London, the historic centre and primary financial district of London. It originates in the south at a junction with Cheapside; heading north it crosses Gresham Street and London Wall. The northernmost end runs alongside The Postern, part of the Barbican estate, stopping at Andrewes House. Today Wood Street lies within the wards of Bassishaw and Cheap.
Threadneedle Street is a street in the City of London, England between Bishopsgate at its northeast end and Bank junction in the southwest. It is one of nine streets that converge at Bank. It lies in the ward of Cornhill.
John Russell's Regiment of Guards was an English infantry regiment formed following the Restoration of King Charles II to the throne in 1660.
A force of General Monck's men under Colonel Cox pursued them to their last stands in the Helmet Tavern on Threadneedle Street and the Blue Anchor on Coleman Street. Royalist troops broke through the clay roof tiles with musket butts and fired upon the wounded defenders, breaking in through the ceiling. Venner was captured after being wounded nineteen times. Others were shot out of hand.
He was put on trial at the Old Bailey and hanged, drawn and quartered on 19 January 1661. According to Tobias Smollett, Venner and his followers "affirmed to the last that if they had been deceived, the Lord himself was their deceiver".
The Central Criminal Court of England and Wales is a court in London and one of a number of buildings housing the Crown Court. Part of the present building stands on the site of the medieval Newgate gaol, on a road named Old Bailey that follows the line of the City of London's fortified wall, which runs from Ludgate Hill to the junction of Newgate Street and Holborn Viaduct. The Old Bailey has been housed in several structures near this location since the sixteenth century, and its present building dates from 1902.
To be hanged, drawn and quartered was from 1352 a statutory penalty in England for men convicted of high treason, although the ritual was first recorded during the reign of King Henry III (1216–1272). A convicted traitor was fastened to a hurdle, or wooden panel, and drawn by horse to the place of execution, where he was then hanged, emasculated, disembowelled, beheaded, and quartered. The traitor's remains were often displayed in prominent places across the country, such as London Bridge. For reasons of public decency, women convicted of high treason were instead burned at the stake.
Tobias George Smollett was a Scottish poet and author. He was best known for his picaresque novels, such as The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748) and The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (1751), and The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (1771), which influenced later novelists including Charles Dickens. His novels were amended liberally by printers; a definitive edition of each of his works was edited by Dr O. M. Brack, Jr, to correct variants.
Venner's son, Thomas joined him in the Rising.
Thomas's son, Colonel Samuel Venner led the Duke of Monmouth's cavalry and was shot and wounded by a sniper in Bridport, but survived until 1712.
Samuel's daughter Elizabeth married a linen draper's son named John Potter who would become, successively, Bishop of Oxford and Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Commonwealth was the period from 1649 to 1660 when England and Wales, later along with Ireland and Scotland, were ruled as a republic following the end of the Second English Civil War and the trial and execution of Charles I. The republic's existence was declared through "An Act declaring England to be a Commonwealth", adopted by the Rump Parliament on 19 May 1649. Power in the early Commonwealth was vested primarily in the Parliament and a Council of State. During the period, fighting continued, particularly in Ireland and Scotland, between the parliamentary forces and those opposed to them, as part of what is now referred to as the Third English Civil War.
The Restoration of the English monarchy took place in the Stuart period. It began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under King Charles II. This followed the Interregnum, also called the Protectorate, that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.
Praise-God Barebone was an English leather-seller, preacher and Fifth Monarchist. He is best known for giving his name to the Barebone's Parliament of the English Commonwealth of 1653.
Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Carlisle was an English military leader and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1653 and 1660 and was created Earl of Carlisle in 1661.
English Tangier refers to the Moroccan city of Tangier during the period of its colonial occupation by the Kingdom of England, which lasted from 1661 to 1684. Tangier had been under Portuguese rule before King Charles II acquired the city as part of the dowry when he married the Portuguese infanta Catherine. The marriage treaty was an extensive renewal of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance; it was opposed by Spain but clandestinely supported by France. England garrisoned and fortified the city against hostile Moroccan forces. When Morocco was later united under the Alaouite's, the cost of maintaining the garrison against Moroccan attack greatly increased and Parliamentary refusal to provide funds for its upkeep—a refusal linked to fears of 'Popery' and the fear of a Catholic succession under James II—forced Charles to give up possession. In 1684, the English blew up their harbour and defensive works and completely evacuated the city, which was swiftly occupied and annexed by Morocco.
Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich, KG, FRS was an English landowner and Infantry officer who later became a naval officer and a politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1645 and 1660. He served Oliver Cromwell loyally in the 1650s, but went on to play a considerable part in the Restoration of Charles II, and was rewarded with several Court offices. He served as the English Ambassador to Portugal 1661-1662, and Ambassador to Spain 1666-1668. He became an Admiral, serving in the two Anglo-Dutch Wars in the reign of Charles II, and was killed at the Battle of Solebay. Our best picture of him is contained in the diary of Samuel Pepys, who was his cousin and protégé.
Edward Kynaston was an English actor, one of the last Restoration "boy players", young male actors who played women's roles.
John Goodwin (1594–1665) was an English preacher, theologian and prolific author of significant books.
Major-General Robert Overton was a prominent English soldier and scholar, who supported the Parliamentary cause during the English Civil War, and was imprisoned a number of times during the Protectorate and the English Restoration for his strong republican views.
The Siege of Rhodes is an opera written to a text by the impresario William Davenant. The score is by five composers, the vocal music by Henry Lawes, Matthew Locke, and Captain Henry Cooke, and the instrumental music by Charles Coleman and George Hudson. It is considered to be the first English opera.
James Nokes, an English actor, whose laughter-arousing genius is attested by Cibber and other contemporaries.
Lisle's Tennis Court was a building off Portugal Street in Lincoln's Inn Fields in London. Originally built as a real tennis court, it was used as a playhouse during two periods, 1661–1674 and 1695–1705. During the early period, the theatre was called Lincoln's Inn Fields Playhouse, also known as The Duke's Playhouse, The New Theatre or The Opera. The building was demolished and replaced by a purpose-built theatre for a third period, 1714–1728. The tennis court theatre was the first public playhouse in London to feature the moveable scenery that would become a standard feature of Restoration theatres.
Gibbon's Tennis Court was a building off Vere Street and Clare Market, near Lincoln's Inn Fields in London, England. Originally built as a real tennis court, it was used as a playhouse from 1660 to 1663, shortly after the English Restoration. As a theatre, it has been variously called the "Theatre Royal, Vere Street", the "Vere Street Theatre", or simply "The Theatre". It was the first permanent home for Thomas Killigrew's King's Company and was the stage for some of the earliest appearances by professional actresses.
Events from the year 1661 in England.
Silius Titus (1623–1704), of Bushey, was an English politician, Captain of Deal Castle, and Groom of the Bedchamber to King Charles II. Colonel Titus was an organiser in the attempted escape of King Charles I from Carisbrooke Castle.
Sir John Lawson was an English naval officer and republican.
From 1649 to 1660, Puritans in England were allied to the state power held by the military regime, headed by Oliver Cromwell until his death in 1658. They broke into numerous sects, of which the Presbyterian group comprised most of the clergy, but was deficient in political power since Cromwell's sympathies were with the Independents. During this period the term "Puritan" becomes largely moot, therefore, in British terms, though the situation in New England was very different. After the English Restoration the Savoy Conference and Uniformity Act 1662 drove most of the Puritan ministers from the Church of England, and the outlines of the Puritan movement changed over a few decades into the collections of Presbyterian and Congregational churches, operating as they could as Dissenters under changing regimes.
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