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'Harden not thy heart': 'Antinomian' appeals to rulers in Restoration England

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posted on 2018-06-25, 10:34 authored by Catherine GillCatherine Gill
In 1660, the Quaker Anne Gilman encouraged the Stuart ruler Charles II to govern judiciously, warning: ‘harden not thy heart’. Monarchy’s ability to inexorably remove power from ‘the people’ was concerning; so too were the ruler’s bawdy predilections. The pamphlets explored in this chapter (c 1660-1665) spotlight a group of women who endeavour to remind the ruler that he is accountable not only to the populace, but to God. Pamphleteering of this kind expresses a combination of moral, theological and political commitments, as writers pointedly seek to inspire in Charles a thoroughgoing reformation. The tendency of some writers, it is argued, is theologically Antinomian. In surveying this writing, this chapter offers a new approach to how women’s political critique combines with theological principle in the Restoration period. Keywords: Petition, Pamphlet, Stuart Monarchy, Quakerism, Restoration, Women, Quaker Theology.



  • The Arts, English and Drama


  • English and Drama

Published in

New Critical Studies on Early Quaker Women, 1650-1800


41 - 64 (23)


GILL, C., 2018. 'Harden not thy heart': 'Antinomian' appeals to rulers in Restoration England. IN: Tarter, M.L. and Gill, C. (eds.) New Critical Studies on Early Quaker Women, 1650-1800. Oxford: OUP, pp. 41-64.


Oxford University Press


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This book chapter was published in the book New Critical Studies on Early Quaker Women, 1650-1800 edited by Michele Lise Tarter and Catie Gill, and has been reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. The published version is available at https://global.oup.com/academic/product/new-critical-studies-on-early-quaker-women-1650-1800-9780198814221?cc=gb&lang=en&.

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