They were sometimes called Separatists because they separated themselves from the church of England, sometimes Brownists
after the name of one of their eminent ministers.
I had as lief be a Brownist
as a politician" (3.2.24-27).
Williams appeared as the model of a troublesome man who labored for freedom of religion and against persecution, but he was one who "if he had never dabbled in Divinity, he would have been esteemed a great and useful Man." (88) Having observed Neal's opinion of English Baptists in The History of the Puritans, it is surprising that he failed to identify Williams (whom he regarded as a "rigid Brownist
, precise, uncharitable, and of such turbulent and boisterous Passions, as had like to have put the whole Country to Flame") as a Baptist.
By 1610 there were three Separatist (Brownist
) churches--one headed by Francis Johnson, another by Henry Ainsworth, and the third, by John Smyth.
's "zealous ruffe," for instance, might "Be turnd to paper, and a Play writ in't" (D4v).
Lawrence and install a Brownist
colony--a not inconsequential tidbit, given that Nicholls tells us Brownists
, a breakaway congregational sect of the Church of England, were part of Lord Ochiltree's Cape Breton colony in 1629.
A complete analysis must give attention to the Anabaptists and other radical sects in Europe, and especially to the Brownist
and Baptist groups in England, which contributed an important part to American foundations.
(41) The recantation of a Brownist
(London, 1606), sig.
The distinction which Burnet drew between the moderate Dissenters (religious descendants of the Puritans) and the separatist Dissenters (in the Brownist
tradition) provides us with the key to the Latitudinarians' objection to the bill against occasional conformity.
WHITE, THE ENGLISH SEPARATIST TRADITION: FROM THE MARIAN MARTYRS TO THE PILGRIM FATHERS (1971); and Verne Dale Morey, The Brownist
Churches: A Study in English Separatism, 1553-1630 (1954) (unpublished Ph.D.
(8) His departure, however, did not shield Joan from scrutiny by the British officials for she was soon arrested and imprisoned in York, accused of being a Brownist
and charged with refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the Church of England.
A measure of stability provided by the long incumbency of the Jacobean bishop, John Jegon, was undercut by a seemingly ineradicable tradition of separatism and dissent, stemming from the Brownist
movement of the 1580s.