John Everard (preacher)

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John Everard (1584?–1641) was an English preacher and author. He was also a Familist, hermetic thinker, Neoplatonist, and alchemist.[1] He is known for his translations of mystical and hermetic literature.


He graduated B.A, at Clare College, Cambridge in 1600, M.A. in 1607, and D.D in 1619. He was lecturer at St Martin in the Fields from 1618. He was imprisoned, twice in a short space of time, for preaching about Spanish cruelties, as a way of commenting against the Spanish Match.[2][3]

He was later chaplain to Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland, and a religious radical pursuing his own beliefs. He lived for some years with the furnace-maker William White, and during the 1620s was in touch with Robert Fludd; he possessed copied manuscripts of Nicholas Hill. He was a friend of Roger Brereley the Grindletonian, and was praised by John Webster. He was brought before the Court of High Commission in 1636, when he was vicar of Fairstead, Essex, and charged with various heresies: Familism, Antinomianism, Anabaptism. He was fined heavily. On a second occasion, in 1640, he recanted his spiritualist beliefs.[4][5][6][7][8]

His sermons, published posthumously, are between Martin Marprelate and Richard Overton in style.[9] In the preface by Rapha Harford to Some Gospel-treasures Opened, the publisher places Evarard centrally on two axes, rationalist-formalist and Familist-Ranter.[10]



  1. ^ Allison Coudert, Henry More, Kabbalah, and Quakers, p. 47 in Richard W. F. Kroll, Richard Ashcraft, Perez Zagorin (editors), Philosophy, Science, and Religion in England, 1640-1700 (1991).
  2. ^ Alan Stewart, The Cradle King: A Life of James VI & I (2003), p. 308.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Bruce White and Walter Woodward, “A Most Exquisite Fellow” — William White and an Atlantic World Perspective on the Seventeenth-Century Chymical Furnace
  5. ^ Christopher Hill, Milton and the English Revolution (1979), p. 328.
  6. ^ Christopher Hill, The English Bible and the Seventeenth-Century Revolution (1993), p. 182.
  7. ^ Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down (1971), p. 185.
  8. ^ a b Andrew Pyle (editor), Dictionary of Seventeenth Century British Philosophers (2000), article on Petyt, pp. 290-1.
  9. ^ Christopher Hill, A Turbulent, Seditious, and Factious People: John Bunyan and his Church (19880, p. 34.
  10. ^ Christopher Hill, A Nation of Change and Novelty (1993), p. 217.
  11. ^ Nigel Smith, Elegy for a Grindletonian: Poetry and Heresy in Northern England, 1615-1640, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies - Volume 33, Number 2, Spring 2003, pp. 335-351.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-16. Retrieved 2009-02-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Nicholas McDowell, The English Radical Imagination: Culture, Religion, and Revolution, 1630-1660 (2003), p. 95.
  14. ^

Further reading[edit]

  • Rufus M. Jones (1914), Early English Interpreters of Spiritual Religion: John Everard, Giles Randall and Others
  • T. W. Hayes, John Everard and the Familist tradition, in Margaret C. Jacob, James Jacob, James (ed.), The Origins of Anglo-American Radicalism (1984), 60-9.

External links[edit]