I went along to the re-enactment today of James Nayler’s ride into Bristol in October 1656 (part of the Bristol Radical History week). I knew nothing of Nayler before the radical history crew put the spotlight on him. It's an interesting tale; Nayler was a former soldier in the civil war who, after God spoke to him, became an itinerant preacher. Here are some of his radical ideas;
He said no man or King had a divine right to rule. He was a fighter for democracy...He spoke out against the slave trade, "Where can the innocent go out and not a trap laid to bring him into bondage and slavery?"...He criticised the wealthy for taking the common land from the people...He denied that the Bible was the word of God and said that people had the 'spirit of Christ' within them.
Far from being a lone voice, he connected with people and his ideas had resonance and were a threat to the rich and powerful;
Sent to London where he was the subject of a full Parliamentary debate for ten days, and found guilty of "horrid blasphemy," he received over three hundred lashes, a brand of the letter B on the forehead, and finally a red-hot iron through his tongue. He was placed in solitary confinement for three years in Bridewell until 1659. He died a year after this.
It was great to see important parts of our past being commemorated. Nice one Bristol Radical History people!
Shoot the Rich
I was reading the paper today and noticed this little snippit;
But the Communist MP Viktor Ilyukhin commented recently: "We need such fairs so that we can place snipers near by and shoot their visitors as parasites. None of them earned their money honestly. Such events are sheer savagery."
On the subject of having it in for the rich, Ian Bone's book 'Bash the Rich' is out now.