The arrival of new sects
During the period of parliamentary control in Wales, new
congregations and sects were being set up outside the established
church. Many of these were tiny groups meeting in private houses.
Some were groups who gathered around a single itinerant preacher,
and others like the Congregationalists were part of a wider loose
The Congregationalist churches set up by Vavasor
Powell in mid-Wales included Baptist members. In 1649 John
Miles, a native of the Welsh-speaking part of Herefordshire,
conducted a missionary campaign on behalf of the Baptists, establishing
the first Baptist churches at Ilston and Hay-on-Wye.
Smaller groups of Ranters, Antinomians, and Seekers sprang up,
denouncing the notion of a state church. In the fevered atmosphere
of the times there were many who claimed that the millennium
was at hand and that Christs Second Coming was imminent
The Fifth Monarchists
The Fifth Monarchists were determined to prepare for the glorious
event when there would be a democracy of the saints. Vavasor
Powell supported new groups of Fifth Monarchists in Montgomeryshire
and Radnorshire, convinced that the time of earthly kings was
over, and prepared to take arms in support of Cromwell. They
felt betrayed, however, by Cromwells assumption of temporal
power as Lord Protector in 1653. Although Powell crusaded long
and hard against this "betrayal" others were happy
to be part of an orthodox puritan mainstream. As Powell and the
Fifth Monarchists became less influential they lost individual
members to Quakerism.
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