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Letter from Plimouth, 1649

Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VII, (1912-1913), Exeter: James G. Commin. 1913, pp. 73-74.



Prepared by Michael Steer

The term ecstaticism refers to states of awareness of non-ordinary mental spaces, which may be perceived as spiritual (this often takes the form of religious ecstasy). The Note’s author requests information relating to a Totnes shoemaker who later became an infantryman and had presumably profited from such an experience. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

Note 44. LETTER FROM PLIMOUTH, 1649. - At the end of William Bartlet's Soveraigne Balsome, published in 1649, I find A true Copy of a Letter from Plimouth February the 12, Relating the manner of God's working upon one that had cast off the use of Duties and Ordinances, sent by an approved and known godly man that was an Eye-witnesse. This relates a little episode of passion and ecstaticism that befell "one Nicholas Earle, a shoomaker, sometimes of Totnes and now a souldier in the Foot."

The letter has the initials M. P. at the end and I am anxious to know whom the writer may have been.

Was it Mathew Pemberton, Rector of Clayhidon and afterwards of Marlborough, or was it one Mr. - Porter who was at Plymouth in the Revd. George Hughes' time (see Palmer's Calamys Nonconformist's Memorial (1802), II., p. 57).         ELX.