The Restoration of the Jews: Thomas Tany to World Jewry (1653)

  • David S. Katz
Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire des Idées / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 119)


Although it was very nearly a commonplace in the seventeenth century to argue that the calling of the Jews to Christ would precede the Second Coming, a number of millenarians went further to suggest that the actual restoration of that people to Palestine was a prerequisite as well.1 Among the most prominent of these proto-Zionists in England was Thomas Tany, the London goldsmith who circumcised himself in preparation for his self-conceived historical role. Tany first surfaced on 25 April 1650 when he published a broadsheet proclaiming the imminent return of the Jews from captivity to the Holy Land. He claimed to be a Jew of the tribe of Reuben who had discovered his true origins several months before thanks to a divine visitation, at which time he changed his name to Theaurau John.2 According to fellow religious radical Lodowick Muggleton, Tany saw himself as High Priest to the Lord, destined ‘to gather the Jews out of all Nations, and lead them to Mount Olives to Jerusalem’. Once in the Holy Land, Tany would become ‘King of seven Nations, and those People of the Jews should live happy under him, only he should be their King’.3


Seventeenth Century Actual Restoration Historical Role True Origin Spiritual Treatise 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Generally, see D.S. Katz, Philo-Semitism and the Readmission of the Jews to England, 1603–1655, Oxford 1982, cap. 3;Google Scholar
  2. 1a.
    M. Verité, ‘The Restoration of the Jews in English Protestant Thought 1790–1840’. Middle Eastern Stud. viii (1972), 3–50;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 1b.
    P. Toon (ed.), Puritans, the Millennium and the Future of Israel, Cambridge & London 1970.Google Scholar
  4. 1c.
    See also B.S. Capp, The Fifth Monarchy Men, London 1972;Google Scholar
  5. 1d.
    P. Christianson, Reformers and Babylon, Toronto 1978;Google Scholar
  6. 1e.
    K.R. Firth, The Apocalyptic Tradition in Reformation Britain, Oxford 1979.Google Scholar
  7. 2.
    Thomas Tany, I Proclaime… The returne of the Jewes, London 1650. Cf. idem, The Nations Right in Magna Charta, n.p., n.d., 8: dated in text (p. 8), 28 Dec. 1650.Google Scholar
  8. 3.
    Lodowick Muggleton, The Acts of the Witnesses, London 1699, 20–21;Google Scholar
  9. 3a.
    Lodowick Muggleton, A True Interpretation of… Revelation, London 1751, 182.Google Scholar
  10. 4.
    Lodowick Muggleton, A True Interpretation of… Revelation, London 1751, 46–47;Google Scholar
  11. 4a.
    John Reeve and Lodowick Muggleton, A Transcendent Spiritual Treatise, n.p. 1756, 9: first pub. 1652.Google Scholar
  12. 5.
    Thomas Tany, Theavravjohn His Theousori, London 1651, title page. Tany was arrested with Capt. Robert Norwood, who would be associated with Roger Williams in presenting a plan to Parliament in March 1652 in favour of the toleration of the Jews: Katz, Philo-Semitism, 186.Google Scholar
  13. 5a.
    Norwood also provided the epistle and the transcription of Tany’s Theavravjohn His Aurora, London 1651?Google Scholar
  14. 5b.
    Cf. Thomas Tany, Theavrauiohn High Priest to the Iewes, n.p., n.d. = 1652, 3.Google Scholar
  15. 6.
    Katz, Philo-Semitism, 111–16.Google Scholar
  16. 7.
    Tany, High Priest, 1.Google Scholar
  17. 8.
    Alexander Ross, A View of all Religions, 4th edn, London 1664, 377–79.Google Scholar
  18. 9.
    Tany, High Priest, 8.Google Scholar
  19. 10.
    Muggleton, Acts, 42–44; Reeve and Muggleton, Treatise, 4–5.Google Scholar
  20. 11.
    Tany, High Priest, 2.Google Scholar
  21. 12.
    Thomas Tany, ThauRam Tanjah his Speech, n.p. 1654;Google Scholar
  22. 12a.
    Thomas Tany, Magna Charta, 1.Google Scholar
  23. 12b.
    Cf. Tany’s Hear, O Earth, London 1654.Google Scholar
  24. 13.
    A Perfect Account, 209 (3–10 Jan. 1654–55), 1666; The Weekly Intelligencer, 74 (2–9 Jan. 1654–55), p. 152; The Weekly Post, 208 (2–9 Jan. 1654–55), 1662; The Faithful Scout, 208 (29 Dec.-5 Jan. 1654–55), 1660; Certain Passages, 74a (29 Dec-5 Jan. 1654–55), 151, 154; The Perfect Diurnall, 267 (15–22 Jan. 1655), 4097; T. Burton, Diary (ed. J.T. Rutt), London 1828, I. cxxvi;Google Scholar
  25. 13a.
    B. Whitelocke, Memorials, Oxford 1853, 592;Google Scholar
  26. 13b.
    Thomas Carlyle, Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches (ed. S.C. Lomas), London 1904, ii. 394. Some of these sources refer to Tany as a Quaker: see note 2 to Fox’s letter below.Google Scholar
  27. 14.
    C. Fowler, Daemonium Meridianum, London 1655, 165;Google Scholar
  28. 14a.
    A. Wood, Athenae Oxonienses(ed. P. Bliss), London 1813–20, iii. 598–99; The Weekly Intelligencer (18–25 Sept. 1655).Google Scholar
  29. 15.
    Muggleton, Acts, 44.Google Scholar
  30. 16.
    I.e. 1652–53, as the new year began on 25th March: in 1653, 14th January was a Friday: Tany seems to have written his ‘Edictorie’ on the Sabbath eve. (14 Jan. 1652 was a Wednesday).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • David S. Katz
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Tel AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations