Ever heard of the Fifth Monarchists? No? Well, neither have I. Turns out they were around in the 17th century and figured that the Apocalypse was imminent: namely, 1666. Obviously, they had egg on their faces in 1667. But it makes me happy to think that millennialist nutbars have hundreds of years of predecessors to look back on. The Wandering Jew must be ecstatic about it.
Anyway, they had a minor role in English parliamentary history when Oliver Cromwell went a little nutty, creating a republic (a ‘commonwealth’) and playing around with different kinds of government before just becoming a straight dictator. His last attempt had the awesome name “Barebone’s Parliament” not because it was particularly cash-strapped but because one of the MPs had the awesome surname “Barebone”.
Even cooler: a Fifth Monarchist (who was republican…), Mr Barebone bore the arse-kicking given name “Praise-God”. Apparently ‘phrase names’ were all the rage then.
Still cooler yet: Apparently, he was maybe possibly christened as, dig it, Unless-Jesus-Christ-Had-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barebone. It’s just a pity they didn’t have birth certificates back then. Or “Hello! My Name is…” stickers.
Note: whether or not Praise-God himself bore that name, his son, an economist, certainly did. Way, I repeat, way cool.