Lodowick Muggleton, Royal Offences > religious offences, 17th January 1677.
First, the tryal of that grand and notorious Impostor Lodowick Muggleton , of whom to give the world a brief Account, we must acquaint you, that he was originally a Journyman-Taylor , and (some say) afterwards kept a Botchers stall ; but having a strange enthusiastick head, began about the year 1651, to enter into Confederacy with one Reeves (another Brother of the Sheers) who resolve to cut out a new Scheme or Fashion of Religion; and to that purpose declare
themselves, The two last Witnesses of God that ever should be upon the Earth; and that they had absolute and irrevocable power to save and damn whom they pleas'd; to which end one call'd himself the Blessing, the other the Cursing Prophet . And the said Reeves dying some years since, Muggleton pretends his Spirit was left with him, and the whole power of Witnessing, Blessing, and Cursing, devolved into his hands, which he as impiously practised upon the least affront or opposition; pronouncing persons damn'd by their particular Names, blasphemonsly adding, That God, Angels, or Men could not afterwards save them. And as all Hereticks covet to be Authors and Ring-leaders to a Sect, so by divers printed Books and Corner conferences, he easily seduced divers weak and instable people (especially of the Female-Sex) to become his Proselytes, who from him call themselves Muggletonians: So impossible it is for the wildest and most senseless, as well as most impious Notions, when broached with impudence among the Rabble, not to meet with some heads so irregular as to embrace them for serious Truths, or divine Revelations.
This Muggleton's house being searched about August last, a great quantity of his books were seized, some of which, it was now proved, he owned the writing of, and that he had caus'd them to be printed; for which he was now indicted, many wicked Passages out of them being recited in the Indictment, but so horrid and blasphemous, that we think fit to spare the Christian modesty of each pious ear, by not repeating the same here, where there is no necessity for it. The Prisoner pleaded not guilty, but frustrated the general expectation, by saying nothing further either to excuse or justifie himself, but had a Counsel appear'd for him, who ingenuously declar'd himself asham'd to speak a word in favour of such a Cause; onely desired the Court to take notice, that the Books were dated before the last Act of Grace; but it being usual to Antedate or Post-date Titles of books, as best suits with the Publisher's interest, and that he had since that Act owned and published the same, that Plea was overrul'd; and the said Muggleton being found guilty by the Jury, was afterwards sentenced by the Court to stand three days in the Pillory
at three the most eminent places of the City, with Papers shewing his Crime; and his Books so seized, divided into three parts, to be burnt over his head upon the Pillory : And besides, to be fined Five hundred pound, and to continue in Goal till the same be paid , and afterwards for his life, unless he procured good Bail, such as the Court should accept of, and not of his own Gang, Faction, or Sect, for his being of the good Behaviour .