Britaine’s Firste “Newe Atheiste”?

Thanks to a contributor to today’s NSS Newsline, I’ve been made aware of this awesome record of civil proceedings from sometime in the early 17th century.

6 DECEMBER, i CHARLES I. Memorandum of the presentment for recusancy and of the insolence of one Richard Beake of Kentish-towne who (on being duly and lawfully summoned by John Corey, one of the bailiffs of the Sheriff of Middlesex, to appeare at this session at Hickes Hall) answered to the same John Corey “that he cared not a f for the Justices, and that he had not been at church for tenn yeares, nor wold goe to churche for all the Justices could doe, adding further, Lett the Justices kisse his A” S. P. Reg.

Richard Beake of Kentish-towne is now a hero of mine.

I’ve also learned a new word: recusancy. It means “fuck you, churchy”.

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