Muggleton, Lodowicke

Muggleton, Lodowicke, 1609–98, English religious leader, a journeyman tailor. With his cousin John Reeve, also a tailor, he founded a new sect, whose adherents were known as Muggletonians. In 1652, Muggleton and Reeve claimed to have been appointed by revelation as the two witnesses of Rev. 11.3, Reeve as the messenger and Muggleton as his mouthpiece in declaring a new spiritual dispensation. They denied the doctrine of the Trinity, teaching that God came on earth to die and left Elijah to be his vice regent in heaven. They held that God had a human body, that Eve was the incarnation of the evil spirit, and that the sun travels around the earth. Both Reeve and Muggleton were imprisoned (1653) for blasphemy; the former died in 1658. Their doctrines gained a number of adherents, and the sect did not die out until about the middle of the 19th cent. An autobiography of Muggleton is included in the posthumously published Acts of the Witnesses (1699).

See The Works of J. Reeve and L. Muggleton (ed. by J. Frost and I. Frost, 3 vol., 1832).

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