Katherine Chidley entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Katherine Chidley was the first woman to take up her pen in the political and religious crisis of the mid seventeenth century. Her pamphlets urge parliament to replace Anglicanism not by Presbyterianism but by Independency. This religious movement preceded the founding of the Society of Friends in advocating broad involvement of ordinary people regardless of gender. Katherine Chidley advocates toleration and respect for the spirituality of people of both sexes: her message deserves to be regarded as early feminist theory, especially when she uses the argument from natural rights. Bibliographic Citation link.
KC was probably born late in the sixteenth century, most likely by about 1596, though this is speculation.
After 6 June 1641 KC published her first attack on Thomas Edwards: The Justification of the Independant Churches of Christ. Bibliographic Citation link.
23 April 1649 KC may have been one of the Leveller women who petitioned Parliament for the release of John Lilburne; she may also have been the chief writer of the petition. Bibliographic Citation link.
It is not known when KC died; it must have been some time after 1653.
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