Jane Lead

Standard Name: Lead, Jane
Birth Name: Jane Ward
Married Name: Jane Lead
Used Form: Jane Leade
Pseudonym: J. L.
JL was a seventeenth-century mystic and visionary, a diarist, and a pamphleteer. All her literary roles were aspects of her dominant calling, that of religious leader and Heavenly Spy. Her later works used the medium of other people's hands to write them, because she was going blind. In her last years her writings, boosted by the energy and power of her sect, were read not only in England but internationally.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Cultural formation Joanna Southcott
She wrote that the Spirit visited [her] by day and by night;
Hopkins, James K. A Woman To Deliver her People: Joanna Southcott and English Millenarianism in an Era of Revolution. University of Texas Press, 1982.
she gave vivid, bodily-sounding accounts of his presence. She came to believe that she was the woman described in the book of...
Cultural formation William Law
He became a Church of England clergyman, but after the accession of George I he refused to take the oath of allegiance (since he was a Jacobite). This made him a Nonjuror, ineligible for positions...
Intertextuality and Influence Anne Conway
AC 's work was of particular interest to the Philadelphian Society associated with Jane Lead . It is now believed to have influenced Leibnitz (who owned and annotated a copy of her treatise), and through...
Literary responses Mary Astell
Theosophical Transactions, the journal of Jane Lead 's Philadelphian Society , warmly praised MA 's work and published extracts from it. Damaris Masham , however (who was herself guessed by some to be the...
Textual Features Elizabeth Bathurst
Having been roughly handled by this congregation, EB demands: Oh! where was your patient Mind . . . . Oh! where was your Christian Moderation . . . . Oh! where was your Lamb-like Meekness...


Ann Bathurst , a middle-class member of Jane Lead 's religious sect, was visited by an angel; as a consequence she began to keep a diary of her visions.
Probably February or March 1701
Sectarian religious writer Mary Pennyman having died on 14 January,
Pennyman, Mary. Some of the Letters and Papers. Pennyman, JohnEditor , 1701.
her husband, John Pennyman , published Some of the Letters and Papers which were written by Mrs. Mary Pennyman, relating to An Holy and...