Katherine Chidley

Standard Name: Chidley, Katherine
Birth Name: Katherine
Married Name: Katherine Chidley
Pseudonym: K. C.
KC 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. KC 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.
Gillespie, Katharine. “A Hammer in Her Hand: The Separation of Church from State and the Early Feminist Writings of Katherine Chidley”. Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, Vol.
, No. 2, pp. 213-33.
215, 213-14


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Cultural formation Agnes Beaumont
Scholar William Myers describes AB as one of those in her generation whose belief in the authority of the bible gave her so profound a sense of self that they were ready to defy paternal...
Friends, Associates Damaris Masham
DM 's friends also included Lady Ranelagh , whose ODNB entry calls her the leading woman intellectual of her generation,
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray et al., editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. http://www.oxforddnb.com/.
under Jones, Katherine, Viscountess Ranelagh
and who provides a rare trace of Masham's mostly invisible...
Intertextuality and Influence Caryl Churchill
The play takes place in the period immediately following Charles I 's defeat by Cromwell , when for a short time . . . anything seemed possible.
Churchill, Caryl. Light Shining in Buckinghamshire. Pluto Press.
Critics have recognised Churchill's debt to Christopher Hill
Textual Features Elizabeth Elstob
EE 's preliminary list of names suggests considerable research work: it includes several ancient or Anglo-Saxon women as well as Mary Astell , Anne Bacon , Katherine Chidley (as the pamphlet antagonist of Thomas Edwards


By 6 June 1641: Thomas Edwards inveighed against the women...

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By 6 June 1641

Thomas Edwards inveighed against the women preachers of the dissenting sects in Reasons against the Independent Government of Particular Congregations.

23 April 1649: London women brought the Petition of divers...

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23 April 1649

London women brought the Petition of divers wel-affected women before the House of Commons demanding the release of John Lilburne and other Levellers .


Chidley, Katherine. A New-Yeares-Gift. 1645.
Chidley, Katherine. “A New-Yeares-Gift, 1645”. Women Writers Online.
Chidley, Katherine. Good Counsell, to the Petitioners for Presbyterian Government. 1645.
Chidley, Katherine. The Justification of the Independant Churches of Christ. William Larnar, 1641.