Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present
Standard Name: Chidley, Katherine
Birth Name: Katherine
Married Name: Katherine Chidley
Pseudonym: K. C.
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, No. 2, pp. 213 - 33.
'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
inveighed against the women preachers of the dissenting sects in Reasons against the Independent Government of Particular Congregations.