FEATHERS' TAVERN ASSOCIATION: A society of English clergy and laymen formed in the later part of the eighteenth century to secure a revision of the English liturgy, named from the fact that the members held their meetings in the Feathers' Tavern in the Strand, London. An agitation for revision, started by John Jones with his anonymous Free and Candid Disquisitions (1749), had come to a head with the publication of Francis Blaekburne's The Confessional' (1766). As a corollary from Chillingworth's principle that the Bible is the religion of Protestants, Blackburne argued that Protestant ministers should not be required to subscribe to anything but the word of God. He would abolish subscription, not only to the liturgy and the thirty-nine articles, but to the creeds as well. This work was published anonymously; but in 1771 Blackburne spoke out openly. On July 17 of this year he and his friends held their first meeting at the Feathers' Tavern to consider the drawing of a petition to parliament. The gist of the petition agreed upon, which was an extreme statement of Protestant individualism, was, that the damnatory clauses of the Athanasian Creed be stricken out, and that Protestants be allowed to interpret Scripture for themselves. This petition, opposed in a strong speech by Edmund Burke, was rejected by parliament by a vote of 217 to 71. The petition was signed by Deists, Asians, and Socinians; and of the 250 names it bore Blackburne's was the only one of much importance. Men like Bishop Edmund Law, Dr. Watson, and Dr. Paley, while in sympathy with the movement, declined to commit themselves. In 1773 and 1774 the subject was again brought up in parliament, but without any result. The Feathers' Tavern Association was short-lived and accomplished nothing.

Bibliography: J. A. Baxter, Church Hist. of England, p. 668, London, 1849; J. B. Marsden, His(. of Christian Churches and Sects, i. 314, ib. 1856; J. H. Overton and F. Melton, The English Church . . . 1714,-1800, pp. 209-211, 219, 252, ib , 1906.

FEATLEY, DANIEL: English controversialist and royalist; b. at Charlton (7 m. n.n.e. of Oxford), Oxfordshire, Mar. 15, 1582; d. at Chelsea, London, Apr. 17, 1645.. He studied at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (B.A., 1601; M.A., 1605), and soon became a power for Protestantism. From 1610 to 1613 he was in Paris as chaplain to Sir Thomas Edmondes, the English ambassador. He was domestic chaplain to George Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury, and afterward chaplain of Charles I. In 1619 he became rector of Lambeth, and in 1627 of Acton. He was provost of Chelsea College in 1630. During the Civil War his property was plundered, and on two occasions he narrowly escaped assassination. He was a member of the Westminster Assembly and was the last of the Episcopal members to withdraw from that body. Soon afterward he was imprisoned, but was re-

leased a short time before his death. Among his voluminous works are, Aneilla pietatis, or the Handmaid to Private Devotion (2 pts., London, 1626), a favorite book with Charles I., and often reprinted, also in foreign languages; Mystica Clavis: a Key Opening Divers Difficult and Mysterious Texts of Holy Scripture (1636); Roma ruens, Rome's Ruin (1644), an anti-Catholic work written at the request of parliament while he was in prison; and The Dippers Dipt (1645), the result of a controversy with four Baptists at Southwark, Oct. 17, 1642.

Bibliography: The early account of Featley is by John Featley, Featlai paiingeneaia. with a succinct Hist. of his Life and Death (London), 1660. Consult: D. Neal, Hist. of the Puritans, iii. 47, 58, 78-79, 267-269, 4 vols., London, 1732-38, 5 vols., Bath, 1793-97; A. iL Wood, Atheno Oxonienses, ed. P. Bliss, iii. 156-169, 1254, London, 181320; DNB, xviii. 276-280 (where a full list of literature is given).


CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 08/11/06. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely