SOUTHCOTT (JOANNA) 2 "proclamations of faith" dated 1803 bearing Joanna Southcott's seal, together with 30 contemporary manuscript transcriptions and copies of Joanna's letters, communications and teachings, some apparently signed by her associates Ann Underwood and Jane Townley as true transcriptions, also relating to Southcott's followers Elias Carpenter and Rev. Richard Foley, 1803-1860

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Lot 650
SOUTHCOTT (JOANNA)
2 "proclamations of faith" dated 1803 bearing Joanna Southcott's seal, together with 30 contemporary manuscript transcriptions and copies of Joanna's letters, communications and teachings, some apparently signed by her associates Ann Underwood and Jane Townley as true transcriptions, also relating to Southcott's followers Elias Carpenter and Rev. Richard Foley, 1803-1860

Sold for £ 2,520 (US$ 3,234) inc. premium

Printed Books and Maps
Part Two

27 Nov 2007, 10:30 GMT

Bath

SOUTHCOTT (JOANNA)
An archive, including; 2 "proclamations of faith" (dated 1803) bearing Joanna Southcott's seal, together with 30 contemporary manuscript transcriptions and copies of Joanna's letters, communications and teachings, some apparently signed by her associates Ann Underwood and Jane Townley as true transcriptions, also relating to Southcott's followers Elias Carpenter and Rev. Richard Foley, various bindings and sizes, 1803-1860 (collection)

Footnotes

  • Joanna Southcott (1750-1814), the daughter of a Devon farmer, became convinced in 1792 that she possessed supernatural gifts and was the "woman clothed with the sun" (Revelations 12: 1-6). She had thousands of followers but after failing to give birth to the New Messiah on the date she prophesied, she died in 1814 the subject of ridicule.

    Joanna was able to count how many followers she had by the number of people she "sealed". Lord Byron described these proclamations as considered by many to be "Passports to Heaven". Each had the same wording inside, an oval was signed by Joanna and was sealed with Joanna's own seal confirming the sealed person had renounced Satan. Joanna claimed not to charge for these passports to her followers.

    Jane Townley, a wealthy invalid, and her companion-maid, Ann Underwood became Joanna's closest friends and devoted disciples. Joanna dictated messages to Jane and Ann which were edited and printed as "communications from Joanna Southcott". These communications came at a staggering rate leading Jane to admit "I find the task too hard for me".
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