Richard Coppin

Richard Coppin was a seventeenth century English political and religious writer, and prolific radical pamphleteer and preacher.

Late 1640s to late 1650s

He was an Anglican clergyman, until 1648, or possibly a lay preacher from Berkshire with little formal education. He is known as an associate of Abiezer Coppe, who wrote an introduction to Coppin’s 1649 Divine Teachings. Christopher Hill considers that Coppe took most of his theology from Coppin.

He was constantly in trouble, well documented in pamphlets, arising from the 1650 Blasphemy Act. The authorities treated him leniently in the period 1651 to 1651.

A debate he had at Burford, Oxfordshire in 1651 was recorded by his counterpart on the side of orthodoxy, John Osborne, vicar of Bampton.

He was imprisoned in December 1655 as a Ranter, a term which is now contested in historiography, after a disputation in Rochester Cathedral. Thomas Kelsey, one of Cromwell's major-generals then based at Dover, took a harder line with Coppin than previously, imposing six months in jail. He defended himself, writing from Maidstone Prison a pamphlet A Blow at the Serpent. Another account was that of Walter Rosewell, pushed out as vicar at Chatham, Kent in 1649, in The serpents subtilty discovered.

Coppin's work provoked Edward Garland, vicar at Hartclip (Hartlip, Kent), to reply in kind in 1657, accusing Coppin of heresies. The pamphlet exchange was extended by Coppin's Michael opposing the dragon (1659).


  • Divine Teachings (1649)
  • The Exaltation of All Things in Christ (1649)
  • Man's Righteousnesse Examined (1652)
  • Saul Smitten for not Smiting Amalek (1653)
  • A Man-Child Born (1654)
  • Truths testimony and a testimony of truths (1655)
  • A Blow at the Serpent (1656)
  • Crux Christi (1657)
  • Michael opposing the dragon (1659)


He believed in universal salvation, the possibility of return to the state before the Fall of Man, and the equality of women.. He treated the Fall and Last Judgment as allegories, and was dismissive of the established church and universities.

He is sometimes presented as a ‘moderate’ Ranter, or philosopher of Ranterism. Christopher Hill shaded his opinion to ‘near-Ranter’.

Notes and References

Search another word or see ranterismon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature