[A Quaker Masaniello: James Nayler]. After being released from prison in Exeter, James Nayler, one of the leading Quaker preachers of the time, traveled to Bristol and claimed to be the son of God. He was tried by Parliament and imprisoned in London. He was pilloried and whipped through the streets of London, his forehead was marked with the letter B and his tongue pierced with an incandescent iron. Back in Bristol he was whipped through its streets as well. Imprisoned he spent the following two years in prison. The article analytically reconstructs the story of how Nayler’s vicissitudes were followed by the Tuscan and Genoese diplomatic representatives in London in those years. In particular the author highlights how diplomats described the incident only from a political point of view, ignoring any religious issues. For example, a Genoese report noted the danger of Nayler becoming a sort of Quaker Masaniello. The author also points out how this episode, which had significant political implications, seemed strangely marginal to the Venetian envoy in England, in whose dispatches it is never mentioned. This case study thus demonstrates how, on one hand, for scholars of early modern England, the Tuscan and Genovese diplomatic sources are more interesting (compared to the Venetian ones that, because of the English edition of the Calendar of State Papers Venetian, are usually best known by English speaking scholars) and on the other says something about the languages and culture of old regime Italian diplomacy
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