chapter  3
‘Great Muggleton’ Declares the Truth: 1658–1661
Pages 26

With admirable concision Muggleton recalled in his memoirs how he took over the leadership of the sect after Reeve’s death: ‘The first thing I did after Claxton [Clarkson] was put down, I caused the Divine Looking Glass to be new printed ... After this I wrote a Book ... Intituled, The Interpretation of the 11th Chapter of the Revelations by St. John.’1 Three strikes and the succession was his. What is missing in this account is the timescale. He did not initiate these actions immediately upon Reeve’s death but carried them out over a period of about three years. These are largely years of silence from Muggleton. We have seen how, in Reeve’s last years, Muggleton was already slipping from the ‘also included’ category (useful to Reeve for a supplementary curse on the odd trickster or two) into the ‘almost excluded’. The man who made all the running in these years was an extraordinary, volatile Puritan called Lawrence Clarkson.