Tookey, Elias (17th century)

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Elias Tookey, about whose private life and fate there is only scarce information, belonged to a group of Independents at London, England, led by John Murton. In 1624-25 Tookey and some other members of this church opposed their leader, apparently in part because Murton was rather imperious, and in part because they did not agree with Murton's Calvinistic views, particularly his defense of infant baptism. Tookey and his adherents stressed the freedom of the will and were inclined to believers' baptism. Thereupon Tookey and fifteen other members were banned. This group in March or April 1624 wrote a letter to Reynier Wybrands, Hans de Ries, and other Waterlander leaders in Holland. A correspondence followed (letters by Tookey of 3 June 1624, and 17 March 1625, and a letter 12 November 1625, from five "Anabaptist" congregations as Tookey and his group were called). These five "Anabaptist" congregations were Sarum, Coventry, London, Lincoln, and Tiverton. In these letters gradually the idea was developed that the "Anabaptists" would merge with the Dutch Mennonites and particularly the Waterlanders. De Ries answered and sent them the Waterlander confession of faith (by himself and Lubbert Gerritsz,) of 1610 as a basis for negotiations. He wrote that he appreciated their doctrines and admonished them to patience and meekness, but he had scruples regarding some of their practices, e.g., that they had consented to take an oath of allegiance to the British king. Another difference was Tookey's idea that war as such is not a sin, that a righteous war is permissible and military service in special cases permitted to Christians. The negotiations lasted until the end of 1630. The merger did not come about, not only because the Dutch Mennonites did not agree with some of Tookey's ideas, but apparently particularly because de Ries did not wish to risk the adventure.


Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: v. II, Nos. 1367-77.

Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de and W. E. Griffis. History of the Free Churchmen. Ithaca, 1922: 179 ff.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Tookey, Elias (17th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 22 Sep 2020.,_Elias_(17th_century)&oldid=109533.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Tookey, Elias (17th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 September 2020, from,_Elias_(17th_century)&oldid=109533.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 737. All rights reserved.

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