Artist: John Biddle
Confronting Bodies: English Parliament, religious officials
Date of Action: 1649, 1653, 1660
Specific Location: England
Description of Artwork: Biddle wrote the "XXI Arguments Drawn Out of Scripture, Wherein the Commonly-Recieved Opinion Touching the Diety of the Holy Spirit Is Clearly and Fully Refuted." He argues that the idea of the Holy Spirit in the Christian Trinity is not supported by the bible.
Description of Incident: Biddle had been arrested numerous times and all of his writings were banned an burned. He was forced to print his work secretly, to avoid prosecution under England's blasphemy laws. Biddle would have been put to death if King Charles I was not executed and Oliver Cromwell had not taken control of the country. Cromwell abolished the Blasphemy Ordinance in 1649, but cited it in 1653, when Biddle was sentenced to exile on Scilly Isle, 40 miles off the coast of England. Biddle returned in 1658 only to land back in prison in 1660 for conducting "unauthorized worship," contrary to the Anglican Act of Uniformity.
Results of Incident: Biddle died in prison in 1662, where he spent most of his life.
Source: Censorship, A World Encyclopedia, ed. D. Jones
Submitted By: NCAC