Ferrar, Nicholas

Ferrar, Nicholas
(1592–1637)
   Community Founder.
   Ferrar was born in London, England and was educated at the University of Cambridge. After a period of travel abroad, he worked for the Virginia Company and in 1624 he was elected to Parliament. However, dissatisfied with worldly success, he withdrew from the public arena. With his brother, brother-in-law and their families he established an Anglican religious house at Little Gidding. He was the spiritual director and the whole community lived a life of austere piety. King Charles I was much impressed when he visited, but the household was regarded as nothing short of Papist by the Puritans of the time. In 1656, after Ferrar’s death, it was denounced in a pamphlet entitled The Arminian Nunnery and was subsequently destroyed in an armed raid. Interest in the work of Ferrar was revived by the poet T.S. eliot who named one of his Four Quartets ‘Little Gidding’ and described the place as one ‘Where prayer has been valid.’
   T.S. Eliot, ‘Little Gidding’, Four Quartets (1944);
   A.L. Maycock, Nicholas Ferrar of Little Gidding (1938).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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