The notorious profaner and blasphemer Slave Nano at Smut Manchester

The notorious profaner and blasphemer Slave Nano at Smut Manchester

It seems that we had a spy at the Smut Manchester on Saturday. Discovering that I was speaking about the Ranters religious sect, a spy was sent to investigate the activities of the day. Luckily, I have been able to intercept the letter from this Puritan interloper and publish it here for your perusal. He certainly has a distinctive view. I hope his account of the day will amuse you.

To John Bradshaw, Lord President of the Council of State

15 November in ye year of our Lord 1650.

It hath been brought unto mine attention that the notorious blasphemer and profaner, who goeth under the name Slave Nano, was attending a meeting in Manchester to preach in support of that notorious sect that doth call themselves Ranters. It is known that these are drunkards, swearers, blasphemers, profaners and adulterers and that they doth deny the concept of sin or heaven and hell. As this miscreant is a known enemy of the Commonweal, I took it upon myself to spy upon this meeting with the intent of advising your lordship on what measures should be taken to restrict their most ungodly errors.

On witnessing the most foul and depraved activities at this meeting I urge your lordship to forthwith take urgent action to suppress their activities before they doth pervert the morals of the State.

The first speaker was a man who goeth under the name Ashley Lister, who didst speak on the subject of poetry. He didst encourage the crowd to write such ribald and foul verse that was full of the most disgusting depravities. On hearing this speech I am convinced that this thing called poetry is an ABOMINATION and a threat to the moral welfare of the Commonweal and shouldst henceforth be banned.

There were, over the course of the day, various readings in a similar depraved vein. It shouldst be a matter of great concern that many of these readings were from members of the fairer sex. But I should comment on names – Ashe, Cara, Liv, Gemma, Jennifer, Melissa, Bella. I mean, what manner of names are these, when girls shouldst be christened such chaste and godly names as Chastity, Modesty, Honesty, Prudence and Piety. And what manner of debauchery didst spew from their foul mouths! These were words not befitting of the fairer sex, who shouldst bear themselves in a comely way with godly and virginal modesty. I doth recommend to your lordship that women writing should henceforth be banned and that the fair sex be encouraged in more genteel and lady-like activities….such as embroidery, and so be discouraged from such foul utterances in the future.

There followed a speech on collaboration in writing by one Jennifer Denys. Of course, that is a subject well known to our age, as it is rumoured that the late playwright William Shakespeare, that purveyor of such foul, violent, superstitious and immoral writing, didst collaborate. It is most certainly true that he didst rip off many of his best yarns from other sources and ‘tis said that other writers, such as Christopher Marlow and the Earl of Oxford, didst write the work that goeth under his name. Perhaps there is a warning to writers there, lest they be conned in this manner by such a collaborator as this William Shakespeare.

As for the rest of the day, I saw such abominable objects of debauchery on display. The depravity of the antics that I didst witness wouldst make Sodom and Gomorrah appear as an Anabaptist’s prayer meeting it was so perverted and raucous. There were such implements on display for insertion into those most privy places and for most foul bindings and beatings.  Indeed, I find it hard to imagine that such objects couldst be used for pleasure and declare that such foul instruments shouldst be in the hands of those ungodly Papists of the Spanish Inquisition. Indeed, is not the act of copulation for procreation only? These depraved people were preaching that the act of fornication shouldst be pleasurable, a doctrine that will deny us moral strength if we shouldst succumb to it.

I was alarmed at the things I didst find at this meeting. The moral welfare of our Commonweal is undoubtedly under threat from the sacrilegious, depraved and ungodly sermons preached. I wouldst urge my lordship to ban all further activities of this most depraved group that doth call themselves ‘Smutters’. For these profaners and fornicators will, most assuredly, ALL BURN IN HELL.

Your most humble and godly servant,

Barebones Goodcock.

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