A proclamation against the Sectaries of the Family of Loue snip

The proclamation “Against the Sectaries of the Family of Loue” was decreed in order to prosecute these sectarians and their followers, accusing them of heresy. The Elizabethan government and royal house was against Familists and their beliefs, condemning them and portraying them as dangerous traitors to the crown.

The Familists were part of the sectarian movement and had a large following, they believed that there is no true religion; everyone must seek the Lord in their own way; and that through love man could become – in a subjective sense – absolutely absorbed in and identified with God, and they didn’t believe in life after death. Because of their beliefs they were accused of libertinism, sexual deviancy, and denying the divinity of God and seen as a threat to the English church and state.

This was during a time when there was a great deal of fighting over being the influential power of English state policy, competition was tense between religious and political factions. In order to regain control, the government used printed word to their advantage, they exaggerated the Family of Love’s threat, creating the illusion of danger to move the public against them and completely dissolve them as way to get rid of the competition over religious influence.


Carter, C. (2006). The Family of Love and Its Enemies. The Sixteenth Century Journal, 37(3), 651–672. https://doi.org/10.2307/20477986

The Family of Loue