My history of the nonconformist merchant community in Clapham in the seventeenth century is now published. You can purchase a copy by going to the 'Books for sale page'
The Clapham merchants were radical puritans, active in the Cromwellian administration, particularly in the management of the navy and the Compounding Committee which dealt with the reassignment and selling of episcopal lands and those owned by royalists. They financed the Mayflower and started the first protestant mission to North American indians.
They were interesting in their own right, but they also shed light on merchant communities and their development over the rest of the seventeenth century when Clapham became a major centre for nonconformists. Large numbers of ejected ministers lived and worked there despite it being within the five mile limit. Roger L’Estrange described the village as a ‘Whig warren’.
So there were saints in Clapham long before the Clapham Sect!
The book links their activities to wider politics as well as describing their houses, their possessions and their relationship with their peers and families. More posts and material will follow soon.