He Who Restrained the Mystery of Lawlessness: Sir William Berkeley
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He Who Restrained the Mystery of Lawlessness: Sir William Berkeley


And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. —St Paul the Apostle, II Thessalonians 2:6-7, copied from

Robert Beverley, Jr., a leading man in colonial Virginia (whose death was in 1722), writes of his bewilderment at the uprising against Gov William Berkeley in 1676 known as Bacon’s Rebellion:

92. The Occasion of this Rebellion is not easie to be discover'd: But 'tis certain there were many Things that concurr'd towards it. For it cannot be imagined, that upon the Instigation of Two or Three Traders only, who aim'd at a Monoply of the Indian Trade, as some pretend to say, the whole Country would have fallen into so much Distraction; in which People did not only hazard their Necks by Rebellion: But endeavour'd to ruine a Governour, whom they all entirely loved, and had unanimously chosen; a Gentleman who had devoted his whole Life and Estate to the Service of the Country; and against whom in Thirty Five Years Experience, there had never been one single Complaint. Neither can it be supposed, that upon so slight Grounds, they would make Choice of a Leader they hardly knew, to oppose a Gentleman, that had been so long, and so deservedly the Darling of the People. So that in all Probability there was something else in the Wind, without which the Body of the Country had never been engaged in that Insurrection.

Four Things may be reckon'd to have been the main Ingredients towards this intestine Commotion, viz. First, The extream low Price of Tobacco, and the ill Usage of the Planters in the Exchange of Goods for it, which the Country, with all their earnest Endeavours, could not remedy. Secondly, The Splitting the Colony into Proprieties, contrary to the original Charters; and the extravagant Taxes they were forced to undergo, to relieve themselves from those Grants. Thirdly, The heavy Restraints and Burdens laid upon their Trade by Act of Parliament in England. Fourthly, The Disturbance given by the Indians. . .

The History and Present State of Virginia,, pgs. 65-6, © This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Though Mr Beverley offers his owns reasons for why Bacon’s Rebellion happened, a better place to look might be Manly Palmer Hall, an arch-Satanist of the 20th century and student of all kinds of occult knowledge.  He writes in America’s Assignment with Destiny about Nathaniel Bacon’s ties to Lord Bacon, whose plan it was to establish his secularizing, technocratic New Atlantis utopia in North America, and then expands on the significance of this and his uprising:

The Bacon family itself was well represented in Virginia, both by name and by blood.  . . . Both of the Nathaniels [one was a cousin of the rebel — W.G.] have been referred to by historians as Lord Bacon’s “kinsmen.”  . . . this supplies enough material to demonstrate the natural and available channels for the transference of Lord Bacon’s projects and remains to Virginia.

 . . . When Governor Berkeley refused to protect the colonists from the neighboring Indian tribes, young Bacon took the field in defiance of the governor’s pleasure.  A feud approaching revolution resulted, which ended by Nathaniel Bacon and his followers burning the Jamestown settlement.  The episode is referred to historically as Bacon’s Rebellion, and it has been said that the occurrence played an important part in the formation of the American national consciousness.  Bacon’s career as a rebel lasted about twenty weeks, and he is supposed to have died of poison or malaria, October 1, 1676, while campaigning.  The circumstances of his death are obscure, and his body was buried in an unmarked grave to prevent Governor Berkeley from ordering the corpse to be dug up and publicly hanged.  There is more to this story than has ever been told.

Bacon’s Rebellion took place exactly one hundred years before the colonies of America declared themselves to be a free and independent nation in 1776.  The causes of the Rebellion and the Revolution were similar, if not identical.  In 1676, Bacon, the rebel, said:  “But if there be (as sure there is) a just God to appeal to, if religion and justice be a sanctuary here, if to plead the cause of the oppressed, if sincerely to aim at his Majesty’s honour, and the public good without any reservation or by-interest, if to stand in the gap after so much blood of our dear brethren bought and sold, if after the loss of a great part of his Majesty’s colony deserted and dispeopled freely with our lives and estates to save the remainder, be reason — God Almighty judge and let guilty die.”

Although Bacon, the rebel, was certainly an impetuous young man, his cause was just and his sentiments precisely those of his “noble kinsman.”  Governor Berkeley represented the same entrenched tyranny against which the Universal Reformation had been fashioned and perfected.  In justice, however, it should be noted that Berkeley was summoned to England to explain his conduct. The king refused him audience and is credited with saying:  “That old fool has hanged more men in that naked country than I have done for the murder of my father.”  Berkeley died the following year — of vexation.

The Secret Destiny of America, New York, Ny., Tarcher/Penguin, 2008, pgs. 209-11

What we have here in Bacon’s Rebellion is a first attempt by the ‘Invisible College’ of secret societies to begin the American Experiment of New Atlantis.  It failed at the time, and Mr Hall shows his displeasure by pouring scorn upon the man who made sure it was a failure:  Sir William Berkeley.

But this is precisely why his kinsmen in the South and all those who love Christian hierarchy and traditional society (i.e., all those Mr Hall considers as representative of ‘entrenched tyranny’) should celebrate his memory.  Thanks to Gov Berkeley, France, Spain, and Russia had more time to establish a presence in North America, and the South also had more time to establish her unique culture, making it more difficult for the consolidation of the American project.  Even now, the remnants of the cultures of these very traditional countries retard the coalescing of all the peoples of the States into one inglorious new tribe, as they and the other regional kin-groups struggle to keep the last of their past identity from being swallowed up by the American anti-culture – McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and the like.

For all people, then, Gov Berkeley, as an extension of the authority of the King of England, did his part to withhold the coming of the ‘man of lawlessness’ (II Thess. 2:3) into the world (which all good kings and their governments help to do, knowingly or unknowingly) by hampering the rise of his forerunner:  the full-grown, after-Civil War, American Empire.

For the South, however, he is something more.  He is one of her ‘darlings’, as Mr Beverley put it (though of course Dixie’s patron saint, Alfred the Great, is first in this regard).  He helped to firmly establish a high-church, liturgical Christian tradition in the South (the Church of England, the best he had to work with at the time), as well as the agrarian, plantation way of life that would define so much of her future:

Berkeley’s main initiative when he first became governor was to encourage diversification of Virginia’s agricultural products. He accomplished this through passing laws and by setting himself up as an example for planters.

Arriving at Jamestown in 1642, Berkeley erected Green Spring House on a tract of land west of the capital, where he experimented with alternatives to tobacco. It was at Green Spring that he planted such diverse crops as corn, wheat, barley, rye, rape [seed], tobacco, oranges, lemons, grapes, sugar and silk. Berkeley devoted much of his time as a planter to experimenting with alternatives to tobacco; although he always produced the crop, he "despised" it. As a planter, with Virginia in mind, Berkeley constantly attempted to determine the best crops for the state through trial and error. Berkeley produced flax, fruits, potash, silk, and spirits which he exported through a commercial network that joined Green Spring to markets in North America, the West Indies, Great Britain, and Holland. Upon the recommendation of several of his slaves, Berkeley became a successful rice farmer. They were familiar with its cultivation from their native West Africa.

He owned Boldrup Plantation.


And in this day of rebellion against God’s anointed kings, he shows the South the beauty of loyalty to the crown:

        §. 65. At last the King [Charles I--W.G.] was traiterously beheaded in England, and Oliver install'd Protector. However, his Authority was not acknowledged in Virginia for several Years after, till they were forced to it by the last Necessity. For in the Year 1651, by Cromwell's Command, Capt. Dennis, with a Squadron of Men of War, arriv'd there from the Carribbee Islands, where they had been subduing Bardoes. The Country at first held out vigorously against him; and Sir William Berkeley, by the Assistance of such Dutch Vessels as were then there, made a brave Resistance. But at last Dennis contriv'd a Stratagem, which betray'd the Country. He had got a considerable Parcel of Goods aboard, which belong'd to Two of the Council; and found a Method of informing them of it. By this means they were reduced to the Dilemma either of submitting, or losing their Goods. This occasion'd Factions among them; so that at last, after the Surrender of all the other English Plantations, Sir William was forced to submit to the Usurper on the Terms of a general Pardon. However, it ought to be remember'd, to his Praise, and to the immortal Honour of that Colony, that it was the last of all the King's Dominions that submitted to the Usurpation, and afterwards the first that cast it off.

 . . .

        §. 68. The strange Arbitrary Curbs he put upon the Plantations, exceedingly afflicted the People. He had the Inhumanity to forbid them all manner of Trade and Correspondence with other Nations, at a Time when England it self was in Distraction; and could neither take off their Commodities, nor supply them sufficiently with its own. Neither had they ever been used to supply them with half the Commodities they expended, or to take off above half the Tobacco they made. Such violent Proceedings made the People desperate, and inspired them with a Desire to use the last Remedy, to relieve themselves from his Lawless Usurpation. In a short time afterwards a fair Opportunity happen'd: For Governor Mathews died, and no Person was substituted to succeed him in the Government. Whereupon the People apply'd themselves to Sir William Berkeley, (who had continued all this time upon his own Plantation in a private Capacity) and unanimously chose him their Governour again.

        §. 69. Sir William Berkeley had all along retain'd an unshaken Loyalty for the Royal Family; and therefore generously told the People, That he could not approve of the Protector's Oppression; and was resolved never to serve any Body, but the lawful Heir to the Crown; and that if he accepted the Government, it should be upon their solemn Promise, after his Example to venture their Lives and Fortunes for the King, who was then in France.

This was their dearest Wish, and therefore with an unanimous Voice they told him, That they were ready to hazard all for the King. Now, this was actually before the King's Return for England, and proceeded from a brave Principle of Loyalty, for which they had no Example. Sir William Berkeley embraced their Choice, and forthwith proclaim'd Charles the Second King of England, Scotland, France, Ireland and Virginia, and caused all Process to be issued in his Name. Thus his Majesty was actually King in Virginia, before he was so in England. But it pleased God to restore him soon after to the Throne of his Ancestors; and so that Country escaped being chastised for throwing off the Usurpation.

The History and Present State of Virginia,, pgs. 53-6

Now, bringing this into our own day, to outward sight, the States are coming ‘back to life’ thanks to Pres Trump.  But this is mostly an illusion.  Economic growth is fueled by massive debt; community life is nearly dead as most everything is done of, for, and by the individual; what is left of Christianity continues to evaporate; and so on.  It is not unusual to hear likely voters and Trump supporters in Louisiana and elsewhere to quietly confide that though they have hopes for a short-term renewal of sorts, they think the American experiment (which, we should remember, is really Lord Bacon’s experiment) is likely doomed in the long term.  Many will mourn this event here in the States, but it is actually an opportunity (provided such a transition is done in a peaceful and orderly way, which is entirely possible):  to look back at the past and learn why leaders like Sir William Berkeley from those earlier eras were so much more capable than those who bear the name (and make a mockery of it) today. 

The mid-term elections will get a lot of attention during the next several weeks, but time and energy would probably be better spent in sifting through old histories and restoring as best we can the practices and institutions that make for a truly virtuous society at all levels, for the rulers and for the ruled, free of globalist ideology and agendas.

Author: Walt Garlington