Traske, John°

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TRASKE, JOHN ° (c. 1585–1636), English sectarian leader and Judaizer. Born in Somerset, Traske became an Anglican minister in 1611. He then became a peripatetic preacher and, by the mid-1610s, influenced by a tailor named Hamlet Jackson, he and his followers regulated their lives by the Hebrew Scriptures, strictly observing the Sabbath and dietary laws. After being condemned to savage punishment by the Star Chamber (1618), he recanted and published A Treatise of Libertie from Judaisme … by John Traske, of late stumbling, now happily running again in the Race of Christianitie (London, 1620). Some of his associates, including Hamlet Jackson, immigrated to Amsterdam where the latter, at least, formally joined the Jewish community.


Philips, in: jhset, 15 (1939–45), 63–72; Roth, ibid., 19 (1955–59), 9f. add. bibliography: odnb online; D. Katz, Sabbath and Sectarianism in Seventeenth-Century England (1988).

[Cecil Roth]