falling into a state of frenzy


The American Revivalist movement coincided with the heyday of bundling which you may remember from this old post. One of the proponents of this practice was Lavinia Umphreville who advocated the renunciation of normal marriage in favour of more spiritual unions.


“Holy kisses” were regarded as specially praiseworthy and Lavinia’s young followers devoted themselves to the pursuit of these holy kisses and more.

The Rev. John H. Noyes saw with alarm the signs of a coming storm. He found that among this group of beautiful women, not a few of the more passionate creatures were falling into a state of frenzy, over which he feared that he could exercise no control. The preacher of holiness felt that in the presence of these seductions he was but a man, and liable to fall so he fled from the dangerous predicament.


This sudden disappearance of the preacher only fanned the fire at Brimfield. Two days after his departure from the town, Mary Lincoln and Maria Brown found their way into the Rev. Simon Lovett’s room, awoke him from his sleep, and suffered themselves to be taken in the act.

When they found out that Mary had been banished (cast out, as they said, for the sake of Christ) her friends came flocking to her side ; Maria Brown, Abby Brown, Flavilla Howard and many more who then began to praise the Lord, to sing, and dance, and kiss each other in a frantic way.


It quickly became a custom for fervently religious young ladies to enter the bedroom of a preacher in the middle of the night for bundling and other purposes. The clergy responded enthusiastically and it was only when the three ladies who had initiated the movement overstepped the mark by running naked through the countryside that authority brought the practice to an abrupt end.

Published in: on September 29, 2010 at 8:00 am  Comments (37)  

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  1. ‘The clergy responded enthusiastically and it was only when the three ladies who had initiated the movement overstepped the mark by running naked through the countryside that authority brought the practice to an abrupt end.’

    Spoil sports, its just girls having fun…

    • Well, that’s the clergy for you

  2. Hmmm….can’t decide whether to be reincarnated as a vicar or a lesbian……..

    • I can’t see you as a lesbian Affer

  3. i may have to go get my tubes untied, as the name “Flavilla” is spectacular enough to make me want to have one more child. better hurry, though…. eggs dessicating as i sit here and type.

    • I want to marry someone with the surname of Umphreville

      • Wouldn’t Deed Poll be easier?

  4. Public displays of lesbianism as a form of protest… it’s much better than the screaming people with signs, that’s for sure.

    • Perhaps it depends on who’s doing the displaying.

  5. I guess they should have kept things under wraps. You’d think they’d know better, but the temptation to run naked through the courtyard must have been just too much for them.

    • I’ve run naked through my own courtyard. It’s very tiny which is just as well as I’m averse to exercise.

  6. There are many women i’d like to kiss in a frantic way….*sigh*

    I dont know why the clergy likes to get all pissy about nakedness…me thinks they’re just upset cos they cant do it.

    • Well, we don’t know what goes on in the rectory do we…?

      • LOL!!! So true…..

  7. Girls just want to have fun ….. and quite right too!

    • Oh no! Now I’ll have that song in my head all day.

  8. See what preaching abstinence gets you? All those idiots over here who are telling people it is the only way to stop teenage pregnancy should take a trip to your blog and read about “bundling”.

    I suppose this sort of falls in line with the old custom of not actually getting married until you had a viable pregnancy going. After all, what is the point of people who are infertile together getting hitched for all eternity if your need is for helpers on the farm? I bet the custom of bundling helped forward the determination of whether or not you were fertile together. . . Oh wait! There was to be no hanky panky. Ha. and again I say, “HAH!”

    • And triple Hah! for good measure.

      • Oh, but hanky panky was taken care of with the “Dutch Wife” bolster, wasn’t it?

  9. I am assuming “other purposes” is code for “bible study”?

    • Of course. What else could it be?

  10. I think this movement needs a revival.

    • You’re well placed to start it off Ricardo.

  11. There was lots of bundling at the catholic boys school I went to… That saud a bundle was merely a fight!

  12. I really feel there should be a “kissing for Jesus” revival.

    It might make those nutjob Xians a little more pleasant to be around.

  13. crazy times. lol

  14. Folks do get a lil nuts when religion is involved. 🙂

  15. Malach has Holy Kisses for everyone!

  16. It’s all going through my head in a crazy silent movie.

  17. Oh my, Montgomery deserved some holy kisses, didn’t he.

    • Flip you for him queenie?

  18. I wish someone would start such a movement having to do with kissing bloggers frantically. That’s spriritual too.

    • I like this idea. Like a modern day “blogger kissing booth” of sorts?

  19. Lavinia Umphreville is my hero. What a name. She was the Joan of Arc of her time.

  20. Those fervent folk should relocate to outback Oz – so much countryside to run naked through (you’d want to be wearing plenty of sunscreen.)

  21. there is so much wickedness in this world.
    thank you for reminding us, nurse myra.
    i shall keep a keen eye out for it.

  22. Seriously, the church is just a big homo party.

    Which is why I support church.

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