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Author Topic: Jezreel's Tower, Gillingham  (Read 3379 times)
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John
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« on: October 12, 2011, 17:35:18 PM »

This bizarre structure at Gillingham, known locally as 'Jezreel's Tower', was constructed in the late 1800's as the headquarters of the New House of Israel, a 'sect' that had been led by one James Roland White. White had been a follower of Joanna Southcott, a self-proclaimed prophet who claimed that she would give birth to the new Messiah, and one branch of her followers had established themselves in the Medway area. Eventually White took over the sect and renamed himself James Jershom Jezreel, managing to persuade worshippers that he was the Messenger of the Lord.

White, or Jezreel if you prefer, died in 1885 at around the same time as the new headquarters was starting to be built, and the foundation stone was laid in September of that year. His wife had taken over running the sect, but she too died in 1888 and the 'Jezreelites' broke up. The tower was never completed, and it stood derelict for many years with the final demolition coming about in 1961.

Pictures of various ages attached..

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Bryn
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 19:25:55 PM »

Another postcard. When I was a child, I was told that they were trying to build a tower that would reach heaven - ran out of bricks I guess!


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John
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012, 15:57:05 PM »

An article in 'The Strand' magazine of 1903 - some interesting interior shots!

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John
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2012, 20:20:15 PM »

White had been a follower of Joanna Southcott, a self-proclaimed prophet who claimed that she would give birth to the new Messiah

An advert that appeared in 1952, showing that the Southcott cult was still very much alive..

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John
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2013, 17:24:24 PM »

Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 05 March 1913

CHATHAM'S TOWER OF BABEL. Everyone who has been within miles of Chatham has seen the remarkable tower that crowns the hill on the London and Dover Road, known as "Jezreel's Temple." This nightmare in stone was offered for sale in the Mart, Tokenhouse Yard, by Messrs Brackett, as "something which might be eligible for factory or warehouse." It is thirty years since the column began to rise on the hill under the direction of ex-Marine John White, who changed his name to John Jershon Jezrell and founded a sect known as the New and Latter Day House of Israel. Immunity from death was the great article of their creed. When the building reached five stories Jezrell himself gave the lie to his aspirations by dying, and the sect vanished for ever. Bidding started at £2000, and at £3900 the property was withdrawn. The auctioneer stated that about £70,000 had been spent on the building.
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cliveh
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2013, 18:31:47 PM »

White had been a follower of Joanna Southcott, a self-proclaimed prophet who claimed that she would give birth to the new Messiah

An advert that appeared in 1952, showing that the Southcott cult was still very much alive..

Those adverts were still appearing in newspapers into the 1970's. Don't know if the cult is still going now


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Pete
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2013, 18:56:32 PM »

And the name lived on for many years on boxes of Jubilee or Supreme Hose clips mad at Jezreel's Tower Works
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2014, 13:24:37 PM »

.
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2017, 16:09:42 PM »

The Medway Guardians last week were obliged to grant a pauper's funeral to a poor old Michigan farmer, named Noah Drew. He in his old age was induced by James Jershom Jezreel, the leader of the" New and Latter House of Israel," to convert all he had into hard cash. Part of the money James Jershom Jezreel took for his own personal purposes, the rest went into the treasury of the sect. The old man and his wife have been living in poverty in this country fed by the Jezreelites, it is said, for months past on bread and potatoes.

Aberystwyth Observer 29/3/1890
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