William Blake’s poem ‘And did those feet in ancient time’ (1808) contains the lines
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
The meaning of the phrase “dark Satanic Mills” is obscure, and several interpretations have been offered. Wikipedia says:
Another interpretation, amongst Nonconformists, is that the phrase refers to the established Church of England.
Is this a genuine interpretation among nonconformists? If so, who originated this interpretation, and what was their argument for it? The earliest mention of the interpretation that I was able to find is here:
Blake was particularly hostile towards conventional religion and especially the Church of England which he included amongst the ‘dark Satanic Mills’ in And did those feet in ancient time.
Mike Davis & Alan Pound, eds. (1996). Selected Poems of William Blake, p. 156. London: Heinemann.
But this is not quite the same as the claim in Wikipedia, for Davis and Pound only claim that the Church is among the Mills, not that the Mills refer to the Church specifically. Also, Davis and Pound did not give an argument for this interpretation, nor a citation to anyone making such an argument.