The priest argued to the king that unless clerics accompanied the colony ship, the colony would soon descend into heathendom and barbarity.
Origin of heathendom
- Compound of heathen plus -dom, as it were continuing Old English hǣðendōm, although the Old English word appears to have died out in Middle English, and heathendom was coined anew after Christendom around 1850. OED records a single attestation in the period between 1230 and 1840, a (nonce?) occurrence in J. Law, Proposals and reasons for constituting a council of trade in Scotland (1701, p. 233). Otherwise replaced by heathenism in the 17th and 18th centuries.
- Cognate to Old High German heidentuom (German Heidentum), Old Norse heiðindómr (Swedish hedendom).