Main page image

Cabinet 05: Religion

[Matthew Tindal], Four Discourses on the Following Subjects. London: Printed in the Year, 1709. DeB Eb 1709 T

Tindal, page 130 Tindal tp Three major events shaped the Church leading into the eighteenth century: the Restoration of 1660, the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and the Toleration Act of 1689. There developed four main categories of religious minorities: Protestant Dissenters; Quakers; Roman Catholics; and others such as Jews, Deists, and Muggletonians ('Radical Puritans'). As a freethinker, Matthew Tindal (1657-1733), wrote 'Of the Power of the Magistrate' (1697), which reiterated the need for toleration, arguing that Dissenters had rights to worship as they pleased. To Tindal, ‘true religion was simply a constant disposition of mind to do all the good we can.' According to reports, he was notoriously immoral, and was publicly reprimanded at All Souls, Oxford, as 'an Egregious Fornicator.' This 1709 edition contains four of his most important essays.

Richard Newcourt, Repertorium Ecclesiasticum Parochiale Londinense: An Ecclesiastical Parochial History of the Diocese of London. London: Printed by Benjamin Motte, 1710. Shoults Ec 1708 N

Repertorium Repertorium double page The basic unit of administration was the parish, with ninety percent of the 15,000 in England and Wales having fewer than 1,000 inhabitants. Parish officials (the vestry) often established poor relief projects and charity schools, and managed local rates and taxes. Richard Newcourt's second volume of Repertorium Ecclesiasticum details the parishes in Essex. It also provides evidence on how good the Church was at record keeping.

The Tryal of Dr. Henry Sacheverell. London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, 1710. Shoults Eb 1710 S

The Tryal The Tryal, title page The Whigs were individuals who opposed the Duke of York (the future James II) in the Exclusion Crisis and who sought (in general) civil and political liberty. Tories (from Toraidhe, Irish for bandit) were supporters of the Duke of York whose loyalties (in general) lay towards 'Church and King.' An event in the eighteenth century that highlighted divisions between these two groups (and High and Low Churchmen) was the Henry Sacheverell Affair in 1710. While preaching, Sacheverell (1674-1724), a Tory High Churchman, claimed that Dissenters threatened the Church and that in turn Whigs and moderate Tories were failing to defend it. His eventual impeachment resulted in riots, and attacks on many Dissenting meeting houses. This edition of the trial contains an initial imprimatur leaf, giving permission to Tonson to print the work.