The Early Letters of Bishop Richard Hurd, 1739 to 1762

October 1995
550 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Church of England Record Society
ISBN: 9780851156538
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BISAC LIT000000, REL033000

The Early Letters of Bishop Richard Hurd, 1739 to 1762

Edited by Sarah Brewer

A model edition of the early correspondence of one of George III's favourite bishops. ARCHIVES
Richard Hurd is best known to ecclesiastical historians as one of George III's favourite bishops who was offered, and declined, the archbishopric of Canterbury. These letters, therefore, illuminate the early career of one of the most prominent clerics of the late eighteenth century. The letters begin in 1739, just after Hurd had graduated B.A. at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. They chart his gradual climb up the ladder of ecclesiastical preferment, through his time as Fellow at Emmanuel and end with him settled in the comfortable country rectory of Thurcaston in Leicestershire. Hurd had a wide circle of correspondents. He became a close friend of William Warburton, Bishop of Gloucester, perhaps the most prominent controverialist of the period. He was also a member of a literary circle which included the poets Thomas Gray and William Mason. Indeed, Hurd himself is well-known to students of English literature as the author of Letters on Chivalry and Romanceand as a significant figure among the so-called `pre-romantics'. Hurd's letters reveal the full range of his interests, from theology and university politics, through literature, to painting and sculpture. This edition, therefore, not only tells us about Hurd's early life and career, but also provides a valuable insight into the social life of the Anglican clergy in the eighteenth century.

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A wealth of detail concerning the Church of England's condition and functioning during the mid-eighteenth century... the meticulous footnotes contain an enormous - indeed, magnificent - wealth of historical and literary erudition. HISTORY A model edition of the early correspondence of one of George III's favourite bishops. The text of the letters is supported with excellent footnotes and explanatory material... Dr Brewer explains the significance of the correspondence and relates main themes to prominent 18th-century theological, scholarly and literary preoccupations.ARCHIVES Richard Hurd (1720-1808) was one of the most interesting clergymen of the 18th century who not only exemplifies the `career open to talents' but provides some support for the cautiously optimistic reassessments of the Georgian Church which have appeared in recent decades. This first-class edition of his [early] correspondence...deserves a warm welcome. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY A rich source for students of both the literary and ecclesiastical history of the eighteenth century. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

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