The Letters of Theophilus Lindsey (1723-1808)

December 2012
1024 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Church of England Record Society
ISBN: 9781843837428
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BISAC LCO011000, HIS015000, REL003000

The Letters of Theophilus Lindsey (1723-1808)

Volume II: 1789-1808

Edited by G.M. Ditchfield

Letters of an important clergyman that provide a well-informed and lively commentary upon the religion, politics and society of the time.
The letters of Theophilus Lindsey (1723-1808) illuminate the career and opinions of one of the most prominent and controversial clergymen of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. His petitions for liberalism within the Church of England in 1772-3, his subsequent resignation from the church and his foundation of a separate Unitarian chapel in London in 1774 all provoked profound debate in the political as well as the ecclesiastical world. His chapel became a focal point for the theologically and politically disaffected and during the 1770s and early 1780s attracted the interest of many critics of British policy towards the American colonies. Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Priestley and Richard Price were among Lindsey's many acquaintances. The second and final volume of this edition covers the period from the regency crisis and the early stages of the French Revolution to Lindsey's death nineteen years later, at the height of the Napoleonic War. His letters from this period reveal in depth Lindsey's central role in the formation of Unitarianism as a distinctive denomination, his involvement in movements for religious and political reform, his close friendship with Joseph Priestley and the tribulations of dissenters during the 1790s. From his vantage point in London, Lindsey was a well-informed and well-connected observer of the responses in Britain to the French Revolution and the war of the 1790s, and he provides a lucid commentary on the political, literary and theological scene.

As with Volume I, the letters are fully annotated and are accompanied by a full contextual introduction. G.M. DITCHFIELD is Professor of Eighteenth-Century History, University of Kent at Canterbury.

Table of Contents

The later career of Theophilus Lindsey, 1789-1808
Short biographies of recipients of Lindsey's letters in Volume II
Editorial note
List of Lindsey's letters in Volume II (381-783)
The Letters, 1789-1808
Appendix I: Letters of Theophilus Lindsey from 1747 to 1788 not included in Volume I
Appendix II: A list of letters to Theophilus Lindsey, 1751-1807


Grayson Ditchfield has served scholars superbly with this edition in every respect. It comes complete with an extended introduction, a catalogue of the letters (a handful have been located since the first edition was published) and an admirably comprehensive index. HISTORY

Professor Ditchfield has provided a resource which is of outstanding, reliable and lasting merit and which will provide easy access for those whose research crosses the path and career of Theophilus Lindsey for years to come. We cannot but be grateful. TRANSACTIONS OF THE UNITARIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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