The Letters of Theophilus Lindsey (1723-1808)

November 2007
1 black and white illustrations
676 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Church of England Record Society
ISBN: 9781843833444
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press

The Letters of Theophilus Lindsey (1723-1808)

Volume I: 1747-1788

Edited by G.M. Ditchfield

Letters of important clergyman 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 first of this two-volume edition of the letters of Theophilus Lindsey covers the period from 1747 to the eve of the French Revolution; their subjects include religious and political debate, campaigns for ecclesiastical and political reform, and the emergence of a theologically distinct Unitarian denomination. The letters are accompanied by full notes and introduction.

G.M. DITCHFIELD is Professor of Eighteenth-Century History, University of Kent at Canterbury.

Table of Contents

The career of Theophilus Lindsey, 1723-1774
The nature of Lindsey's Correspondence
Short biographies of recipients of Lindsey's letters in Volume I
Editorial method
List of Lindsey's letters in Volume I [1-380]
The Letters


Undoubtedly the most impressive achievement in the field of religious history - but with invaluable information for all working in eighteenth-century political and social history. A handsome volume, annotated with the diligence that one has come to expect from [the editor]. ANNUAL BULLETIN OF HISTORICAL LITERATURE - EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
This volume, in the Church of England Record Society series, will be a rich source for scholars and students of both religious and political life in late-18th-century Britain. Professor Ditchfield's project, collecting all of Lindsey's existing letters is [...] extremely welcome, and by the evidence of this first volume, likely to shed new light on the history of the period. An edition which allows Lindsey's letters to speak for themselves, and leaves the reader with a precise feel for Lindsey's voice and mannerisms. PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY
We are indebted to Dr Ditchfield for his painstaking and long term commitment to the task of producing a compilation of Lindsey' letters. Libraries which seek to provide research tools that give a broad picture of eighteenth century religious, and even political, thought need to purchase this handsome volume. By the standards of most publishers it is reasonably priced. TRANSACTIONS OF THE UNITARIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
No previous study has been as comprehensive, nay, let us say monumental. [...] A useful tribute to one of the Established church's major defectors. A scholarly and handsome edition. FAITH AND FREEDOM

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