Ecclesiastical Patronage in England, 1770-1801. A Study of Four Family and Political Networks

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Examines Church patronage in late-eighteenth century Britain, during the administrations of Lord North (1770-1782) and the first government of William Pitt the Younger (1783-1801). The clergy were one of the foremost of the Hanoverian professions, with its patronage a source of interest to the King, politicians, the landed elite and the universities. By concentrating on the appointments of clergy below the bench of bishops, the book gives a clear account of the complex relationships and criteria which underlay the four patronage networks. It will greatly increase our understanding of the established Church of England in the later-Hanoverian period.


“Taken together, these four studies of different ecclesiastical patronage networks reveal a great deal about the workings of the Church of England, one of the leading institutions of the time. More than that, they tell us much about the interplay between church and politics, and attitudes towards authority, obligation, and entitlement in a period before examinations played a key part in determining access to office and promotion. Payne’s book adds substantially to our knowledge and understanding or eligion, politics, and society in late-eighteenth century England.” – Prof. Stephen Conway, University College London

“The book is professionally researched and lucidly written. It offers numerous valuable archival leads and unearths a good deal of significant new evidence. It can be recommended to all specialists in the history of the later eighteenth century as an examination not only of the relations between church and state but also as a study of the ways in which what has sometimes been termed the `ancient regime’ in England responded to some of the most dangerous challenges which it had ever had to face. Publication would therefore be fully justified.” – Prof. G.M. Ditchfield, University of Kent

“. . . a highly original and much needed study of the dynamics of patronage in the Hanoverian Church of England. . . . The insights these studies offer therefore allow us to attain a much more nuanced understanding of this central engine of Hanoverian public and religious life, and are collectively a caution against simplistic readings of cause and effect in this much misunderstood world of patrons and clients.” – Prof. Arthur Burns, King’s College London

Table of Contents

Foreword Professor Stephen Conway
List of abbreviations
1. Introduction
The nineteenth-century critics of Church patronage
The modern historiography
The four patronage networks
2. Patronage
Church patronage
3. The Second and Third Earls of Hardwicke
The second earl of Hardwicke
The second earl of Hardwicke as patron Edmund Keene, bishop of Ely
The Cambridgeshire election and the bishopric of Ely
The rise of Philip Yorke
The third earl of Hardwicke as patron
Charles Lindsay and Samuel Ryder Weston
4. The Harris Family
James Harris senior
Thomas Jeans junior
The desertion of Jeans
James Harris junior
Joseph Warton
The Christchurch clients
William Gomm
Francis Henchman
5. Charles Jenkinson
Jenkinson’s orthodox networks under North
The Crown’s ecclesiastical patronage under North
Jenkinson’s networks as ‘man of business’ under North
Out of office
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
6. George Pretyman
The theology of George Pretyman
The Crown’s ecclesiastical patronage under Pitt
Pretyman and Trinity College, Cambridge
Pretyman, Isaac Milner and William Wilberforce
Pretyman’s role as Pitt’s adviser
7. Conclusion
Appendix 1: List of the Corporation of Christchurch, 2 April 1780
Appendix 2: Crown patronage
Appendix 3: Notes on style

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