Treating me worse, than I deserved
Heterodoxy and the politics of patronage
in Reformation without end
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This chapter highlights the ways that eighteenth-century orthodox clergy tried to coerce or punish their fellow clergy whom they judged heterodox. It opens with a consideration of Middleton’s unsuccessful attempts to secure plum ecclesiastical preferments with the assistance of Sir Robert Walpole’s ally, John Lord Hervey. It then anatomizes the arguments in the heterodox works that Hervey convinced Middleton not to publish in order to better his chances for preferment. Middleton would return to these unpublished manuscripts during the 1740s when he wrote about miracles. The chapter concludes by detailing Middleton’s failed effort during the late 1730s and early 1740s to redeem himself in the eyes of the orthodox by writing about Cicero. The process of bringing his life of Cicero to press also casts light onto the business of publishing with which Middleton and all other polemical divines had to deal.

Reformation without end

Religion, politics and the past in post-revolutionary England

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