Nigel Aston1
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  • 1 University Of Leicester
Thomas Townson and High Church Continuities and Connections in Eighteenth-Century England
in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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This article focuses on the career and writings of a neglected eighteenth-century High Church cleric, Thomas Townson (1715–92). It aims to restate his contemporary prominence as a writer and pastor and present fresh research into the intergenerational transmission and reception of High Church ideas and practices within a distinctive religio-political milieu in Staffordshire and Cheshire. In this recovery of contexts, it notes Townson’s relatively slight inspirational importance within both the Hackney Phalanx and the earlier Oxford Movement, and argues that, while there were undoubted continuities and connections between the Georgian Church of England and the Tractarians, Townson’s marginality for most of the latter serves to confirm Peter Nockles’s emphasis on the Oxford Movement as, in many senses, a ‘new start’.

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