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Representations and perceptions of fraudulent identities
Author: Tobias B. Hug

Impostors and impostures featured prominently in the political, social and religious life of early modern England. Who was likely to be perceived as impostor, and why? This book offers a full-scale analysis of this multifaceted phenomenon. Using approaches drawn from historical anthropology and micro-history, it investigates changes and continuities within the impostor phenomenon from 1500 to the late eighteenth century, exploring the variety of representations and perceptions of impostors, and their deeper meanings within the specific contexts of social, political, religious, institutional and cultural change. The book examines a wide range of sources, from judicial archives and other official records to chronicles, newspapers, ballads, pamphlets and autobiographical writings. Given that identity is never fixed, but involves a performative dimension, changing over time and space, it looks at the specific factors which constitute identity in a particular context, and asks why certain characteristics of an allegedly false identity were regarded as fake.

Tobias B. Hug

5287P IMPOSTURES MUP-PT/lb.qxd 1111 21 3 4 51 6 7 8 9 10 1 1112 3 411 5111 6 7 8 9 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40 1 44211 14/10/09 15:12 Page 87 Chapter 5 . ‘The unfortunate whose kingdom is not of this world’1 – political impostures he theme of political imposture involves a wide spectrum of different aspects and ranges, from the famous story of Perkin Warbeck to intriguing adventures of spies and informers; even Cicero’s and Machiavelli’s advocacy of dissimulation, and politicians’ concealment of true interests, may fit into this context.2

in Impostures in early modern England
Abstract only
Tobias B. Hug

5287P IMPOSTURES MUP-PT/lb.qxd 1111 21 3 4 51 6 7 8 9 10 1 1112 3 411 5111 6 7 8 9 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40 1 44211 14/10/09 15:12 Page 1 Introduction . n May 1676, an unnamed man was tried for bigamy at the Old Bailey. He was indicted for four marriages, though ‘charged by common Fame with having Seventeen Wives’. For several years, he had ‘made it his business to ramble up and down most parts of England pretending himself a person of quality, and assuming the names of good families, and that he had a considerable Estate’. In fact he

in Impostures in early modern England
Abstract only
Tobias B. Hug

5287P IMPOSTURES MUP-PT/lb.qxd 14/10/09 15:13 Page 204 Conclusion . he well-known impostors who had hitherto received scholarly attention form only the tip of the iceberg, and sampling a range of archival sources has brought to light a vast body of additional and significant material. By exploring the nature of imposture in many different contexts, this book has adopted a new approach to the study of individualism and self-fashioning, in the context of popular culture. Early modern English men and women regarded a wide range of activities as impostures. The

in Impostures in early modern England
Abstract only
Tobias B. Hug

5287P IMPOSTURES MUP-PT/lb.qxd 14/10/09 15:12 Page 110 Chapter 6 . Ethnic impostors n 1703, a young man appeared in London, claiming to be a native of Formosa, and presented to the Royal Society an entire cultural and geographical description of a remote civilisation. How was it possible to succeed in pretending to be of a different ethnicity and engage members of the Society and the wider public for a considerable time? A category of ‘ethnic impostors’ might come as a surprise, for there was hardly a clear concept of ethnicity in the early modern period

in Impostures in early modern England
Tobias B. Hug

5287P IMPOSTURES MUP-PT/lb.qxd 14/10/09 15:12 Page 64 Chapter 4 . Prophets and visionaries, possessed and exorcists – all religious impostors? he occurrence of religious individuals who claimed spiritual power and thought themselves prophets, exorcists or healers is not a peculiarity of the early modern period, but rather a transhistorical and transcultural phenomenon.1 Plato, for instance, writes in the Republic of ‘[m]endicant priests and soothsayers’, and Origen in Contra Celsum of ‘sorcerers who profess to do wonderful miracles’.2 The Bible warns of

in Impostures in early modern England
Tobias B. Hug

5287P IMPOSTURES MUP-PT/lb.qxd 1111 21 3 4 51 6 7 8 9 10 1 1112 3 411 5111 6 7 8 9 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40 1 44211 14/10/09 15:12 Page 155 Chapter 8 . The self-representation and self-perception of William Fuller (1670–1733) illiam Fuller was born in 1670 in Kent of Robert Fuller, a Protestant, and Catherine, a Catholic. He was brought up a Catholic, enjoyed a decent education, and at the age of sixteen was bound apprentice to a Protestant London skinner, but he left the Skinners’ Company soon after. Through a Catholic relative of his

in Impostures in early modern England
Tobias B. Hug

5287P IMPOSTURES MUP-PT/lb.qxd 14/10/09 15:12 Page 48 Chapter 3 . Quacks – all notorious medical impostors? ccording to contemporary accounts, quacks swarmed throughout the country.1 It is not surprising that itinerant practitioners selling herbal mixtures, quintessences, stones and amulets, merged in the mind of the authorities with vagrants, those, for instance, described in the Elizabethan Act of 1572 as ‘fayninge themselves to have knowledge in Phisnomye, Palmestrye, and other abused Scyences’, or the ‘Juglers, Pedlars, Tynkers and Petye Chapmen’.2 But

in Impostures in early modern England
Samuel Clarke and the Trinity
Robert G. Ingram

the competing historical narratives which demonstrated how and why the ancient, primitively pure of Christian thinking about God got perverted. Finally, it explains why charges of imposture were so prevalent in eighteenthcentury English polemical divinity. What provoked Daniel Waterland – ‘the famous Defender of the Faith against the Arians’ – to produce the most sustained orthodox defence of Nicene Christology during the eighteenth century were the effects he thought he saw from the anti-trinitarian work of the eminent polemical divine Samuel Clarke and his

in Reformation without end
Felicity Loughlin

truth of Christianity. In late antiquity, it had been imperative for the early Christians to offer a new explanation of the oracles. How could their prophecies be explained if the gods deemed to inspire them were false? The Church Fathers had taken their lead from pagan philosophers, who had noted the ambiguity of the oracles, debated their efficacy and put forward varying accounts of the oracular prophecies. 5 These explanations included the inspiration of spirits or daemones , the effects of natural vapours at Delphi, and priestly imposture. Christians of late

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland