Henry Sacheverell

(1674—1724) Church of England clergyman and religious controversialist

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English divine and preacher. In 1709 he preached two sermons attacking the Whig government's policy of religious toleration, one of the principles of the Glorious Revolution. The House of Commons condemned the sermons as seditious and Sacheverell was impeached. He attracted a popular following, with crowds shouting “High Church and Sacheverell” in his support. Although his sentence was a nominal one (a temporary suspension from preaching), the Sacheverell episode was important within a political context; the Tories used the message of “The Church in danger” to attract support from the conservative Anglican squirearchy against the Whigs, thereby crucially weakening the Whig ministry, which fell in 1710.

Subjects: Christianity — World History.

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