The Debt of Memory: Edmund Calamy and the Dissenters in Restoration England

John Seed

in Dissenting Histories

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780748621514
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651306 | DOI:
The Debt of Memory: Edmund Calamy and the Dissenters in Restoration England

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History was not merely one preoccupation of eighteenth-century Dissenters. It was a central and shaping force, or, perhaps more accurately, a set of sometimes-contending forces. It was through the narratives it told about itself that a fluid and unstable historical community called ‘the Dissenters’ was produced and reproduced during the eighteenth century. But these narratives were also locked in dispute with other narratives that were told about ‘the Dissenters’. This chapter focuses on Edmund Calamy's various publications on Restoration Dissenters, published between 1702 and 1727. Calamy's two editions of the Abridgement plus The Continuation, or John Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, do not point forward to a recognisably modern form of historical writing. Nevertheless, they did go some way towards achieving one of their aims as historical works: to preserve a record of specific events based upon a diversity of sources.

Keywords: Edmund Calamy; Restoration England; Dissenters; John Walker; Clergy; Abridgment

Chapter.  12353 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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