Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Henry Sacheverell

‘…The fall of that ministry, which had conducted with so much glory the war upon the Continent, was caused, or at least greatly accelerated, by one of those explosions of popular feeling peculiar to the English nation.  Swift, with all his genius, had in vain taught the doctrine of moderation; but Sacheverell, with as little talent as principal, at once roused the whole nation, and became himself elevated into a saint and martyr, by a single inflammatory sermon.  He was carried in procession through the land, 

Per Granium populous, mediaeque per Elidis urbem
Ibat ovans---

And wherever the doctor appeared, arose a popular spirit of aversion to the Whig administration, and all who favoured the dissenters…’

Henry Sacheverell’s 1709 sermon, “The perils of False Brethren, in Church, and State”, were detrimental to the Whig party, as Walter Scott refers to in “Memoirs of Jonathan Swift, D.D.”.  Sacheverell inspired riots through his speech and subsequent trial.  Dr. Sacheverell died on June 5th, 1724.

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