Baptist women

Rachel Adcock has just published her monograph, Baptist Women’s Writings in Revolutionary Culture, 1640-1680 (Ashgate, 2015, 232p, ISBN 978-1-4724-5706-6).

‘Although literary-historical studies have often focused on the range of dissenting religious groups and writers that flourished during the English Revolution, they have rarely had much to say about seventeenth-century Baptists, or, indeed, Baptist women. Baptist Women’s Writings in Revolutionary Culture, 1640-1680 fills that gap, exploring how female Baptists played a crucial role in the group’s formation and growth during the 1640s and 50s, by their active participation in religious and political debate, and their desire to evangelise their followers.

Adcock coverThe study significantly challenges the idea that women, as members of these congregations, were unable to write with any kind of textual authority because they were often prevented from speaking aloud in church meetings. On the contrary, Adcock shows that Baptist women found their way into print to debate points of church organisation and doctrine, to defend themselves and their congregations, to evangelise others by example and by teaching, and to prophesy, and discusses the rhetorical tactics they utilised in order to demonstrate the value of women’s contributions’.

More information on the publisher’s website

To read Rachel’s description of the Loughwood Church records, see the National Trust website.

Cromwell’s religion: a study day on 3rd October 2015

Religious division was one of the key factors that dominated the 17th century and the driving force behind Oliver Cromwell’s extraordinary ascent to his role as Lord Protector. The subject is huge and has many different aspects – and the potential to be a subject worthy of a life-times study.

The Cromwell Association exists to further study of Cromwell and to promote a wider understanding of ‘God’s Englishman’ and his legacy. It is an educational charity and publishes an annual journal as well as promoting events and activities that further the overall aims.

The Association, in partnership with the Dissenting Experience Project, has organised a study day to look at different aspects of Cromwell’s religion. The programme, aimed at a non-academic audience, will comprise four papers by specialists in the field. They range from an examination of Cromwell’s relationship with the Presbyterians to the role of Quakers in the Protectorate. The speakers are: Prof Ann Hughes (Keele), Dr Elliot Vernon (London), Dr Kate Peters (Cambridge) and Dr Joel Halcomb (UEA). The day will be chaired by Professor John Morrill (Cambridge).

The study day is open to all and will take place at The City Temple, Holborn Viaduct, London, on Saturday 3rd October. The fee for the day, including a light buffet lunch, is £45.00.

For further details, and on-line booking, see www.olivercromwell.org/whats_new.htm

  • The full programme for the day is available on-line at the link above
  • The Association organises an annual study day, recent previous subjects have been Cromwell and the Army, Cromwell’s early life, Richard Cromwell. Papers are normally published in the annual journal Cromwelliana. Sample copies available on request.
  • The Association was established in 1937. It also organises an annual service of commemoration by the statue of Cromwell at Westminster on 3rd September, the anniversary of Cromwell’s death.
  • Images available on request

For further details of the event and, or, the Association, please contact John Goldsmith, jrgoldsmith@talktalk.net

Dissenting Experience Conference: 14 November 2015 (Year 3)

Scandal, Controversy, Persecution: Shaping Dissenting Identities

We are very pleased to announce that the programme for the third and final conference of the Dissenting Experience project is now ready.

Speakers: John Coffey, Grant Tapsell, Jeremy Gregory, Mark Knights, Johanna Harris, Kate Peters, Ariel Hessayon, and Mark Burden.

To download the programme, please click here.

The conference will take place on Saturday, 14 November 2015, Dr Williams’s Library – 14 Gordon Square,  London, WC1H 0AR

As usual, the conference is free of charge but prior registration is essential either by mail (anne.page@univ-amu.fr) or by post: Dr Michael Davies Department of English 19-23 Abercromby Sq University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZG.

Year 3 poster

This one-day conference, organised by the Centre for the English-Speaking World of Aix-Marseille Université in association with the Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies and the University of Liverpool, focuses on the shaping of dissenting identities in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England.  It will consider how dissenters were named and viewed, both within and without their own communities, and what determined the formation of these identities, nationally and locally. Because the experience of dissent for both members and ministers of gathered churches was often one of negotiating scandal, controversy, and persecution, this conference will address the consequences of identifying with a dissenting church or sect, both before and after Toleration, and which factors – political and social, denominational and intellectual – helped to shape dissenting identities across the period, both individually and collectively.  How dissenting identities were established, debated, and challenged, across a range of networks – denominational and sectarian, literary and scientific – and in the contexts of revolution and persecution as well as of toleration and Enlightenment, is what this conference aims to explore. This is the third in a series of three annual events exploring the collective experience of the dissenting churches in the period 1600-1800.

 

 

Seminar in Dissenting Studies

DR WILLIAMS’S CENTRE FOR DISSENTING STUDIES

Seminar in Dissenting Studies, the Lecture Hall, Dr Williams’s Library, 14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR. All are welcome.

Wednesday 17 June 2015 5.15 to 6.45 pm

Timothy Whelan (Georgia Southern), ‘Mary Hays and Henry Crabb Robinson: Reconstructing a “Female Biography”’ 

Mary Hays has received considerable attention in the past two decades, through an edition of her correspondence, new editions of her novels and other prose, and important biographical studies, including Gina Luria Walker’s Mary Hays (1759-1843): The Growth of a Woman’s Mind (2006). Hays was herself concerned to record the lives of gifted women. Yet her own life history has been unnecessarily truncated and inaccurately presented owing to the absence of one critical resource: the life writings of Henry Crabb Robinson. Robinson met Hays in 1799 and, despite the sixteen-year difference in their ages, the friendship continued until her death in 1843. Robinson’s diary makes over 170 references to Hays, of which only seven have been published. Together with a valuable letter on Hays by Robinson to Catherine Clarkson in early 1800 concerning Hays’s affair with Charles Lloyd, these references provide an extensive genealogical record of Hays’s family after 1800 and their important involvement with Baptists and Unitarians, as well as Hays’s introduction to a vibrant group of Dissenting women from Leicester and their connections in the West Country that intersected at the same time with Godwin and his circle. Though Walker has referred to Hays’s life after 1806 as “buried”, Robinson’s accounts reveal something quite different, a woman who viewed herself and her life from within the prism of religious Dissent; a woman devoted to her family and their connections through marriage with several prominent Dissenting families (all friends of Robinson); a woman who held to many of the same opinions on religion, politics, and women’s rights she had first espoused in the 1790s; and who passed these ideals on to her niece and namesake, Matilda Mary Hays (1820-97), feminist and translator of George Sand.

Timothy Whelan is Professor of English at Georgia Southern University. He is Senior Visiting Fellow of the Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies, and currently Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Queen Mary University of London. His monograph, Other British Voices: Women, Poetry, and Religion, 1766-1840, is in press with Palgrave. It builds on his 8-volume edition of Nonconformist Women Writers 1720-1840 (Pickering & Chatto, 2011). He has published many other critical editions and articles including, most recently, ‘Wilhelm Benecke, Crabb Robinson, and “rational faith”, 1819-1837’; he is general editor of the forthcoming Oxford University Press edition of the Reminiscences and Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson.

Speaker’s profile: www.english.qmul.ac.uk/drwilliams/people/whelan.html

For more information about the Seminar in Dissenting Studies contact James Vigus (j.vigus@qmul.ac.uk) or see www.english.qmul.ac.uk/drwilliams/events/current.html

Launch 2015: The Henry Crabb Robinson Project

Wednesday 3 June 2015 at 5.15pm
Dr Williams’s Library, 14 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0AR 
A lecture to mark the public launch of the Henry Crabb Robinson Project.

Professor Timothy Whelan (Georgia Southern), ‘Henry Crabb Robinson and the Questions of Pre-Existence and Immortality in the 1830s’. Chaired by Dr James Vigus (QMUL)

The lecture and discussion will be followed by a wine reception from 6.30-7.15pm.

Attendance is free of charge and all are welcome. For the purpose of planning the reception, please register by email to j.vigus@qmul.ac.uk if you wish to attend.

This event forms part of the distinguished visiting fellowship at Queen Mary University of London of Timothy Whelan, general editor of the forthcoming Oxford University Press edition of the Reminiscences and Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson.