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Often, indeed, have I seen him agitated … by the selfish and the criminally ambitious; often have I known him misrepresented and traduced with 13 Anna Seward, The Letters of Anna Seward 6 vols. Introduction 5 acrimony; but never did I know him retort, or on such occasions to speak or act otherwise than as the dictates of Christian charity and political wisdom according to my conceptions of them dictated to him.

Jebb did not act alone. At the end of December he married Ann Torkington , the daughter of a clergyman in Huntingdonshire. In the absence of children, Ann maintained as much interest in politics as her husband, discussed all issues with him and wrote in support of their common causes. By all accounts husband and wife were one in their sentiments and ideas. While researching his life I found myself asking the question: why did Jebb act in a manner that was so detrimental to his material prosperity? Parental advice 18 John Cartwright cited in F.

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Butterfield ed. Meadley, Memoir of Mrs Jebb , p. Temperament no doubt partly explains his conduct. Some others most notably William Paley were exposed to similar influences and took more moderate paths in their thought and conduct. Owing to the potent combination of his religious, philosophical and political convictions, however, Jebb was not prepared to bite his tongue. Instead, he became an inspirational and leading figure among those who sought to reform the Church, Cambridge University and the political system.

As a result, a study of his thought and actions brings into sharp relief some of the key aspects of advanced radicalism in the decades prior to the French Revolution. The nature of radicalism in the eighteenth century has been hotly debated in recent decades.

The Enlightenment in Britain (In Our Time)

Historians traditionally emphasised the link between radicalism and urbanisation, arguing that political dissent was informed by a developing liberal conception of the autonomous individual. At the end of the s a colloquium of historians agreed that religion was of central importance in the social and political life of eighteenth-century Britain.

John Jebb and the Enlightenment Origins of British Radicalism

Yet as John Cannon pointed out, having paid lip service to the importance of religion they largely neglected it in their discussions of politics during the Whig Ascendancy. Introduction 7 26 Anglican Church.


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While the important contribution of Rational Dissent to political radicalism has long been recognised, Clark has argued that Anglo- American radicalism was fundamentally rooted in theological dissent from the Anglican confessional state. Such reductionism, however, should be avoided when studying political activists and their thought, and in what follows I endeavour to sketch all aspects of the patriot, philosopher and theologian.

The Enlightenment was a trans-national intellectual movement that manifested in different ways in different religious and political contexts.

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But it can be characterised as reflecting a common attitude of mind, or spirit, that championed reason, scepticism, cosmopolitanism, freedom of expression and the possibility of progress toward greater human happiness. This attitude played a role in bringing about the French Revolution and is central to modernity. An angry party of philosophes opposed to the state did not develop because the British constitution allowed a degree of political participation and religious toleration.

Claeys, Political Writings of the s 8 vols. They were members of the Protestant sects predominantly the Presbyterians, Congregationalists and Baptists that began with a refusal to conform to the teachings and episcopal hierarchy of the Church of England following the Act of Uniformity in Narrowly defined, Rational Dissent is often equated with Unitarianism — which involved a rejection of the theology of original sin and the Trinity.

The late eighteenth-century variant of Socinianism which Jebb came to espouse emphasised the simple humanity of Jesus — and it was with this view that Unitarianism was increasingly associated. In a recent important study of Enlightenment and Religion: Rational Dissent in eighteenth- century Britain it has been suggested that Rational Dissent needs to be seen as part of a broader commitment to rational religion that included many conservative Dissenters and a wide range of Anglicans.

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  • Jebb, John [WorldCat Identities].
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This was partly because of his widely-suspected and commented on tendency towards Socinianism. But it was also due to the uses to which he put his highly sophisticated humanist philology. Paris pp. Antitrinitarians Calvinists and Cultural Exchange in seventeenth-century Europe ed. Mulsow and Jan Rohls Leiden pp. Intellectual Consequences pp. Een Rotterdamse Collegiant in de ban van Spinoza Rotterdam pp. Die Biografie Berlin p. Daniel Adams, secretary to the Society for Constitutional Information. A letter to Sir Robert Bernard : Bart. Chairman of the Huntingdonshire Committee Letters addressed to the volunteers of Ireland, on the subject of a Parliamentary reform.

Letters on the subject of subscription to the Liturgy and Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England: first printed in the Whitehall-Evening-Post under the signature of Paulinus; now reprinted, with notes and additions. By the author A plan for public examinations. Cambridge, May 11, : The writer of this paper is justly sensible of the obligations, which every member of the university is under to those worthy persons, who lately laboured with so much assiduity in the public service Principia.

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Selections Remarks upon the present mode of education in the University of Cambridge to which is added, a proposal for its improvement by the Rev. John Jebb. Select cases of the disorder commonly termed the paralysis of the lower extremities : To which is added, a case of catalepsy A short account of theological lectures, A short state of the reasons for a late resignation To which are added, occasional observations. And a letter to the Right Reverend the Bishop of Norwich. Thoughts on the construction and polity of prisons, with hints for their improvement Works The works, theological, medical, political, and miscellaneous of John Jebb.

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Map View :. Low High. The flags indicate which authority file had at least some publications from the country or region :. Publication Statistics Publication History Archdeacon Printer to the University; for T. Merrill, in Cambridge; and sold by B.