1710 · London
According to Madan, the imprint of this edition of An impartial account is false and was actually printed by Abel Roper. The list of Members of Parliament at the end of this tract include a notation for each vote (either for or against).
Sacheverell (ca. 1674–1724) was a clergyman in the Church of England and a religious controversialist known for his inflammatory and incendiary sermons. Eventually, his words incurred the wrath of Parliament. On November 5, 1709, the anniversary of both the Gunpowder Plot in 1609 and the landing of William of Orange in 1688, Sacheverell delivered a sermon comparing the Glorious Revolution with the execution of Charles I on January 30, 1649. Traditionally, speeches and sermons compared the Gunpowder Plot and the Glorious Revolution as celebratory actions that freed England from popery, since both events fought against Catholic monarchs. Sacheverell, however, viewed the more recent Glorious Revolution in relation to the regicide of Charles I and turned the sermon as an attack against Catholics and nonconformists. The majority of his speech vehemently criticized the "sectarists and schismatics of whatsoever wild, romantic or enthusiastic notions so as to make the House of God not only a den of thieves by a receptacle of Legions of Devils" (The Perils of False Brethren, 1974, p. 13).
Sermons like these required permission from the city fathers before being printed. Despite never receiving their permission, Sacheverell employed Henry Clements to print copies of his speech entitled The Perils of False Brethren. The editions were cheap and small-format, and sales reached their peak at around 100,000 copies. The Whig-controlled government was incensed since Sacheverell suggested that there was no resistance during the Glorious Revolution and were determined to punish him. They decided to impeach the clergyman before the House of Lords on account of his seditious pamphlets. They drew up four articles of impeachment that formed the basis of Sacheverell's trial. He had the support of the Tories and the public, but the House of Lords found him guilty. However, he was given a lenient and mild sentence, so the doctor and the Tories viewed the whole proceeding as a victory.The ensuing trial and sentencing was widely publicized and numerous publications were issued detailing the proceedings. This volume includes six texts relating to the trial that began in January 1710. The first two texts, An impartial account and The tryal, provide accounts of the trial itself and includes transcripts and chronologies of the proceedings. The tryal additionally contains Sacheverell's answers to the impeachment articles and a reprinting of The Perils of False Brethren. Of the remaining four pamphlets bound in this volume, only The names of the Right Honourable peers was written in support of Sacheverell. The remaining three are speeches from various bishops and lords supporting the claims in the articles of impeachment that the House of Commons devised for the trial. (Inventory #: 17977)