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Picture of Symon Patrick (1626-1707) and His Contribution to the Post-1660 Restored Church of England

Symon Patrick (1626-1707) and His Contribution to the Post-1660 Restored Church of England

Author(s): Nicholas Fisher

Book Description

History has not been kind to Symon Patrick. His fifty years of ministry spanned the closing years of Cromwell’s rule and the start of Queen Anne’s reign, and ranged from service as a Church of England minister in two fashionable London parishes to appointment as the “latitudinarian” Bishop of Ely. He influenced a major change in the character of the Established Church, as it moved from a confrontational fundamentalism to the broad tolerance that exists today. Patrick, recognised by his contemporaries as one of the three or four leading clergy of his generation, wrote over one hundred books that helped to define his Church, such as his pastoral work The Heart’s Ease, his devotional The Parable of the Pilgrim and his biting polemic against nonconformism, A Friendly Debate.

This book assesses the significance and quality of Patrick’s contribution to the Church of England, carefully placing it against the background of the history and politics of the time and suggesting why his reputation faded after his death. Puritanism, Latitudinarianism, pilgrimage, women’s religion and spirituality, and prose style are all topics touched on here.


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-2838-3
ISBN-10: 1-5275-2838-3
Date of Publication: 01/05/2019
Pages / Size: 309 / A5
Price: £64.99


Nicholas Fisher, a Church of England minister, holds a research Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Newcastle, UK, and doctorates in English Literature and Theology. His research focuses on the cultural life of Restoration England, and he has written extensively on the poetry of John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (whose favourite uncle appointed Symon Patrick as his domestic chaplain). Among over fifty publications are two extended articles that explore Rochester’s faith, and an edited collection of essays that marked the 350th anniversary of Rochester’s birth (That Second Bottle, 2000). He has also co-edited a performing edition of musical settings of his poems (Songs to Phillis, 1999) and an edition of his poems and play (2010). He provided a chapter on Rochester’s letters for Lord Rochester in the Restoration World (2015).