MC:F8 Papers of Henry Sacheverell (Fellow 1701-13)
The notebook was a gift of John Bloxam, Fellow 1835-63 (listed in Macray, Register vi pp 114-16). Henry Sacheverell (1674-1724), a Church of England clergyman and religious controversialist was elected a Demy of Magdalen College in 1689. He obtained a BA in 1693 and an MA in 1695, and in 1697 took up a living at Cannock in Staffordshire. In 1701 he returned to Magdalen College where he was elected Fellow, a post he held until 1713. He was awarded his BC in 1707 and his DD in 1708, and served as Senior Dean of Arts in 1708 and Bursar in 1709. He also served as Pro-Proctor in 1703, Sacheverell was popular as a preacher who delivered fiery high-church sermons, which found a receptive audience within Oxford. However, when he preached before the lord mayor, aldermen, and council of London in St Paul’s Cathedral on 5 November 1709, his sermon was judged too inflammatory to be disregarded, and he was impeached before the House of Lords for seditious libel. He was found guilty, but given the ludicrously lenient punishment of prevention from preaching for three years. The lenient sentence caused a sensation: Sacheverell basked in it by taking a six week ‘victory tour’ in June to his newly acquired Shropshire living of Selattyn and in the general election of 1710, the Whig government was soundly defeated. Sacheverell savoured a short-lived resurgence of fame in 1713 when the ban on his preaching was lifted, and he acquired the rectory of St Andrew’s, Holborn but he eventually faded from the public eye. He died in Highgate on 5 June 1724, and was buried in St Andrew’s, Holborn, on 11 June.
Catalogued January 2005
52 page autographed notebook entitled Prayers and Devotions for my Particular Use in ye Daily Worship and Service of God. ‘Henr. Sacheverell M.A.A.’ is inscribed on the leaf before the title. Sacheverell has copied out Ephesians 3.20 and 21; Deuteronomy 6.10 and 11 in English on the flyleaves and made extracts from Horace Ep. 18 L. 1., and (in Greek) from the Gospel of St. John and Menander.