Following on from last week’s literary adventure, this weekend I went to a marvellous Anne Lister event at the marvellous Halifax Minster. The event featured, Sally Wainwright who wrote the Gentleman Jack script, Anne Choma who wrote the tie-in book, and O’Hooley & Tidow who sang the Gentleman Jack song.
This is the church where Anne Lister was baptised, worshipped, and was buried. It’s a very old church, which started as a monastic mission. (Hence the title Minster).
As you can see from the picture above, by complete fluke (or Providence) I was sitting next to Anne Lister herself! Or rather, what is left of her memorial. (She is buried somewhere near the font). The memorial unfortunately got broken up for various reasons, so the Minster is hoping to raise money to create a new one. Something tells me they won’t be short of donors!
While I was in the queue for the loo (lol!) I read a plaque on the wall which I found very interesting.
Near this Place in the same Vault, are deposited the remains of the Revd George Legh, LL.D. and his 2 beloved wives FRANCIS & ELIZABETH, to whose joint Memory this monument is erected; he was the Vicar of this Parish of Halifax above forty four years: during which Time he interested himself with laudable Zeal in the cause of religious Liberty & Sincerity, being the last Survivor of those worthy Men who distinguishd themselves by their opposition to Ecclesiastical Tyranny. He defended the Rights of Mankind, in that memorable Hoadlian Controversy. The Bible he considerd as the only standard of Faith & practice, to the poor & distressd & Public Charitys, he was a generous Benefactor, by his Will orderd Bibles to be given for the benefit of the poor, he did honor to his Profession as a Clergyman & christian, esteemd when liveing, in death lamented, he died composd on the 6th of Decembr, 1775, in the 82d year of his age; his wife FRANCIS died Decembr 9th, 1749, ELIZABETH Febry 8th 1765
What an interesting sounding man! And secondly - what the heck is a Hoadlian Controversy?!
Turns out that in 1717, Bishop Benjamin Hoadley preached a sermon to George I, saying that since Christ’s kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36), there is no justification for the Church wielding worldly power and lording it over people, owning lands, raising taxes etc. This released the 18th century equivalent of a Twitter storm, with hundreds of pamphlets being written to argue both sides.
I think we can safely conclude that Rev George Legh was on the side of Hoadley in this argument, and a general good egg. Actually, there was a lot of radical, grassroots religion going on in the West Riding in the 18th century, and I ended up going down quite a rabbit hole of research. But more of that another time! In the meantime, please enjoy this picture of me and Mick in our Jack the Lass T-shirts, which we bought on the night.