A Pack Of Idle Sparks (Hardback)
Edited by Greg Finch, A Pack of Idle Sparks.
“Miserable sinners”, “a vile crew”, and “a pack of idle sparks”: just some of the descriptions of people in 18th century Hexham used by the Northumberland town’s clergy. The moral conduct of the people was subject to the church courts, presided over in Hexham by the Reverends George Ritschel and Thomas Andrewes in turn. Their letters to the church authorities in York discuss the misdemeanours of parishioners and clergy, marriages and wills, the constant scramble for money, petty feuds and corruption, the perilous state of the church fabric and many other aspects of church business. This fascinating but little known collection is now published for the first time. Accompanied by other letters, explanatory footnotes, a full introduction, and biographies of the main correspondents and their subjects, this fully indexed book sheds new light on the social history of eighteenth century Northumberland. It will be of great interest to social, family, local historians, and the general reader, and provide new material for researchers for years to come.