The Penitent of a Woefull Sinner. Third Issue (1651)

Author: Nicholas Bernard

Book ID: 63886

Price: 595.00

The Penitent of a Woefull Sinner or, The Penitent Death of Jo. Atherton, later Bishop of Waterford in Ireland, who was Executed at Dublin the 5 of December. with some Annotations upon Severall Passages in it: As also the Sermon with some further Enlargements, Preached at his Burial: as also the Authors Farewell Sermons to his Pastorall Charge at Drogheda. The Third Impression Reviewed by the Author. London: Printed by R. Ibbitson, 1651. 16mo. Early full calf, spine ruled & decorated in gilt. Title page in a fine pen facsimile of the original. Titles for other parts within lined & decorated box border. Pp, x (with errata leaf), 337 [166 + 170].

Bishop Atherton was born 1598 in Somerset and attended Oxford. He was appointed in 1630 as Lord Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, but he was not welcomed by the Roman Catholic majority in his see. In 1640 he was convicted of sodomy with his steward and tithe proctor, John Childe, and executed at Dublin Castle on Dec. 5th that year. The Bishop’s fellow clerics did everything they could to prevent justice being done, to avoid disgrace to the reformed religion of Ireland. But the verdict of guilty was hailed by cheers in court, and he was nearly murdered on his way from the bar to the jail in Cork. His lover John Childe was hanged shortly afterwards at Bandon Bridge. They were the second pair of men executed for sodomy in UK history (Ref: Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook by Richard Norton).

This edition includes Atherton’s letters to his wife & children & a sermon preached at his burial in St. John’s Church in Dublin.

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