W. M. Jacob examines the concept of 'profession' during the later Stuart and Georgian period, with special reference to the clergy of the Church of England. He describes their social backgrounds, how they were recruited, selected, and educated, and obtained jobs; how they were paid, and their lifestyles and family life, as well as examining the evidence for what they did as leaders of worship, pastors and teachers, how their parishioners responded to them, and how they were supervised. Jacob concludes that, contrary to popular views, the clerical profession was much better organized, educated, and supervised than the medical and legal professions during this period. During the 'age of reform' from the 1780s to the 1830s, all the professions were criticized: Jacob suggests that the modest regulation and professional training introduced in the other learned professions in the 1830s only slowly brought them to the standard already achieved by the clerical profession.
Like all good books, William Jacob's exceptional study of eighteenth century clergy fills a gap that, until it had been written did not seem so significant; yet after its publication it is clear that historians of the eighteenth century Church have long needed such a book...Jacob has written the definitive scholarly study not just of the clergy in the long eighteenth century, but of the Church as a whole. The book is well-written, persuasively argued and elegantly evidenced. It will be required reading for all serious scholars of eighteenth century religion. William Gibson, Southern History This is a wonderful work of original synthesis. Based on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, clearly structured, and well written, it tells us so much that students and their teachers have wanted to know, but cannot easily discover other works, about the life and role of the ordinary parish clergy of the Church of England and their relations with their parishioners throughout the very long eighteenth century...I have learnt a great deal from this very fine work of scholarship and exposition. H. T. Dickinson, Expository Times This book is like a well-built Georgian church or refectory: neat, well planned, exact, imposing, and satisfying to visit. Nicholas Orme, Church Times At last! Here is a work of scholarship which uses Parson James Woodforde's Diary as an important source, providing details about clergy in the Church of England in the second half of the eighteenth century...important historical work...it deserves a place in every academic library, will be much appreciated by historians and theologians, and enjoyed by many others. Parson Woodforde Society
Number Of Pages: 350
Published: 1st September 2007
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.37 x 15.75 x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.7