Laurence Howel A.M.
Rare engraving, sheet 315 x 210mm. 12½ x 8¼". Trimmed to image.
Portrait in oval frame of Laurence Howell (c.1664 - 1720), nonjuring Church of England clergyman. According to DNB "There is an engraving which professes to be a portrait of him, but Noble says the plate was altered from a portrait of Robert Newton, D.D." The nonjuring schism was a split in the Church of England in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, over whether William of Orange and his wife Mary could legally be recognised as King and Queen of England. Many of the Anglican clergy felt legally bound by their previous oaths of allegiance to James II and, though they could accept William as Regent, they could not accept him as king. It was not necessarily a split on matters of religious doctrine, but more of a political issue and a matter of conscience, though most of the nonjurors were high church Anglicans. The nonjurors thus supported Jacobitism, although they generally did not actively support the Jacobite rebellions in 1715 or 1745. Howell wrote a pamphlet for private circulation entitled ‘The Case of Schism in the Church of England truly stated.’ In this seditious work George I was denounced as a usurper, and all that had been done in the church, subsequently to Archbishop Sancroft's deprivation, was condemned as illegal and uncanonical. Howell was arrested at his house in Bull Head Court, Jewin Street, and about a thousand copies of the pamphlet were seized there. Howell was tried at the Old Bailey on 28 Feb. 1716-17 before the lord mayor and Justices Powys and Dormer. The jury found him guilty, and two days afterwards he was sentenced to pay a fine of 500l., to be imprisoned for three years without bail, to find four sureties of 500l. each, and himself to be bound in 1,000l. for his good behaviour during life, and to be twice whipped. On his hotly protesting against the last indignity on the ground that he was a clergyman, the court answered that he was a disgrace to his cloth, and that his ordination by the so-called bishop of Thetford was illegal. By the court's direction the common executioner there and then roughly pulled his gown off his back. A few days later, on his humble petition to the king, the corporal punishment was remitted. He died in Newgate on 19 July 1720. After James Fellowes (Fellows) (fl.1710 - 1751).
NPG: D36355. Sharp: 426. Ex Collection Norman Blackburn.
[Ref: 18543] £140.00