Sermons of Sedition: The Trials of William Winterbotham

  • James EpsteinEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Histories of Policing, Punishment and Justice book series (PHPPJ)


William Winterbotham was tried and convicted at two trials at Exeter assizes in summer 1793 of having spoken seditious words in two sermons he had delivered to his Baptist congregation at Plymouth and for which he was condemned to four years in Newgate prison. Winterbotham was the only person during the 1790s to be prosecuted for having delivered a sermon. His case prompts legal questions pertaining to words spoken rather than printed texts. The chapter gives an account of the two trials and considers how the local community mobilized itself to create the terms of the trials.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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