The Temptation and Downfall of the Vicar of Stanton Lacy

by Peter Klein

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A married vicar with a passion for a young single woman, a bitter publican, a Peeping Tom, a resentful church warden: our human frailties are still much as they always have been.

Over three hundred years ago, the Reverend Robert Foulkes arrived as the new incumbent at the wealthy parish of Stanton Lacy, Shropshire. Charismatic, 'exceedingly followed and admired', he set off a chain of events which led to his hanging at Tyburn in 1679.

What irrational impulse could have brought a man of the Church to such a squalid end? Historian Peter Klein has pieced together remarkable documentary evidence which shows a village seething with jealousies, covetousness and sexual intrigue. Their eloquent new vicar was the catalyst for the moving and powerful tragedy that followed.

Awaiting execution, in Newgate gaol, Foulkes wrote his confessional pamphlet, An Alarme for Sinners, which was an immediate C17th best-seller.

Today the ancient church of Stanton Lacy still stands and there inscribed on a wall plaque, along with other less notorious vicars, is the name of Reverend Robert Foulkes and the dates he served there. In this remarkable book, Peter Klein unfolds the full story of Robert Foulkes for the first time.

From the scaffold, Foulkes addressed the crowd: 'You may in me see what sin is, and what it will end in.'

A true story "more real than any historical novel - more moving, more evocative, more human." John Fowles


16 Black & white photographs, 23 Black & white illustrations, 2 Maps, 1 Charts


Sep 10, 2005


About the Author:

Peter Klein was born in Middlesex, and took an Honours degree in Medieval and Modern History at Birmingham University. For many years he lived at Ludlow in Shropshire, where he researched and wrote books and articles on the local history of the town and the surrounding area, and where he was a founding member of the local history group. Her now lives happily in rural Herefordshire, with his wife, Debby, and a geriatric cat. His passions include walking in the countryside, watching wild birds, and visiting medieval chuches. He is the proud father of three daughters, and grandfather to five grand-children.

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