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How one 18th-century sermon triggered England’s first celebrity crush – with merchandise

By Hannah Yip, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Manchester
Three hundred years ago, on June 5 1724, an Anglican clergyman by the name of Henry Sacheverell died in Highgate, north London. He was 50 years old.

Sacheverell’s death passed in relative obscurity. His home in The Grove in Highgate Village arguably remains better known as the site for several subsequent residents of great renown, from Samuel Taylor Coleridge (who lived there from 1823 until his death in 1834) to Kate Moss (from 2011 until 2022).

In his lifetime, however, Sacheverell gained significant notoriety for a seditious sermon he preached in 1709. It sparked

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