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Lea, Henry Charles

LEA, HENRY CHARLES (1825-1909), American historian, was born at Philadelphia on the 19th of September 1825. His father was a publisher, whom in 1843 he joined in business, and he retained his connexion with the firm till 1880. Weak health, however, caused him from early days to devote himself to research, mainly on church history in the later middle ages, and his literary reputation rests on the important books he produced on this subject. These are: Superstition and Force (Philadelphia, 1866, new ed. 1892) ; Historical Sketch of Sacerdotal Celibacy (Philadelphia, 1867); History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages (New York, 1888); Chapters from the religious history of Spain connected with the Inquisition (Philadelphia, 1890); History of auricular Confession and Indulgences in the Latin Church (3 vols., London, 1896); The Moriscos of Spain (Philadelphia, 1901), and History of the Inquisition of Spain (4 vols., New York and London, 1906-1907). He also edited a Formulary of the Papal Penitentiary in the 1jth century ( Philadelphia, 1892), and in 1908 was published his Inquisition in the Spanish Dependencies. As an authority on the Inquisition he stood in the highest rank of modern historians, and distinctions were conferred on him by the universities of Harvard, Princeton, Pennsylvania, Giessen and Moscow. He died at Philadelphia on the 24th of October 1909.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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