An Extraordinary Charge Against a Clergyman

An Extraordinary Charge Against a Clergyman

By Janet Mackleston

Format: Paperback

(6 customer reviews)

Publication Date: Oct. 28, 2020


Categories: History, Politics and Society, Biography

ISBN: 9781913551070


This is the biography of the Reverend Edward Muckleston MA (1819–1913), whose life was filled with scandals, many played out in the newspapers. Selfish and self-centred, he behaved in a way at odds with his vocation, seeming to care little about the impact of his actions on others. Who would expect a vicar to persistently fare dodge on the railways, maliciously damage a neighbour’s trees and even refuse to pay his washerwoman?

Edward was born into an ancient landowning family in Shropshire but he lost it all causing his family to suffer as a result. Having been forced to resign from one parish, he obtained a position in a small parish in Warwickshire and was, for many years, as unpopular with his parishioners there, as he had been in Shropshire. Despite many appearances in court regarding the validity of his appointment, it was a position he would hold for forty-eight years until his death.

His story provides insight into life during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, especially within the clergy. His extraordinary life has been pieced together using newspapers and local archives, by Janet Mackleston who has a family connection to the tale.

Janet Mackleston’s working life was spent in senior management positions for various retailers and, for the last ten years, at a business college sharing her experience by training managers. Writing and family history are her passions. Janet is a member of the Shropshire Family History Society and has written articles for their magazine, amongst others. She lives in Newcastle, Staffordshire.

Janet says, “For many years the Reverend Edward Muckleston was a name on the family tree and there was nothing to suggest he was anything other than a kind, caring vicar who took care of his flock. I then came across a newspaper article relating to a visit to a court regarding his fare-dodging activities. I was intrigued and wondered what happened to him as a result. On further researching his life, much of which was played out in the newspapers of the time, I was surprised by what I found. I have written this book in an unbiased manner to allow the reader to make up their own minds about his behaviours.”


Carol Smyth (Guest Review) - 09 Apr, 2021

I love historical fiction and this book takes you back to Victorian times. It is a true story and very well researched. The vicar involved is quite a character and I have actually been to some of the places mentioned which brings the book alive. A very interesting and enjoyable read.

Diana McKinley (Guest Review) - 09 Apr, 2021

A very enjoyable read. The amount of research Janet has done is amazing. She brings Edward, who was certainly a character, to life.

Brian Muckleston (Guest Review) - 09 Apr, 2021

Great read for anyone interested in Victorian Middle England ,although part of my family with an interest in Genealogy I know the amount of research that has gone into this book

Carol Brown (Guest Review) - 09 Apr, 2021

Excellent book!! So much detailed research has gone into it.If you love interesting insights into Victorian history, true stories and scandal then this book is a must.I read it over three consecutive nights as once I started I became more and more intrigued.Thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to any avid reader.

Wendy Quinn (Guest Review) - 09 Apr, 2021

This book is a wonderful read and I couldn’t put it down.
Edward is a real character and Janet has brought him to life so to speak.
A wonderful debut by Janet and I can’t wait to read her next book

Colin (Guest Review) - 09 Apr, 2021

Being descended from the Muckleston line I read this book with great interest as to see the name in print was unusual to say the least. Janet has certainly researched her first book in great detail with no stone left unturned to tell the lifestory of a character truly at odds with his position in life. Edward’s conflicts with almost everyone that he meets made this an enjoyable read and the many images gave an insight into what was a privileged but troubled life. Well done Janet.

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