Categories
history

Is Alexander Aan “Daniel Isaac Eaton” all over again?

An Indonesian man is facing prison for publishing a Facebook he doesn’t believe in God. He has been threatened with prison, but he has also found a large degree of support. If you’ve been reading this blog, you probably know that 200 years ago, A British man named Daniel Isaac Eaton was sentenced to prison […]

Categories
history

The old man and the pillory

As Daniel Isaac Eaton was dragged to the pillory, he knew it would be useless to resist. Eaton saw a crowd gather, some estimates say as many 50,000 onlookers gathered round. There were too many people to determine what kinds of things they’d brought to throw at him. Eaton knew London well, and he knew […]

Categories
1812 history Uncategorized

The sentence for the pamphlet

Daniel Isaac Eaton waited in Newgate prison to find out what his fate would be. Before Eaton could be convicted, a Mr. Prince Smith filed an affidavit in Eaton’s defense. In addition to other words of common sense, Mr. Prince Smith told the court that “It was quite impossible to maintain the fear of God […]

Categories
1812 history Uncategorized

Daniel Isaac Eaton’s self defense

Just as the prosecution’s case was brilliant if simple, so Daniel Isaac Eaton’s defense was as inept as it was informative. First of all, Eaton was late for his trial.

Categories
history

Social Networking, Book Burning, and the rooster who lost his head

Daniel Isaac Eaton had been in trouble with the law before.   (That is, before the blasphemy case.) Once upon a time, in a little kingdom in far away Europe, there lived a cockerel by the name of Chanticleer, King Chanticleer. This rooster was a descendent of the Chanticleer in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Nun’s Priest’s Tale, and […]

Categories
history

Daniel Isaac Eaton, Thomas Paine’s publisher, accused of blasphemy

The prosecution mounted a brilliant case against Thomas Paine’s publisher. The first witness the attorney General called was Henry Ben Raven, who, as stated earlier, had purchased a copy of Thomas Paine’s book from Daniel Isaac Eaton’s shop.

Categories
1812 history

The Ghost of Thomas Paine haunts the Church of England

When Richard Dawkins recently claimed that Christians were “not really Christian at all”, he wasn’t breaking new ground. Over 200 years ago, Thomas Paine, that oft-quoted American patriot, wrote a pamphlet that said basically the same thing.