Henry Charles Lea

Henry Charles Lea ( born September 19, 1825 Philadelphia, † October 24, 1909 ) was an American historian.


Leah's grandfather ( mother's side) was the well-known Catholic journalist and publisher Mathew Carey ( 1760-1839 ). His father Isaac Lea (1792-1886), the Carey's daughter Frances Anne Carey married at St. Augustine 's Catholic Church in Philadelphia in 1821, was born into a Quaker family. Lea was a convinced Unitarian. In 1843 he went into the publishing business of his father, to whom he remained involved until 1880. Due to his poor health did not allow him to devote full attention to the business. He therefore began with research on the history of the Catholic Church, in particular to the church history of the late Middle Ages. His three -volume history of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages (1887 ) was developed by Heinz Wieck and the Old Catholics Max Rachel ( 1870-1943 ) translated into German and published in 1905 by the Cologne city archivist Joseph Hansen ( 1862-1943 ). The French translation of the Jewish scholar Salomon Reinach worried. In 1911/12 was published a Russian translation of this work. In the first volume of his History of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages Lea defended the thesis already, Paul taught in Galatians the religious coercion and " spread the seed, which should carry such a rich harvest of injustice and misery ." Also Leas representation of the Spanish Inquisition is a standard work. It was translated by the Luxembourg Prosper Müllendorff, an editor of the National Liberal Cologne Gazette, into German. In 1990 a Spanish translation of his book, The Moriscos of Spain (Los Moriscos españoles: Su Conversión y expulsión ). Lea was in 1900 one of the best-known American historian. Lea received awards from Harvard and Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Giessen (award of an honorary doctorate on August 2, 1907) and the University of Moscow. In 1903 he was elected president of the American Historical Society. Leah's children gave his library in 1926 from the University of Pennsylvania. At Princeton University and at the University of Pennsylvania, there is a Henry Charles Lea Professor.


  • Superstition and Force: Essays on the wager of law, the wager of battle, the ordeal, torture (Philadelphia 1866, 2nd edition 1870, 3rd edition 1878, 4th edition 1892, ND New York 1971)
  • An historical sketch of sacerdotal celibacy in the Christian church (Philadelphia 1867, 2nd ed Boston 1884). Also available as full text on the Internet.
  • History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages ( New York 1888) (German history of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages Bonn 1905)
  • Chapters from the religious history of Spain connected with the Inquisition (Philadelphia 1890)
  • Formulary of the Papal Penitentiary in the 13th century ( Philadelphia 1892)
  • History of auricular Confession and Indulgences in the Latin Church ( 3 vols, London 1896, ND New York 1968)
  • The Moriscos of Spain: Their conversion and expulsion (Philadelphia 1901 ND New York 1968)
  • The Eve of the Reformation, in: The Cambridge Modern History Vol 1 New York 1902, 652-692. .
  • History of the Inquisition of Spain ( 4 volumes, New York / London 1906-1907 ). (German history of the Spanish Inquisition )
  • Inquisition in the Spanish Dependencies (1908 )