This project was born out of a desire for a more accessible (and free) online version of Richard Hooker’s “Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity.” There are many scans out there, from various 17th and 19th century editions, but they are frustrating to read on a device, unless one is quite committed.

Some of this frustration can come from bloated marginalia, so I’ve done away with all that. Likewise, there are only the 8 books of the Laws here; you will not find the many additional letters, appendices, and sermons that tend to be bundled in critical editions of Hooker’s works. You’ll also notice a lack of footnotes. I’ve stripped these out for the time being, as Hooker’s personal citations are largely illegible to non-scholars, and the additional footnotes added by Isaac Walton, Keble, etc. need to be re-evaluated. I’ll add them again at some point. If you really need them, there are far better versions of Hooker than this.

Speaking of Keble, this project is built off of the 1888 edition of his three volume “The Works of Richard Hooker.” It builds on his modernization of the spelling, which I have continued to do as well (and will continue to do).

Finally, this is a labor of love that will grow and evolve over time. There are still many typos lurking deep in the text. If you would like to contribute, DM me over on Twitter. I hope to find a better way to bring on contributors, but for now, that will have to do.

The Young High Churchman