The writing of ecclesiastical history is rarely disinterested, and this was especially so in eighteenth-century England. Its leading practitioner, John Jortin, wrote with a clear, determined, and dynamic purpose: to offer an effective critique of orthodoxy and its ally, persecution, and to secure civil and religious liberty in a way commensurate with maintaining an established church and liberal learning. His life and writings meditated on early eighteenth-century tendencies in thought and scholarship in a spirit that allowed often radical developments to take place. Unambiguously heterodox in tone and conclusions, Jortin's researches were drawn on by radical dissent. A scion of a Huguenot family, Jortin was a critical mediator between the culture of the Huguenot Refuge and English scholarship. He was a pioneer in the study of English literature, moving such study away from the narrowly philological methods of Richard Bentley towards more reflective literary scholarship. Above all, Jortin was determined that the Republic of Letters should be a Christian Republic; his contribution to and experience of Enlightenment substantiates J. G. A. Pocock's contention that, in England, it was largely clerical and conservative: study of Jortin in context challenges the hegemony of the Radical Enlightenment thesis that is rapidly becoming an interpretative orthodoxy.