Henry Charles Lea Biography

Henry Charles Lea (September 19, 1825– October 24, 1909) wrote and published the first articles in the United States concerning the Middle Ages. His most impressive work was History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages (3 vols., 1888–89). He received an LLD from Harvard and from the University of Pennsylvania. Lea was the founder of the University of Pennsylvania’s department of hygiene, the first of its caliber in the United States. He also owned the publishing company Lea, Brothers & Co.


Chapters from the religious history of Spain connected with the Inquisition. By Henry Charles Lea. Philadelphia, Lea Brothers, 1890; Reprint, New York: Burt Franklin, 1967.

A history of auricular confession and indulgences in the Latin church. By Henry Charles Lea. 3 vols. Philadelphia: Lea Bros., 1896; Reprint, New York: Greenwood Press, 1968.

A history of the Inquisition of Spain. By Henry Charles Lea. 4 vols. New York, The Macmillan Company; London, Macmillan & co., ltd., 1906-07; Reprint with an introduction by Edward Peters. New York: AMS Press, c1988.

A history of the Inquisition of the middle ages. By Henry Charles Lea. 3 vols. New York, Harper & brothers, 1887; Reprint, New York: Russell & Russell, 1958.

Materials toward a history of witchcraft. 3 vols. New York: AMS Press, 1986.

The Moriscos of Spain; their conversion and expulsion. Philadelphia, Lea Brothers & Co., 1901; Reprint, New York: Haskell House Publishers, 1968.

Studies in church history. The rise of the temporal power--Benefit of clergy. Excommunication. By Henry C. Lea. Philadelphia, H. C. Lea; London, S. Low, Son, & Marston, 1869.

Superstition and force; essays on the wager of law, the wager of battle, the ordeal, torture. 4th ed., rev. New York, B. Blom, 1971.