Jason M. Kelly
The Hellfire Club, or, more appropriately, the Monks of Medmenham Abbey, was an association that met in Buckinghamshire between the 1740s and the 1760s. Controversy and mystery surrounds the group and has defined the histories written about them. Stories of sex, witchcraft, satanism, and spirits define the popular memory of the club. Misinformation abounds and has led to many misconceptions about the organization and its members. As part of my research on the history of eighteenth-century clubs and societies, I have studied the group and had a chance to access the surviving public and private manuscripts. This site is devoted to exposing the history of Monks of Medmenham Abbey. It will reveal new facts about the group while putting its activities into the context of its age. Using the surviving fragments of their activities, rare books, and even the odd film or television episode, this site tells a centuries-long tale of secret societies, ghost stories, illicit activities, rumor, and gossip.
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6 November 2014
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2 September 2013
Decades after the group ceased to meet, the stories of the Monks of Medmenham Abbey circulated in the form of rumors and gossip. And, as members of the club passed away, popular interest...
6 January 2013
As those of you who follow this blog know, it’s been inactive for a while. This is because I took a new position at my university and haven’t had time to do the necessary...
17 June 2012
How much did the London public know about the existence of the Monks of Medmenham Abbey during the 1750s and early 1760s? It is clear that its members had little reticence about publicizing...