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1 ‘With intent to injure and diffame’: Sexual slander, gender and the church courts of London and York, 1680-1700 Rachael Jayne Thomas M.A. (by research) University of York History January 2015 2 Abstract This thesis contributes to research on sexual slander, gender and reputation in the early modern church courts through a detailed study of the sexual slander cases sued in the Bishop of London’s Consistory court and the Archbishop’s Consistory court for York in the years 1680-1700. It engages with three of the main historiographical interpretations of these topics: the ‘double standard’, the ‘women’s court’ and the ‘decline’ of defamation. By doing so, it further develops the work of previous historians who have debated the extent to which these interpretations reflect the reality of the sexual slander business sued in the church courts. The latter decades of the seventeenth century were chosen as the period on which to base this study as the majority of previous studies of sexual sla...