This essay examines the doubts of Francis Stone, rector of Cold Norton, Essex – doubts which brought him notoriety and ruin. In 1806, Stone preached a sermon, four editions of which appeared by 1809, expressing doubts about Anglican doctrine and the Thirty-Nine Articles. He maintained that Christ, though God's ‘great messenger’, was merely human, and that the Virgin Birth was a myth. Moreover, he also doubted the ‘Athanasian trinity in unity’ and the doctrine of the atonement. Stone's doubts were far from new. He had expressed various concerns forcibly in print and had played a major part in the raising of the anti-subscription Feathers Tavern petition. He was determined to teach only ‘that, which . . . [might] be concluded and proved by the Scripture’. But the storm provoked by the sermon was terrible. In 1808, Stone was arraigned before the bishop of London's consistory court. There he declared that the Church of England had no authority to override his conscience. Nevertheless, the court rejected his arguments and deprived him of his living; when he appealed to the Court of Arches, it upheld the sentence. Stone's doubts produced an important test case and a powerful warning for Anglican clerics holding heterodox opinions (and, indeed, liberal churchmen wanting just ‘free’ and ‘candid' theological debate) in the conservative 1800s. Moreover, the issues Stone raised foreshadowed controversies which erupted long after his death.