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Religious Politics in Post-Reformation England

Religious Politics in Post-Reformation England

Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 268
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  • Book Info
    Religious Politics in Post-Reformation England
    Book Description:

    The consequences of the Reformation and the church/state polity it created have always been an area of important scholarly debate. The essays in this volume, by many of the leading scholars of the period, revisit many of the important issues during the period from the Henrician Reformation to the Glorious Revolution: theology, political structures, the relationship of theology and secular ideologies, and the Civil War. Topics include Puritan networks and nomenclature in England and in the New World; examinations of the changing theology of the Church in the century after the Reformation; the evolving relationship of art and protestantism; the providentialist thinking of Charles I; the operation of the penal laws against Catholics; and protestantism in the localities of Yorkshire and Norwich. KENNETH FINCHAM is Reader in History at the University of Kent; Professor PETER LAKE teaches in the Department of History at Princeton University. Contributors: THOMAS COGSWELL, RICHARD CUST, PATRICK COLLINSON, THOMAS FREEMAN, PETER LAKE, SUSAN HARDMAN MOORE, DIARMAID MACCULLOCH, ANTHONY MILTON, PAUL SEAVER, WILLIAM SHEILS

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-502-4
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Kenneth Fincham and Peter Lake
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. 1 Introduction: Puritanism, Arminianism and Nicholas Tyacke
    (pp. 1-15)

    Characterizing the nature and significance of the work of Nicholas Tyacke is, on the one hand, extremely easy. Scarcely can one interpretation have had such an influence on a major area of historical research as Tyacke’s thesis, article and subsequent monograph on the rise of Arminianism. On the other, precisely because of the impact of that initial thesis, and the considerable body of subsequent research and controversy that it provoked, it is all too easy not only to lose sight of the very distinguished corpus of work on other themes that Tyacke has produced, but also to collapse his very...

  6. 2 Art and Iconoclasm in Early Modern England
    (pp. 16-40)

    It is usually said that the protestant Reformation severely retarded the development of the visual arts in England. Just when the country was beginning to respond to new Renaissance influences, along came the reformers. The Church, hitherto the main patron of artists, no longer wanted wall-paintings or statues of saints or stained-glass windows. As a result, glass-painting and figure sculpture collapsed, and easel painting was largely confined to secular portraits. Communication with Italy, the centre of artistic innovation, was severely restricted. In Sir Ernst Gombrich’s view, the impact of protestantism was a ‘catastrophe’.¹

    Even more devastating than the abrupt check...

  7. 3 The Latitude of the Church of England
    (pp. 41-59)

    My title has a useful ambiguity, reflecting the two tasks that I seek to carry out. One is to continue my efforts to place the pre-Restoration Church of England in its theological latitude in protestant Europe up to the late seventeenth century.¹ The other is to note just how much latitude was possible within this structure, and to consider why that might be. On the first point, the historiography has been complicated by the battles of church parties that started in the seventeenth century, the aim of which was very precisely to shift the latitude of the Church of England....

  8. 4 Joan of Contention: The Myth of the Female Pope in Early Modern England
    (pp. 60-79)

    During his interrogations in May 1558, the Marian martyr Roger Holland twice referred to the ‘fact’ that a woman had once reigned as pope in order to rebut his interrogators. Asked where the protestant Church was before Luther, Holland contemptuously answered ‘Our Church is not from Pope Nicholas or Pope Joane, but our Church is from the begynnyng, even from the time that God sayd unto Adam that the seede of the woman should breake the serpentes hed.’¹ The fact that Holland, an apprentice draper of London, was familiar with the story indicates how pervasively it had spread since its...

  9. 5 Anti-Puritanism: The Structure of a Prejudice
    (pp. 80-97)

    The title of this essay is, I must concede, flagrantly self-referential. It is designed to recall an earlier piece I wrote in the 1980s called ‘Anti-Popery: the Structure of a Prejudice’.¹ That article was written when the predominant tendency was to explain the tensions that led up to the British civil wars through religious difference and conflict. On this view, religious principle or identity was conceived as an irreducible, and therefore largely inexplicable, aspect of early modern experience. Consequently ‘religion’ had merely to be traced running through the language and motivation of a range of contemporary individuals and groups, in...

  10. 6 The Fortunes of English Puritanism: An Elizabethan Perspective
    (pp. 98-112)

    In a lecture delivered at Dr Williams’s Library in 1990, Nicholas Tyacke drew timely attention to the ramifications of a godly network, clerical and lay, by means of which the continued existence of ‘a radical puritan continuum’, stretching from the 1590s to the civil war, could profitably be traced. ‘Money, organization and ideology’, Tyacke concluded, ‘give shape and substance to puritanism under the early Stuarts.’¹

    The intention of this essay is to amplify Tyacke’s findings by examining some further sources of that ‘money’ and the origins of that ‘organization’ – ‘ideology’ is left to fend largely for itself – by reference to...

  11. 7 What’s in a Name? Dudley Fenner and the Peculiarities of Puritan Nomenclature
    (pp. 113-127)

    My father claimed to have heard of someone called We-came-into-this-world-with-nothing-and-it-is-certain-we-shall-take-nothing-out Jones. Praise God Barebone, who gave his name to an English parliament, is said to have had a brother named If-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-hadst-been-damned Barebone, whose name was shortened to Damned Barebone. More securely documented are the following baptismal names: Stand-fast-on-high, and Fight-the-good-fight-of-faith.¹ Of all the peculiarities of puritanism, none has attracted more interest, part hostile, part humorous, than the practice of some puritans (and, as we shall see, the ‘some’ is significant) of bestowing on their children unusual names, having ‘some godly signification’.

    For all his anti-puritanism William Camden was more amused...

  12. 8 Puritan Preachers and their Patrons
    (pp. 128-142)

    On 1 August 1654 Simeon Ashe preached the funeral sermon at Rotherhithe, Surrey, for Thomas Gataker, BD, rector for forty-three years and an ‘eminently learned and faithful minister of Jesus Christ’. Ashe published the sermon some months later to which he appended an account of Gataker’s life and his ‘patient, comfortable death’. In the epistle dedicatory to ‘my much honored brethren, the Presbyterian ministers of the gospel within the province of London’, Ashe began by mourning the recent loss not only of Gataker but also of William Gouge and Jeremiah Whitaker, ‘members of, but also cordial friends unto our provincial...

  13. 9 New England’s Reformation: ‘Wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the Eies of all People are upon Us’
    (pp. 143-158)

    In October 1640, John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts, solemnly noted in his journal an act of God’s providence:

    About this time there fell out a thing worthy of observation. Mr. Winthrop the younger . . . having many books in a chamber where there was corn of divers sorts, had among them one wherein the Greek testament, the psalms and the common prayer were bound together. He found the common prayer eaten with mice, every leaf of it, and not any of the other two touched, nor any other of his books, though there were above a thousand.¹...

  14. 10 ‘Anglicanism’ by Stealth: The Career and Influence of John Overall
    (pp. 159-176)

    If we understand by ‘Anglicanism’ an assumption that the Church of England occupies a distinctive ‘via media’ between Rome and reformed protestantism, allied to a distaste for speculative theology, a strong concern with ceremonies and their value, a deep attachment to the prayer book, a reverence for patristic authority and a strong sense of continuity with the medieval past, combined with a conviction that these attitudes constitute a natural reflection of a coherent English Reformation settlement, then it has been not the least significant achievement of Nicholas Tyacke (along with historians such as Peter Lake and Patrick Collinson) to have...

  15. 11 Destroyed for Doing My Duty: Thomas Felton and the Penal Laws under Elizabeth and James I
    (pp. 177-192)

    After John Felton stabbed the duke of Buckingham in 1628, contemporaries scrambled to identify the assassin. East Anglian residents immediately recalled the Feltons as ‘a very ancient family of gentry in Suffolk, very valorous and of a stout spirit’.¹ Beyond that, however, information about John Felton trickled in from unusual sources. Catholics, it turned out, were well acquainted with John’s father, and over a decade after his death, they still shuddered at the mention of his name. Many exchequer officials also knew John and his family, although they were hesitant to admit they were on a first-name basis with them....

  16. 12 Charles I and Providence
    (pp. 193-208)

    Royalist providentialism is not a topic that has received a great deal of attention from historians. In the most authoritative recent accounts of providence, both Alexandra Walsham and Blair Worden acknowledge its existence; but neither devotes much space to exploring what it meant.¹ The guiding assumption is that insofar as providential ideas were applied to politics this was mainly done by puritans. The godly believed that they were uniquely equipped to interpret the sovereign decrees of an all-controlling Calvinist God, and indeed that it was their duty to do so. Through an understanding of God’s judgments, they were convinced that...

  17. 13 John Shawe and Edward Bowles: Civic Preachers at Peace and War
    (pp. 209-223)

    As the writings of the dedicatee of this volume amply demonstrate, the suppression of godly preaching, the prosecution of the preachers by the Laudians during the 1630s, and the assault by the crown on the upholders of godly rule in the provinces, the puritan magistracy, were recognized by contemporaries as among the chief grievances of those who opposed Charles I in both parliament and the country after 1640.¹ Thereafter, the significance of that preaching, both in preparing the people for war and in justifying events once war broke out, was a matter for comment as early as the 1650s and...

  18. 14 Material Evidence: The Religious Legacy of the Interregnum at St George Tombland, Norwich
    (pp. 224-240)

    A struggle in 1673–80 over whether or not to preserve a gallery built across the east end of the chancel in St George Tombland in Norwich seems an unlikely point of entry into the contested religious politics of post-Restoration England. Yet the gallery at St George’s became a focal point for conflicting readings of the recent past and the present priorities of English protestantism, exposing tensions within the parish elite and the diocesan administration of Norwich. The eventual demolition of the gallery and its replacement with a railed and beautified altar in 1680 anticipated that broader shift in parish...

  19. INDEX
    (pp. 241-250)
    (pp. 251-252)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 253-255)