Anglo-Irish Gallicanism, c.1635 - c.1685
This thesis explores the development of Gallican and anti-papalist ideas among English and Irish Catholics in the period c. 1635 - c. 1685. It identifies a set of arguments concerning political theology and the rule of faith which, it maintains, constituted a comprehensive response to the dilemmas faced by Catholics living under protestant rulers and trying to reconcile their religious and political loyalties. It suggests that the qualitative identity between the arguments of the writers under consideration is such that it is useful to think in terms of a discrete school of thought which may be labelled 'Anglo- Irish Gallicanism'. The writers whose works are examined in detail are Sir Kenelm Digby, Thomas White (also known as Blacklo), Henry Holden, Hugh Paulin (in religion, Serenus) Cressy, John Austin, Richard Bellings, Redmund Caron and Peter Walsh. This study complements earlier research into English and Irish Catholic thinking in the seventeenth century. Whereas previous discussions of the Oath of Allegiance controversy have been restricted to the period ' c. 1606 - c. 1615, this account stresses the ongoing importance for English and Irish, Catholics of the Oath of Allegiance, and of the issues which it raised, during the rest of the century. The 'Blackloist' contribution to the rule of faith debates has been examined recently, and there have been short studies of aspects of the careers of the other writers, but there has not been a sustained examination of the political theology of the English and Irish Catholics in general or of these writers in particular. Nor has there been any attempt to consider the links between, and coherence of, many of their political-theological ideas and their arguments concerning the rule of faith. This thesis therefore addresses one aspect of the neglected intellectual history of English and Irish Catholics in this period. It is argued that Anglo-Irish Gallican political theology comprised dualist, and even 'Marsilian', accounts of the relationship between the church and the state, and tolerant attitudes towards the relationships between different Christian denominations. These positions were maintained on the basis of anti-papalist rules of faith. Such rules of faith were important not only in debates between Catholics and protestants about the identity of the true church, but also in debates between Catholics and Catholics about the status and teachings of this church. These approaches enabled the writers whose works are analysed to define the status of their religion, and the jurisdictions of their temporal and spiritual leaders, in such a way that they could express absolute loyalty to their temporal sovereigns while still subscribing to what they saw as the true Catholic faith. In these approaches, they built on comparable claims about the papal deposing power advanced during the Oath of Allegiance controversy in the period up to c. 1615; but they systematised these claims and bolstered them with more sustained accounts of political theology and the rule of faith than are evident in the earlier writings. The potential political significance of Anglo-Irish Gallicanism is also noted. Whereas previous accounts of 'popery and politics' in this period have usually been concerned with 'anti-popery and politics', and have paid only scant regard to the ideas and beliefs of the Catholics themselves, this thesis notes that the Anglo-Irish Gallicans played a potentially significant role in the Stuart count during the 1660s and 1670s. In addition to using a range of published material, it draws on manuscript sources written by English and Irish Gallicans concerning the establishment of a tolerant system of government in England and Ireland and the reunion of the English and Roman Churches. These manuscripts were written by, or associated with, English and Irish Gallicans at the heart of the Stuart polity, namely Serenus Cressy and Richard Bellings. Although it cannot consider the purely 'political' role of these Catholics, this thesis is intended to provide some account of the intellectual culture which they represented and which has hitherto been largely ignored. It may therefore have implications for the political history of the Stuarts, as well as for the English and Irish Catholics, in the seventeenth century and later.