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Title: Parish religion in Somerset, 1625-1662 : with particular reference to the churchwardens' accounts
Author: Reeks , John
ISNI:       0000 0004 5920 0816
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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With most studies of the seventeenth-century Church of England ending at 1642 or beginning at 1660, one could be forgiven for thinking that there could be no national church without episcopacy. Years between these dates are usually subject to isolated studies of particular issues - the failure to establish a new national Church, the rise of the radical sects, Anglican 'survivalism'. One institution, however, bridges the divide between the Laudian reformation of the 1630s and the restorations of the 1660s. This study focusses on the parishes within one administrative territory, the county of Somerset and diocese of Bath and Wells. The parochial churchwardens' accounts, a rich and continuous seam of evidence, are analysed to show the continued centrality of the parish in English religious practice, culture and government. They reveal a new perspective on old questions. What was the Laudian reformation, and why was it so successfully implemented? Why was it so controversial? Why did successive interregnum governments find it so hard to construct a new Church? Why was the Church of England so quickly restored after 1660? The parish emerges from this study as a uniquely durable and important institution, its existence the context within which the history of the English Church must be understood and explained. The humble men who served as churchwardens are revealed to have been significant instruments in religious governance, the effective utilization of them key to the success or failure of successive religious settlements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Episcopacy