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Title: Secular policy enforcement during the personal rule of Charles I : the administrative work of parish officers in the 1630s
Author: Langelüddecke, Henrik A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3604 867X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1995
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This thesis explores the impact of the Caroline reform policies during the Personal Rule on the organisation, work-load, and morale of parish officers. In addition to suggesting a national approach to the study of local government, it examines the enforcement of the Book of Orders, Ship Money, and the Perfect Militia at the parochial level during the 1630s. The sources employed include the rich correspondence between the Privy Council and county governors (JPs, Sheriffs, Deputy Lieutenants), and all available parish officers' accounts from thirty-nine English counties and corporate towns. It is argued that the pattern of response to national policies was strongly influenced by communal values, and the administrative standards and individual character of local officeholders. The enforcement of the Caroline reform policies depended on their political acceptability and the ability of the Privy Council and county governors to coerce parish officers. While the Book of Orders was generally welcome in the localities, its implementation was adapted to local necessities and the administrative inertia of both JPs and parish officers. The supervision of the enforcement was restricted by the extreme dependency of superiors on information from parish officers. The administration of Ship Money was thwarted by local assessment disputes, economic depression, and political opposition. Its collection met with significant difficulties from the very start, and ceased under the pressure communities exerted on their officers. Far from being perfect, the militias maintained their standard under the constant supervision of the Deputy Lieutenants. The control of parishes over their officers was emphasised during the recruitment for the Scots' Wars and the collection of Coat and Conduct Money, both of which were causes of the failure of the English army. In conclusion, this thesis proposes that the response to national policies in early modern England varied considerably from community to community. A voluntary and highly decentralised system of local government was unsuitable to enforce contentious policies against the will of the population. The 1630s saw the partial breakdown of local government which significantly contributed to the collapse of the Personal Rule in 1640.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Caroline reform policies