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Title: Clerical politics in Lancashire and Cheshire during the reign of Charles I, 1625-1649
Author: Mawdesley, James
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 5101
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores the nature of clerical politics in Lancashire and Cheshire during the reign of King Charles I (1625-1649). Beginning with an overview first chapter of the religious situation in the county since the Elizabethan church settlement in 1559, the second chapter moves on to consider clerical reactions to the 'Laudian' innovations implemented in the Church of England during the 1630s. It demonstrates that contrary to a frequently assumed 'puritan' versus 'Laudian' dichotomy, puritan nonconformist clergy often complied with the innovations, and even held high position in the ecclesiastical hierarchy at the time. The third chapter identifies 1637 as being a particularly defining year in the development of a negative perception of Laudianism in the region, linked innately to the visit of the religious controversialist William Prynne to Chester (as a prisoner) in the summer of 1637. After the collapse of Laudianism in 1640, there was intense provincial interaction with the various proposals for religious reform then being debated in London after the assembling in November 1640 of what would become the Long Parliament, and the fourth chapter examines clerical interactions with these debates, most notably through petitioning, but also through the contacts which some clergymen (most notably the Cheshire cleric John Ley) had with prominent London-based politicians and clergy. The fifth chapter moves on to examine clerical roles in the civil wars fought after 1642, challenging assertions which have been made about both rival royalist and parliamentarian allegiances, but also about intraparliamentarian politics. These analyses lead to a close focus upon the attempts to formulate an acceptable religious settlement after Parliament's military victory in the region in 1646, showing that support for presbyterianism in the region was not so much the product of promptings from the London press as the result of local religio-political dynamics.
Supervisor: Milton, Anthony Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available