Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Politics, corporation and commonwealth : the early Reformation in Canterbury, c.1500- 1565
Author: Palmer, James Henry Stuart
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 862X
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis is concerned with the process of religious change within Canterbury and the role played by civic governors in this change. At the start of the sixteenth century Canterbury stood as a city at the heart of England's late medieval religious culture, and popular religion in the city, for the most part, reflected this. Yet by the start of Queen Elizabeth's reign many of these associations had fallen by the wayside and the city had become home to evangelical preachers, printing presses, and a predominantly Protestant community. The effective political Reformation enacted by the Henrician authorities during the 1530s facilitated this shift. While the effective guidance of Thomas Cromwell, Thomas Cranmer, and select local gentry entrenched the Royal Supremacy within the city and provided the magisterial community with a comfortable grey area in which to conduct civic government without recourse to confessional infighting. The more radical reforms of King Edward's reign were implemented across the city without resistance, and the city again remained sanguine during the reign of Queen Mary in spite of the persecutions that engulfed much of Kent. Between these doctrinal fluctuations, the political, cultural, and economic lives of the citizens continued to adapt and evolve as Protestantism quietly ingratiated itself into the business of governance through a series of 'collaborations' and 'negotiations' between communities and state authorities. While the effective implementation of government policy played a large part in these apparently efficient Reformations, the local context remains vital to properly understanding how Canterbury became Protestant. Corporate government was at the heart of this convoluted process, and the continued efficacy of civic government helped shield the city from the tumults witnessed elsewhere in Kent. During the turbulence of the later fifteenth century, the magisterial classes secured their place at the head of city society and carved out a role as economic and moral arbiters of their communities, allowing them to take a leading role in the process of Reformation. Yet this was not readily seized. Spells of disorder within the city parishes during the 1540s warned against the destabilising influence of confessional dispute and fostered an ongoing Erastian approach to matters of doctrine within the confines of the guildhall, where the maintenance of the commonwealth trumped all other concerns.
Supervisor: Grummitt, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available