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Title: Post Reformation Catholicism in the Midlands of England
Author: Verner, Laura Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 6421 5043
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This dissertation examines the Catholic community of the Midlands counties during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). While local studies of post-Reformation Catholics have been attempted in other English regions, no substantial body of work has been produced for the Midlands, despite its significance with the Gunpowder Plot and later Catholic Emancipation. The approach has been to endeavour to understand the causes and consequences of recusancy and how this affected the identity of the Catholic individual and community. Also of interest was the methods of innovation the community used in order to maintain adapted forms of devotion. The principal findings and discoveries demonstrate that the Catholic community of the Midlands was, in general, detached from its medieval predecessor, but also did not follow Tridentine teachings; Elizabethan Catholicism was a unique experience. Unable to worship freely, Midlands Catholics resorted to clandestine and surreptitious practices and proved to be eclectic and fluid with regard to religious doctrine when the occasion demanded. This dissertation is arranged into six thematic chapters plus an epilogue. This method allowed several key aspects of the continuation of Catholicism in the Midlands to be analysed separately. Chapter 1 introduces the themes explored in the dissertation. Chapter 2 introduces the geographical, political and ecclesiastical jurisdictions of the Midlands, along with the gentry families of the counties. Chapter 3 examines the kinship and patronage networks used by the community to protect themselves. Chapter 4 looks at the anti-Catholic measures implemented by the state, and their effect in the Midlands counties. Chapter 5 focuses on the methods used by Midlands Catholics to adapt Catholic devotion in the absence of priests. Chapter 6 considers the themes of material culture and sacred space, and the innovations used by the community to maintain familiar traditional rituals. Chapter 7 considers how the Catholic and Protestant communities interacted, worked and lived with one another, and how Catholics related with the state, either with resistance or passivity. An epilogue considers the effect of post-­‐‑Reformation Catholicism in England, and the enduring memory that reverberated through the centuries.
Supervisor: Kostyanovsky, Lucy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available