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Title: Negotiating religious change : the Later Reformation in East Kent parishes, 1559-1625
Author: Le Baigue, Anne Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 7969 9597
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2019
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This study investigates the re-introduction and consolidation of Protestantism within the diocese of Canterbury following the accession of Elizabeth in 1558 until the death of James I in 1625: that is, after the reforms of the first half of the sixteenth century, but before the changes brought in by Archbishop Laud and the events leading to the outbreak of the English Civil War. While the actions of the state and the political motivations of key figures are touched upon, the main focus is the development of religion at parish level and how attitudes and customs changed over time as the demands of the Elizabethan Settlement of religion took root within the parishes. The historiography of the Reformation has revealed wide variation in how religious change has been viewed at the local level. This thesis challenges the revisionist view, which has described the progress of the later Reformation in England as protracted and contested at every step by the majority of people. It argues instead that some revisionist writing has been too pessimistic when applied to the diocese of Canterbury, and demonstrates that, in east Kent, resistance and division were not the default response following the 1559 Settlement. Communities were able to negotiate a path which stayed within the bounds of the law but which reflected their individual parish context. In this respect, this thesis proposes a less antagonistic view of religious change than has appeared from the historiography. By using a small number of carefully chosen case studies, this thesis offers a refined sense of place concerning the growth of Protestantism in both urban and rural communities in Kent. The case studies focus on the city of Canterbury, on the towns of Sandwich and New Romney and on the surrounding parishes which formed the rural hinterlands to these three urban communities. They reveal the complexities of religious change, and suggest that a homogenous response to state-imposed reforms cannot be assumed, even in parishes which were geographically close. Extending the research to 1625 has enabled an examination of the consolidation of Protestantism into the Jacobean period. This indicates how parish religion continued to develop after the death of Elizabeth, by which time people had clearer expectations and were prepared to demand more of their clergy. At James's death, parish religion in the diocese of Canterbury was strong.
Supervisor: Fincham, Kenneth ; Foster, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available