Godly Reformers and their Opponents in Early Modern England: by Matthew Reynolds

By Matthew Reynolds

This ebook strains the emergence of non secular factionalism inside of an city group, from Elizabeth's reign till the outbreak of the English Civil battle, focusing upon early glossy England's moment urban, Norwich, yet putting it within the context of britain as an entire. quite often, Tudor and Stuart Norwich has been considered as a centre of radical puritanism, yet via cautious research of its wealthy municipal archive in addition to hitherto untapped diocesan and parochial fabric, the writer bargains a extra rounded account of Norwich's non secular lifestyles, which considers the looks of teams at odds with the godly. the 1st part explores how and why the Reformation flourished in Norwich. Later chapters handle the fortunes of the city's puritan stream in terms of successive anti-Calvinist bishops - significantly Samuel Harsnett and Matthew Wren - and their neighborhood allies (both clerical and lay) in the course of the 1620s and 30s. Reacting to godly criticism, Norwich's anti-puritan culture developed into anything forthcoming 'civic Laudianism' in borough affairs lower than Charles I.

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But owing to a lack of follow-up in many instances, she has concluded that the presiding magistrates were willing to let matters lie. Because penalties were not recorded, sentences were not carried out, which in turn meant that Norwich governors were reluctant to exact punishments for matters of private conscience and belief. Yet to posit from incomplete documentation that a lack of recorded prosecution points towards religious forbearance is a non sequitur. At most, it is quite an assumption to make that the mayor’s court necessarily functioned to enforce religious uniformity, or that Tudor Norwich’s magistrates routinely noted every case of confessional wrangling brought to their attention, or wished to exercise complete control over doctrinal matters.

623–46; P. Lake, The Boxmaker’s Revenge: ‘Orthodoxy’, ‘Heterodoxy’ and the Politics of the Parish in Early Stuart London (Manchester, 2001), ch. 11. 50 Foster, ‘Church Policies in the 1630s’, p. 208; C. F. Patterson, ‘Corporations, Cathedrals and the Crown: Local Dispute and Royal Interest in Early Stuart England’, History, 85 (2000), pp. 546–71. For a study of Charles’s disciplining of Salisbury corporation, see P. Slack, ‘Religious Protest and Urban Authority: the Case of Henry Sherfield, Iconoclast, 1633’, in D.

18 Such material remains are a yardstick to assess the fortunes of medieval parish life, since devotion through sacred art was a valued aspect of Catholic religiosity. However, when we approach the subject of Norwich’s early modern religious environment, the part played by parochial affairs, indeed the role of the established ‘Church of England’ itself, is often passed over as being irrelevant to the city’s puritan progress. Of course, Norwich as a gem of a medieval city exerts an obvious attraction for Catholic historians like Tanner and Duffy.

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