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Church and People in Interregnum Britain

The English Civil War was followed by a period of unprecedented religious tolerance and the spread of new religious ideas and practices. Britain experienced a period of so-called “Godly religious rule” and a breakdown of religious uniformity that was perceived as a threat to social order by some and a welcome innovation to others. The period of Godly religious rule has been significantly neglected by historians—we know remarkably little about religious organization or experience at a parochial level in the 1640s and 1650s. This volume addresses these issues by investigating important questions concerning the relationship between religion and society in the years between the first Civil War and the Restoration. How did ordinary people experience this period of dramatic upheaval? How did religious imperatives change and develop? Did people resist Godly imperatives?With its nuanced analysis of Cromwell's England, Church and People in Interregnum Britain will interest religious scholars, enthusiasts of military history, and public historians.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Professor
Bernard Capp

Reformed Church Structures and Government

1. Parish
Reform during the English Revolution, Dr Alex Craven, Victoria County Histories

2. ‘What
happened to parish registers between c.1646 and c.1666?’ Dr Andrew Foster and
Dr Caroline Adams

3. Gathered
Churches and their Books: Rewriting the Theory and Practice of Church
Government in the 1650s, Dr Mark Burden, University of Bristol

4. Scandalous
Ayr: A Kirk Session in Scotland’s Interregnum, Dr Alfred Johnson

The Clergy of the Commonwealth

5. The
Ecclesiastical Patronage of Oliver Cromwell, c.1654-1658, Dr Rebecca Warren

6. The
clergy of Sussex: the impact of change c. 1635-1665, Helen M Whittle

7. The
Impact of the Landscape on the Clergy of Seventeenth-Century Dorset, Trixie

Traditionalist religion: persistence, resistance and division in the
interregnum and beyond

8. ‘Tubby
preaching rogues’: transgressions against Godly religious rule in the English
parish 1645-1660, Dr Fiona McCall, University of Portsmouth

9. Malignant
Parties: Loyalist religion in South-West England, Dr Rosalind Johnson,
University of Winchester

10. ‘“The
Mountaines did serve for their Refuge”: 1650s Wales as a refuge for Anglican
clergy’, Dr Sarah Ward, University of the West of England

11. ’A crack’d Mirror’: reflections of ’Godly Rule’
in Warwickshire, 1660-1665, Dr Maureen Harris

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