This study considers sixteenth century evangelicals’ vision of a ›godly‹ commonwealth within the broader context of political, religious, social, and intellectual changes in Tudor England. Using the clergyman and bestselling author, Thomas Becon (1512–1567), as a case study, Brian L. Hanson argues that evangelical views of the commonwealth were situation-dependent rather than uniform, fluctuating from individual to individual. His study examines the ways commonwealth rhetoric was used by evangelicals and how that rhetoric developed and changed. While this study draws from English Reformation historiography by acknowledging the chronology of reform, it engages with interdisciplinary texts on poverty, gender, and the economy in order to demonstrate the intersection of commonwealth rhetoric with Renaissance humanism. Furthermore, the experience of exile and the languages of prophecy and companionship directly influenced commonwealth rhetoric and dictated the priorities, vocabulary, and political expression of the evangelicals. As sixteenth-century England vacillated in its religious direction and priorities, the evangelicals were faced with a political conundrum and the tension between obedience and ›lawful‹ disobedience. There was ultimately a fundamental disagreement on the nature and criteria of obedience. Hanson’s study makes a further contribution to the emerging conversation about English commonwealth politics by examining the important issues of obedience and disobedience within the evangelical community. A correct assessment of the issues surrounding the relationship between evangelicals and the commonwealth government will lead to a rediscovery of both the complexities of evangelical commonwealth rhetoric and the tension between the biblical command to submit to civil authorities and the injunction to ›obey God rather than man‹.
One of the most unusual contributions to the crusading era was the idea of the leper knight - a response to the scourge of leprosy and the shortage of fighting men which beset the Latin kingdom in the twelfth century. The Order of St Lazarus, which saw the idea become a reality, founded establishments across Western Europe to provide essential support for its hospitaller and military vocations. This book explores the important contribution of the English branch of the order, which by 1300 managed a considerable estate from its chief preceptory at Burton Lazars in Leicestershire. Time proved the English Lazarites to be both tough and tenacious, if not always preoccupied with the care of lepers: following the fall of Acre in 1291 they endured a period of bitter internal conflict, only to emerge reformed and reinvigorated in the fifteenth century. Though these late medieval knights were very different from their twelfth-century predecessors, some ideologies lingered on, though subtly readapted to the requirements of a new age, until the order was finally suppressed by Henry VIII in 1544. The modern refoundation of the order, a charitable institution, dates from 1962. The book uses both documentary and archaeological evidence to provide the first ever account of this little-understood crusading order. DAVID MARCOMBE is Director of the Centre for Local History, University of Nottingham.
Five Parishes in Late Medieval and Tudor London presents linked microhistorical studies of five London parishes, using their own parish records to reconstruct their individual operations, religious practices, and societies. The parish was a foundational institution in Tudor London. Every layperson inhabited one and they interacted with their neighbors in a variety of parochial activities and events. Each chapter in this book explores a different parish in a different part of the city, revealing their unique cultures, societies,, and economies against the backdrop of presiding themes and developments of the age. Through detailed microhistorical analysis, patterns of collective behavior, parishioner relationships, and parish leadership are highlighted, providing a new perspective on the period. The reader is drawn into the local neighborhoods and able to trace how people living in the Tudor era experienced the tumultuous changes of their time. This book is ideal for scholars and students of early modern history, microhistory, parish studies, the history of the English reformation, and those with an interest in administrative history of the late medieval and early modern periods.
St Paul's Cathedral stood at the centre of religious life in medieval London. It was the mother church of the diocese, a principal landowner in the capital and surrounding countryside, and a theatre for the enactment of events of national importance. The cathedral was also a powerhouse of commemoration and intercession, where prayers and requiem masses were offered on a massive scale for the salvation of the living and the dead. This spiritual role of St Paul's Cathedral was carried out essentially by the numerous chantry priests working and living in its precinct. Chantries were pious foundations, through which donors, clerks or lay, male or female, endowed priests to celebrate intercessory masses for the benefit of their souls. At St Paul's Cathedral, they were first established in the late twelfth century and, until they were dissolved in 1548, they contributed greatly to the daily life of the cathedral. They enhanced the liturgical services offered by the cathedral, increased the number of the clerical members associated with it, and intensified relations between the cathedral and the city of London. Using the large body of material from the cathedral archives, this book investigates the chantries and their impacts on the life, services and clerical community of the cathedral, from their foundation in the early thirteenth century to the dissolution. It demonstrates the flexibility and adaptability of these pious foundations and the various contributions they made to medieval society; and sheds light on the men who played a role which, until the abolition of the chantries in 1548, was seen to be crucial to the spiritual well-being of medieval London.
Caroline M. Barron is the world's leading authority on the history of medieval London. For half a century she has investigated London's role as medieval England's political, cultural, and commercial capital, together with the urban landscape and the social, occupational, and religious cultures that shaped the lives of its inhabitants. This collection of eighteen papers focuses on four themes: crown and city; parish, church, and religious culture; the people of medieval London; and the city's intellectual and cultural world. They represent essential reading on the history of one of the world's greatest cities by its foremost scholar.