Scandalous and malignant? Settling scores against the Leicestershire clergy after the first Civil War

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Abstract

During the English Civil Wars religious reformers forced thousands of clergy from their livings. Despite recent scholarship stressing the central role of religion in the conflict, analysis of clerical trials and ejections has not yet been fully integrated into the historiography of civil war. The most complete set of surviving records for exploring this process are those of the parliamentary committee for Leicester. This study analyses these records to determine the motivations for ejections in Leicestershire. By taking a holistic picture of the evidence surrounding some cases, it calls into question previous assumptions, often made on the basis of articles of accusations alone, about the morality or religious persuasion of those ejected. Instead, it demonstrates that political considerations drove sequestrations, that the conditions of war exacerbated pre-existing social, economic, and religious tensions within the county, as the desire for retribution for war-time losses found in the loyalist clergy a convenient target.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-242
Number of pages23
JournalMidland History
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2015

Keywords

  • scandalous ministers
  • Leicestershire
  • clergy
  • Church of England
  • English Civil War

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