Episcopalians, puritans, presbyterians and sectaries: contesting the Church of England in the mid seventeenth century

If you visualize religious history in the 1640s and 1650s as a blanket triumph of puritanism, think again. As Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 section explains, the real picture was much more complex… As noted in previous blogs, the myth of tight and uniformly repressive puritan rule in the mid-seventeenth has proved hard to shift. Likewise, the blame for much iconoclasm … Continue reading Episcopalians, puritans, presbyterians and sectaries: contesting the Church of England in the mid seventeenth century

Violence at the Door of Parliament, 1640-48

Over the past few weeks the eyes of the world have been on Washington. As the United States prepares to swear in its 46th President, Joe Biden, after what has been a tumultuous transition of power, Dr Stephen Roberts examines the threat of violence against the seat of power in 17th century Britain in our latest blog… The great achievement of the English Parliament between … Continue reading Violence at the Door of Parliament, 1640-48

Cancelling Christmas? William Prynne, kill-joy and martyr, and the onslaught on ‘pagan Saturnalia’

With the government currently recommending scaled-back Christmas celebrations, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-60 project, considers a man who advocated scrapping Yuletide festivities for a quite different reason… The idea that ‘the puritans cancelled Christmas’ has widespread acceptance. Indeed it surfaced in the House of Commons recently in debate over what kind of celebration might be prudent … Continue reading Cancelling Christmas? William Prynne, kill-joy and martyr, and the onslaught on ‘pagan Saturnalia’

‘Cakes, Cheese and Zeal’: Puritan Banbury, the Fiennes family and civil war radicalism

In today’s blog Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 project, returns to our local history exploration of political representation in Oxfordshire. First enfranchised in 1554, the constituency of Banbury developed strong Puritan representation in the 17th century, but it wasn’t always welcome… In the mid-seventeenth century the small north Oxfordshire market town of Banbury punched above its weight. Situated at the centre of … Continue reading ‘Cakes, Cheese and Zeal’: Puritan Banbury, the Fiennes family and civil war radicalism

Crashing out of Monarchy: February 1649 and the making of the English republic

For the final blog in our series on the events during the winter of 1648-9, Dr Patrick Little of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section considers the transition from monarchy to republic after the execution of Charles I…  After the dramatic events of December 1648 and January 1649, which saw the purging of Parliament and the trial and execution of the king, the far-reaching, ‘hard’ revolution that some hoped for … Continue reading Crashing out of Monarchy: February 1649 and the making of the English republic

Execution of Charles I – ‘King-killer’: the Making of a Regicide

In the fourth in our series on the tumultuous events of the winter of 1648-9, and following on from the trial of Charles I, we turn now to the consequence of a guilty verdict.  Dr Patrick Little of the House of Commons 1640-1660 considers the process whereby one MP became a signatory to the death warrant for Charles I, executed at Whitehall on this day … Continue reading Execution of Charles I – ‘King-killer’: the Making of a Regicide

Delivering justice: the sovereignty of the people, God’s judgement and the trial of Charles I

As twists and turns in the Brexit debates at Westminster continue, in the third in our series on the momentous events of the winter of 1648-1649 Dr Vivienne Larminie of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section looks at the contentious background to the setting up of judicial proceedings against Charles I, including a unilateral assertion of sovereignty by the Commons On 8 January 1649, in … Continue reading Delivering justice: the sovereignty of the people, God’s judgement and the trial of Charles I

6 December, 1648: Pride’s Purge

Dr Stephen Roberts, editor of the HOP’s House of Commons 1640-60 project, explains the importance of “Pride’s Purge” which took place on this day in 1648. Since the victories by the New Model Army which brought the first civil war between Parliament and King Charles I to an end in 1646, relations between the soldiers and their parliamentary employers had been uneasy. Many of the … Continue reading 6 December, 1648: Pride’s Purge