The view from the devil’s mountain
Clarendon, Cressy and Hobbes, and the past, present and future of the Church of England
in From Republic to Restoration
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The lives, and political thought, of Edward Hyde, earl of Clarendon, and Thomas Hobbes, were closely interwoven. In many ways opposed, their views on the relationship between Church and State have often been seen as less far apart, with Clarendon sharing Hobbes’s Erastianism and concerns about clerical assertiveness in the 1660s. But Clarendon’s writings on Church-State relations during the 1670s provide little evidence of concern about clerical involvement in politics, and demonstrate his vigorous adherence to a fairly conventional view among early seventeenth-century churchmen about the proper boundaries to royal interference in the Church; his worries about attempts to push further the implications of the royal supremacy in ecclesiastical affairs are evident in his writings against Hobbes, as are his even greater anxieties, exacerbated by the conversion of his daughter, the Duchess of York, about the dangers of Roman Catholic encroachment.

From Republic to Restoration

Legacies and departures

Editor: Janet Clare

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