‘The Sport of Bishop-Hunting
Marvell and the neo- Laudians
in From Republic to Restoration
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This chapter examines the narratives and counter-narratives about the Civil War that developed after the Restoration. The most contested figure in these narratives was Archbishop William Laud, regarded by Thomas Hobbes and others as personally responsible for the outbreak of the conflict in the 1630s. Laud’s legacy – embraced by the so-called neo-Laudians at Oxford – was debated in a pamphlet exchange between two of the period’s major satirists: Andrew Marvell and Samuel Butler. Their disagreement was at its sharpest concerning a pre-Civil War controversy over licensing a sermon in favour of the Forced Loan by an absolutist cleric, Robert Sibthorp. Marvell’s version of events in The Rehearsal Transpros’d (1672) proved influential in opposition Whig circles, eventually being taken up by the Earl of Shaftesbury and John Locke.

From Republic to Restoration

Legacies and departures

Editor: Janet Clare

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