Religion, politics and society in revolutionary Westminster
in Westminster 1640–60
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This chapter analyzes the extraordinary diversity of religious life in Westminster in these decades. While nationally famous puritan preachers performed in Westminster’s many fashionable pulpits (eg. St Martin in the Fields, Covent Garden), more careful analysis reveals a messier reality of compromise and resistance to religious reforms in the parishes. Some ministers were able to promote elements of puritan reform (restricted communions), yet religious conservatism was still a persistent presence in the area, especially in the parish of St Margaret’s, whose church had nevertheless been adopted by the House of Commons for its most important religious services. Beyond the parish churches, still more heterodox and even overtly royalist services were being performed. This chapter thus reveals a colourful spectrum of religious ideas and activities even on the doorstep of government, and often intense arguments over the nature of the parish community and of its religious life.

Westminster 1640–60

A royal city in a time of revolution


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