London, Ireland, and the Protestant cause
in Civil war London
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Chapter 1 explores how Londoners responded to the crisis of the Irish Rebellion between November 1641 and spring 1642. Offered up is the first systematic look at the ways in which the Irish Rebellion impacted daily life and politics in the metropolis and how, in turn, the war prepared Londoners ideologically for war at home. Metropolitan inhabitants donated supplies and loaned vast sums of money in the hope that they might relieve their beleaguered Protestant neighbors. But their efforts were not entirely selfless. Beyond the immediate significance of their actions, Ireland’s circumstances provided a crucial framework through which Londoners articulated their personal religious and political worlds, and in particular in terms of notions of an overarching “Protestant cause,” a collective concern over the extent to which Protestantism might supersede Catholicism. Metropolitan responses to Ireland reveal, on the one hand, long-term concerns over the international health of Protestantism; on the other hand, they lend crucial insights into how Londoners conceptualized religious – and thus providentially sanctioned – war. Popular responses to Ireland thus provide crucial explanations for the ways in which concerns over an international conflict mutated in 1642 to provide justifications for the coming civil war. Chapter 1, in short, suggests how Ireland helped to prime Londoners for a domestic war, from fears over an amorphous Catholic threat to popular opposition to episcopacy. Highlighted here are some of the critically important ways in which the Irish Rebellion presaged, both ideologically and structurally, the coming civil war.

Civil war London

Mobilizing for parliament, 1641– 5

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