R. C. Richardson
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Catholic and puritan
in Puritanism in north-west England
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Western parts of Lancashire especially were renowned for their deep-seated Catholicism. Head-on collisions with Puritanism were inevitable and are documented in this chapter partly through the use of individual parish case studies of Garstang, Poulton, Kirkham, Prescot, and one from Cheshire (Bunbury) and by examining the efforts of individual puritan clergymen like Edward Fleetwood of Wigan and his later namesake from Kirkham and Richard Heyricke in Manchester. The Gunpowder Plot sparked both immediate responses and vivid and unforgiving memorialisation later from puritan clergy in the diocese of Chester. Where Catholicism was most firmly entrenched puritan opposition to it was most noticeable. The evidence for all this, admittedly, centres chiefly on the puritan clergy, the front-line opponents. The extent to which such opposition to Catholics became bound up in the 1630s with resistance to Laudian innovations remains an interesting question. So is the extent to which puritan laymen were in accord with this unrelenting hostility from their pastors shown to Roman Catholics. Certainly it is too simplistic to extrapolate puritan/Roman Catholic divisions into the Civil War parties of Parliamentarians and Royalists.

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Puritanism in north-west England

A regional study of the diocese of Chester to 1642

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