R. C. Richardson
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in Puritanism in north-west England
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The final chapter summarises the principal findings of the book concerning the distribution and development of Puritanism and the interlocking roles within it of clergy, congregational laity, and patrons (both individual and corporate). Household devotions, in this part of the country, as elsewhere, formed the basis of the molecular structure of Puritanism. It also emphasises the limited validity of the notion of a monolithic national ‘Puritan Movement’ despite obvious common denominators such as the university background of the preachers, shared reading habits, and the considerable influence of London. Regional and chronological variations in its patterns render this term unhelpful, not least on account of the frontier zone collisions between puritans and Roman Catholics in the North West and the expedient moderation and often encouragement of the ecclesiastical and civil authorities towards the puritan presence. But that national and local strands in the history of Puritanism could and did come together is eloquently demonstrated by the enthusiastic reception given to puritan ‘martyr’ William Prynne in Chester in 1637 on his way to imprisonment in Caernarvon castle. Though puritanism in this region has its own history it was, most definitely not self-contained.

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Puritanism in north-west England

A regional study of the diocese of Chester to 1642


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