Samuel Fullerton
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Toleration and its discontents, 1646–48
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This chapter pulls together a number of ostensibly disparate storylines from the interwar period of 1646–48 – Presbyterian repudiations of liberty of conscience; Henry Neville’s obscene attacks on parliamentary moderates; the royalist press resurgence of late 1647 – by centring post-Reformation sexual politics. Focusing on the intra-parliamentary debates over religious toleration that began almost immediately after the outbreak of civil war, it tabulates the ways in which contemporaries harnessed the classic patristical linkage between sexual and spiritual corruption for a series of distinct partisan ends. The chapter concludes with a review of the libelous royalist newsbooks of 1647–49, which lambasted the entire parliamentary coalition as lecherous puritan rebels in the lead-up to the second civil war and beyond.

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