The Introduction establishes the scope of the subject. It examines previous work in the area and asks why the subject of providing for the lights has not had more attention. It argues that the topic is certainly worth sustained investigation and sets out a plan for the study as a whole
This chapter explores the thematic connections between two English works rife
with pro-Protestant Reformation-era politics and religious polemic, John
Derricke's Image of Irelande, with a Discoverie of Woodkarne (1581) and
John Foxe's Actes and Monuments (1560s) (also known as the Book of
Martyrs). Both works were published by John Day in London. This chapter
highlights Derricke’s apocalyptic rhetoric as well as similarities between
his sophisticated visual program of woodcuts, Foxe’s title page, and the
religious prints of Albrecht Dürer. Derricke's visual scheme of twelve
woodcuts is bifurcated in style between the ‘damned’ Irish and the civilized
English who conquered them. Sir Henry Sidney, Derricke's hero against
the rebel Irish, is portrayed as more of a Christ-like judge than previously
John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande and Edmund Spenser’s Book Five of The
Faerie Queene participate in an ongoing Tudor debate about how best to bring
Ireland into a secure British polity. With a simplifying imagery, advocates
for military conquest recommended ‘the sword’, and advocates for peaceful
civil reform called for ‘the white wand’. This chapter reviews the
ceremonial meanings of the white wand in Tudor England – in portraits, law,
broadsheets, state papers, literature, and letters – and then shows how
writers appropriated those meanings to advance their preferred policy in
Ireland. In The Image John Derricke reverses the traditional associations
with the white wand as he celebrates Sir Henry Sidney’s policies as the Lord
Deputy. In Book Five Edmund Spenser follows this same rhetorical strategy to
advocate for conquest of Ireland and only then civil reform.
This collection of sixteen essays, the first devoted to John Derricke’s work,
offers new readings of, and new sources behind, The Image of Irelande: With a
Discoverie of Woodkarne (1581), all to better explicate facets of this difficult
and complex book. While prior scholarship on Derricke was largely confined to
commentary on the illustrations, the essays in this volume encompass a broad
range of approaches to the Image of Irelande in its entirety. Although on the
face of it, The Image is blatantly pro-Sidney and anti-Irish propaganda, and has
always been so received, the essays in this collection combine to suggest that
Derricke’s book is in fact far more culturally and politically daring than has
been assumed, with a highly sophisticated textual and visual presentation only
now brought into focus. In addition to scrutinizing Derricke’s poetic and
iconographic practices, the essays include insights from architecture and
archaeology, print history and reading practices, studies of civic display and
colonial ideologies. The collection, divided into five sections (Ideologies,
Archaeologies, Print and publication, Influences, and Interpretations),
establishes a basis on which to build future analyses of Derricke’s enigmatic
It is shown here how the Carolingian rulers of Francia legislated to make every community contribute to the cost of the lights. It begins with Charlemagne’s conquest of northern Italy and his appropriation of oil supplies from the region. This shows how providing for the lights was associated with power, and the chapter traces this out in the evidence of laws and church councils. Since there was a determined effort to spread the costs of lighting throughout society, it becomes possible to see a response at community level. It is seen that categories of people became tributaries to the church with a hereditary obligation to provide for the lights.
This, the longest chapter in the work, examines in more detail how peasants on estates were organized to provide resources for church lights. There is a particular focus on church estate records (polyptychs) from the mid-ninth century onwards, the aim being to identify the social range of people who paid for the lights on a hereditary basis. The emergence of the guild is also examined. A sort of ‘middling group’ of people who contributed to the lights are identified and traced in France, Italy, Spain and England. Resistance to the forced cultivation of olives is discussed in relation to a famous case from Italy. The chapter closes with a survey of the social structure underpinning the supply of materials for the lights across Europe.
Here the social consequences of maintaining the lights are examined in greater detail. The discussion builds on the results of Chapter 4. At issue are two kinds of people: censuales, or cerocensuales in Germany and colliberti in France. Were they both hereditary tribute payers, formed as a group by the need to supply the Church? A lengthy discussion concludes that the censuales were a group called into being by the needs of the Church in this way, but that the colliberti were not. The discussion contributes to a long-running debate about the nature of servitude, manumission and obligation. The chapter ends by looking at the conditions under which the censuales lived and how their standing changed as towns grew and social distinctions were relaxed.
The last chapter traces the high-point of giving for the lights as guilds and confraternities mushroomed. A solid belief in Purgatory encouraged people to give in order to earn time off this pain. The use of wax for the lights grew until it was necessary to import wax into Western Europe. By the early sixteenth century, the cost of the lights was met predominantly by voluntary associations. The censuales and other tributary groups declined in a predominantly urban environment. Urban associations, however, gained control of much church funding, and they were instrumental in determining responses to reform teaching. When the belief in Purgatory came to an end, funding for the lights ended abruptly. This is the final twist in the relationship between belief and termaiality.
The third chapter discusses the stories in which people claimed that they had ‘not been themselves’ at the time of their crime. Many people claimed that in general, they acted reasonably, but at a specific moment in time, they had lost their reasonable self. They referred to drunkenness, passions, witchcraft and temporary insanity to excuse themselves. But like the claims of reason, the claims of ‘displacement’ of the self were not easily accepted. If in the eighteenth century, there were relatively diverse ways to claim a temporary loss of the self, these possibilities became increasingly narrow in the early nineteenth century. Only temporary insanity was still acceptable, and it required a clear medical diagnosis. More and more, courts saw witchcraft as impossible and drunkenness and passionate behaviour as inherent character flaws. In this process, people’s inner depths became an increasingly urgent topic of discussion.
Chapter 2 takes a fresh look at one of the pivotal concepts of the Enlightenment – the concept of reason, of which the possibilities and limits were extensively debated. The chapter discusses the role of this concept in criminal justice and in the stories suspects told before their judges. The model of the rational, calculating individual was important for the working of criminal justice, but contained many paradoxes. People who were acting rationally were not expected to commit crimes. Yet many suspects claimed that their actions were rational – they served to defend their lives, to be able to survive, or to defend their honour. The role of calculation and reason complicated the increasing stress on individual psychological depth: many people claimed that they had acted as everyone else would have in a similar situation. By the early nineteenth century, however, these arguments were in most cases only accepted by the courts if they came from men of the better sorts. Magistrates generally denied the claims of reason made by women and common people. As such, being reasonable became a privilege, while inner depth was a form of subjection.