English corporations, Atlantic plantations and literate order, 1557–1650
This chapter revisits the problem of political communication between centre and province in early modern England, using the records of an English corporation (a chartered urban community on the Welsh border) and of a plantation (a chartered commercial settlement on the Atlantic frontier) to analyse the nature of communication through charter as an early modern political project and its implications for beliefs about order and agency on the margins of this complex political society. It argues that models drawn from the study of literacy have more value for understanding the early modern experience of authority in this type of political communication than do the structural terms of centre and province or locality. Drawing from the books written by their officers, the chapter examines a range of practical political activities in the borough of Tewkesbury during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and in the Gloucester plantation from its inception in 1642.
This chapter revisits and rethinks what might appear to be a classic instance of conflict between centre and locality: Laudian attempts to implement reforms in Puritan Ipswich in the 1630s. It does so by assessing Bishop Matthew Wren’s associations with the town, and by examining the spatial politics of Laudianism, in terms of the interior of Ipswich’s churches. It also does so by exploring the issue of communication, in terms of battles over the town’s most powerful minister, Samuel Ward, as well as over the town’s pulpits, and in terms of how the town’s affairs fed into controversial Puritan pamphleteering. The aim is to use a thorough investigation of episodes and events that took place in Ipswich – not least a riot in 1636 – in order to shed light on the relationship between the spatial politics of Laudianism and the wider reform programme of the Personal Rule.
Political communication and the rise of the agent in seventeenth-century England
The historiography regarding communicative practices in the early modern period tends to involve overly neat trajectories, which map the supplanting of sociable networks by commercial relationships, and trace the decline of scribal culture in the face of a print revolution. At the very least, it has been possible to argue that print became a central mechanism for connecting centre and locality. Of course, scholars continue to debate how best to assess the relative importance of scribal and print genres, as well as the impact of the commercial revolution. What this chapter seeks to argue, however, is that there are other much less well recognised ways of challenging such Whiggish narratives, by questioning the degree to which print was an accessible and unmediated method for obtaining ideas and information, and by recognising the obstacles which continued to undermine the accessibility of print. As such, any appreciation of the significance of the ‘print revolution’ needs to investigate how these obstacles were overcome, and this chapter seeks to highlight the central importance of the professional agent in facilitating a shift from sociable scribal networks to a commercial culture of print, while at the same time making such a change seem much less stark.
The history of marriage equality in Ireland concludes with a note for the future regarding Northern Ireland. The law extending marriage to same-sex couples came into effect in England and Wales on 29 March 2014. On 29 April, a third attempt was made to pass a bill in the Northern Ireland Assembly. The vote lost by 51 against to 43 in favour. The opposition once again was predominantly from by unionist parties including the Democratic Unionist Party, Ulster Unionist Party and Traditional Unionist Voice, with all nationalist MLAs voting in support of marriage equality. This afterword provides an assessment of the current situation.
Chapter 9 provides a background to the formation of Yes Equality, a group dedicated to establishing marriage for same-sex couples. This chapter continues with the announcement of the referendum on marriage equality and an assessment of the campaign in the immediate run-up to the referendum.
An overview of the first stages of seeking the introduction of a Civil Partnership Bill for same-sex couples in 2007. During the parliamentary debates on civil partnerships the issue of whether the Irish Constitution would need to be changed arose. This chapter describes how and why the focus on the Constitution would become the central issue in the legal and political debate surrounding the introduction of civil partnerships and later the extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples in Ireland.
Philanthropy, the love of humankind, has expressed itself in many different
ways. In the Conclusion I rehearse these and argue that it is only by close
attention to context, to political, economic, social and cultural change,
that it is possible both to understand how philanthropy has changed and how
it has been part of the motor of change.
Bernhard Zeller, Charles West, Francesca Tinti, Marco Stoffella, Nicolas Schroeder, Carine van Rhijn, Steffen Patzold, Thomas Kohl, Wendy Davies and Miriam Czock
This chapter focuses on material dimensions, such as settlement, topography
and access to resources, as well as on fundamental factors that define the
position of individuals within local societies and groups. Drawing on recent
settlement archaeology to present a synthetic overview of the shape, size
and internal organisation of rural settlements, it highlights their dynamism
and diversity across time and space. It provides examples of the topographic
arrangement of landed property and of the constituents of individual farming
units, thereby presenting concrete illustrations of ‘neighbourhood’. The
socio-economic and legal stratification of local societies is discussed,
revealing high levels of local and regional variation, but also some general
tendencies. The problem of freedom and servitude as formal/legal and
informal categories is emphasised. An analysis of the organisation of
landownership is presented together with the different forms of aristocratic
property and their relationship to the property of individuals with a lower
In the late nineteenth century there began to be an increasing sense that
philanthropy had failed. In part this was because of the emergence of a
rival, altruism; declaring a religion of humanity, altruism claimed that,
shorn of Christianity, it represented a purer form of love of humanity than
philanthropy. The bigger challenge, however, came from those within the
philanthropic world who did not disguise their feeling that what they called
‘the machinery of philanthropy’ was often doing as much harm as good.
Toynbee Hall became the centre of a ‘new philanthropy’ in which the call was
not for money but for yourselves. Socialists were wary even of this and
called for an increasing role for the state, something that began to be
achieved in the Liberal reforms of the early twentieth century. Another
possibility that was aired was that millionaire philanthropists could help
solve social problems. They were in fact rare on the ground. Bernard Shaw
offered them some barbed advice.
This chapter examines the final stages of the campaigns for and against voting for marriage equality in the forthcoming referendum in May 2015. This includes an examination of the Catholic Church’s stance and their actions in the weeks before the referendum.