This chapter explores the development of differing strands of presbyterian ecclesiology at the Westminster assembly of divines in the mid-1640s. It explores the varying concerns of the clergy who would advance presbyterian positions at the Westminster assembly to demonstrate how the assembly’s presbyterianism emerged as a coherent programme for the further reformation of the British churches. While some theologians would seek to stress the rights of individual congregations, others wished to preserve the integrity of the Church Catholic and others still wished to build a broad alliance of Reformed ministers. Together these voices managed to marshal their differences in a single platform. The chapter then explores the thought of George Gillespie, one of the leading presbyterian theorists at the assembly, in light of these differing presbyterian ecclesiologies.

in Church polity and politics in the British Atlantic world, c. 1635–66
The congregationalist divines and the establishment of church and magistrate in Cromwellian England

This chapter charts the various experiments by the leading ‘magisterial’ congregationalist ministers, in the 1640s called the ‘Dissenting Brethren’, to establish a version of the New England model of church and state in interregnum England. It looks at the political theology of these congregationalists in regard to the magistrate and then charts the various programmes and confessions advanced by the congregationalists to achieve a national religious settlement. The chapter explores the tensions between the congregationalists’ goals: the desire to preserve liberty of conscience for those holding to the foundations of sound Christian doctrine with the need to define what the boundaries of that doctrine were. This attempt culminated in the ‘Savoy Declaration’ of 1658, the political theology of which is analysed using sermons and other contemporary literature.

in Church polity and politics in the British Atlantic world, c. 1635–66
Autobiography, suffering and professions of faith

This chapter focuses on autobiographical material left by the episcopate of the Church of England during the early years of the Restoration. Reassessing the use of autobiographical material, this chapter analyses the narratives of suffering and survival found in the writings of the Restoration episcopate. These narratives are used to explore how the Restoration bishops used their experiences of the interregnum proscription of the traditional Church of England as a basis to rebuild the polity of the Restored church. It is argued that the first generation of Restoration bishops betrayed a commonality in this regard that is often dismissed in the historiography.

in Church polity and politics in the British Atlantic world, c. 1635–66
Open Access (free)
Disability in working-class coalfields literature

This chapter analyses representations of disability in working-class coalfields literature of the twentieth century. It argues that in this writing the paradigmatic industrial worker (both men in the mines and women in the home) is an impaired worker. Indeed the ubiquity and typicality of disability in the communities represented in the literature arguably requires us to revise what is considered ‘normal’. This chapter looks at realist fiction, in which disability and disabled characters are often used to show the way different historical forces – in particular, economic and political forces – interact in modernist writing, with its emphasis on fragmentation and disjuncture. It considers the seam of disability humour and religious iconography which runs through much coalfields writing, including portrayals of the miner as a ‘disabled Christ’. In the second half of the chapter we focus on the centrality of disability to representations of community protest, solidarity and mutualism which in some ways anticipate disability theories of interdependency.

in Disability in industrial Britain

This chapter considers the particular social relations of coalfield communities and situates disability within this social context. It assesses the ways in which the particular class, gender, familial, generational and occupational identities of coalfield society influenced the ways in which disability was understood and experienced, and also, in turn, the role of disability in the creation of new social relations. While the disabilities of miners were rooted in their experiences in the workplace, many of the consequences and implications of disability were experienced in other spaces. Thus, this chapter takes a spatial approach which considers the home, the street and public and religious spaces as crucial sites of disability. It explores life beyond the workplace for miners and their families, using existing oral testimony alongside autobiography, literature and the perspective of outside observers.

in Disability in industrial Britain

This chapter outlines the major sources of welfare support to disabled miners in the British coalfields and the attempts made to ameliorate the fall in income that disability too often occasioned. Focusing on financial welfare rather than medical, the chapter highlights the extent to which each source of welfare placed limitations on its claimants, focusing on the experiences of miners themselves in navigating them. Beginning with a consideration of informal kinship and community networks that were drawn upon by disabled miners and their families, it then considers the complexities of the voluntary sphere that ranged from employer paternalism, to charitable effort and working-class mutualism, all of which provided assistance under different conditions, according to different values, and with a variety of consequences for disabled people. Finally, the chapter considers the total redefinition of the role of the state in the lives of disabled miners through the 1880 Employers’ Liability Act and the 1897 Workmen’s Compensation Act. The latter in particular represented and occasioned momentous changes in attitudes towards employers’ responsibility for accidents, but disabled miners experienced this as a mixed blessing as all manner of obstacles were placed in the way of the receipt of compensation.

in Disability in industrial Britain
Two-kingdoms theory, ‘Erastianism’ and the Westminster assembly debate on church and state, c. 1641–48

This chapter seeks to analyse the debates between presbyterian political theology and the Long Parliament in the mid-1640s. It sets the background of this debate in continental Reformed theology and argues that the clash between parliamentary ‘Erastianism’ and the presbyterian perspective of two-kingdom theory reveals some of the underlying contradictions within the parliamentarian project of godly rule. The slightly different version of two-kingdom theory held by the congregationalists is also explored. The chapter shows how the Long Parliament grasped its way to an ‘Erastian’ solution by reference to differing ideas of the church–state relationship found within the Reformed tradition. In conclusion, the chapter looks at how the presbyterian clergy conceded to Parliament and how interregnum governments retreated from a fully Erastian position.

in Church polity and politics in the British Atlantic world, c. 1635–66

This chapter establishes the industrial and economic context for the book as a whole through a careful study of the coal industry in Britain in the period under consideration. It outlines the continued growth of the industry in the decades leading up to the First World War, levels of mechanisation, the character of employers and the role of women’s often unpaid labour in mining communities. The second part of the chapter focuses on the experiences of disabled workers, a group almost entirely neglected by labour historiography despite their numerical and social significance. The provision of ‘light work’, either underground or on the surface, was widespread but its extent and character waxed and waned with economic change, legislative interventions and the availability of labour.

in Disability in industrial Britain
Episcopal authority and the reconciliation of excommunicants in England and Francia c.900–c.1150

This chapter records specific services for the reconciliation of excommunicants in Francia in the early tenth, and in England only from the early eleventh century. Investigation of the textual history of these services is intended to help fill this lacuna in the historiography and to illuminate further episcopal ideology in this period. The locus of the English rite is also different from that of the Frankish rite; the repentant excommunicants, with their intercessores, meet the bishop at the gates of the cemetery and not at the doors of the church, as in the Frankish rite. The textual history of the reconciliation rites reveals a living tradition: bishops invested time and parchment in improving a liturgy which symbolized their supreme authority, as the representative of St Peter, who had the power to bind and to loose.

in Frankland

This chapter considers those in their teens and twenties whom society recognised as physically young and still in a developmental stage. It focuses on the image of and attitudes towards youths and the opportunities open to them. The growing strength of the youth's body was matched by an increasing sharpness in the mind. Youth has had an association with social disorder, and the young in late medieval society were no exception. Beyond theory, medieval society at large acknowledged the existence of young people who were going through a period of formation and transformation before full adulthood. This might be because they were still pursuing education and employment training, had not yet received their inheritance, or had not yet married and taken responsibility for their own lives and those of others. The chapter highlights the type of training and life experiences gained by adolescents as they gradually assumed their adult roles.

in The life–cycle in Western Europe, c.1300-c.1500