Richard Cust and Peter Lake

This chapter explores the system of collusive management established by Bishop Bridgeman and local puritans led by John Ley. It investigates the challenges to this that arose during the 1630s as the Laudian authorities exerted pressure on Bridgeman to enforce anti-puritan measures and as a consequence of the fallout from William Prynne’s visit to Chester in 1637.

in Gentry culture and the politics of religion
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Richard Cust and Peter Lake
in Gentry culture and the politics of religion
Richard Cust and Peter Lake

This chapter explores the petitioning campaign in defence of bishops of January–February 1641 launched by Sir Thomas Aston. It investigates the ways in which this helped to stymie the hopes for a national settlement around the establishment of modified episcopacy that John Ley, in conjunction with allies at Westminster and in the shire, was promoting in the late winter and early spring of 1641.

in Gentry culture and the politics of religion
Richard Cust and Peter Lake

This chapter explores the emergence of the middle group in Cheshire politics in the spring and summer of 1641, opposed to Sir Thomas Aston’s pro-episcopacy petition, but then prepared to work with him on a petition in defence of the Book of Common Prayer in December 1641. Over this period those engaged in Cheshire politics sought to present themselves as non-partisan defenders of the county’s interests. But, as a study of Aston’s Remonstrance against presbytery demonstrates, this was a particularly hollow claim in his case.

in Gentry culture and the politics of religion
Richard Cust and Peter Lake

This chapter explores the growing partisanship in Cheshire politics from the outbreak of the Irish Rebellion in October 1641 to the king’s visit to Chester that forced many to choose sides in September 1642. It highlights the roles of anti-popery and anti-puritanism, the emergence of an aggressive group of royalists led by Earl Rivers and Sir Thomas Aston and the unavailing efforts of the middle group to keep the peace and promote accommodation.

in Gentry culture and the politics of religion
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Richard Cust and Peter Lake
in Gentry culture and the politics of religion
The Archpriest controversy and the issue of the succession
Peter Lake and Michael Questier

This chapter investigates the significance for the succession of the Archpriest controversy, an intra-Catholic dispute between a group of secular priests and their Jesuit foes. It is shown that that the controversy was a genuinely significant aspect of the Elizabethan fin de siècle, with much to tell us about the political dynamics of the post-Reformation and the politics of incipient regime change. Robert Persons’s Conference and Memorial, and the Appellant pamphlets printed with the connivance of the English government are examined with a view to unpicking the pitch the various factions made to James VI. Catholics of all stripes are shown to have been proffering their support to the prospective Stuart king in return for a promise of toleration. Their disappointed hopes would eventuate in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

in Doubtful and dangerous