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Anthony Ascham and English political thought, 1648–50
Author: Marco Barducci

The Puritan Revolution of mid-seventeenth-century England produced an explosion of new and important political thinking. In addition to most famous thinkers, Thomas Hobbes, Sir Robert Filmer and the Levellers, there are other important figures who have been relatively neglected, of whom Anthony Ascham is one. This book is the first full-scale study of Ascham's political thought. Ascham's works were intended to convince lay Presbyterians and royalists to adhere to the policy of national pacification implemented from 1648 by the Independent 'party' within Parliament. From 1648 to 1650 Ascham's propaganda primarily dealt with the issue of the validity of oaths, and insisted on the reciprocal relation between obedience and protection. The first part of Ascham's Discourse focused on 'what things, and how farre a man may lawfully conform to the power and commands of those who hold a kingdome divided by civill warre'. Ascham adopted a twofold line of argument: in the first, he sought to demonstrate that war was consistent with natural law and scripture. Secondly, not all types of war were consistent with the Christian religion and the natural law of self-preservation, only the defensive war. Ascham's natural law theory, which he drew from Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hobbes and John Selden, had therefore both civil and religious implications. Ascham proposed a synthesis between Grotius and Niccolò Machiavelli, underlining the priority of state order over political participation, and justifying war as a means of accessing power only to confirm the necessity of re-establishing order.

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Marco Barducci

The Puritan Revolution of mid-seventeenth-century England produced an explosion of new and important political thinking. But while due attention has been given to the most famous thinkers, Thomas Hobbes, Sir Robert Filmer and the Levellers, there are other important figures who have been relatively neglected, of whom Anthony Ascham is one. Ascham does attract a certain amount of scholarly interest

in Order and conflict
The congregationalist divines and the establishment of church and magistrate in Cromwellian England
Hunter Powell

, together with those presbyterians still willing to work with the post-regicide regimes, began to recognise that England’s puritan revolution had flirted too much with religious toleration and a wider acceptance of formerly marginalised sects and opinions. With the emergence, throughout the 1650s, of disruptive sectarian groups and heterodox beliefs like Socinianism and quakerism, the divines who represented the mainstream of pre-civil-war ‘puritanism’ sought ways to clamp down on what they saw as burgeoning religious extremism or see their own revolution completely

in Church polity and politics in the British Atlantic world, c. 1635–66
Two-kingdoms theory, ‘Erastianism’ and the Westminster assembly debate on church and state, c. 1641–48
Elliot Vernon

Parliament’s conflict with the Westminster assembly has been a key topic in a number of recent works in the history of political thought. Jeffrey Collins has characterised parliamentarianism as defending the statist and magisterial features of the English Reformation against ‘ecclesiastical dualism’.11 In a similar vein Johann Sommerville argues that the middle decades of the seventeenth century are better characterised as an ‘Erastian revolution’ rather than the ‘puritan revolution’ of historiographical tradition.12 These arguments are to some extent uncontroversial. Most

in Church polity and politics in the British Atlantic world, c. 1635–66
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Rediscovering early modern Westminster
J. F. Merritt

of Westminster (1643). The original Westminster peace petition to parliament survives as HLRO, MP 20 December 1642, but does not appear in V. Pearl, London and the Outbreak of the Puritan Revolution (Oxford, 1961) or K. Lindley, Popular Politics and Religion in Civil War London (Aldershot, 1997). I plan to discuss it in more detail elsewhere. 5 The social world of early modern Westminster An urban centre had originally developed around Westminster Abbey and the adjacent Westminster Palace in the medieval period, when the twin poles of London and Westminster were

in The social world of early modern Westminster
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Reframing drama, 1649– 65
Janet Clare

Parliament’s New Figaries, dramatising another prong in the attack on the Puritan revolution, that it had adversely turned the world  –​including gender relations  –​upside down. Equally, the female self-​expression in these plays demonstrates that the assertive, witty and independently minded woman, often seen as a 155 156 From Republic to Restoration paradigm of Restoration comedy, was not a novel construct. The paradigm had been set up earlier and was then further developed on stage with the institution of female players. Like the pamphlet plays of the preceding

in From Republic to Restoration
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David J. Appleby and Andrew Hopper

-called ‘Puritan Revolution’.46 While Webster’s arguments have been questioned by Peter Elmer (who has shown that the drive for medical reform was shared by royalists and Anglicans) the historiography to date suggests that this was a key period in British medicine.47 The role the British Civil Wars played in the development of medicine – not least in increasing the demand for, and supply of medical care – remains largely underexplored. Harold Cook has argued that warfare was a primary factor in transforming medicine internationally, but suggests that as far as Britain is

in Battle-scarred
The chemical revolution and the patronage of James Butler, Duke of Ormond (1610– 88)
Peter Elmer

movement, like that of the Royal Society, in the so-called ‘puritan revolution’ of the previous two decades. 14 Detailed study of the membership of this group, however, reveals that support for chemical medicine far surpassed the narrow boundaries of civil war puritanism. One of the more interesting features of the Society of Chemical Physicians was the ability of its members, many of them based at court, to recruit the support and patronage of many of the leading figures within the restored royalist and Anglican establishment. 15

in Early Modern Ireland and the world of medicine
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David Brown

, London and the Outbreak of the Puritan Revolution: City Government and National Politics, 1625–43 ( Oxford , 1961 ), pp. 50–65. 23 Brenner, Merchants and Revolution , p. 388. 24 Parliament’s factions are identified and explained in Jason Peacy , ‘Perceptions of Parliament: Factions and “ The Public ”’ in John Adamson (ed.), The English Civil War, Conflict and Contexts , 1640–49 ( Basingstoke , 2009 ), pp. 82 – 105 . 25 TNA SP16/453, ff. 116–165, May 1640, ‘The names of persons who are conceived able to lend his Majesty money…’. The survey is

in Empire and enterprise
Rachel Foxley

, pp. 125–6. 63 For natural law in Leveller writings, see D. Wootton, ‘Leveller democracy and the Puritan revolution’, in J. H. Burns and M. Goldie (eds) The Cambridge History of Political Thought, 1450–1700 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 412–42; I. Hampsher-Monk, ‘The political theory of the Levellers: Putney, property and Professor Macpherson’, Political Studies 24 (1976), 397–422; B. Manning, ‘The Levellers and religion’, in J. F. McGregor and B. Reay (eds) Radical Religion in the English Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), pp

in The Levellers