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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
Bodies and environments in Italy and England

This book explores whether early modern people cared about their health, and what did it mean to lead a healthy life in Italy and England. According to the Galenic-Hippocratic tradition, 'preservative' medicine was one of the three central pillars of the physician's art. Through a range of textual evidence, images and material artefacts, the book documents the profound impact which ideas about healthy living had on daily practices as well as on intellectual life and the material world in Italy and England. Staying healthy and health conservation was understood as depending on the careful management of the six 'Non-Naturals': the air one breathed, food and drink, excretions, sleep, exercise and repose, and the 'passions of the soul'. The book provides fresh evidence about the centrality of the Non-Naturals in relation to groups whose health has not yet been investigated in works about prevention: babies, women and convalescents. Pregnancy constituted a frequent physical state for many women of the early modern European aristocracy. The emphasis on motion and rest, cleansing the body, and improving the mental and spiritual states made a difference for the aristocratic woman's success in the trade of frequent pregnancy and childbirth. Preventive advice was not undifferentiated, nor simply articulated by individual complexion. Examining the roles of the Non-Naturals, the book provides a more holistic view of convalescent care. It also deals with the paradoxical nature of perceptions about the Neapolitan environment and the way in which its airs were seen to affect human bodies and health.

Cheshire on the eve of civil war
Authors: Richard Cust and Peter Lake

This book aims to revisit the county study as a way into understanding the dynamics of the English civil war during the 1640s. It explores gentry culture and the extent to which early Stuart Cheshire could be said to be a ‘county community’. It investigates the responses of the county’s governing elite and puritan religious establishment to highly polarising interventions by the central government and Laudian ecclesiastical authorities during Charles I’s Personal Rule. The second half of the book provides a rich and detailed analysis of the petitioning movements and side-taking in Cheshire during 1641-42. This important contribution to understanding the local origins and outbreak of civil war in England will be of interest to all students and scholars studying the English Revolution.

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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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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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
Ian W. Archer

taken’. 7 If contemporaries were well aware of the significance of the case, historians have been curiously neglectful of it. The story of the plantation has been recognised as a formative experience in the history of Ireland, but its significance for English political developments is rarely discussed. 8 The Ulster plantation figures in most livery company histories but it has not been properly incorporated in the narratives of city-crown relations. 9 It merits a very brief mention in Valerie Pearl’s London and the Outbreak of the Puritan Revolution; it is only

in The plantation of Ulster
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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