Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 15 items for :

  • "William Blundell" x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All
Geoff Baker

Chapter 1 . William Blundell’s family and friends W ith the exception of letters to close friends, the material that Blundell released into the public domain concentrated on his manifold sufferings under a Protestant state. However, these claims should not necessarily be taken at face value. Blundell developed defences that helped him to navigate the extremes of the penal laws, the most significant of which was the creation of Catholic and Protestant networks of friends and family who offered him protection. These networks had their limits, the most obvious

in Reading and politics in early modern England
Geoff Baker

Chapter 2 . William Blundell and the wider world B lundell’s patronage of Catholicism extended beyond the networks of friends and family that aided his survival. His support for his co-religionists emanated from the Little Crosby estate to include Catholics throughout the British Isles and those exiled on the continent.1 He used his estate as a refuge for Catholicism, making every effort to protect his Catholic tenants. This protection was not selfless and through the employment of a leasing system he ensured that his leaseholders stayed Catholic. Not only did

in Reading and politics in early modern England
The mental world of a seventeenth-century Catholic gentleman
Author: Geoff Baker

This book examines the activities of William Blundell, a seventeenth-century Catholic gentleman, and using the approaches of the history of reading provides a detailed analysis of his mindset. Blundell was neither the passive victim nor the entirely loyal subject that he and others have claimed. He actively defended his family from the penal laws and used the relative freedom that this gave him to patronise other Catholics. In his locality, Blundell ensured that the township of Little Crosby was populated almost entirely by his co-religionists, on a national level he constructed and circulated arguments supporting the removal of the penal laws, and on an international level he worked as an agent for the Poor Clares of Rouen. That he cannot be defined solely by his victimhood is further supported by his commonplace notes. Not only did Blundell rewrite the histories of recent civil conflicts to show that Protestants were prone to rebellion and Catholics to loyalty, but we also find a different perspective on his religious beliefs. His commonplaces suggest an underlying tension with aspects of Catholicism that is manifest throughout his notes on his practical engagement with the world, in which it is clear that he was wrestling with the various aspects of his identity. This examination of Blundell's political and cultural worlds complicates generalisations about early modern religious identities.

Abstract only
Geoff Baker

Introduction . O n Friday 25 May 1660 William Blundell, a Catholic gentleman from Lancashire, joined Charles II’s entourage on his return from exile. During the trip across the Channel, which Blundell recorded with glee in his commonplace books, he noted that the occupants of the ship measured themselves against each other, notching their heights on a beam. On examination of the notches Blundell found that he was five inches shorter than Charles, which he was quick to emphasise was the result of an injury sustained in the King’s service during the Civil War.1

in Reading and politics in early modern England
Geoff Baker

throughout, as well as the signatures of three William Blundells (senior, the ‘Cavalier’ and junior) alongside those of Blundell’s wife and one of his daughters, demonstrating how the text was passed around the family as a physical object.80 In his study of book ownership in early modern Kent, Peter Clark states that ‘by 1640 our evidence would suggest that almost every county landowner of note had several shelves of books at home’.81 Blundell was no exception to this rule. Between 1668 and 1672 his inventories note that he owned £25 10s worth of books.82 A comparison of

in Reading and politics in early modern England
Abstract only
Geoff Baker

Conclusion . T he surviving papers of William Blundell provide a unique window into the activities and worldview of a seventeenth-century English Catholic. Through an examination of this material, this book has shown that the carefully choreographed pose of a politically quiescent yet unquestioningly committed Catholic, with which Blundell sought to delude his contemporaries, disguised the innovative ways in which he exerted agency and the convolution of his belief structure. Although Blundell was clearly an apt political operator with a talent for survival

in Reading and politics in early modern England
Geoff Baker

Shapin, A Social History of Truth, pp. 107–14. 67 Quintrell, ‘The practice and problems of recusant disarming’, pp. 205–22. This was a problem that all Catholics faced, as Cust notes of the Catholic George Shirley, who was disarmed because of his recusancy: ‘a notoriously sensitive issue, because the right to bear arms was one of the distinguishing marks of a gentleman and was generally only removed from those considered a threat to the state’: Cust, ‘Catholicism, antiquarianism and gentry honour’, p.46. 68 William Blundell to John North, 4 April 1679; William Blundell

in Reading and politics in early modern England
Geoff Baker

Psychology, 19 (1997), pp. 17–31. 78 Seaver, Wallington’s World, pp. 143–81. 79 See, for example: William Blundell to Colonel R. L., 1656; William Blundell to Unnamed Recipient, 19 November 1681, in Letter Book One, fols 26, 117b. 80 Walsham, Church Papists, pp. 2, 22–49; Questier, ‘Clerical recruitment’, p. 86. 81 Adversaria, fol. 101. 82 Historica, fol. 91. 83 The Latin title reads ‘Paenitentia Sera’: Historica, fol. 91. 84 Adversaria, fol. 113; P. Heylyn, Cosmographie in Four Books Containing the Chorographie and Historie of the Whole World (1657), p. 116. For other

in Reading and politics in early modern England
Jan Broadway

heightened tension. In Lancashire, where catholics represented a far higher proportion of the population as a whole, the tensions were greater, and there was apparently far less possibility of peaceful co-existence with their protestant neighbours. The family of William Blundell had held land in the vicinity of Little Crosby since the thirteenth century, and enjoyed correspondingly close kinship ties with their protestant neighbours, but this did not save them from persecution. William was imprisoned with his father at Lancaster in 1590 for harbouring a priest, was then

in ‘No historie so meete’
Gabriel Glickman

Omer had opened up recusant England to the pressures of the Counter-Reformation. 4 Here, Catholicism could make for a robust and even confrontational figure in the religious landscape. In West Lancashire, the manorial chapel at Little Crosby attracted a regular seventy-five communicants to vespers, while the village itself could boast, according to its wealthiest landowner, William Blundell ‘not a beggar’, ‘not an alehouse

in The later Stuart Church, 1660–1714