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The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village

de Eamon Duffy

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In the fifty years between 1530 and 1580, England moved from being one of the most lavishly Catholic countries in Europe to being a Protestant nation, a land of whitewashed churches and anti-papal preaching. What was the impact of this religious change in the countryside? And how did country people feel about the revolutionary upheavals that transformed their mental and material worlds under Henry VIII and his three children? In this book a reformation historian takes us inside the mind and heart of Morebath, a remote and tiny sheep farming village where thirty-three families worked the difficult land on the southern edge of Exmoor. The bulk of Morebath's conventional archives have long since vanished. But from 1520 to 1574, through nearly all the drama of the English Reformation, Morebath's only priest, Sir Christopher Trychay, kept the parish accounts on behalf of the churchwardens. Opinionated, eccentric, and talkative, Sir Christopher filled these vivid scripts for parish meetings with the names and doings of his parishioners. Through his eyes we catch a rare glimpse of the life and pre-reformation piety of a sixteenth-century English village. The book also offers a unique wind… (mais)
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Micro-history of a village in Reformation England.
  AZG1001 | Mar 31, 2016 |
This is a chronicle of a remote sheep-farming village in the west of England during the latter part of the reign of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary and the early years of Elizabeth. From the parish accounts of the village's priest, an unusually scrupulous recorder of the day-to-day events, the early years chronicle the simple pieties involving in raising money by sponsoring "ales," or festivals—what we might call ice cream socials, although beer and hard cider would have been the preferred consumable—to pay for candles, a shrine, vestments, etc., and such minutia as who had promised what sum to the church, who was responsible for grazing the churches sheep for the year, and so on. Then, with King Henry's break with the Church and later, the imposition of Protestantism, the ales and ceremonies are forbidden and the idols (supposedly) sold off. With the death of Henry, then Edward and the installation of Catholic Mary as Queen, comes a respite for Catholic rites and holidays; church possessions come out of hiding, but some of the vigor of the ales has been lost and the bonds of the community have been weakened, all of which is noted (but not commented on) in the parish accounts.
When Mary dies and is succeeded by Elizabeth, Protestantism returns and the state apparatus, increasingly competent and thorough, forces the elimination of any remaining vestiges of Catholic practices. It is easy in this book to forget, however, that it was less Elizabeth's intolerance (she was disinclined to interfere in matters of conscience and felt that time would bring most Catholics around to Protestant worship) than the very real threat posed by the many Catholic adherents, with their allegiance to the Papal Bull against a Protestant ruler and to a Catholic pretender in Mary Queen of Scots, supported by Spain's King Phillip II machinations in Scotland and Ireland.
The priest records the increasing secularization of demands on the parish for money to support the military and the state. It wasn't entirely the imposition of a new form of worship and dogma which was upsetting, but the abolition of the responsibilities that supported the church also bound the community together. The impact of schism and the subsequent rise of Protestant (or even Calvinistic) doctrine was not as disruptive in this parish as the breakdown of the web of obligations and responsibility that accompanied the banning of the "beer blasts" and "ice-cream socials" that contributed a few shillings to the church. ( )
3 vote sweetFrank | Mar 6, 2007 |
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In the fifty years between 1530 and 1580, England moved from being one of the most lavishly Catholic countries in Europe to being a Protestant nation, a land of whitewashed churches and anti-papal preaching. What was the impact of this religious change in the countryside? And how did country people feel about the revolutionary upheavals that transformed their mental and material worlds under Henry VIII and his three children? In this book a reformation historian takes us inside the mind and heart of Morebath, a remote and tiny sheep farming village where thirty-three families worked the difficult land on the southern edge of Exmoor. The bulk of Morebath's conventional archives have long since vanished. But from 1520 to 1574, through nearly all the drama of the English Reformation, Morebath's only priest, Sir Christopher Trychay, kept the parish accounts on behalf of the churchwardens. Opinionated, eccentric, and talkative, Sir Christopher filled these vivid scripts for parish meetings with the names and doings of his parishioners. Through his eyes we catch a rare glimpse of the life and pre-reformation piety of a sixteenth-century English village. The book also offers a unique wind

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Yale University Press

2 edições deste livro foram publicadas por Yale University Press.

Edições: 0300098251, 0300091850

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