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Catholicism in the British Isles 1558-1649 Gabriel Glickman.

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Presentation on theme: "Catholicism in the British Isles 1558-1649 Gabriel Glickman."— Presentation transcript:

1 Catholicism in the British Isles Gabriel Glickman

2 Historical rediscovery of English/British Catholicism Key authors – Eamon Duffy, John Bossy, Michael Questier, Ethan Shagan New interpretations: - Reformation more contested/resisted than old narratives suggested. -Protestantism in Britain too divided to present united front against Rome -Catholic less cut off from politics – challenge to the ‘Catholic as victim’ argument

3 Catholics vs the state -Laws of 1593: ‘recusancy’ fines raised to potential £20 for failure to attend Church; Catholics need licence to travel more than five miles; death penalty for harbouring a priest Catholic executed in England on political/religious grounds priests executed in reign of Elizabeth , An Act for the better discovering and repressing of Popish recusants – imposes new state oath.

4 ‘Priest hole’, Harvington Hall

5 Throckmorton family chapel at Harvington Hall

6 Catholicism and the English state – grounds for accommodation? Recusancy laws enforced sporadically: mainly in times of national emergency Catholic lay leaders of high social status – titles families e.g. Howards, Paulets, Petres – c. 20 per cent of Yorkshire gentry are Catholic. - Phenomenon of ‘church papistry’ e.g. earl of Northampton and Viscount Montagu at court/in public office under Elizabeth I.

7 James VI and Scottish Catholicism Policy of informal toleration: -Military confrontation averted with earls of Huntly and Erroll, 1589, Freedom for Catholic missionaries operating in the Highlands. -Crypto-Catholic allies/favourites of James on Council of Scotland e.g. earls of Melrose and Dunfermiline. -Archbishop David Beaton used as ambassador to France.

8 Catholicism in Ireland more centred on opposition to the Crown Small number of Catholic allies of the crown e.g. Richard Burke, 4 th earl of Clanricarde; Randal MacDonnell, earl of Antrim – but the exception not the rule. Two key reasons for Catholic-crown enmity: 1)Political – Irish resistance to royal centralisation/ plantation - new antagonism between the Crown and the ‘Old English’. 2)Religious – greater influence on Ireland of the militant Counter-Reformation.

9 The British Isles and the Counter- Reformation Counter-Reformation programme (three sessions of Council Trent, ) - aims to make Church purer, more uniform and more militant – aim to convert/reconvert the world. Foundation of English, Irish, Scots colleges in Catholic Europe e.g. at Douai, Rome, Louvain. Missionary priests sent into British Isles e.g. Jesuits enter England New Irish bishops created. Production of polemic/ propaganda against Protestants and the state.

10 The Counter-Reformation and British national identities Challenge to Protestant narratives of British nationhood: Clergymen Maurice Clynnog and Gruffydd Robert produce Welsh prayers and poems from Rome - ‘Rout them with sword, you true Welsh Britons/ The hatred of Jesus by traitorous Saxons, unholy heathen... To arms!’ Robert Persons, Treatise of Three Conversions (1603) – British Christianity historically dependent on missionaries from Rome. Persons, Memoriall for the intended reformation of England (1596) – Preservation of Catholicism the highest priority for the nation : the Pope/the people can depose an heretical monarch (parallel with radical Calvinism of John Knox, Andrew Melville)

11 Resistance to the militant Counter-Reformation from English and Scottish Catholics William Barclay, De Potestae Papae (1609) – monarchs appointed by God and therefore sacred – Appellant ‘Protestation of Loyalty’ to Elizabeth I. Arguments of Anthony Copley ( ): -‘Unnatural’ for ‘a man to goe against his own Countrey’. -Kings are supreme in all temporal affairs; Pope is absolute only in spiritual matters. -The radical Counter-Reformation therefore a ‘bastard religion’, mainly concerned with elevating the power of Spain, Rome, the Jesuits.

12 Counter-Reformation makes more headway in Ireland Militant Catholicism provides unifying message in rebellions against Tudor rule. Poems of Maolmhuire O’hUghinn, archbishop of Tuam represent Irish as new Chosen People struggling under captivity. Pope Clement VIII on Tyrone Rebellion (1594) – a struggle by ‘the Catholic army in Ireland’. to ‘throw off the yoke of slavery imposed on you by the English, deserters from the Holy Roman Church’. Message of Counter-Reformation unites Gaelic and ‘Old English’ factions behind common vision of a Catholic Ireland.

13 More pro-Catholic political climate created under Charles I Only three priests executed – Charter to Maryland gives Calvert family full religious freedom as proprietors. Catholic presence at court increased after arrival of Henrietta Maria as queen. Informal papal embassy at court of Charles I under Scottish Jesuit George Con. Common ground between Catholicism and Laudian strand of the Church of England.

14 Irish Catholicism and the wars of the three kingdoms October 1641 – outbreak of Catholic rebellion in Ireland, though rebels claim to be acting against planters/parliament, not Charles I. Catholic nobles and bishops take charge of rebellion – draw up the Confederacy of Kilkenny. March 1642 – Confederacy releases Catholic Remonstrance: support for Charles I on condition of greater religious freedom and self-governance plus reversal of some plantations. Confederacy calls into Ireland papal envoy Giovanni Rinuccinni to represent its case to Europe.

15 Political and religious conflict splits the Confederacy Viscount Mountgarret’s faction seek alliance with royalist army under duke of Ormonde. -‘ Ormonde Peace’ (March 1646) and ‘Inchiquin Peace’ (April 1648) – Mountgarret’s faction reduce radicalism of Confederate demands: concentrate on basic religious and civil rights for Catholics in Ireland. -Opposed by ultra-Catholic faction under Rinuccinni and Owen Roe O’Neill. -Rinuccinni excommunicates Mountgarret and his supporters as traitors to the Church. -O’Neill arrests Mountgarret’s supporters on the Confederates’ Supreme Council, 1648.


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