Conferences and Combination Lectures in the Elizabethan Church: Dedham and Bury St Edmunds, 1582-1590

July 2003
5 black and white, 4 line illustrations
416 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Church of England Record Society
ISBN: 9780851159386
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037030, REL033000

Conferences and Combination Lectures in the Elizabethan Church: Dedham and Bury St Edmunds, 1582-1590

Edited by Patrick Collinson, John Craig, Brett Usher

Insight into the minds and methods of 'godly' ministers - early nonconformists - who sought to modify the Elizabethan settlement of religion.
At the heart of Elizabeth I's reign, a secret conference of clergymen met in and around Dedham, Essex, on a monthly basis in order to discuss matters of local and national interest. Their collected papers, a unique survival from the clandestine world of early English nonconformity, are here printed in full for the first time, together with a hitherto unpublished narrative by the Suffolk minister, Thomas Rogers, which throws a flood of light on similar, if more public, clerical activity in and around Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, during the same period. Taken together, the two texts provide an unrivalled insight into the minds and the methods of that network of 'godly' ministers whose professed aim was to modify the strict provisions of the Elizabethan settlement of religion, both by ceaseless lobbying and by practical example. The editors' introduction accordingly emphasizes the complex nature of the English protestant tradition between the Tudor mid-century and the accession of James I, as well as attempting to plot the politico-ecclesiastical developments of the 1580s in some detail. A comprehensive biographical register of the members of the Dedham conference, of the Bury St Edmunds lecturers, and of many other important names mentioned in the texts, completes the volume.
PATRICK COLLINSON is Regius Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge; JOHN CRAIG is associate professor at Simon Fraser University; BRETT USHER is an expert on Elizabethan clergy.

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The fulsome scholarly apparatus that the editors have provided in this edition will doubtless make it an essential resource for scholars interested in Elizabethan Puritanism both nationally and in East Anglia. HISTORY
At last the student of Elizabethan religion has a worthy edition of the unique archive on the Dedham conference. [...] By far the most important contribution of this new edition is its much greater insight into the lives and motive of the dramatis personae of the conference, and their relationship to the wider Elizabethan religious context. The editors have an unrivalled collective knowledge. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

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