Contested Reformations in the University of Cambridge, 1535-84

Contested Reformations in the University of Cambridge, 1535-84

Ceri Law


Royal Historical Society



An important new perspective on this critical intellectual and religious community, and on the conflicted nature of religious change at the time.
The University of Cambridge has long been heralded as the nursery of the English Reformation: a precociously evangelical and then puritan Tudor institution. Spanning fifty years and four reigns and based on extensive archival research, this book reveals a much more nuanced experience of religious change. Instead of Protestant triumph, there were multiple, contested responses to royal religious policy across the sixteenth century. The University's importance as both a symbol and an agent of religious change meant that successive regimes and politicians worked hard to stamp their visions of religious uniformity onto it. It was also equipped with some of England's most talented theologians and preachers. Yet in the maze of the collegiate structure, the conformity they sought proved frustratingly elusive. The religious struggles which this book traces reveal not only the persistence of real doctrinal conflict in Cambridge throughout the Reformation period, but also more complex patterns of accommodation, conformity and resistance shaped by social, political and institutional context.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781787442740), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


June 2018
224 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
ISBN: 9780861933471
Format: Hardback
Royal Historical Society
BISAC HIS037020, REL015000
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Table of Contents

The cradle of Reformation? Cambridge, 1535-47
'Lightes to shine': evangelical reform in Edwardian Cambridge
Restoration and reaction in the reign of Mary I
Re-establishing the Protestant university, 1558-64
Patronage, control and religious order, 1564-84
Conservatism and Catholicism in Elizabethan Cambridge
The process of religious change
Appendix 1. Departure of college Fellows, 1553-8
Appendix 2. Fellowships and departures for Christ's and Queens', 1546-75
Appendix 3. Departure of college Fellows from Christ's, King's, Queens' and Trinity, 1558-63
Appendix 4. Former members of the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford identified in Anstruther, Seminary priests

Also in Series