John Goodwin and the Puritan Revolution

John Goodwin and the Puritan Revolution

Religion and Intellectual Change in Seventeenth-Century England

John Coffey


Boydell Press



`A major contribution to our understanding of the English Revolution.' Ann Hughes, Professor of Early Modern History, Keele University.
John Goodwin (1594-1665) was one of the most prolific and controversial writers of the English Revolution; his career illustrates some of the most important intellectual developments of the seventeenth century. Educated at Queens' College, Cambridge, he became vicar of a flagship Puritan parish in the City of London. During the 1640s, he wrote in defence of the civil war, the army revolt, Pride's Purge, and the regicide, only to turn against Cromwell in 1657. Finally, repudiating religious uniformity, he became one of England's leading tolerationists.

This richly contextualised study, the first modern intellectual biography of Goodwin, explores the whole range of writings produced by him and his critics. Amongst much else, it shows that far from being a maverick individualist, Goodwin enjoyed a wide readership, pastored one of the London's largest Independent congregations and was well connected to various networks. Hated and admired by Anglicans, Presbyterians and Levellers, he provides us with a new perspective on contemporaries like Richard Baxter and John Milton. It will be of special interest to students of Puritanism, the English Revolution, and early modern intellectual history.

JOHN COFFEY is Reader in Early Modern History at the University of Leicester.


7 black and white illustrations
350 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Paperback, 9781843834281, June 2008
Hardback, 9781843832652, October 2006
Library eBook
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

Introduction: `A Man by Himself' - John Coffey
`A Tryar of Men's Doctrines', 1594-1632 - John Coffey
`Goodwin of Colman-Street', 1633-39 - John Coffey
`The Anti-Cavalier', 1640-43 - John Coffey
`A Bitter Enemie to Presbyterie', 1643-45 - John Coffey
`The Grand Heretick of England', 1645-48 - John Coffey
`Champion of the Army', 1648-51 - John Coffey
`The Great Spreader of Arminianism', 1647-53 - John Coffey
`A Man of Strife', 1652-60 - John Coffey
`Infamous Firebrand', 1660 and Beyond - John Coffey
Conclusion: `A Harbinger of the Lockean Age' - John Coffey


A big, richly detailed book. CHURCH HISTORY
An exemplary intellectual biography which is rich in detail and highly sophisticated in its account of theological difference in seventeenth-century England. H-NET REVIEWS
Coffey is a superb writer and an authority on mid-seventeenth-century British history.... (He) has written the first full-length biography of Goodwin since the nineteenth century, and this study may well prove as durable as its predecessor. RENAISSANCE QUARTERLY
A full, scholarly and clear extremely valuable narrative, which casts wider light on the 1640s and 1650s. ARCHIVES
A valuable contribution to our understanding of the religious disputes of the Civil War and Interregnum. (...) A well-argued and well-documented study. JOURNAL OF BRITISH STUDIES
Coffey skilfully details the life of this important figure within the broader context of contemporary print culture and the many social and religious networks that were key to the Puritan Revolution. ANGLICAN AND EPISCOPAL HISTORY