Lollardy and Orthodox Religion in Pre-Reformation England

Lollardy and Orthodox Religion in Pre-Reformation England

Reconstructing Piety

Robert Lutton


Royal Historical Society



An account of how, in certain parts of sixteenth-century England, challenges to conventional piety anticipated the Reformation.
Here is a richly detailed account of the relationship between Lollard heresy and orthodox religion before the English Reformation. Robert Lutton examines the pious practices and dispositions of families and individuals in relation to the orthodox institutions of parish, chapel and guild, and the beliefs and activities of Wycliffite heretics. He takes issue with portrayals of orthodox religion as buoyant and harmonious, and demonstrates that late medieval piety was increasingly diverse and the parish community far from stable or unified. By investigating the generation of family wealth and changing attitudes to its disposal through inheritance and pious giving in the important Lollard centre of Tenterden in Kent, he suggests that rapid economic development and social change created the conditions for a significant cultural shift. This study contends that in certain parts of England by the early sixteenth century piety was subject to dramatic changes which, in a number of important ways, anticipated the Reformation.

Dr ROBERT LUTTON teaches in the Department of History at the University of Nottingham.


4 black and white, 3 line illustrations
252 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
Hardback, 9780861932832, August 2006
Paperback, 9781843836490, October 2011
Royal Historical Society
Boydell Press
BISAC REL033000, REL049000
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Table of Contents

Method and theory in the reconstruction of piety in late medieval England - Rob Lutton
Family pieties and urban identity - Rob Lutton
Boundaries, identities and symbols: piety at Smal Hythe, Tenterden - Rob Lutton
The social origins of parsimonious piety - Rob Lutton
Religious dissent and heterodox pieties - Rob Lutton
Epilogue: late medieval piety and the Reformation - Rob Lutton


(An) impressive book.backed with a wealth of meticulously analyzed evidence, that it brings to bear as it engages key debates in the field. SPECULUM
A thoughtful and convincing account that provides a more realistic picture than the happy and uniform Catholicism of recent revisionist writing. HISTORY
A lucid, bold and rich prosographical study. SOUTHERN HISTORY
(An) intelligent book.well written and thoughtful. THE RICARDIAN, XVIII, 2008

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