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Puritanism and the emergence of Laudianism in city politics in Norwich, c.1570-1643

Reynolds, Matthew (2002) Puritanism and the emergence of Laudianism in city politics in Norwich, c.1570-1643. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86041) (KAR id:86041)


A prosopographical study, this thesis traces the emergence of religious factions among the governors of the city of Norwich in the decades preceding the English Civil War. Although a celebrated puritan citadel, as established in Elizabeth I's reign, Norwich contained groups dissatisfied with the dominant forms of godly piety. Coinciding with Bishop Samuel Harsnett's efforts to subvert the city's native puritan tradition in the 1620s, prominent lay citizens became attached to a variety of 'avant garde conformity', which matured into a fully-fledged `Laudianism' during the episcopate of Bishop Matthew Wren. The impact of Laudian reform provoked a godly backlash, which rebounded on Wren's lay and clerical supporters during the Long Parliament. However, by examining lay worshippers aligned with the religious ideals of the Caroline church, the following investigation seeks to address current historiographical issues relating to England's unresolved 'Long Reformation' and the complex nature of religious conformity under the first two Stuarts. Finally, a case will be made for Laudianism as a potent force in borough politics during Charles I's Personal Rule. By converting specific laymen to their vision of the church, Caroline divines contributed towards the formation of a Royalist contingency in Norwich, of relevance to the taking of sides in England's localised 'wars of religion' in the 1640s

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86041
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Church of England
Subjects: A General Works > AZ History of Scholarship. The Humanities
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
L Education > LA History of education
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:26 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2022 10:21 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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