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Title page for ETD etd-03222015-173227

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Lazo, Katherine Shreve
URN etd-03222015-173227
Title Episcopacy and Enmity in Early Modern England: Bishop Richard Smith, Catholic Information Networks, and the Question of Religious Toleration, 1631-1638
Degree Master of Arts
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Peter Lake Committee Chair
Paul C. H. Lim Committee Member
  • Charles I
  • post-Reformation English Catholic Community
Date of Defense 2015-01-23
Availability unrestricted
This paper challenges the dominant view that the post-Reformation English Catholic community was a marginalized and intermittently persecuted minority. John Bossy enshrined this perspective in the historiographical tradition and it has endured. However, I present evidence that this characterization is misleading. In this paper I demonstrate that during the reign of Charles I, a segment of the English Catholic population believed that religious toleration was a real possibility, and that cooperation with the regime would bring their desired outcome to fruition. I further complicate the narrative of the post-Reformation English Catholic community by demonstrating how factionalism grew from a heated rivalry between secular priests advocating for the restoration of episcopacy in England and regular clerics who wanted the autonomy provided by maintaining England as a mission province into a pan-European game of political machination and information control. I argue that the seculars’ quest for religious toleration in England intertwined with the intra-Catholic dispute over episcopacy, resulting in carefully crafted appeals to both the pope and Charles I and demonstrating that the post-Reformation English Catholic community remained a potent political force.
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