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3. The Birth of Puritanism

Seminar Overview:

In this seminar we turn to one of the most historiographically contentious themes in the study of Elizabethan religion: the nature and significance of the phenomenon which has comes to be known as ‘Puritanism’. We will discuss the origins of Puritanism (and of the term itself), and assess the aims and achievements of Puritanism in the first part of Elizabeth’s reign. This will include discussion of the events surrounding the suspension of Archbishop Edmund Grindal (a Puritan Archbishop of Canterbury?) and the extent to which the late 1570s marked a crisis-point in relations between Puritans and the institutional church.

Questions for discussion:

- How disruptive and oppositional a force were ‘Puritans’ in the 1560s?

- How effective were Puritan attempts to reform the Elizabethan Settlement up to 1576?

- What was the significance of the downfall of Archbishop Grindal?


Seminar Reading:

*Coffey, John and Lim, Paul, eds, The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism (Cambridge, 2008), esp. chaps by Collinson and Craig [E]

Collinson, Patrick, ‘John Field and Elizabethan Puritanism,” in S. T. Bindoff, J. Hurstfield, and C. H. Williams eds., Elizabethan Government and Society: Essays Presented to Sir John Neale (London, 1961) and chap. 13 of Collinson, Godly People (London, 1983)

Collinson, Patrick, ‘The “nott Conformytye” of the young John Whitgift’ in Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 15 (1964), and chap. 12 of Collinson, Godly People (London, 1983)

Collinson, Patrick, ‘Calvinism with an Anglican Face’, in Reform and Reformation: England and the Continent, Studies in Church History Subsidia, 2, ed. D. Baker (Oxford, 1979),and chap. 8 of Collinson, Godly People (London, 1983)

*Collinson, Patrick, ‘The Downfall of Archbishop Grindal and its Place in Elizabethan Political and Ecclesiastical History’, in P. Clark, N. R. N Tyacke and A. G. R. Smith, eds, The English Commonwealth 1547-1660 (Leicester, 1979), and chap. 14 of Collinson, Godly People (London, 1983)

Collinson, Patrick, The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (London, 1967), parts 1-4

Collinson, Patrick, Archbishop Grindal 1519-1583: The Struggle for a Reformed Church (London, 1979)

*Collinson, Patrick, ‘The prophesyings and the downfall and sequestration of Archbishop Edmund Grindal, 1576-1583’, in Melanie Barber, Stephen Taylor with Gabriel Sewell, eds, From the Reformation to the permissive society: a miscellany in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Lambeth Palace Library, Church of England Record Society, 18 (2010)

Cross, Claire, The Royal Supremacy in the Elizabethan Church (London, 1969), pp. 47-67

Evenden, Elizabeth and Freeman, Thomas, ‘Print, Profit and Propaganda: the Elizabethan Privy Council and the 1570 Edition of Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs”‘, in English historical review 119, (2004)

Freeman, Thomas, ‘Thomas Norton, John Foxe and the Parliament of 1571’, Parliamentary History, 16 (1997)

Freeman, Thomas, ‘Providence and Prescription: the Account of Elizabeth in Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs”‘, in Susan Doran and Thomas S. Freeman, eds., The Myth of Elizabeth (Basingstoke, 2003)

Lake, Peter, Anglicans and Puritans? Presbyterianism and English Conformist Thought from Whitgift to Hooker (London, 1988), ch. 1

Lake, Peter, ‘“The Monarchical Republic of Queen Elizabeth I” (and the Fall of Archbishop Grindal) Revisited’, in McDiarmid, John ,ed., The monarchical republic of early modern England: essays in response to Patrick Collinson (Aldershot, 2007)

Lake, Peter, ‘A Tale of Two Episcopal Surveys: The Strange Fates of Edmund Grindal and Cuthbert Mayne Revisited’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th ser., 18 (2008)

*Jones, Norman, The Birth of the Elizabethan Age: England in the 1560s (Oxford, 1993), chap. 4

MacCaffrey, Wallace, Elizabeth I (London, 1993), chaps 24-6

Winship, Michael P., Hot Protestants: A History of Puritanism in England and America (New Haven and London, 2018), chaps. 1-4.



The vestments Controversy: ‘Elizabeth to Archbishop Parker’, ‘Bishop Pilkington to Earl of Leicester’, Bishop Grindal to Bullinger’, ‘John Stow’s Chronicle’, EHD, pp. 170-6

‘Archbishop Parker’s Advertisements’, W. H. Frere and W. P. M. Kennedy, eds, Visitation Articles and Injunctions of the Period of the Reformation, 3 vols, (London, 1910) , vol. 3, pp. 171-80

‘Puritan Admonitions to parliament 1571 and 1572’, EHD, 180-9

The Suppression of the Prophesyings: ‘Explanation of William Harrison’, ‘Edmund Grindal’s Letter to the Queen, 20 Dec 1576’, ‘Elizabeth’s Order to Suppress, 1577’, EHD, pp. 831-42