TOWNLEY, GARETH,LEWIS (2018) What do the religious beliefs of the Harleys of Brampton Bryan, Herefordshire, tell us about the nature of early Stuart puritanism? Masters thesis, Durham University.
|PDF (Gareth Townley MA Thesis)|
The thesis uses the Harleys as a case study to determine what their own personal beliefs can tell us about the nature of puritanism in the early Stuart period. Two key personal documents are examined in order to establish that the Harleys’ ‘brand’ of puritanism was built upon several fundamental pillars: a belief in the doctrine of predestination, that is the belief that the world was divided into the ‘elect’ who were assured of salvation and the ‘reprobate’ who doomed to damnation; the preference for a preaching ministry; the observance of regular private days of fasting and humiliation; a fierce iconoclasm and a mistrust of the power of the episcopacy; all of which were underscored by the belief that the word of God, as found in Scripture, was the only arbiter of religious orthodoxy. The thesis goes on to explore how these beliefs compare to those held by puritan ministers whom were known personally to the Harleys, through a discussion of the ministers’ published sermons and other works. Finally, the thesis examines the public life of Sir Robert Harley as a Member of Parliament and the private life of the Harleys in their corner of northern Herefordshire, in order to show that both aspects of their life were heavily influenced by their particular religious beliefs. The thesis concludes that, while early Stuart puritanism was fluid and individual, and that there can be no ‘one size fits all’ definition, there were certain shared beliefs, the finer details of which were open to debate and discussion among the puritans themselves.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Arts|
|Keywords:||Early Stuart puritanism|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||16 Jan 2018 13:00|