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The Rise of the BarristersA Social History of the English Bar 1590-1640$
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Wilfrid R. Prest

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202585

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202585.001.0001

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(p.209) Chapter Seven Religion
The Rise of the Barristers

Wilfrid R. Prest

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the religious commitment of barristers and common lawyers in early modern England. Many historians have noted links between common lawyers and radical Protestants, including their shared hostility towards ecclesiastical courts, the influence of puritan preachers at the Inns of Court, and the prominence of barristers in groups of godly activists. This chapter evaluates whether it is possible to generalize about the involvement of lawyers in religious conflicts, and analyses the lives and careers of Catholic Edmund Plowden, the puritan Nicholas Fuller, and the Erastian John Selden.

Keywords:   barristers, common lawyers, religious commitment, England, radical Protestants, Edmund Plowden, Nicholas Fuller, John Selden, law and religion

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