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Literature and Politics in Cromwellian England$
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Blair Worden

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199230822

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199230822.001.0001

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(p.14) 1 Nedham
Literature and Politics in Cromwellian England

Blair Worden

Oxford University Press

Marchamont Nedham is the serial turncoat of the Puritan Revolution. The civil wars, which shaped his life, broke out in the month, August 1642, of his twenty-second birthday. Nedham—or often Needham (his surname should be pronounced so as virtually to rhyme with ‘freedom’)—came from a family of moderate substance in Burford in Oxfordshire. After a period at All Souls College, Oxford, he was appointed usher and assistant teacher at Merchant Taylors' School, an experience that would leave him with a long-standing interest in education and a long-lasting awareness of its low levels of pay. In 1641 he found other employment, as a clerk at Gray's Inn. Then, in 1643, the growth of civil war journalism gave him his chance to expand his career. He wrote for parliament in the first civil war; for the king in the second; and for the successive Puritan regimes.

Keywords:   Marchamont Nedham, Puritan Revolution, civil war, Burford, Oxfordshire, All Souls College, Oxford, teacher, journalism

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