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England's Culture WarsPuritan Reformation and its Enemies in the Interregnum, 1649-1660$
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Bernard Capp

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199641789

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641789.001.0001

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Exeter: Godly Rule in Action

Exeter: Godly Rule in Action

(p.240) 12 Exeter: Godly Rule in Action
England's Culture Wars

Bernard Capp

Oxford University Press

The final chapter takes Exeter as a case-study in depth. It examines how the city's magistrates and ministers gradually came to terms with the Commonwealth after their initial fierce hostility, and drove forward with exceptional vigour a programme of civic reformation and moral discipline. It surveys the city's promotion of social welfare, and its campaign to suppress drunkenness, profanity, and sexual immorality. The chapter examines issues of popular co-operation and resistance. It also examines religious tensions within the city between Independents and Presbyterians, and the challenge from Quakers, as well as prayer-book survivals. It shows how local magistrates in this rare bastion of puritan zeal in the south-west took advantage of favourable national circumstances to resume and extend their pre-war agenda of reformation.

Keywords:   Exeter, civic reformation, moral discipline, social welfare, magistracy

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