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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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Moulding Instruments of Reform: Men and Machinery

Moulding Instruments of Reform: Men and Machinery

(p.33) 3 Moulding Instruments of Reform: Men and Machinery
England's Culture Wars

Bernard Capp

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the new regime's efforts to mould the instruments needed to implement reformation measures. The first challenge was to assert its authority over resentful local magistrates, gradually achieved by vigorous intervention in the affairs of county benches and London and other borough corporations. The Presbyterian clergy, at first, hostile and defiant, were tamed and sometimes reconciled, while the New Model Army served as a blunt instrument of reformation. The chapter also explores the character of local magistracy under the Protectorate, and of the Cromwellian church. It ends with the work of the Major-Generals, often effective in galvanizing activity but widely resented. While the regime never possessed adequate machinery or human resources for nationwide reformation, it did enough to facilitate significant advances.

Keywords:   instruments of reform, local magistrates, Presbyterian clergy, Major-Generals, Cromwellian church, London, borough corporations

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