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Preaching and politics in the Welsh marches, 1643-63: The case of Alexander Griffiths

Bowen, Lloyd 2021. Preaching and politics in the Welsh marches, 1643-63: The case of Alexander Griffiths. Historical Research 94 (263) , pp. 28-50. 10.1093/hisres/htaa035
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This article considers the nature and development of episcopalian identities and attitudes during the mid-seventeenth century by examining the case of Alexander Griffith. Griffith has been known to historians as an unbending ‘Anglican’, an exemplar of obdurate royalism and a man who was in the vanguard of resistance to the puritan experiments in Wales during the 1640s and 1650s. However, the discovery of Griffith’s sermon book in the Folger Shakespeare Library throws a different light on the nature of his career and the development of his opinions. Griffith’s sermons reveal that he made accommodations with local Presbyterians in the 1640s and even helped head-up their campaign to introduce the Directory for Public Worship into Wales and the Marches. The sermon book provides the opportunity for a new and more nuanced reading of the numerous tracts he published against the Commission for the Propagation of the Gospel in Wales during the 1650s. The article argues that both his sermons and published works reveal Griffith as an implacable opponent of radical separatists, but that he was willing to accommodate with and adapt to moderate parliamentarian regimes. His position shifted at the Restoration when he articulated his conviction in two high profile assize sermons that the Act of Uniformity provided the best defence against the spectre of radical religion and political dissolution. This article reveals that Griffith was a more important figure than has generally been acknowledged and that his religious and political positions were more complex than previous studies have allowed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0950-3471
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 May 2021
Date of Acceptance: 28 January 2020
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2021 06:24

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