Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-wg55d Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-17T22:37:02.152Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false
This chapter is part of a book that is no longer available to purchase from Cambridge Core

1 - The Structures of Coercion

Get access

Summary

The Church was well placed to coerce dissidents, both because of the legal structure of which it was a part and because of the pervasive culture of conformity. To some extent these forces had been pulling in different directions under Edward. The law required obedience to a magisterial form of Protestantism but most clergy, and most congregations, preferred something a great deal more conservative. These laws, of course, dated only from 1549, but the expectation that all parishioners would attend their parish church, and receive such sacraments as were available to them, went back to the origins of the parochial system in the eighth century. It was, first and foremost, the responsibility of the incumbent to see that this happened, and his eyes and ears in this respect were the churchwardens. However the sanctions available to him were limited. If the offender yielded to exhortation and reprimand, and came to confess his or her faults, then a suitable penance could be imposed. However, if any person failed to appear at all, or declined to submit to penance, then the incumbent had little option but to refer him to a higher jurisdiction, and that would mean the court of the archdeacon.

The archdeacon was a ubiquitous presence in late medieval society. He exercised the bishop's authority by delegation and intruded into every situation where the canon law reached. Matrimonial problems, illicit sexual relationships and the closely related issues of defamation and slander all came before him. Matters arising out of disputed wills and the prosecution of those who meddled with dead men's goods were equally his concern. He pursued the non-payment of tithes and other Church dues, and punished those who showed the slightest desire to question the teachings of the Church. His visitation was one of the most predictable features of Church life, and one of the few ways in which disputes between incumbents and their flocks could be resolved.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Pickering & Chatto
First published in: 2014

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×