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This paper argues that the earliest church at Beodericisworth, the later Bury St Edmunds, was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Probably in the reign of Athelstan, the (supposed) body of St Edmund, king and martyr, was translated into this church. The cult of St Edmund burgeoned and before the end of the eleventh century St Edmund's shrine had become one of England's foremost pilgrim centres and attracted the wealth which helped pay for the great Romanesque church built to house it. Nevertheless, a wide variety of sources, both written and visual, demonstrate that the cult of St Mary retained much vitality, becoming the pre-eminent secondary cult in Bury St Edmunds, one especially fostered by Abbot Anselm (1121–48). Finally, similar examples are cited of other churches where dedications to saints like St Mary, who enjoyed widespread veneration, were replaced by those of saints of more local fame but whose (supposed) bodies those churches possessed.
The Reformation simultaneously transformed the identity and role of bishops in the Church of England, and the function of monuments to the dead. This article considers the extent to which tombs of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century bishops represented a set of episcopal ideals distinct from those conveyed by the monuments of earlier bishops on the one hand and contemporary laity and clergy on the other. It argues that in death bishops were increasingly undifferentiated from other groups such as the gentry in the dress, posture, location and inscriptions of their monuments. As a result of the inherent tension between tradition and reform which surrounded both bishops and tombs, episcopal monuments were unsuccessful as a means of enhancing the status or preserving the memory and teachings of their subjects in the wake of the Reformation.
The Capuchin friar, Valerian Magni, was one of the most influential churchmen of the first half of the seventeenth century. A confidant of Pope Urban VIII, an advisor to the emperor Ferdinand II and an intimate of the Polish king Władysław IV, Magni worked tirelessly as a religious mediator for nearly fifty years. This article investigates his ecumenical activity in two major arenas, Bohemia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In the Czech kingdom Magni collaborated with young Archbishop Harrach to counter the Jesuits' harsher policies of reCatholicisation while in Poland he endeavoured to reunite both Protestant and Orthodox communities with the Catholic Church.
In 1859, following the evangelical revival in Ulster, a Female Mission was founded in Belfast as an evangelistic agency and philanthropic enterprise. It was one of many voluntary societies. Upper-class evangelical women employed the services of lower-class women of similar religious energy to work among the poor of the city. This article explores the surviving documentation of the mission to assess its work, and, more important, to ascertain if involvement in this limited public sphere was a catalyst in the broader liberation of evangelical women. The issues go beyond the relationship of inner faith and public expression in popular religion to the notion that evangelicalism, as a heightened form of Christian belief and action, was a trajectory as well as a boundary in nineteenth-century society.
The Clergy of the Church of England Database, a project funded by the AHRB, began work in 1999 with the aim of constructing a relational database covering all clerical careers in the Church of England between 1540 and 1835. This article outlines the methodology and scope of the project before discussing some of the intellectual problems posed by the task of constructing a database that reflects the complexities of an irrational, pre-bureaucratic organisation. It also offers an insight into the potential of the completed database as a tool for investigating the largest profession of the early modern period.