Much of the work that has gone into this book was done while I was a research student. Those years were spent, very happily, in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. I thank the Master, Fellows and Staff of the college, for all the kindness and encouragement I was shown there. I owe a particular debt of gratitude to two fellows of Corpus, Richard Bainbridge and Patrick Bury, who both encouraged a project they did not live to see me complete. I am also delighted to have this opportunity to offer my thanks to Elizabeth Bury, and to William and Katharine Horbury who (just) saved me from taking myself too seriously. During those years of research I was supported by the Trustees of Dr Lightfoot's Scholarship. Bishop Lightfoot's generosity and his commitment to church history sustained this work and shaped my future life: I honour him.
From Corpus I moved on, by stages, to Magdalene College, where the doctoral thesis was finally completed in a community that made me welcome then, and has since welcomed me back, to put the finishing touches to this book. I thank the Master, Fellows and Staff of Magdalene for giving me so much, so generously, over so many years. In Magdalene, I learnt what fellowship means and I will always treasure that. Now, I am a priest serving in the Diocese of Gloucester and I am indebted to all my colleagues there for the support and patience that made possible the sabbatical in which this book was, at last, completed. Particular thanks go to John Witcombe and to Roger Grey.
I have been assisted at every stage by the men and women who work in university and college libraries. I thank them all for their dedicated courtesy. Archivists in Cambridge colleges gave me generous help wherever I went. The staff of the Rare Books Room, and Godfrey Waller and his colleagues in the Manuscripts Room in the Cambridge University Library were gracious and helpful day after day. I also owe particular thanks to Jayne Ringrose, Elizabeth Leedham-Green, and the late Dorothy Owen for encouragement at the beginning and for expert guidance later.
Other scholars have been immensely helpful and, better still, they have been stimulating and good company.