The Politics of Conscience

Graham Neville

in Radical Churchman

Published in print November 1998 | ISBN: 9780198269779
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683794 | DOI:
The Politics of Conscience

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This chapter examines the presence of powerful and antagonistic groupings in parliament and the exercise of church patronage alternately by differing interests which had the effect of dividing prominent churchmen along party lines. It notes that all were, to that extent, political. It observes that this was true at every level, from the House of Lords, through Crown appointments, down to the parishes, through private patronage of beneficed livings. It further notes the balance between parties at the parish level was uneven. It observes that the preponderance of the landed interest ensured the dominance of Tory convictions among the parochial clergy. It points out that the notion of a ‘political churchman’ could hardly be said to have existed at the Reformation, because leading ecclesiastics were simply integrated into the process of government.

Keywords: parliament; church patronage; party lines; House of Lords; Crown appointments; Tory convictions; political churchman; Reformation; ecclesiastics; government

Chapter.  10846 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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