Antilegon: Attitudes to Authority


in The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780199216505
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191711947 | DOI:
Antilegon: Attitudes to Authority

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This chapter explores parishioners' attitudes to church authority. Good fellowship among the less-godly was bestial sin to the godly, and the ceremony of ‘good and faithful drunkards’ became notorious, featuring in Samuel Ward's 1622 sermon ‘Woe to Drunkards’ — where Ward claimed that the participants all ‘died thereof within a few weeks, some sooner, some later’. But men and women could not be kept out of the alehouse — even when they should have been at church. When in 1571 Thomas Harmer of Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, was rebuked by the minister for playing cards in the alehouse in service time, he gave him an earful of abuse and called him ‘knave’. John Gay of Childerditch, Essex, was presented in 1584 for keeping evil rule in his house on a Sunday, ‘in so much that the minister could not say service for the great noise of the people’.

Keywords: drunkards; alehouse; church authority; parishioners; Samuel Ward

Chapter.  11026 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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