Puritans against the Bishops

Antoinina Bevan Zlatar

in Reformation Fictions

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604692
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729430 | DOI:
Puritans against the Bishops

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This chapter shows three puritan dialogists creatively exploiting the satire and theatricality of the genre so as to attack episcopacy. In the heat of the Vestments Controversy, Anthony Gilby's A pleasaunt dialogue repudiates A brief examination (1566), pitting Bernarde Blynkarde, one of Parker's ordinands and a bishop's chaplain, against an enlightened soldier. John Udall's Strife (1584) has another bishop's chaplain turning a deaf ear to the truth. In Diotrephes (1588), Job Throckmorton goes further still, this time making a Lord bishop one of his cast of four, and staging his risible dependence on a Catholic aid. Then in 1589, after Marprelate had significantly lowered the tone, the Tyrannical dealing darkly plots the capture of ‘Puritan’ at the hands of turncoat Jack and ‘Papist’. The bishops have gone from being errant brethren still capable of repentance in 1566, to the friends of Catholics in 1588, to being instruments of the devil on the verge of converting to Catholicism in 1589.

Keywords: Presbyterianism; anti-episcopalian invective; the Vestments Controversy; Martin Marprelate; Anthony Gilby; John Udall; Job Throckmorton

Chapter.  21580 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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