Journal Article

Laurence Hyde and the Politics of Religion in Later Stuart England

Grant Tapsell

in The English Historical Review

Volume CXXV, issue 517, pages 1414-1448
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 0013-8266
Published online December 2010 | e-ISSN: 1477-4534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehr/ceq344
Laurence Hyde and the Politics of Religion in Later Stuart England

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Religion has been increasingly reintegrated into the study of later seventeenth-century English politics. Nevertheless, historians of the later Stuart period have not displayed the same gusto for case studies of individuals’ careers as their colleagues working on the pre-civil war era. This article looks at the important role of religion within the career of Laurence Hyde, earl of Rochester (1642-1711), a very significant but under-studied politician whose long career in public life stretched from the Restoration to the latter part of Anne’s reign. It is argued that a vital dimension of Hyde’s religious beliefs can be supplied by a detailed consideration of his family life. His father’s example, his sister’s conversion, a series of early deaths, and his relationships with his brother-in-law – James II – and nieces – Mary II and Anne – all combined to define Hyde’s public status. The interplay of these factors would lead to acute crisis in the winter of 1686/7, when his position as the protestant chief minister of a catholic king became untenable, and chronic discontent thereafter until his death in 1711.

Journal Article.  18174 words. 

Subjects: British History ; World History ; European History ; International History

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