chapter  2
22 Pages

Sacred Kingship in France and England in the Age of the Wars of Religion: From Disenchantment to Re-enchantment?

In speeches in Parliament in the 1620s and, more influentially, in the early days of the Short and Long Parliaments, John Pym had connected this with conspiracy against the liberties of Parliament, the body which had legislated for Protestantism and was its guardian in England. Root and Branch reform was the positive face of the call for further reformation, a call frequently mobilised on the basis of the threat of popery, rather than the promise of Protestantism. The Irish rebellion tipped the balance in the tone of this mobilisation for parliamentary reformation towards anti-popery and the necessity for a firm defence of parliamentary authority, towards fear rather than hope. Two long-standing archetypes anti-popery and anti-Puritanism could exercise a powerful effect on political choices. The petition was, nonetheless, extraordinary: poor women were claiming that the slump was the product of the political crisis, and that a popish plot existed to plunge England into a war, once Ireland had been overrun.