chapter  3
25 Pages

The Continental Counter-Reformation and the Plausibility of the Popish Plots, 1638–1642

Simonds D'Ewes desire to defend the constitution as he understood it was deeply rooted but this did not mean that his religious opinions did not weigh even more heavily when he made his decision to adhere to the Parliamentary side. D'Ewes was not only a zealous Puritan but also at times displayed political ineptness, excessive legalism, humourlessness and self-importance. All of that said, however, D'Ewess personal papers in the Harleian manuscripts show him to be much more interesting than has been realized and make possible a more nuanced reading of important aspects of religious and constitutional conflict in early Stuart Britain. Simonds D'Ewes was an odd duck in many ways, but he was not alone in his deep commitment to a certain understanding of the essence of the Elizabethan church and his fury against the resurgence of what he thought of as the Pelagian heresy in the form of Laudianism.