Gentry culture and the politics of religion

Cheshire on the eve of civil war

By Richard Cust and Peter Lake

Gentry culture and the politics of religion


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1440-2
  • Pages: 392
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: June 2020
  • BIC Category: Humanities / Religion & politics, English Civil War, Humanities / British & Irish history, Humanities / Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700, History, Early Modern History, Politics & government, European history, Jacobean & Early Stuart era (1603–1649), RELIGION / Christianity / History, HISTORY / Social History, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / Stuart Era (1603-1714)
  • Series: Politics, Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain


This book revisits the county study as a way of understanding the dynamics of civil war in England during the 1640s. It explores gentry culture and the extent to which early Stuart Cheshire could be said to be a 'county community'. It also investigates how the county's governing elite and puritan religious establishment responded to highly polarising interventions by the central government and Laudian ecclesiastical authorities during Charles I's Personal Rule. The second half of the book provides a rich and detailed analysis of petitioning movements and side-taking in Cheshire in 1641-2. An important contribution to understanding the local origins and outbreak of civil war in England, the book will be of interest to all students and scholars studying the English revolution.


'It [Gentry Culture and the Politics of Religion] broadens our understanding of the ideology and material culture of the pre-Civil War gentry, and it shows how, even in counties with long efforts at consensus, tensions'
Journal of British Studies


Part I: The Cheshire gentry and their world
1 The culture of dynasticism
2 The culture of the Cheshire gentleman
3 The governance of the shire
Part I conclusion
Part II: The Personal Rule and its problems
4 Cheshire politics in the 1620s and 1630s
5 Puritans and ecclesiastical government
Part II conclusion
Part III: The crisis, 1641-42
6 Petitioning and the search for settlement
7 The search for the centre as partisan enterprise?
8 Cheshire and the outbreak of civil war
Part III conclusion
Bibliography of manuscript sources


Richard Cust is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Birmingham
Peter Lake is Distinguished Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

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