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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: BL, DA, NE
Charles I and his clerical supporters are often said to have been wary of print and public discussion, only entering the public sphere reluctantly and to comparatively little effect during the political crisis of 1642. This article challenges such views by focusing on the neglected role of official forms of print such as proclamations, declarations, and state prayers and their promulgation in the nation’s churches. It traces the ways in which the king utilised the network of parish clergy to broadcast his message and mobilise support during the Scottish crisis of 1639-40 and again in the ‘paper war’ of 1642. The article argues that traditional forms of printed address retained their potency and influence despite the proliferation of polemical pamphlets and newsbooks. The significance of these mobilizations is demonstrated by the profound disquiet they caused among the king’s Covenanter and parliamentarian opponents as well as the ‘good effects’ they had in generating support for the royalist cause.
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