Prelate as Pastor: The Episcopate of James I

Prelate as Pastor: The Episcopate of James I

Prelate as Pastor: The Episcopate of James I

Prelate as Pastor: The Episcopate of James I


This lucid study of the sixty-six bishops of James I. Fincham surveys the broad range of their activities and functions, including their part in central politics, their role in local society, their work as diocesan governors enforcing moral and spiritual discipline, and their supervision of the parish clergy. The accession of James I, Fincham argues, marked the restoration of episcopal fortunes at court and in the localities. This detailed analysis offers a revealing look at the doctrinal divisions of the early seventeenth-century episcopate which will be invaluable to scholars and students of early modern British history.


It is a pleasure to acknowledge many debts of gratitude. I have received much kind assistance in the course of my travels around the record offices of England, above all from Alison and Tim McCann and Peter Wilkinson at the West Sussex Record Office at Chichester. It was my good fortune that the fullest diocesan collection for James I's reign happened to be in their custody. I must also thank the Governors and Guardians of Marsh's Library, Dublin for permission to use unique copies of visitation articles, and the Marquess of Downshire for allowing me to cite from the Trumbull mss deposited at Berkshire Record Office.

This book started life as a Ph.D. thesis for London University, though much of it was researched and written in three very congenial though contrasting societies: Balliol, the College of George Abbot; St John's, the College of William Laud; and Wellington, the College of Nicholas Tyacke and Peter White. I am grateful to the governing bodies of all three for the opportunities they provided to produce this study.

Friends and colleagues have supplied me with ideas, evidence and encouragement. I am especially grateful to Robert Beddard, George Bernard, Jeremy Catto, Richard Clark, Nicholas Cranfield, Christopher Haigh, Felicity Heal, Clive Holmes, Judith Maltby, Mike Moody, Dorothy Owen, Ken Parker, Conrad Russell, Kevin Sharpe and Peter White. Peter Lake has contributed much to the final shape of this book; so too has Andrew Foster, over and above teaching me to respect Richard Neile. Patrick Collinson, whose Ford Lectures in 1979 inspired my research, has been a most generous critic, examiner and friend. To Nicholas Tyacke I owe an incalculable debt. He taught me the craft of historical research, and showed great patience, kindness but also exactitude as the supervisor of my thesis. It has been delightful to be his pupil.

My greatest thanks are to Alison and Henry, who help me keep the past in perspective.

K. C. F.
July 1989 . . .

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