Understanding Popular Violence in the English Revolution: The Colchester Plunderers

By John Walter | Go to book overview

5.
The attack on ministers

For many ages, as well in forraigne parts as here at home, it hath beene the honor of this towne to be famous for religion

Harbottle Grimston, Speech, Election Day, Colchester,
July 16421

Providence hath placed mee in one of the worst places in the kingdome for opinions.

Giles Firmin to John Winthrop, 16462

In the spring of 1640 a conversation took place in an Essex churchyard. One of those present, Edward Neale, was reported to have said, 'that the Apprentices were upp in Armes in London and it may be, as I thinke, they will arise, aswell in the Country shortly, w[hi]ch if they doe, I will acquaint them w[i]th our Parson Mr Greene for taking the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury his parte soe much as he doeth'. Shortly before crowds in London had attacked the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud's house. Citing Jeremiah 22.6 and 7 — 'And I will prepare destroyers against thee' — Neale had gone on to predict that 'the first houses they would pull downe should be the houses of those that tooke part with the Bishopps'.3 Edward Neale's words offer a prophetic analysis of the reasons why ministers were among those attacked in the summer of 1642. In Suffolk, as in Essex, the church hierarchy had found allies among ministers who owed their appointment to the clerical

____________________
1
Hertfordshire RO, Gorhambury MSS ix. A. 9, unfol.
2
WP, 5:1645–1649, p. 89.
3
PRO, SP, 16/454/37, /468/139. Neale may have been the man of the same name who in 1652 was said to have declared, 'there were a thousand lies in the canonical scriptures, and that all the apostles were drunken rascals, and are we to believe what they say?': H. Grieve, The Sleepers and the Shadows. Chelmsford: a Town, its People and its Past 2: From Market Town to Chartered Borough, 1608–1888 (Chelmsford, 1994), pp. 75, 90. A George Neale was indicted for burning the Book of Common Prayer at Shelley, in September 1642: ERO, Q/SR, 318/29.

-161-

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Understanding Popular Violence in the English Revolution: The Colchester Plunderers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Past and Present Publications *
  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements viii
  • Abbreviations x
  • Introduction 1
  • Part 1 - The Event 11
  • 1. - An Event and Its History 13
  • 2. - The Attacks 31
  • Part 2 - Contextualising the Crowd 69
  • 3. - The Micro-Politics of the Attack on Sir John Lucas 71
  • 4. - The High Politics of the Attack on Sir John Lucas 115
  • Part 3 - The Confessional Crowd 159
  • 5. - The Attack on Ministers 161
  • 6. - The Attack on Catholics 201
  • Part 4 - Reading the Crowd 235
  • 7. - Cloth and Class 237
  • 8. - Anti-Popery and Popular Parliamentarianism 285
  • Conclusion 331
  • Index 353
  • Past and Present Publications 358
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