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The Blind Devotion of the People: Popular Religion and the by Robert Whiting

By Robert Whiting

The non secular revolution referred to as the 'Reformation' needs to rank one of the most vital and remodeling occasions in English historical past. but its unique reception through the English humans is still principally imprecise. Did they welcome the recommendations - or did they withstand? by means of what inner motivations have been their responses decided? And by means of what exterior impacts have been their attitudes formed? those are the foremost matters explored via Robert Whiting during this significant research, dependent totally on unique learn within the south-west. Dr Whiting's debatable end is that for many of the inhabitants the Reformation used to be much less a conversion from Catholicism to Protestantism than a transition from non secular dedication to spiritual passivity or maybe indifference.

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The liturgical use of candles and tapers, for example, was substantially curtailed. At Morebath the purchase of paschal tapers ended after 1548, while at Woodbury in 1548-9 the expenditure on lights dwindled to a mere 5d. Easter vigils were discontinued, the provision of sepulchre lights at Morebath ending in 1547. Funerals with knells, crosses and tapers were suppressed at Woodbury after 1547, at Ashburton after 1548, and at Stratton after 1549. Most important, the accounts indicate that the public recitation of bede-rolls generally ended in 1548, and that masses and other intercessions for the departed were everywhere terminated at about the same time.

Tavistock Records, p. 22; CWA Ashburton, 1552-3; CWA Crediton, 1551; CWA Exeter HT, 1551-2; CWA Exeter SP, 1551, 1553; CWA Morebath, 1553; CWA Woodbury, 1551, 1553; Additional 32243, HCWA Stratton, 1551, 1553; Barnstaple Records, I, pp. 198-9. 28 Assessment and Torrington, £33 at Staverton, more than £40 at Tavistock and £45 at East Budleigh. Torrington, for example, lost a cross, pax, ship and censers, as well as three suits of vestments and eight copes. 45 Though temporarily halted in Mary's reign, the destructive trend resumed after Elizabeth's accession.

Christopher Stephen donated a missal to the church at Highbray in 1524. 22 Books, moreover, required lecterns. 23 The final requisites were dramatic lighting and emotive sound. 26 Most parishes, in addition, invested substantially in bells. In about 1508 the inhabitants of Golant contributed £10 towards the bells of Tywardreath church, while at Ashburton the great bell was recast in 1509—10. Pre-Reformation examples still hang in many churches, as at Brushford, Butterleigh and Loxbeare. Ringing preceded services, marked the eve of All Souls, and proclaimed funerals and intercessions.

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