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Patrick McEvoy-Halston

This is a shortessayanalyzingthe different takeson the periodof the Marian reactionby two

authorswho, almostpurposely,refuseto seeeyeto eyeon what elementsof the perioddeserve

attention. From Dickens,one getsthe sensethat the Marian reactionwould inevitablybe

overwhelmedby a victory of Protestantbelief in England. While C. Haigh encourages

entirely oppositesensethat if not for a prematuredeathof QueenMary, Englandmight well

haverevertedto being a largelyRomanCatholic country;althoughmodified andmodernized

from Erasmiantype influences. Appropriatelythen,Dickensconcentrateshis attentionon the

Protestantsof the realm espcially the new youth movement,andthe exiles abroad. Haigh,

instead, looks in detail at the goingson within the RomanCatholicrevival, in particularthe

cooperativenatureof the citizenry,andthe purposeful,andnearlysuccessful(if only the Queen

hadn'tdied so ear$l Srms doneby the church.

Dickensbegrnsby warningthe readerthat therewereno contemporarycensusesof

a}.f Catholics,but drawingon the BiographicalRegisterof Early English

c.1525-1558, of the
he doescometo sorneconclusionsconcerningthe Protestants

period,sp;taily their geographicaldistribution He creditsthe sensethat therewasa

southeastvs. north divide, with mostProtestantsliving in the mercantilesoutheast,but does

warn both againstassumingthat therewereno Protestantsin the north, and of assumingthat the

north was stronglyRomanCatholic. As an exampleof northernProtestantismhe offers the city
of Yer&, with strongestablishedcommercialties with the Netherlands.Theseport towns,he
whetherin thenorth,soutqeastor west,andheemphasizes

attentionfrom authoritiesin london.

tnndonits€lf,desewes it waslargeenoughto makethe
to Dickons,because

difficult. Herecognizes
routingoutof activeProt€stantism

a textiletownservingas
thattheyotrereda similarkind ofpnotection( hedescribes

oflondon in servingasa centerfor
almosta university!),but hestill focuseson theimportance

ofthe city oflondon asan

centerfor thetaining ofyouthfromall socialbackgrounds,

faith overRomanCatholicinevitable.Hebelievesthatit is theabsence
victoryof theProtestant

of fair attentionto theyouthofthe timewhichcancauseotherscholars the
to underestimate
E, AtdJ, 4"r*.r. ttclr.*e,ett,J\ '' tA/&'
inwitabilityofthisvictory. tA. j/&it' a-U t*tq*d-ttatt- UL4 ?:.t\* tu"-4rt-l ./'
,it '-t t1a a Lca p..-ct--t1*l- lbp*t' Lrut06- taa'.
Hedescribes theseyouthin somedetail,includingtlreirfreqwntand6ftenviolentclashes

with theirelden,whetherunivenityprofessorgor theirparents.Heemphasizes
iheir enerry,

with thefair numberofthemthatwillingly servedas
desirefor change,

in preference
martyrsfor theircause;animportantfactoftenoverlooked of mentioningthe

of olderprotestant
martJndom leaders.

in studyingtheemerging forccsduringQueenlvlary'sreignis

to thecontinent.Theseexileshedescribes
continuedwith hisstudyofthe exileofProtcstants as

in historyasa groupfor theirintellectualandsocialdistinction.Anticipotingtheir

thekindof communities
futureinfluenceonthecourseof Englishhistory,hedescribes

andthenatureof theirradicalism.

He,indeed,doesdescribethemashavinga radicalnatuc.Onegroupdwelopsa churchwith

to eithermonarchof bishop,andthatfirlly
a selfgovemingbodyowingnoallegiance
subordinatedthe authorityof the ministerto the congregation.Therewere somewho openly

As well, their greatwork, their newGenevabible,
wroteof their desirefor lvlary'sassassination.

waspermeatedwith a Calvinistflavour. Still, Dickensdoesnot leavethe impressionthat all in

all theseexilesbecamethorougblycontinentalandanti-monarchist,but ratherthat, while

abroad theseexiles madecertainchallengesto the natureof authoritywhich historianslater see

characterizingEnglandin the seventeenth century. He does,though,makeclearthat theseexiles
&6uta ( sctttuD
symbolizedwith Cox's victory overKnox
still remainedloyal to a B#rfi senseof Protestantism,
( n^t'* a"'t t"4 S'^t^'"^ Yo,
in the Frankfurtcommunity.

Haigh'sstudyof the sameperiodcouldhardlybe moredifferentfrom Dicken's . Dickens'

look at the importanceof youth andexiles, summarinng that the majority of all otherscould

hardly havebeenardentor evenconvincedCatholicsin view of the easein which Elizabeth

in reply, Haigh'sstudyof the
enactedher dramaticandmomentousreformsof 1559,deserves,

sameperid. Haigh deniesthat Protestantismwould inevitably havecometo dominateMarian's

RomanCatholicrevival. He citesthe importanceof the broadandeagerreceptionof the revival
'people' of England.He mentionshow the peoplechoseMary as
of Catholicservicesby the

their Queen,renouncingthe dukeofNorthumberland'schoiceof Jane,out of dislike for the

Duke's impositionof the SecondPrayerbook andhis confiscationsof their churchs'service


This wasa populacewho wantedbacktheir altfrr, images,crucifixesandCatholic

to bring them
includingthe mass,andwerewilling, at high coststo themselves,

is not to be seenasdoneby way of
back. The reconstructionof the churches,Haigh emphasizesn

intimidation, (althoughhe doesrecognizethat Protestantswere not happyto seeit done),but as

a resultof the wish of the 'people',the membersof local churches,to restorethem.
the point that the renewalof RomanCatholicismwaswillfully acceptedby

muchof the populace.This wasnot a caseof an impositionfrom above. In fact, he suggeststhat

the oppositewastrue, that it waswell received,notingthat mostof the activity revolvedaround

activelocal participation. The importanceof active local involvementis seenin the burningof

heretics.CompareDicken's accountof the Marianburnings,wherehe impliesthat theywere

managedout of London,with Hargh's,wherethe selectionof who would be burnedandhow

manyvarieddependedlargely on how active localswere in bringing hereticsforward.

He suggeststhat the RomanCatholicchurchknew, correctlyhe implies, that all the church

neededto do to regainthe loyalty of the pople wasto remind them of the glory of the Roman

Catholicfaith. He mentionsthat the bookspublishedby the churchwere not primarily put forth

but to promoteRomanCatholicism.Haighimpliesthat Roman
to attackProtestantism

Catholicismwasnewly attractive,havingbeenimprovedwith reformsin the educationof

to the wishesof the populaceso asto avoid
priests,andhad showna keenattentiveness

potentiallydisastrousmistakesin judgementsuchasallowing in continentalJesuits.

What goeswrong, is not that they w€re out of stepwith the religioustemperof the times,but

instead,bad luck.. Importantly,Mary diesbeforethe reformshavetime to take hold. The

burningsdid not help, they hadnot wantedto createmart5ns,but he doesnot seethem asbeing

of crucial importance..Insteadthe burningswereno moreharmful than they w€rehelpful.

Haigh acknowledges,hesitantly,a lossin the battle of the books,but only becausethe printers

tendedto be Protestant,a matterthat presumablycould havebeencorrectedin time; again"if

only Mary had lived! lv ab^ {*"2 tffi ar*ao'ay {t'H
?, l'*^{1A

If further evidenceof the fundamentaldifferencein interpretationof the Marian period is

needed,oneneedlook no furtherthan their two different accountsof the Wyatt rebellion. While
Dickensalmostglossesover it, subsumingit within his discussionof ttre stagesof Protestant

developmenfHaigh arguesthat this is findamental evidencethat Protestantismhadlittle broad

public supportamongstthe peopleof England. Clearlythen,the readercannotsimply sayof

Dicken's andHaigh's works that they speakpasteachother,as if oneneedonly addthem

togetherandreceivea full accountof the period. Their differencesin focusis indicativeof their

fuirdamentallydifferent view of this time period.

Which oneis morepersuasive?Haigh derivesmuchof his studyfrom the accountsof

parishesall throughEngland. His sourcesseemideal for gettingat the degreeof supportfor

RomanCatholic revival at a local level. The accountsof all the purchasesat heavycost,do

muchto convincethe readerthat therewas still deeppassionfor Catholic ceremonythroughout

much of England. Yet, it is still possibleto seeHaigh's studyasfundamentallyflawed if these

accountsdo not fairly representthe youngergeneration.If the new generationhadembracedthe

Protestantfaith" it would seemsomewhatirrelevantto the future religiousnatureof Englandif

their eldersweredevoutlyRomanCatholic or if they werenot.