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Saints and Relics During the English Reformation of the Early Modern Period, 1558-1625: How Far Did This Catholic Belief Continue/Change from Medieval England?

Pedder, Jacqueline (2018) Saints and Relics During the English Reformation of the Early Modern Period, 1558-1625: How Far Did This Catholic Belief Continue/Change from Medieval England? Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Abstract

There are preconceptions about the Tudor and Stuart period when it comes to the religious identity of England. One of the extreme views is that the Reformation aimed at eliminating any and all aspects of Catholicism from England. Within the Tudor and Stuart periods, Henry VIII started the dissolution, Edward VI progressed it further, Mary attempted to revert England back to Catholicism and Elizabeth created Catholic martyrs to get rid of the Catholic threat, whilst James was an extreme Protestant determined to push forward with the Reformation. By considering a specific Catholic belief, saints and relics, the religious and political ideas surrounding this Catholic doctrine can be brought to the fore. This thesis will look at the survival of Catholicism in England, by representing the continued belief and support by English Catholics through saints and relics of the early modern period. The focus will be the Reformation from 1558 to 1625, covering the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. It will be argued that there was a continuation from the medieval period of the belief in the power that saints and relics could provide Catholics, and that there was a revitalisation during the Reformation period, 1558-1625, in the collection and preservation process, as new saints and relics were being established throughout the period in question. Using a combination of material objects and written sources, which will include legislation as well as popular culture; it will depict the importance and significance that this one area of Catholic devotion entailed. Through this, I will be able to determine how saints and relics survived the Reformation and how the reliance on objects continued throughout.

By analysing how saints and relics were venerated, we will see a shift away from the public collections in cathedrals to private collections in domestic settings. Relics were still preserved but in the private not the the public sphere with increased emphasis on the domestic sphere. This thesis aims to analyse how far the Catholic faith in England continued in relation to saints and relics during the Reformation.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
Depositing User: Andrew Strike
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2018 13:54
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 16:15
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/34706

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