Bastow, Sarah L. (2002) Aspects of the history of the Catholic gentry of Yorkshire from the Pilgrimage of Grace to the First Civil War. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This study looks at the responses of the Yorkshire Catholic gentry to the immense
changes to their religious landscape in the early modem period, between 1536 and
1642. It examines how they continued to adhere to the Catholic religion, despite all
attempts first to induce and then compel conformity and highlights the ways in which
they managed to survive and prosper throughout the period, demonstrating that
previously neglected groups such as women and younger sons had a crucial role to
play in this process. The overwhelming theme to their actions was one of pragmatism,
rather than the heroic and self-destructive behaviour that was much admired by earlier
historians who wanted to identify martyrs to the Catholic cause.

The areas that are to be examined reflect both public and private gentry activities. In
the public sphere the Yorkshire gentry's part in the rebellions of the Tudor and Stuart
eras are studied along with their rejection of plots. The importance of marriage as an
early modem tool for building alliances and social advancement is acknowledged and
the impact that a continuing adherence to Catholicism had on this is considered. The
gentry and the church are examined through a study of the Catholic gentry's
involvement with their local parishes, their reaction to the dissolution and their
continuing adherence to monasticism, as shown through their devotion to English
orders on the continent. To reflect the changes that were occurring in this period
Catholic involvement in education, the law and medicine are also explored showing
that the Catholic community was not isolated from the wider society. Lastly the role
of Catholic women is given specific consideration in order both to redress the
imbalance in previous studies and due to the crucial role that women played in the
continuation of the Catholic community within Yorkshire.

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