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Doubtful and dangerousThe question of succession in late Elizabethan England$
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Susan Doran and Paulina Kewes

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086069

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086069.001.0001

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Taking it to the street? The Archpriest controversy and the issue of the succession

Taking it to the street? The Archpriest controversy and the issue of the succession

(p.71) Chapter 4 Taking it to the street? The Archpriest controversy and the issue of the succession
Doubtful and dangerous

Peter Lake

Michael Questier

Manchester University Press

This chapter investigates the significance for the succession of the Archpriest controversy, an intra-Catholic dispute between a group of secular priests and their Jesuit foes. It is shown that that the controversy was a genuinely significant aspect of the Elizabethan fin de siècle, with much to tell us about the political dynamics of the post-Reformation and the politics of incipient regime change. Robert Persons’s Conference and Memorial, and the Appellant pamphlets printed with the connivance of the English government are examined with a view to unpicking the pitch the various factions made to James VI. Catholics of all stripes are shown to have been proffering their support to the prospective Stuart king in return for a promise of toleration. Their disappointed hopes would eventuate in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

Keywords:   Succession, Appellants, Archpriest controversy, Robert Persons, Richard Bancroft, Sir Robert Cecil, Catholics, religious toleration, James VI and I, Pamphleteering

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