Part II conclusion
Part II conclusion
In both politics and religion, secular and ecclesiastical affairs, the sorts of accommodations and collaborations that had contained what had always been intermittently considerable areas of tension in Cheshire had continued to operate until quite late in the day. In comparison with counties like Somerset and Northamptonshire, where there is considerable evidence of either factional divisions or opposition to the demands made by the crown, Cheshire was governed in a relatively stable and settled fashion during the 1620s and 1630s. Leading gentry, for the most part, subscribed to the values and ideals set out in Whitelocke and Grosvenor’s charges. Participation and active citizenship, consultation, mediation, promoting the ‘public’ interest, not the ‘private’, and defending the ‘country’s’ interests were acknowledged to be the guiding principles in the exercise of magisterial office. This unity was encouraged by the networks of kinship and intermarriage between long-established local families, the strong identification with the palatine traditions of self-government and the relative absence of factional division among leading gentry. It also helped that for much of the period the dominant voices on the commission of peace and lieutenancy were those of the likes of Booth, Wilbraham and Grosvenor, patriot gentry who did their best to balance the requirements of central government with the interests of ‘the country’ and were prepared to speak on behalf of their neighbours when grievances became pressing....
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