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Title: The cult of King Charles the martyr : the rise and fall of a political theology, ca.1640-1859
Authors: Lacey, Andrew Charles
Award date: 1999
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: The cult of King Charles the martyr did not appear out of nowhere in January 1649; rather the component parts were constructed during Charles' captivity and were readily available to preachers and eulogists in the weeks and months after the regicide. However, it was during the Republic that the political theology surrounding the martyr was developed; emphasising the martyrs radical innocence, the crime of regicide and the dangers of bloodguilt. As such the figure of the martyr, and the shared set of images and assumptions surrounding him, contributed to the survival of a distinctly Royalist and Anglican outlook during the years of exile.;With the Restoration, the cult was given official sanction by the inclusion of the Office for the 30th January in the Book of Common Prayer. The political theology surrounding the regicide and a particular historiography of the Civil Wars were presented as the only orthodox reading of these events. Yet from the Exclusion Crisis onwards other, discordant voices were heard challenging the Royalist Anglican interpretation of the wars and the position of Charles. In these circumstances the cult began to fragment between those who retained the political theology of the 1650s and those who adapted the cult to reflect the changing political and dynastic circumstances of 1688 and 1714.;A study of the cult reveals the extent to which political debate in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries was conducted in terms of the Civil Wars. It also goes some way to explaining the persistence of conservative assumptions and patterns of thought.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Historical Studies
Leicester Theses

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