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parrot_knight [userpic]

Palatine ponderings

September 4th, 2008 (02:12 pm)

I read that in 1689 the Bishop of Chester was in receipt of £200 per annum from the government to support "4 Lancashire preachers". I imagine either four preachers whose job it was to promote the benefits of Lancashire to those in Chester, or who were either sent out to Lancashire to tell everyone there that, really, Cheshire was the best place to be.


Posted by: zephyr (vescoiya)
Posted at: September 4th, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC)

Or four preachers recruited from Lancashire?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 4th, 2008 01:24 pm (UTC)

That would be boring...

Posted by: the cross compiler (crouchinglynx)
Posted at: September 4th, 2008 01:39 pm (UTC)

- "Will heaven be like Lancashire, Edward?"

- "Yes, Tubbs. Only... bigger."

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 4th, 2008 01:40 pm (UTC)

That explains everything!

Posted by: wellinghall (wellinghall)
Posted at: September 4th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)

Was any / all of Lancashire in the diocese of Chester at the time?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 4th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)

I think that most or all of it was, which is another prosaic explanation.

eta: Looks like all of Lancashire was in the diocese - there's a map of the 1541 boundaries (which endured into the nineteenth century) here.

Edited at 2008-09-04 04:02 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Elaine of Astolat (ladyofastolat)
Posted at: September 4th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)

Ooh, definitely people who are employed to convert the heathen masses to the joys of Lancashire. "Oh ye, who languish in lesser counties, harken to me and see the light. Let those in Cornwall, in Kent, in Devon... yay, even those of you who reside in Rutland: turn ye now to the joys of Lancashire. For it is a place of white, crumbly cheese! It is a place where every rose is red! Lay aside your hard cheese, your green cheese, your cheese with holes. Step out from the shadow of your wimpy pink roses. Throw aside the shackles of Bedfordshire and the chains of Essex. Let the joy of Lancashire into your heart, and be saved from everlasting Basingstoke.."

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 4th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)

I knew that you would have a deep understanding of these matters. :)

Posted by: wellinghall (wellinghall)
Posted at: September 4th, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC)

I like it :-)

Posted by: malaheed (malaheed)
Posted at: September 4th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)

It was quite common in the reformed and other non-catholic churchs in the late part of the 1600s to support specialised preachers who would go around the the different parishes.

IIRC the United Provinces was especially hot for that and 1689 is just after the last succesful military invastion by Billy Orange who was fairly hot for such stuff. His coronation had been in April 1689 and he got to power because of a deep concern amongst the powerful (and beyond them as well) that there was danger of catholic revival.

Not to mention you still had some quite strong areas of disent, though a lot of those were moving across the Atlantic, it was probably a good investment for the bishop to ensure that he had 4 professional preachers to go around and make sure that the correct things were being said. In the Kirk and else where during the reformation and counter reformation, the non-catholics especially seemed to go into preaching in a big way, and there were regular circuits that they would follow. Some of the sermons would go on for multiple hours and were on occasions quite intense and detailed theological discusisons, way beyond what most christians would expect to deal with in church these days.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 4th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)

This document was a summary of one compiled early in 1689 for the new regime, explaining to William III, his ministers and parliament exactly what the English Crown's outgoings were. The areas I was most interested in were the areas of the pensions list devoted to payments to peers and widows of peers. Most of the largest pensions were being paid either to illegitimate sons of Charles II (who had died four years earlier), noblemen who had married illegitimate daughters of Charles II, or in-laws of James II by his first marriage.

Lancashire would attract specialist preachers of the sort you describe because it had a substantial Catholic minority; the Bishop of Chester would have been keen to ensure this payment was kept up during the reign of the Catholic James II.