• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What does the Voices of Morebath tell us about the impact of religious change in the 16th Century?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What does the "Voices of Morebath" tell us about the impact of religious change in the 16th Century? In the Voices of Morebath Duffy explores the period 1530-1580 through the churchwardens accounts, minute books, journals and legacy of the remote Devon village of Morebath. The account is a rare source making it invaluable when studying the impact of religious reform as it is a first hand account. The book gives the reader a glimpse into the probable reaction of ordinary Devon citizens' attempts to confiscate church property. Duffy shows how the church property belonged to everyone in the parish having been purchased through generous contributions to the numerous well-supported parish guilds. The Voices of Morebath illustrates the extent of communal involvement in the small and precious rituals of the church year, drawing out enormous significance from the minutiae of tiny bequests and careful purchases. In 1529 one female parishioner leaves her silver wedding ring which is melted down to make a little silver shoe for the figure of St. ...read more.

Middle

The problem with Duffy's interpretation is that it has a tendency to describe the experience of Reformation in terms of triumph and tragedy, when there appears to also be so much that was mundane. His vision of the Reformation is seen as an assault upon a whole way of life, or as the author describes it in the preface, 'the most decisive revolution in English history.' This vision can certainly be inspirational, but it can also fail to take account of some of the complications of the process, and some of the obvious stability in parish religion despite the Reformation. It can also assign questionable representative importance to inanimate objects. The sources are all about material objects and their monetary value; the question of what those objects symbolized is interesting but not speculated into too much detail. When royal injunctions stripped the churches of their ornamentation, for Duffy this appears to be an assault upon the belief structures underlying the church decoration, yet we cannot be sure that the statues and vestments had this much symbolic value ...read more.

Conclusion

Rebellions cannot be reduced to single causes, as the author is keen to point out with reference to the traditionally more 'Protestant' disturbances in East Anglia. Duffy argues, the Protestantism of the East Anglian rebels may have been only superficial, adopted for political purposes and at the request of rebel leaders, then the same may be true of the Catholic loyalism of the western rebels. Duffy shows how gradually, after limited destruction under Henry VIII and massive destruction under Edward VI, restoration under Mary, and further destruction under Elizabeth, the Old Religion in Morebath gave way. Their parish priest stayed with them, no longer using the requiem vestments for which in his early days so much parish money had been saved and obediently adopting the new ways. He "eased them into a slow and settled conformity to the new order of things" Under Mary he probably had looked back on the Reformation as being "arrogant, destructive, and un-English, a disastrous rebellion against God and the faith of our fathers" but when it triumphed again he adapted to the change. He saw his duty as being to God and Morebath. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. Revision Table - Tudor Rebellions

    * Henry remains as head of church. Western (1549 Rebellions) * Edward, minor, been on throne for two years. * Somerset in control of Regency Council. * S, E and Cramner look for prot reform. * 1549 - first prayer book. Was ambiguous. * Drought + poor harvests lead to famine.

  2. How the Inca adapted and strived in their environment

    One of the greatest emperors was Pacacuti. He is known for creating a code of laws for the Inca to follow and standardizing the Incan calendar to be 12 months and 30 days.

  1. What was the impact of the Norman Conquest

    achieved this by awarding his loyal supporters, who had helped him defeat Harold II. When all the land in England belonged to William, he retained roughly one-fifth of his land for his own use and allocated the rest to his most loyal devotees (Barons or tenants-in-chief).

  2. The First English Civil War

    From the first Cromwell was the dominant influence. Fresh from Edgehill, he had told Hampden: "You must get men of a spirit that is likely to go as far as gentlemen will go", not "old decayed serving-men, tapsters and such kind of fellows to encounter gentlemen that have honour and courage and resolution in them".

  1. Asses the contribution of the Jesuits to the Catholic revival in the Sixteenth Century

    Using these acts as evidence, this would fully shed some light on the effects of having better clerical standards through education by the influenced by the Jesuits thus the revival of the Catholic faith. However, missionaries found it difficult to break down local folk's beliefs and superstitions and, in the

  2. WHY WERE THE WEAKNESSES OF THE EARLY 16TH CENTURY CHURCH SO DEEPLY RESENTED IN ...

    The majority of resentment felt in Germany was about the structure and organisation of the Church. The Papacy, wishing to maintain its power in the face of competition from Habsburg and Valois attempts to dominate Italy, needed a great deal of money.

  1. How effectively did the design and decoration of the Parthenon suit its function?

    This temple was created to better any that came before it. The standard hexastyle type temple that was the template for most Greek temple was not good enough for the Athenians as they wanted to express their supremacy in a physical feature to stand and out from the rest.

  2. Why was there a reformation in Germany in the 16th century?

    This was apart of the medieval economy and the spiritual power of the mass was valuable. Another major issue was powerful politics ? bishops were in competition with lords and kings for benefices, which when a bishop/lord/king died, it would not be passed down in their family as they tended not to have kids (celibacy)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work