The civil wars after 1660. Public remembering in late Stuart England. By Matthew Neufeld. (Studies in Early Modern Cultural, Political and Social History, 17.) Pp. xiv + 286 incl. 5 figs. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2013. £60. 978 1 84383 815 9; 1476 9107by George Southcombe

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The civil wars after 1660. Public remembering in late Stuart England. By Matthew Neufeld. (Studies in Early Modern Cultural, Political and

Social History, 17.) Pp. xiv + 286 incl. 5 gs.

Woodbridge: Boydell, 2013. £60. 978 1 84383 815 9; 1476 9107

George Southcombe

The Journal of Ecclesiastical History / Volume 66 / Issue 02 / April 2015, pp 444 - 445

DOI: 10.1017/S0022046914002590, Published online: 17 April 2015

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How to cite this article:

George Southcombe (2015). The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 66, pp 444-445 doi:10.1017/S0022046914002590

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Downloaded from, IP address: on 10 May 2015 themselves weigh in with substantial pieces. Mandelbrote eruditely pursues the writings of the Henrys, father and son, and their legacy within the century after . Ledger-Lomas tackles what he calls the sustained and pragmatic engagement of Evangelical Nonconformists within the orientalising study of the Bible, also with a family focus, in this case on Joseph Conder and his sons. Phyllis Mack and David Wilson, noting that some recent work on early Methodist women preachers seems more interested in what the Bible ‘says’ about these women than about what these women said and believed about the Bible, tackle the latter question through the eyes of Mary Bosanquet Fletcher. Simon Mills examines the biblical studies of Nathaniel Lardner, Joseph Priestley and Thomas

Belsham. Ian Shaw’s consideration, over much the same period, of English High

Calvinists, presents a rather different picture. Looking at the nineteenth century, Timothy Larsen examines the perspectives of Elizabeth Fry, Mary

Carpenter and Catherine Booth. Simon Green, taking Seebohm Rowntree as his jumping-off point, examines the decline of popular Biblicism and the fate of

Protestant England in the first half of the twentieth century. Very conspicuously, however, this set of contributions is not limited to the field of English dissent:

Eryn White tackles attitudes and opinions within Welsh dissent in the century after , Andrew Holmes considers Irish Presbyterians and Samuel Davidson, and Colin Kidd and Valerie Wallace consider Scottish Presbyterian dissent in the

Age of Robertson Smith. So, the ten chapters have had a focus upon particular episodes or individuals within the span of three hundred years rather than made an attempt either to identify the predominating dissenting ‘biblical cultures’ of particular centuries or to delineate the specific emphases of individual denominations across the entire period. However, it is only by building on such case studies that such characterisations might be attempted, were anyone bold enough to do so.



The civil wars after . Public remembering in late Stuart England. By Matthew

Neufeld. (Studies in Early Modern Cultural, Political and Social History, .) Pp. xiv +  incl.  figs. Woodbridge: Boydell, . £.     ;  

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In  Charles II intended the Act of Indemnity and Oblivion ‘to bury all seeds of future discords and remembrance of the former as well in his own breast as in the breasts of his subjects’. Enforced amnesia is of course a paradox (to tell somebody not to remember something is to remind them of it), and bitter memories of the mid-seventeenth century could not be suppressed. It is the achievement of

Matthew Neufeld, in this his first book, to show how far the public memory of the civil wars in the Restoration was shaped in relation to the present. He emphasises the ways in which narratives concerning the causes, course and outcomes of the civil wars were used to legitimate the exclusive political and religious settlements of the Restoration, and, in particular, the proscription of what he calls the ‘puritan impulse’. The argument is made through three key chronological  JOURNAL OF ECCLES I A ST ICAL H I STORY chapters on historical writing from c.  to ,  to  and  to , and three chapters which make at times innovatory use of different kinds of source material (the petitions of injured servicemen and memoirs of veterans; the collections of Anglican sufferings made by JohnWalker; and sermons preached on  May). Neufeld’s case is strongly supported, and the reader is forcefully reminded of how interpretations of the role of Puritanism in the s and s were used to denigrate Restoration nonconformists and collapse distinctions between them. Thus John Nalson sought to remove ‘the Fig-leaves which these guilty sinners have so Artificially patched together’ and to demonstrate that it ‘was the very real Presbyterians, Independents, and other Sectaries, their

Associates, and no other, who were actually guilty of the whole Scene of this horrible Murder of the King’ (pp. –). Neufeld does at a number of points discuss the writings of those who did not accept this interpretation. The different approaches taken by Thomas Fairfax, John Rushworth and John Toland are among those examined. However, as Neufeld himself recognises, there is more to be said about ‘how the dominant narratives of puritan culpability and the providence of  were contested in sub-cultures of public and semi-public remembering’ (pp. –). In the satire A dialogue between the two horses, for example,

Charles I is represented as a ‘priest-ridden King turn’d desperate fighter / For the surplice, lawn sleeves, the cross, and the mitre, / Till at last on a scaffold he was left in the lurch / By knaves that cri’d up themselves for the Church’. Such words are a reminder that attempts to prescribe what should be remembered do not equate with what was remembered, and how startlingly different explanations of what had happened in the civil wars could be circulated in manuscript or muttered between friends in coffee houses and taverns. Listening further for those voices will allow us to understand why, for all of the power of the tory interpretation of the civil wars, the story of the late seventeenth century remains one of conflict.