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James UssherTheology, History, and Politics in Early-Modern Ireland and England$
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Alan Ford

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199274444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199274444.001.0001

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‘No Man Can Serve Two Masters’: The Civil War and After

‘No Man Can Serve Two Masters’: The Civil War and After

(p.257) 11 ‘No Man Can Serve Two Masters’: The Civil War and After
James Ussher

Alan Ford (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The growing tensions between king and parliament gradually eliminated the middle ground upon which Ussher had sought to stand, leaving him with an uncomfortable choice between his friends in parliament and his loyalty to the King. After the King left London in January 1642, Ussher remained on, increasingly concerned at the extremism on both sides. This led to an outburst in one of his sermons at Covent Garden, when he complained at how the devil was working, sowing dissention on both sides. He refused to serve on in the Westminster Assembly and finally, in November 1641, he left London and moved to Oxford, ostensibly to pursue his studies, but in effect committing himself to the royal side in the civil war. There followed a difficult time for Ussher at the royal court in Oxford, as his loyalty was severely tested by a king determined to come to terms with the Irish ‘rebels’. In early 1645, he left Oxford and after wandering round England and Wales, eventually returned to London, where a suspicious parliament finally allowed him to take up a position in Lincoln's Inn as preacher. He preached there until 1655, the year before his death.

Keywords:   civil war, Westminster Assembly, Lincoln's Inn, Ussher's death

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