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Politics and the Paul's Cross Sermons, 1558–1642$
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Mary Morrissey

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199571765

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571765.001.0001

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The Monarch and Paul's Cross: Preaching on Political Anniversaries

The Monarch and Paul's Cross: Preaching on Political Anniversaries

(p.130) 5 The Monarch and Paul's Cross: Preaching on Political Anniversaries
Politics and the Paul's Cross Sermons, 1558–1642

Mary Morrissey

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the sermons preached on political anniversaries, such as the anniversary of the monarch’s accession to the throne, the anniversaries of James I’s escape from the ‘Gowrie conspiracy’, and the Gunpowder Plot. Preachers found in the instructive genre of sermon an emphasis on exhortation, which they used to interpret these occasions as times when people should give thanks to God for the benefits of good government. This technique allowed preachers to address political subjects without confusing politics and divinity. The political anniversary sermons were neglected during Charles I’s reign, and the Accession Days of 1640 and 1642 show how far Charles and his bishops had lost an important instrument for communicating with the London public.

Keywords:   Accession Day, Gunpowder Plot, Gowrie conspiracy, exhortation, politics

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