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Stranger than Fiction in the Archives: The Controversial Death of William Cowbridge in 1538

Freeman, Thomas S and Royal, Susan (2015) 'Stranger than Fiction in the Archives: The Controversial Death of William Cowbridge in 1538.' British Catholic History, 32 (4). 451 - 472. ISSN 2055-7973

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Abstract

This essay considers the life, death, and afterlife of William Cowbridge, a religious eccentric executed for heresy in 1538. It explores the significance of his religious beliefs, which became the source of a heated controversy between the Protestant martyrologist John Foxe and the Catholic polemicist Nicholas Harpsfield. The case casts light on a range of issues, including the dynamic between Protestant and Catholic controversialists, the use of the label of ?madness? in argument, and the value of archival documentation alongside the use of oral sources in Reformation-era polemic. It also yields insight into Thomas Cromwell?s authority over the English Church during the late 1530s, and highlights his position among Henrician evangelicals as a source of influence and aid. Finally, it offers a critique about interpretations of early modern belief and the designation of the label ?Lollard?.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: John Foxe; Nicholas Harpsfield; William Cowbridge; Lollard; madness
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CD Diplomatics. Archives. Seals > CD921 Archives
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2015 15:08
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 11:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/14469

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