By Christine Kinealy

ISBN-10: 0752496255

ISBN-13: 9780752496252

A concise, lucid and nuanced method of Ireland's complicated and interesting heritage.

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Additional resources for A New History of Ireland

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H anserd Knollys, a former Anglican clergyman who had been instrumental in fo rming a Calvinistic Baptist church, was particularly outspoken in his condemnation of General Baptists: ' notwithstanding all thi s profession of general redemption, they themselves are the servants of corruptions' he wro te in the 1640s. Knollys was also noted for his preaching 'with all fierceness' against th ose of whom he disapproved. An Arminian critique of Calvinism, albeit rather more moderate in tone, appeared in The Fountain of Free Grace Opened, a statement of General Baptist beliefs published in 1645.

Modelled on the work of the Elizabethan satirist 'Martin Marprelate', these tracts exposed the hypocrisy and high-living of churchmen- with their 'godly care for their own guts' an d love of 'delicate, toothsome tithes' - while powerfully making the case for religious toleration: it is from his home in Toleration Street that Martin takes his pop at Sir John Presbyter and Sir Simon Synod. Even when writing his last tract, The Baiting of the Great Bull of Bashan, from the confines of the Tower, Overton's w it did not desert him, this writing containing some 30 Levellers graphic references to Levellers snapping at the pox-ridden genitals of their opponents.

While Anabaptist ideas probably reached England from the continent during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary, there is little evidence to suggest that they were adopted by native English people, and none to suggest that Anabaptist congregations existed in England during the last quarter of the sixteenth century. The last Anabaptist group of that century for which any records exist was disbanded in 1575, some of its congregation- all of whom were Dutch- being executed. Whatever their detractors may have said, the first English Baptists were inheritors, not of any Anabaptist tradition, but of the puritan and separatist movements within their native country.

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A New History of Ireland by Christine Kinealy


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