This is a study of the political and religious life and allegiances of Shrewsbury, from the time of the deposition of one king, Richard II, in 1399 to that of another, James II, in 1689. It is a story of many individuals advocating ideas, arguing for certain courses of action and sometimes scheming to achieve their desired ends.
The period starts with Shrewsbury’s local corporation struggling to achieve greater power in a period of Catholic hegemony with only rumblings of religious dissent in the form of the rise of Lollardy. It ends – a few charters later, after contact with the Council in the Marches, several royal visits, and a Civil War and subsequent retribution – with an enlarged municipal government, the Anglican church in the ascendancy and nonconformity being openly practised.
This detailed account makes much use of local archives, letters and diaries to show how Shrewsbury’s people were both affected by and, at times, helped to shape national developments. Above all it tells the story of the town’s inhabitants: its burgesses and bailiffs, clerks and mayors, preachers and clergy, gentry and ordinary folk.
Barbara Coulton first began her research in Shrewsbury’s archives in the 1980s, and in 1989 published A Shropshire Squire, a study of the life of Noel Hill, the first Lord Berwick, for whom the Shropshire mansion of Attingham was built. After moving to Lancaster she continued her Shropshire researches and publication of articles, as an honorary research fellow at Lancaster University. The present book is a summation of her findings on Shrewsbury.
Paperback | 196pages | 242 x 171 mm | 2010
6 colour and 30 b&w illustrations