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An Essay in Sociology and Politics
W. P. M. Kennedy, M.A., Litt.D.
Trinity College, Dublin
Assistant Professor of Modern History and Special Lecturer in Federal
A. R. MOWBRAY & CO. LTD.
MILWAUKEE, U.S.A.: The Morehouse Publishing Co.
[All rights reserved.]
Printed in Great Britain
THIS book has two aims. First, it includes the available Visitation Articles and Injunctions from the death of Archbishop Parker in 1575 to the close of Elizabeth's reign, and thus completes, as far as possible, the work which Dr. W. H. Frere and I published several years ago. I cannot claim that we have exhausted the research in this field; but with the documents printed in the two succeeding volumes there will be available in a convenient form a considerable body of material which must help to throw more intimate light on Elizabethan history. Second, an attempt is made to gather up materials in these documents ranging from 1558 to 1603 and to build them into a chapter of this history. The limitations are very narrow and I am quite conscious that I have been able to give only a general view. However, I should like my critics and readers to remember that I have deliberately narrowed my canvas.
Needless to say, I have no controversial purposes to serve. I have tried to write as objectively as possible, and if I have written aught in apparent malice or let slip unwise words I can only ask forgiveness for the weakness of the flesh. I have had, however, a distinct angle of approach. The late Dr. J. N. Figgis, in looking through some of the documents, once suggested to me that if ever I had the opportunity to work them into a chapter of Elizabethan history the most valuable method would be along political and sociological lines. I have tried to follow such lines. In the picture which emerges it is possible to see a new sovereignty in action with its weapons of divine right and of cujus regio ejus religio. My first important interest, then, has been in the fact that these documents open up an important chapter in political absolutism. That the sphere should chance to be ecclesiastical is immaterial: indeed,