IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 711: Vernacularity 1300-1550, III: Political Issues

Tuesday 10 July 2007, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Institute for Medieval & Early Modern Studies, University of Aberystwyth / University of Kent
Organisers:Elisabeth Salter, Institute for Medieval & Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) / Department of English Literature & Creative Writing, Aberystwyth University
Helen E. Wicker, Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Studies (MEMS), University of Kent
Moderator/Chair:Elisabeth Salter, Institute for Medieval & Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) / Department of English Literature & Creative Writing, Aberystwyth University
Paper 711-aSeditious Speech and Popular Opinion in England, c. 1440-1453
(Language: English)
Helen E. Wicker, Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Studies (MEMS), University of Kent
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Political Thought, Social History
Paper 711-bRioting and Reading: The English Bible and the 1549 Enclosure Riots
(Language: English)
Stewart J. Mottram, Department of English Literature & Creative Writing, Aberystwyth University
Index terms: Printing History, Rhetoric, Sermons and Preaching, Social History
Paper 711-cVernacularity and Dissent: Orthodoxy and Lollardy in a Fifteenth-Century Devotional Miscellany
(Language: English)
Amanda Moss, Department of English, Royal Holloway, University of London
Abstract

Mottram: Much was expected of the English Bible when printed and placed in parish churches in the late 1530s. It failed to deliver. In 1540, Cranmer could speak of scripture’s usefulness, not only as a means to faith, but as a manual for godly living. By 1549, he had conceded that England was full of hypocrites, who ‘with words approve’ the Bible message, but who in their ‘living clearly reject it’. With a focus on sermon-writing, this paper charts changing attitudes towards lay Bible reading in England, from the accession of Edward VI to the enclosure riots of Spring 1549.
Amanda Moss will review the combination of orthodox and Lollard-leaning texts in Westminster School MS 3, a fifteenth-century devotional miscellany, asking questions about the manuscript’s first readers and the nature of the piety that the compiler sought to promote.
Wicker’s paper treats the increase in prosecutions for seditious speech that occurred in the mid-fifteenth century, examining what they reveal about popular opinion and the status of the political expression of the common people. Mottram explores the connections between national identity and sixteenth century writers’ political interest in ancient place names.