This analysis of matrimonial ligation from northwest England both challenges the assumption that shifting theology during the Reformation created a revolution in early modern marriage and underscores the importance of regional cultural variety. Just as customary matrimonial practices survived the Reformation on the Continent, so, too, did they survive in northwest England. Matrimonial contract suits suggest that the exchange of present-tense matrimonial consent signified valid marriage, despite the church’s emphasis on a public ceremony of solemnization.
This article reexamines Léonard Limosin’s painted enamel The Triumph of the Eucharist and of the Catholic Faith (executed between 1561 and 1563) in the light of recent scholarship on the French religious wars and the social and political uses of the Eucharist. It argues that the enamel expresses the Guise family’s frustration with Catherine de’Medici’s accommodation of the Calvinists on the eve of the religious wars and exalts the family’s defense of the body politic through its defense of the faith and the Eucharist.
Splendid public celebrations projected the grandeur of rulers’ authority to the general public, which served to enhance ideas of cosmic order and transcendental hierarchy to uphold rulers’ power, particularly in times of social unrest. Spanish Naples presents an ideal case study for an investigation of a festive culture flourishing in the midst of a conflictive society. This study explores the interaction of factors which defined the viceregal court’s festive culture: Spanish foreign rule, the viceroys’ relative political fragility, and the city’s social imbalances.
In 1517 Charles promised to reform the Spanish bureaucracy, but instead of implementing appointment standards and auditing mechanisms he imposed a new tax on his clerical subjects and the nobility. Causing the comunero civil war (1520–21), Charles compromised his credit with bankers because they were not able to collect Spanish municipal contributions. In 1522, Charles restored order and his finances by supporting municipal autonomy, which included the privilege of self-taxation, and by addressing grievances regarding the reform of institutions.
Recent pioneering work has rightly restored the reputation of James VI and I from “Whig” accusations of incompetence. Some historians regard King James’s religious policies as particularly successful. Others now argue that while James’s policies worked well in England, they were a disaster in Scotland, where a set of reforms known as the Five Articles of Perth polarized religious opinion. This article asserts that James’s personal determination to impose the Articles generated a crisis in one of Scotland’s most politically sensitive communities—the capital, Edinburgh.