Date of Award

6-1953

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

English

Major Professor

John L. Lievsay

Committee Members

Alwin Thaler, Arthur Hurst Moser

Abstract

(From the Introduction)

The beheading of Charles I on the black-draped scaffold outside Whitehall on 30 January, 1649, horrified the monarchs of Europe, for on that planking by the palace banquet room had been taught the most sanguine of all lessons concerning the relative effectiveness of Divine Right and popular will. The dismal negotiations to end the eight years of the English Civil War had aroused the fears of the Continental princes, and Charles' execution confirmed them; this baneful tide of successful rebellion, refuted by theory and hedged by arms, against despotism must be halted at the Channel shore.

As the progress of the English Civil War made clearer its possibilities for European thrones, Continental scholars and theologians alike swelled the accompanying paper war with partisan work on the English question. Conspicuous among these writers were the Huguenot humanists, and their occasional enthusiasm for the Royal cause was motivated by something more than a Gallic admiration for the English king's bearing in adversity. The Edict of Nantes was a fiat easily to be swept away by a French king of more constricted view than Henry IV; moreover, St. Bartholomew's Day, the Isle of Rhe, and La Rochelle were recent reminders of the contingency. Therefore, the need to prove loyalty to the French crown was alone a stimulus sufficient to stir the Huguenot scholars to defend the foreign Church of England and monarch who was its head.

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