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Catholics during the English Revolution, 1642-1660: A Reassessment of Politics, Sequestration and Loyalty: Dr Eilish Gregory
July 13 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Prior to the war, Catholics were fined and prosecuted with sequestration, a penal law which forfeited the personal and real estates of landholding Catholics for recusancy, which could only be returned after the individual paid a compounding fine based on the value of the estates. The outbreak of the English Revolution in 1642 created significant political and social changes for its citizens, not least for English Catholics. New sequestration ordinances declared that the penalty was to be sanctioned against delinquents and recusants, which meant that Catholics now additionally faced sequestration for disloyalty to Parliament. This paper focuses on the compounding petitions submitted by gentry Catholics to the Committee for Compounding, as they reveal how Catholic petitioners adapted and exploited loopholes in the system when they sought to compound. Catholics who fought or assisted the Royalists during the English Revolution had to admit their guilt and demonstrate their loyalty and allegiance to Parliament before they could be discharged from their sequestration. This talk by Dr Eilish Gregory will reassess Catholics during the English Revolution through sequestration. This will help us understand how Catholics defined their loyalty to the state, which will help broaden our understanding of this turbulent period.
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Dr Eilish Gregory is Postdoctoral Research Associate of the Royal Historical Society, Sessional Lecturer in History at the University of Reading, and Associate Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University. She is a historian of early modern religion, politics and society, specialising in the impact of Catholic penal laws in seventeenth century Britain and inter-confessional networks between Catholics and Protestants. Dr Gregory examines how sequestration and Catholic petitioning networks extended across Britain and the Atlantic from the English Revolution in 1642 to the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745, and she is also interested in the role of Catherine of Braganza promoting a Catholic court culture in Restoration Britain. She has a BA (Hons) in History and an MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, both from the University of Kent, and she was awarded a PhD in History at University College London in 2017.
Since finishing her PhD, Dr Gregory has been awarded library fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C., Durham University, Marsh’s Library in Dublin, and she was awarded a library fellowship at the University of Aberdeen before the COVID-19 pandemic. Her publications include an article in Seventeenth Century Journal on the Catholic writer John Austin and his political essays written in 1650s England, a book chapter on Catherine of Braganza and her English Catholic household in Restoration England in Forgotten Queens in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Political Agency, Myth-Making and Patronage, edited by Estelle Paranque and Valerie Schutte (Routledge, 2018). Her monograph Catholics during the English Revolution, 1642-1660: Politics, Sequestration and Loyalty, was published by Boydell and Brewer Press in March 2021.
If you would like to learn more about Dr Gregory’s work, she has recently published a book which can be found by following the link below: