Skip over navigation

Publication date: 1st December 2000 by Colin Haydon

'The Mouth of Hell': Religious Discord at Brailes, Warwickshire, C.1660-c.1800

Colin Haydon explores religious intolerance and conflict in an English village. In recent years, many historians have explored the subject of religious intolerance, and particularly anti-Catholic sentiment, in early modern and modern England. The political allegiance of ‘Papists’ was suspect: was not their allegiance to the Pope – to ‘another prince’, as John Locke put it – rather than to the British crown? Their theology was decried. There was a deep popular fear of Catholics, buttressed by memories of the Marian burnings and the annual commemoration of the Gunpowder Plot. Moreover, in her acclaimed, if controversial, study Britons (1992), Linda Colley has argued that anti-Catholicism was a major force promoting the development of English nationalism, and, after the Union of 1707, for the creation of a British identity. Given the state’s rivalry and wars with Catholic France, patriotism and Protestantism were inseparable.