The Issue of Obedience in the Anglican Confessional Thought in the mid 1629s

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


Vesntik TSU. Philosophy. 2013

The Issue of Obedience in the Anglican Confessional Thought in the mid 1629s

About the authors:

Ekaterina V. Averyanova,
Cand. Philol. Sci., Cand. Cult. Sci., Professor of French Philology Department, Institute for Humanities, Tyumen State University

Gulnara I. Bayazitova, Cand. Sci. (Hist.), Associate Professor, Head of Department of Modern History and Global Politics, University of Tyumen;; ORCID: 0000-0003-2858-9518

Zhanna Y. Vasilieva,
Evgenia V. Isaeva,
Sergey V. Kondratiev,
Dr. Hist. Sci., Director of Institute for the Humanities, Tyumen State University

Tamara N. Kondratyeva,
Cand. Hist. Sci., Associate Professor, Department of Document Keeping and Document Management, Institute for the Humanities, Tyumen State University

Ekaterina V. Novokreshchennykh, Cand. Sci. (Philol.), Senior Lecturer, Department of English Language, University of Tyumen;; ORCID: 0000-0002-1000-3470

Irina V. Sokolovskaya,


The idea of obedience emerged full blown for the Anglican confessional
thought after the Reformation. This problem came under discussion again in 1620s, when
the royal power tried to collect non-legitimate in the eyes of many subjects forced loans.
In 1627 a number of noblemen refused to dip into their purse and were imprisoned.
It resulted in famous Five Knights’ case, parliament debates in 1628, which contributed
to the enactment of the Petition of Right. In late September 1626 Charles I sent a letter
to his bishops, demanding to appeal from their cathedrae to the parish with a request
to “help and support protection of the royalty” by their personal means. Coming into
political force leader of the Arminian church wing bishop of Bath and Wells William
Laud addressed an instruction to the clergy, which demanded to “remind subjects about
their debt of obedience”. The present paper studies four sermons: the first was called
Apostolic Obedience and was delivered by Robert Sibthorpe on the 22nd of February, 1627
in Northampton, the second, simply called in press The Sermon belonged to the king’s
chaplain, Dean of Canterbury Isaac Bargrave and was delivered before the king’ majesty
on the 27th of March, 1627. Two sermons under common name “Religion and Allegiance”
were preached before Charles I by the king’s chaplain Roger Maynwaring the one on
the 4th of July 1627 at the king’s palace at Oatlands Surrey, the other on the 29th of July
at Alderton Suffolk. To heighten an effect all sermons were published by order of his
majesty. The Anglican clergy was interested in the problem of obedience and promoted
it among the parish in interpretation acceptable before the royal power, namely as the
most impotent religious principle, lying in the ground of the stated order. The Anglican
Church considered the king to be the vicar of God on earth, thus disobedience to the
king was judged as rebellion to Christ Himself, i.e. an attempt to destroy a hierarchically
systemized community settled by Him. The sermons show that the Anglican clergy was
close to place obedience to the monarch higher than obedience to law or tradition. Some
of them believed that a mission to support the order gave the king a right to set and
collect monetary contributions from his subjects to his own discretion. Nonetheless,
the others regarded such claims as an intolerable attempt to broaden the limits of royal
prerogative and as aggression upon ancient liberties of subjects.


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