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date: 18 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines Marvell’s relationship to, and representations of, the nonconformist convictions and practices that refused to comply with the 1662 Act of Uniformity and the ensuing penal religious legislation by which the restored regime sought to re-establish the episcopal Church of England and to outlaw dissent from it. It establishes the Puritan and nonconformist character of his native Hull, his sympathy for nonconformists and corresponding dismay at their persecution, and that he was a key figure in a series of interrelated nonconformist and oppositional networks that worked politically for a greater degree of toleration. In his published works, however, he avoided overt nonconformist partisanship to argue for a moderate, reasonable, and liberal middle way that could accommodate the widest possible range of opinion.

Keywords: Baxterianism, epistolary networks, Hull, nonconformity, Philip Lord Wharton, Restoration, Sir Edward Harley, Sir Philip Harcourt

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