Abstract and Keywords
Next to ordination itself, nothing shaped Donne's clerical career more than his status as chaplain-in-ordinary to Kings James I and Charles I. This article focusses on John Donne and court chaplaincy. Next to ordination itself, nothing shaped Donne's clerical career more than his status as chaplain-in-ordinary to Kings James I and Charles I. Ordination and royal chaplaincy were, uniquely in the period, coeval for Donne, and the latter was the platform from which he emerged as a preacher of national status and fame. Donne's experience of royal chaplaincy, however, did not wait for ordination and appointment as chaplain to James I in 1615. Donne's intellectual and cultural nursery c.1592–4, the Inns of Court, was tied inextricably to the royal court at Whitehall, not least by well-worn paths of patronage and preferment. This article has focused primarily on the institutional structures of royal chaplaincy that not only defined Donne's service at court, but also shaped his very path to priesthood and early preferment.
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