Stuart Age Lancashire was frequently a time of turmoil. In Dr Anthony Hilton’s new book he gives a gripping account of this era. Events of national concern and those of fascinating local interest are woven together in a masterly narrative.  Below is a brief synopsis and details of how to purchase the book.

The Cockpit of Conscience: Society, Politics, and Religion in Stuart Lancashire, 1603-1714 takes up Thomas Fuller’s 1662 characterisation of Lancashire as divided between Protestants and Catholics, showing how, in a time of climate change and plague, religious and political divisions undermined the county’s status-conscious society, obsessed with religion, a tension manifested in outbreaks of witchcraft and demon-possession, and culminating in civil war. It considers how the abolition of monarchy and Protestant bishops resulted in the growth of radical Protestant sects, followed by the restoration of king and bishops, and then another revolution which led to the eventual rejection of communal religious violence.

‘… majestic, scholarly, vivid and eminently readable recreation of our region’s sectarian past.’ (Prof. Michael Mullett, The Catholic Voice of Lancaster)

‘This is a highly informative and well-referenced study of a key turning point in Northern religious history …’ (Mark Valentine, Northern Earth)

Dr Anthony Hilton is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and Editor Emeritus of North West Catholic History. His publications include Catholic Lancashire: From Reformation to Renewal, 1559-1991.

To buy a copy

The book is obtainable from J. A. Hilton, 282 Whelley, Wigan, Lancashire, WN2 1DA, for £18 including postage and packaging. Please make the cheque for £18 payable to Mr J. A. Hilton.

Alternatively it is also available from Books Cumbria website here