By J. Sears McGee
D'Ewes left the main huge archive of private papers of any one in early glossy Europe. His lifestyles and suggestion ahead of the lengthy Parliament are rigorously analyzed, in order that the brain of 1 of the Parliamentarian rivals of King Charles I's guidelines may be understood extra absolutely than that of the other Member of Parliament. even if conservative in social and political phrases, D'Ewes's Puritanism avoided him from becoming a member of his Royalist more youthful brother Richard in the course of the civil conflict that begun in 1642. D'Ewes accumulated one of many biggest inner most libraries of books and manuscripts in England in his period and used them to pursue old and antiquarian study. He information of nationwide and overseas occasions voraciously and conveyed his evaluations of them to his associates in lots of enormous quantities of letters. McGee's biography is the 1st thorough exploration of the existence and ideas of this amazing observer, delivering clean perception into this pivotal time in ecu history.
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Extra info for An Industrious Mind: The Worlds of Sir Simonds D'Ewes
28 D’Ewes not only perfectly exemplifies this effect, but also allows us to see how it grew over time in the mind of a particular individual in intellectual and experiential terms. This study of Simonds D’Ewes contributes to the exploration of lay religiosity in its highly politicized context in early Stuart England. D’Ewes inherited his commitment to what he called “true religion” (that is, high Calvinism) from his parents, and he built his own spirituality upon the foundation they had provided.
I was seeing people, events, ideas, and conflicts that I had read and taught and written about for more than thirty years through an entirely new and distinctive lens. Second, D’Ewes was a man with wide interests and many friends who spent much of his time in or near London. The fact that he clearly had many devoted kinfolk and friends mitigates his reputation as a disagreeable, arrogant prig. He held no public office before 1639. Had he been 7 8 Introduction: “An industrious mind” a hermit uninterested and uninvolved in the world around him, there would be little reason to write his biography, regardless of the quantity of his papers.
He read widely and deeply in the history of Christianity, especially in Britain, and placed his thinking about the religious and political discord that dominated his own fraught times in a contested but plausible wider context, one shared by many of his contemporaries and fellow members of the Long Parliament. He was every inch a Puritan, and although we have many studies of Puritan preachers, the sources for writing about lay Puritans are minuscule compared with the thousands of published sermons and theological and devotional treatises produced by churchmen.
An Industrious Mind: The Worlds of Sir Simonds D'Ewes by J. Sears McGee