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Disciplinary History and Historical Culture. A Critique of the Histor: the Case of Early Modern England

Disciplinary History and Historical Culture. A Critique of the Histor: the Case of Early Modern England 

Woolf, Daniel

Cromohs, 2 (1997): 1-25

Abstract

One morning in 1611, a Lancashire cowherd found a number of old silver coins and, not knowing what they were took them home to his master, a man named William Blundell. The landlord of the manor of Little Crosby, near Liverpool, Blundell was a catholic gentleman whose family had long suffered from protestant persecution. Blundell was both a pious son of Rome and an enthusiastic, self-taught antiquary, and the coins had been found in a section of land he had recently turned into a clandestine cemetery for local catholics. He found many more coins himself, and then, believing them to be a divine reward for his family’s steadfastness in the face of puritan hostility, he divided his find into two. One half he consecrated to God, having a pyx and a chalice made of it; the other half he set about analyzing using a fertile imagination and such books as he had access to. His labors resulted in an engraved plate depicting some of the coins, printed copies of which were circulated locally, and in a short account of the coins (which were, it is now known, part of a Viking trove left by a receding army in the tenth century), and of the kings represented thereon, paying special attention to those Anglo-Saxon monarchs, such as Alfred, whom he saw — in stark contrast to all recent monarchs save Mary Tudor — as great respectors of the Church and loyal servants of Rome

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