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ReydeAmarillo

I once saw an old man who wouldn't say his prayers....

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ReydeAmarillo

A question to any 17th Century England historians that may be out there.

 

Can anyone please advise me what effect the Commonwealth had on the English church? I understand the Presbetarianism of the Puritans and that they despised the then Anglo -Catholic Church which had originated with Elizabeth 1. But other than power now being more localised in the Elders and not externally with the Bishops, and a less Papist litergy, did anything really change?

 

I am brainstorming a folklore/witchfinder campaign in the 1650's and given the preeminence of the church then, want to get my facts right.

 

Thank you all for any advice offered.

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JeffErwin

The episcopal hierarchy was suppressed and replaced by a presbytery aka "Classis" on the model of the Scottish Kirk. The prayer book (The Book of Common Prayer) was banned and replaced with the deeply unpopular "Directory for Public Worship" (which you may want to look into). All feasts and festivals were ended (including Christmas), as were funeral rites at a grave. Overall the whole character of the English church was changed.

 

Keep in mind that the "witchfinder general" title of Mathew Hopkins was self-assumed. Exorcism and supernatural belief was highly controversial among the Puritans.

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Taavi

You might want to check out Clockwork and Chivalry (and its spinoff, Clockwork and Cthulhu) for a d100 compatible Civil War setting, rather than writing one from scratch. It's rather good.

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ReydeAmarillo

The episcopal hierarchy was suppressed and replaced by a presbytery aka "Classis" on the model of the Scottish Kirk. The prayer book (The Book of Common Prayer) was banned and replaced with the deeply unpopular "Directory for Public Worship" (which you may want to look into). All feasts and festivals were ended (including Christmas), as were funeral rites at a grave. Overall the whole character of the English church was changed.

 

Keep in mind that the "witchfinder general" title of Mathew Hopkins was self-assumed. Exorcism and supernatural belief was highly controversial among the Puritans.

JeffErwin as always your insight into 17thC/18thC English history is appreciated. This summary background is just what I was looking for and definitely kick starts my further research. I grew up in a Congregrational type church and so have no problems understanding how to use that for CoC. But knowing how affected the Anglo-Catholic CoE was by the changes was eluding me.

 

I want to work my Investigators (very loosely) around historical characters from that period and location, and a more or less compliant CoE Reverend features.

 

I was aware that Matthew Hopkins was a self styled opportunist and the scepticism of TPTB finally won out. And a sceptic Puritan authority disbelieving a "superstitious ex papist" was always on my cards.

 

I have also been reading up on some of the obscure Puritan cults that sprung up around this time and I am sure some can be mined for scenario themes!

 

As always many thanks for your insight.

 

You might want to check out Clockwork and Chivalry (and its spinoff, Clockwork and Cthulhu) for a d100 compatible Civil War setting, rather than writing one from scratch. It's rather good.

Taavi many thanks for the steer. However my lack of funds means I'll be house ruling CoC and writing my own background this time. All good practice for my Google-fu!

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nclarke

A quick source that has nothing to do with CoC but does feature an interesting section concerning the various religious sects abounding at that time is England Upturned, a LotFP scenario written by Barry Blatt and published by James Raggi.

 

Barry covers Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Puritans, Seekers, Ranters, Muggletonions, Levellers, and Diggers, not in great depth but a brief description and some notes.

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ReydeAmarillo

A quick source that has nothing to do with CoC but does feature an interesting section concerning the various religious sects abounding at that time is England Upturned, a LotFP scenario written by Barry Blatt and published by James Raggi.

 

Barry covers Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Puritans, Seekers, Ranters, Muggletonions, Levellers, and Diggers, not in great depth but a brief description and some notes.

 

Nclarke those weird Puritan-ish cults are definitely fuel for my campaign. I have found a few online sites with some descriptions of their beliefs and practises. Playing on the tensions of a recently fraticidal Civil War, major changes to the majorities entire belief systems and a Parliament that was pretty oppressive in pushing through major social change. A few batshit crazy christian cults are just fuel to any fire.

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JeffErwin

Do not forget the Adamites: nudist anarchists who believed in free love! The Adamites were somewhat similar to the Elizabethan Family of Love.

 

I second Taavi's recommendation of Clockworth & Chivalry; I am very fond of the game and it depicts a lot of the oddness of the Civil War accurately. It does add steampunk, however, but 90% of the time it's irrelevant to the background information.

 

In general the sects have two main orientations: the tendency towards "movement by the holy spirit" and a rejection of rules (like the Society of Friends/Quakers, Adamites, Diggers, Ranters, etc.), often with an apocalyptic bent; and the harsh, patriarchal Calvinism of the more-holy than the CoE Separatists and their kind (think the Free Kirk). 

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ReydeAmarillo

I didn't know about the Adamites, but they sound promising for my campaign - many thanks JeffErwin.

 

I am planning a non Mythos wholly folklore/occult campaign set in the early 1650's not long after the wars end and as the Commonwealth is settling into power. I am setting it in a small corner of West Essex (where I grew up) and am gonna draw on the myriad folklore motifs in East Anglia as a whole. Several occultic threats will present themselves,including the major enemy a Pan worshipping nature/fertility "witchcraft" cult. However a good smattering of batshit crazy non-conformist sects provide both atmosphere and "red herrings".

 

I have substanially house ruled CoC,made up my own Character Sheet and completely changed the SAN mechanic and utility.

 

Early days yet but the ideas are flowing.

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ReydeAmarillo

Just finished my research and decided to base the campaign across the three Essex parishes of Harlow, Latton and the Parndons. As I already mentioned I want to be about 75% historical and expand upon the real setting and people of that time and place. My next plans are setting up historically realistic Occupations for the setting, mapping the 1650's layout and writing up a gazetteer for it. Then I can finally write my first scenario!

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JeffErwin

Just finished my research and decided to base the campaign across the three Essex parishes of Harlow, Latton and the Parndons. As I already mentioned I want to be about 75% historical and expand upon the real setting and people of that time and place. My next plans are setting up historically realistic Occupations for the setting, mapping the 1650's layout and writing up a gazetteer for it. Then I can finally write my first scenario!

One of my relations (a great-something-uncle), the Rev. Richard Napier, was involved in researching witchcraft allegations in the neighbourhood of Harlow in 1633-4 (at Little Laver). There's more on him here: he was a student of Simon Forman's and conducted both astrological and angel magic: http://www.magicandmedicine.hps.cam.ac.uk/on-astrological-medicine/about-the-astrologers/richard-napier

 

That area of Essex escaped the frenzy that possessed areas further east in terms of witchcraft accusations; there are only a few historical examples.

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ReydeAmarillo

One of my relations (a great-something-uncle), the Rev. Richard Napier, was involved in researching witchcraft allegations in the neighbourhood of Harlow in 1633-4 (at Little Laver). There's more on him here: he was a student of Simon Forman's and conducted both astrological and angel magic: http://www.magicandmedicine.hps.cam.ac.uk/on-astrological-medicine/about-the-astrologers/richard-napier

 

That area of Essex escaped the frenzy that possessed areas further east in terms of witchcraft accusations; there are only a few historical examples.

JeffErwin many thanks for the steer towards your great great great etc uncle. I will certainly do some research and maybe be able to use him as a patron or advisor in my campaign.

 

I was unsure about using witchcraft allegations in my game and I was aware that my region didn't suffer from them for the most part. But I took that to be a benefit. Let Hopkins carryout his bogus witchcraft persecutions to the north while the real thing is happening just outside his purview!

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JeffErwin

JeffErwin many thanks for the steer towards your great great great etc uncle. I will certainly do some research and maybe be able to use him as a patron or advisor in my campaign.

 

I was unsure about using witchcraft allegations in my game and I was aware that my region didn't suffer from them for the most part. But I took that to be a benefit. Let Hopkins carryout his bogus witchcraft persecutions to the north while the real thing is happening just outside his purview!

 

Well, Napier was dead by the time you're setting the story, but a journal or letter from him could be part of the adventure - since he's one of the only men to actually investigate witchcraft in the parish (and he was an intelligent, if eccentric, man).

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ReydeAmarillo

I have just had an opportunity to playtest my rules. Scenario was an investigation of the weird death of a fanatically puritan vicar. Found dead of blood loss in his own church with a trail of blood leading from the (rebuilt only ten years ago) pulpit. Oh and by the way, his feet and ankles were snapped off and embedded in the pulpit base! Lot of investigation and persuading the right (?) people to help uncover the legends and records surrounding this "cursed" church. All tied up with the original pagan worship site that this church was built over back in the 500's. The horror was a Cockatrice, but not directly involved in the vicars death (mostly anyway!!). Plenty of tense investigation while trying to keep the puritans ("this is all just papist superstition and heresy ") happy. And a finale under the church in pagan caverns and an encounter in the pitch black with a monster that turn you to stone if you see it. My Barber-Surgeon player decided to rather risk falling off a cliff in the dark than be turned to stone!! My new fear rules seemed to work as did the 1650's character creation and very different setting. All good!

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CultistfromKent

The episcopal hierarchy was suppressed and replaced by a presbytery aka "Classis" on the model of the Scottish Kirk. The prayer book (The Book of Common Prayer) was banned and replaced with the deeply unpopular "Directory for Public Worship" (which you may want to look into). All feasts and festivals were ended (including Christmas), as were funeral rites at a grave. Overall the whole character of the English church was changed.

 

Keep in mind that the "witchfinder general" title of Mathew Hopkins was self-assumed. Exorcism and supernatural belief was highly controversial among the Puritans.

 

Banning of Festivals also deeply unpopular, Shops would be forced to open by the law as 'Christmas' was just another day, then the locals would go and force them to close, sometimes this resulted in bloody skirmishes.

 

http://www.historytoday.com/chris-durston/puritan-war-christmas

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JeffErwin

Banning of Festivals also deeply unpopular, Shops would be forced to open by the law as 'Christmas' was just another day, then the locals would go and force them to close, sometimes this resulted in bloody skirmishes.

 

http://www.historytoday.com/chris-durston/puritan-war-christmas

 

Another thing to keep in mind is that servants and apprentices lost their holidays - their "holy days" - which were seen (as now) as a civil right

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