Patterson’s History of the Church of England

Dioceses Under Henry IIIM.W. Patterson’s book A History of the Church of England is now a available for free download in PDF. It covers English Church history from the arrival of the first missionaries up to the Victorian era (when the book was written). The book became public domain last year.

M.W. Patterson [1873-1944], A History of the Church of England. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1929. Hbk. pp.457. Click to download.

Contents

  1. The Church in Britain Before the Anglo-Saxon Conquest
  2. The Anglo-Saxon Conquest and the Roman Mission
  3. The Work of the Scotch Missionaries Till the Synod Of Whitley, 664
  4. Wilfrid and Theodore: The Organisation of the Church
  5. The Church to the Norman Conquest – The Coming of the Danes – Alfred and His Successors
  6. The Church Under the Norman Kings
  7. The Conflict of Church and State – Henry II. and Thomas Becket
  8. The Church and The Great Charter
  9. The Church in the Thirteenth Century
  10. The Church and the Wycliffite Movement
  11. The Church at the Close of the Middle Ages
  12. The New Learning and the Early Years of Henry VIII.
  13. The Reformation Under Henry VIII.
  14. The Reign of Edward VI. and the Growth of Protestant Influences
  15. The Marian Reaction and the Elizabethan Settlement
  16. The Church Under Elizabeth – Puritanism and Romanism
  17. The Church Under the Early Stewarts – The Laudian Regime
  18. The Long Parliament and the Puritan Revolt
  19. The Restoration and the Revolution
  20. The Church from 1714-1833 – Rationalism and the Evangelical Revival
  21. The Oxford Movement and the Victorian Era

Principal Dates

Appendices

  1. Bishoprics On Eve of Norman Conquest
  2. Doctrine Concerning Sacrament of Holy Communion
  3. Synopsis of Reformation Parliament
  4. Sacrificial Aspect of Holy Communion
  5. The Ornaments Rubric
  6. Anglican Orders
  7. Lists of Popes, Archbishops, Kings

Index

Maps

Map of Dioceses Old and New Under Henry VIII
Map of Dioceses in 1909

Review: Warrior of God. Jan Zizka and the Hussite Revolution

Victor Verney, Warrior of God. Jan Zizka and the Hussite Revolution. London: Frontline Books, 2009. Hbk. ISBN: 978-1-84832-516-6. pp.240.

When I was first offered a review copy of this book I was somewhat surprised, because the publisher specialises in military rather than religious history. Having read the book I would have to say that it would be a great shame if this meant that those interested in medieval and reformation history overlooked it because of its publisher.

The book covers the life of Jan Zizka, a man instrumental in the survival and the success of the Hussite revolution in Bohemia following the martyrdom of Jan Hus. The introductory chapter places the story of the Hussites in the larger context of the political and religious turmoil of the 14th Century, while chapter one introduces Zizka and explains the significance of his military innovations. Zizka proved to be a genius at utilising whatever was at hand in warfare. At this time the significant role in battle was conducted by opposing knights. These engaged one another on horseback as they saw fit and the peasant infantry served mainly to be mowed down by the cavalry.

Faced with a situation where his forces consisted almost entirely of peasant infantry Zizka equipped them by converting their wagons into mobile fortresses and (literally) turned their pruning hooks into swords and a variety of vicious clubs and other weapons. Faced with Zizka’s battle wagons drawn up in formation strategically utilising the terrain, cavalry charges proved useless and knights were forced to dismount and attack on more equal terms with their opponents. In such circumstances the knights were invariably routed.

Chapter 2 describes the career of Jan Hus and includes this significant passage which is worth quoting in full:

Before being burned at the stake, Hus declared ‘You are now going to burn a goose [the meaning of his surname] , but in a century you will have a swan which you can neither roast or boil.’ Copies of Wyclif’s writings were used to kindle the fire. One hundred and two years later, Luther posted his theses, and today the swan is a symbol of many Lutheran churches. The seeming prescience of Hus’s remark, served to heighten his saintly stature with subsequent generations of Bohemians, and Protestant iconography commonly connects Wyclif, Hus, and Luther. Has Hus lived longer,he would have presided over difficult times for his followers, and his memory might be less revered. Some feel that Hus left the historical stage at the proper time and in the proper manner to ensure everlasting fame respect. A living Hus would have been a valuable voice for the movement, but the dead Hus embodied a spirit of pride and resistance, inspiring the Hussites and steeling them for the coming doctrinal a military assault upon their beliefs. [p.36]

These military assaults came from without, in the form of the five anti-Hussite Crusades, and from within as divisions in the Hussite cause led to discord and civil war. The brutality of these wars – on all sides – was incredible and one has to remind oneself that the Hussites were literally fighting for their lives as their “heresy” was a capital offence. Through Zizka’s leadership the Hussite armies finally subjugated almost all of of Bohemia and after his death invaded Moravia and Austria.

Victor Verney does a splendid job of translating the incredible complex events of this period into an engaging account that is a delight to read. He describes the origins of the various Hussites sects, the Orebites (Orphans), Taborites, Pichards, Adamites, etc. in such as way that one is able to understand clearly the historical and religious context of each.

Towards the end of his book Verney sums up the significance of the Hussite revolution in these words, which again are worth quoting in full:

Continual Hussite victories also sowed widespread religious doubt, ultimately more subversive to Rome than their military incursions. Many could not understand why, if they were fighting for God as the Pope, the Emperor, and their nobles and clerics kept assuring them, they kept losing. If the Hussites were indeed sacriligious heretics, why was God permitting them to enjoy such success? These widespread misgivings about the Vatican’s omnipotence and righteousness prepared Central Europe for Martin Luther a century later. The Hussites, particularly Tabor, exploited this by distributing thousands of pamphlets throughout Western Europe, explaining themselves and making their case – a remarkable exercise in mass media four decades before Gutenberg’s printing press. [p,222]

In summary, I would like to highly commend this book to anyone interested in medieval and reformation history and hope that it becomes required reading on all courses dealing with these subjects.