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Henry VI part 2

3.30 pm. Saturday 15th August, 2020.

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One thought on “Henry VI part 2

  1. From: Michael O’Callaghan
    Sent: 15 August 2020 21:14
    To: Zareer
    From Michael

    Well they are inspiring me to think harder. I fact I just have, and I came up with these replies:

    I) Re the murderers of Charles II’s dad, Charles I. Point taken and thank you for the correction. I was thinking of the 3 leaders who had the C2 did have their heads put up at Tyburn, but they were not executed for the purpose, they were already dead: John Bradshaw ,Henry Ireton and Oliver Cromwell. I left out the 9 regicides who were executed.
    II) That still seems quite moderate to me. The Indemnity and Oblivion act of 1660, letting off nearly everyone for nearly everything (but not regicide) still seems to be an amazing piece of statesmanship, similar to the arrangements made by the victorious allies after WW2, and with a similar effect.
    “ Historians …have generally praised the King and Clarendon for the generosity and clemency of the Act, in an age not normally noted for mercy.[4]
    It was so lenient that Disappointed Royalists commented that the Act meant “indemnity for [Charles’] enemies and oblivion for his friends” (I don’t deny Charles II clever statesman, just not a saint, despite secret Catholicism)
    III) Would Shakespeare have prospered in a Catholic England e.g. under a Mary? (If Shakespeare chose Catholicism, I would assume he knew what he was doing. Spanish & Italian Catholic Renaissance pretty fertile in all the arts/sciences, as was Mary’s brief reign: wonderful music from Tallis et al.) Well let’s see, how did Bruno do in the Catholic world? How did Galileo do? (Exact contemporary of Shakespeare). What actually happened was the Catholic world became intolerant in direct proportion to its proximity to control from Italy / Spain. Result – incredible culture in arts, science and the rest that bloomed in 1400s and early 1500s in Italy, snuffed out. Who are the really great scientists or artists of deep originality of Italy and Spain from 1560 onwards? Hard pressed to name the scientists, and level of originality in the arts drops. The Catholic world never recovered from the crime against humanity that was the torture of Galileo. The scientific action then moved into the protestant world. I think the reason is the permitted freedom of thought.
    (Exception in France – maybe semi-detached from Italy, with its own freedoms. There is also an exception in Austria in music). (British Catholicism distinctive & relaxed compared with southern Europe & might have remained so)

    What do you notice about these names:
    Newton
    Harvey (circulation of the blood)
    Gauss
    Leibnitz
    Euler
    Riemann
    Kant
    Darwin
    Maxwell
    Answer: After 1600 and not catholic. Absolutely crucial builders of the modern world.

    There are catholic exceptions: Mozart, Beethoven, Voltaire, Lavoisier, Cauchy, Bernini maybe, Descartes.

    IV) I don’t know but can only surmise that Bloody Mary’s (Calling her that unhistorical & sounds like Prot abuse to me. Mary far from bloody by standards of her time, & certainly not compared with Henry VIII or Elizabeth).catholic successors, influenced by the absolutists of Italy and Spain, would have been truly intolerant. The Catholics had a different motivation vs prods. The protestants might say their church is the same, with the same prayer books and literally the same buildings, simply minus interference from corrupt Italian princes. Catholics on the other hand would believe theirs is the one true faith, and so anything is permitted in the defence of God. Hence no limit on torture and brutality of every sort. They became religious fundamentalists.(A bit extreme?)

    Once England was 60% + protestant (not when Mary Tudor restored Catholicism, which was especially popular with the masses. That’s why Cecil so determined to bring down Mary Stuart), switching back to Catholic I suspect would have ignited a truly bloody civil war. We had Protestantism established, and behind it, its radical wing, puritanism. They would have fought, and in great numbers.
    V) As soon as Mary Tudor (going back to Catholicism) and James II (going back to Catholicism) had the chance, they, it seems to me, started to behave in intolerant ways.(James arguably no more absolutist than his brother, simply wanted religious toleration, no evidence aiming to turn England Catholic?)

    Yes J2 worked with both Catholics and Protestants. He introduced Catholics were none were previously permitted. But his direction of travel seemed to be to kick the protestants out. (Where? How? Wanted toleration for Prot nonconformists, Quakers etc, too)He perhaps didn’t get enough time to push his project further. Prof Lee (This Sceptred Isle) seems to suggest an element of sadism (not his word) in enjoying the execution of his enemies.
    His military successes appear to be most noticeable when he is under a boss. Once he is King, his most memorable military act appeared to be vacating the country for ever when William of Orange approached. (Arguably only because his own daughters had defected & his best captains like Churchill) (Ok he put down a rebellion).

    Because I believe a switch back to Catholicism would likely have ignited a massive civil war and would have introduced a new intolerance, I think Liz 1 and C2 stopped the country moving into years of pointless conflict. (Yes, in 1660-90. Not necessarily in 1560s. Mary Stuart pretty tolerant of Prots & married one. Catholic France survived its Wars of Religion & almost won struggle for supremacy with England)

    Z, thank you for the inspiring points. (And for the ones to come maybe).

    Like

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