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The Devil’s BookCharles I, The Book of Sports and Puritanism in Tudor and Early Stuart England$
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Alistair Dougall

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780859898560

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780859898560.001.0001

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James I’s ‘dancing book’ and the politicisation of ‘Saint Sabbath’

James I’s ‘dancing book’ and the politicisation of ‘Saint Sabbath’

(p.66) 4 James I’s ‘dancing book’ and the politicisation of ‘Saint Sabbath’
The Devil’s Book

Alistair Dougall

Liverpool University Press

This chapter looks at the importance of puritan sabbatarianism in terms of the cultural divisions within Jacobean England. It analyses the reasons behind James I’s decision to enter the debate by publishing a royal declaration in favour of lawful recreations on Sundays. It shows how puritans were seeking to prohibit such recreations and that James’ Book of Sports was an attempt by the king to stop what he regarded as puritan encroachment upon royal authority. The chapter assesses popular and elite reactions to James’ Book of Sports in parishes, in Parliament and in literature as attitudes towards Sunday sports and festivities became increasingly polarised and as a serious cultural divide threatened the cohesion of early Stuart society.

Keywords:   Puritanism, Sabbatarianism, Book of Sports, James I, church attendance, recreations, disorder, Lancashire, Parliament, stage plays

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