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A Swarm of ‘Locusts’

Pro/Persecution and Toleration of Catholic Priests in Utrecht, 1620–1672

Genji Yasuhira

Abstract

In the Protestant Dutch Republic, Catholic priests were represented as one of the deadliest “enemies” in view of both their confessional doctrines and political inclination. Under pressure from the Reformed Church, numerous anti-Catholic edicts were issued for the prosecution of priests streaming like a swarm of “locusts” to the Utrecht city, the stronghold for Reformed and Catholic Churches alike in the Northern Netherlands. In theory, the policy of the political authorities barred priests from their pastoral duties to Catholics living in the city. In practice, however, the Utrecht magistracy publicly recognised, and non-publicly connived at, the presence of priests. Political practices of pro/persecution and toleration served to manage and regulate the precarious environment of confessional coexistence. In defying persecution and seeking toleration, Catholic priests tactically and discursively mobilised their civic status based on their and/or their families’ close relationship with, and contribution to, the civic community of Utrecht.

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Pietro Delcorno

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Pietro Delcorno

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Neil Murphy

In a fresh examination of the French ceremonial entry, Neil Murphy considers the role these events played in the negotiation between urban elites and the Valois monarchy for rights and liberties. Moving away from the customary focus on the pageantry, this book focuses on how urban governments used these ceremonies to offer the ruler (or his representatives) petitions regarding their rights, liberties and customs. Drawing on extensive research, he shows that ceremonial entries lay at the heart of how the state functioned in later medieval and Renaissance France.