Talk:Directory for Public Worship
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Purchase of copies of Directory
"From churchwarden's accounts in the 1640s there is no evidence that copies of the Directory were ever bought, let alone used."
This is not actually true. In my research, I have found three direct references to the purchase of Directories in Lancashire (at Prescot, Burnley and Didsbury), as well as a number of indirect references. A short article that I have written exploring the fortunes of the Directory in Lancashire will (hopefully!) be published this summer (don't know when, though, as the editors of the volume are running hopelessly late!). When I have finished my current batch of marking, I shall return and add the modest benefits of my work, if nobody objects.
Also, the references included in the original were all irrelevant to the Directory (two being about the Book of Common Prayer, and one being a general narrative of the Reformation). I would suggest that these are removed, and more relevant references are inserted in their place. For now, however, I have restricted myself to updating the existing references, and introducing those of John Morrill's very important article on the subject, and another by Chris Durston. Alex (not logged in)
- The comment is from Judith Maltby's book p.60 but I am grateful for the corrections about churchwardens accounts. As to the references I think that you will find that Proctor and Frere and McCulloch both contain references to the directory (P&F 158-162 including a detailed description of the contents, as you may not know. McCulloch's book is more general but covers the period. I have removed it Roger Arguile 21st. June 2006
- PS I fear that the comments by Alex demonstrate that he has not read the referred-to books, at least not carefully. John Morrill's contributions are referred to in Maltby p.60 as above. As elswhere I would prefer if people had the courage to identify who they are and how they know what they know. I would commend both P&F and Maltby to those who have not read them. Roger Arguile (again)
- Hello again. I would do this by email, but you haven't left one. I have finally bothered to create an account for myself, so feel free to contact me by email, rather than clutter up this page. In answer to the PS, I am Dr Alex Craven, I got a PhD researching Lancashire in the 1650s last year, and my research included much about the Church. As I said above, I am waiting for a short article to be published by the Ecclesiastical History Society (it seems that I was wrong, and the volume can be expected summer 2007), which deals specifically with the Directory in Lancashire. I used the direct evidence of churchwardens accounts and the surviving minutes of the Presbyterian classes plus the indirect evidence of parish registers to chart how extensively the Directory was followed in Lancashire, and with what success. (I found that the Directory was introduced into a number of Lancashire parishes, as we might expect, but was tremendously unpopular).
- I have read Maltby, and found her book tremendously enjoyable, but obviously skewed largely towards the Prayer Book. Morrill's article is one of the most important works on the subject, so I felt that it should be referenced. His research has determined the thinking of most historians on this subject since - see, for instance, the work of Ronald Hutton in this area. I hadn't read P&F, but are there really only four pages of relevance? I have read MacCulloch - it is a set text for the Reformation course I teach at Manchester uni - so was aware of its content.
- Anyway, I believe that this is a collaborative affair, so I hope that I haven't come across in any way combatative - that was not my intention. I have now finished my marking, but I'm busy trying to finish some more drafts for publication. However, I'd be happy to help build up this page, but I don't want to seem like I'm treading on anybody's toes. Cheers, Alex--Alex Craven 18:21, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I've altered the section on the use of the Directory, to be a bit more reflective of the reality. I've also added two references to very useful books - Shaw's History of the Church, which has a detailed discussion of the history of the Westminster Assembley, the creation of the Directory, and its use in parishes, and the Manchester Presbyterian Classis minutes, edited by Shaw, which give a good indication of the extent to which the Directory was adopted. There are minutes for Presbyterian classes at Bury, and also in other parts of the country, all detailed by Shaw in the History. --Alex Craven 01:30, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
- Alex, this really adds colour to the topic. Did you get your paper published yet? --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 19:45, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
All of this is hugely helpful. I am glad that what started out as an amateur's contribution (mine) has now acquired some substantial contributions. Sorry if I was a bit brusque to anyone. Roger Arguile 16:02, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
I wrote a PhD thesis on London Presbyterianism (my supervisor was John Morrill) during the 1640s and 1650s (which will become a book in a few years) and found evidence of the purchase of the Directory in a number of London parishes. The statement that there is no evidence of the Directory's purchase is, I think, based on Morrill's random sampling of mainly Cheshire parishes in the 1960s and 70s. It certainly is not his current position. I don't have my notes to hand, but I will pull them out and get the citations. As a shameless plug - I have also just published an article on English Presbyterian religiousity in Durston and Maltby, Religion in Revolutionary England (Manchester 2007) which deals with many of these issues Elliot Vernon
Another point that occured to me when researching this issue (although impossible to prove) is that the Westminster Directory was produced in a relatively cheap format and would not have necessarily figured in Church Warden's accounts or vestry audits to the same degree as the more sumptuous editions of the Book of Common Prayer. The official Westminster Assembly edition of the Directory was 96 pages long and printed in a relatively cheap format, whereas the pre-Restoration BCPs of the 1630s were about 208 pages long. Further, the BCP lends itself to being expensively bound due to the set prayers and formulas - it needs to be in church, whereas the Directory (although it contains prayers and formulas) does not need to be in Church - it is a directory as to how a service should run, rather than being required for service. Elliot Vernon
Article name (currently 'Directory of Public Worship')
- The Presbyterian Reformed Church uses the Directory as part of its standards. They call it the "Westminster Directory of Public Worship." --S Roper 16:44, 8 August 2006 (UTC)