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Name: Elizabeth Crawley

PhD: History

Thesis Title: Popular religious violence in the English Reformation, 1509-1642


Thesis Description:

My thesis will study instances of popular religious violence during the English Reformation, and the responses to such instances of the government and the populace. This means that the aim of my research is not to discover the perpetrators of such popular violence but to understand why such instances took place at the times and the places in which they did, and the impact they had on the progression of reform. My research focus on violence also includes the study of the reactions in England to reports of popular religious violence abroad. This research therefore involves studying local religious climates, visual and material studies of the instruments of violence, and popular sentiments towards national religious policies, as well as religious minorities or non-conformists. 


Supervisors and Institution(s): 

Dr Jonathan Willis (University of Birmingham)

Professor Richard Cust  (University of Birmingham)




  • ‘Much ado about the Maypole’: Religion, Culture and violence in post-Reformation England', paper presented at Modern and Contemporary Forum, University of Birmingham, 25 July
  • ‘Much ado about the Maypole’: Religion, Culture and violence in post-Reformation England', paper presented at Reformation Studies Colloquium 2018, University of Essex, 30 August - 1 September
  • 'Protestant Identities and Anti-Catholicism Roundtable', spoke at and participated in at Anti-Catholicism in Europe and America 1520-1900, University of Newcastle, 11-13 September


Other Research Interests:

  • Iconoclasm in a political context, such as the defacing of representations of monarchs rather than religious figures 
  • Visual and material culture studies of early modern weaponry, and their social and cultural role, especially in their role as signifiers of masculinity
  • Early modern crime, specifically the study of violent interpersonal crime and how religion, gender, and the social order shaped it.


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