The Republican discourse on religious liberty during the Exclusion Crisis

Gaby Mahlberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Much recent historiography assumes that republican calls for religious liberty in seventeenth-century England were limited to Protestant dissenters. Nevertheless there is evidence that some radical voices during the Civil War and Interregnum period were willing to extend this toleration even to ‘false religions’, including Catholicism, provided their members promised loyalty and allegiance to the government. Using the case study of the republican Henry Neville, this article will argue that toleration for Catholics was still an option during the Exclusion Crisis of the late seventeenth century despite new fears of a growth of ‘popery and arbitrary government’. Neville’s tolerationist approach, it will be shown, was driven by his Civil War and Interregnum experience, as well as by political pragmatism and very personal circumstances which shaped his attitude towards Catholics in his own country and abroad.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalHistory of European Ideas
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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