Marprelate controversy

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Marprelate controversy

(mär`prĕl'ĭt), a 16th-century English religious argument. Martin Marprelate was the pseudonym under which appeared several Puritan pamphlets (1588–89) satirizing the authoritarianism of the Church of England under Archbishop John Whitgift. The church replied in kind, but silenced the pamphleteer only after a reaction against him by the more conservative Puritans and after the use of police powers by Whitgift. A flood of both Martinist and anti-Martinist literature followed, to which Thomas Nashe, John Lyly, and Richard Harvey are supposed to have contributed. The true identity of Martin Marprelate has never been determined, but John PenryPenry, John,
1559–93, British Puritan author, an instigator of the Marprelate controversy, b. Wales, grad. Cambridge and Oxford. While at college he became an ardent Puritan.
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 may have been the chief author.


See The Marprelate Tracts (ed. by W. Pierce, 1911, repr. 1967); E. Arber, An Introductory Sketch to the Martin Marprelate Controversy, 1558–1590 (1895, repr. 1967); D. J. McGinn, John Penry and the Marprelate Controversy (1966).

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References in periodicals archive ?
After all, the 1588 proclamation prohibiting the Marprelate tracts denounces them in precisely these terms, condemning their authors for writing in a "railing sort and beyond the bounds of all good humanity." (2) Bishop Thomas Cooper's Admonition to the People of England (1589), the first government sponsored tract to answer the challenge posed by the Marprelate authors, employs similar vocabulary.
See Theses Martinianae, tract 5, in The Martin Marprelate Tracts: A Modernized and Annotated Edition, ed.
As the investigation in Chapter 3 of the Puritan and anti-Puritan writing shows, the Marprelate tracts appropriate the clowning misrule figure to construct their own carnivalesque satiric vision of the ecclesiastical status quo.
Black then focuses on style in an essay that convincingly suggests that while there are no clear surviving examples of anti-Martinist drama, the stylistic and rhetorical conventions of the polemical Marprelate tracts (and satirical responses to them) had a significant impact on drama from the 1590s well into the seventeenth century.
Sharpe highlights familiar moments of public debate and unrest: the print campaign that supported the break from Rome, the Pilgrimage of Grace, resistance theory smuggled in from abroad during Mary's reign, controversy over Elizabeth's marriage negotiations, and the Marprelate tracts. Playwrights and poets also developed sophisticated means of fragmentation and topicality that allowed them to deliver courtly news to audiences trained to decode political content.
From an examination of the Martin Marprelate tracts -- or rather, the anti-Marprelate tracts they inspired -- Poole describes the way in which the already ribald prose of the Martin authors was heightened and subverted by opponents, who "atrack[ed] the puritan 'Hipocrites"' by mocking them on their own rhetorical and stylistic turf, and by "'imitating...that merry man Rablays"' (26).
He re-examines puritan and anti-Puritan polemics, both in the bitingly satirical Martin Marprelate tracts and the reposts which they elicited in like kind, and in the attacks on the stage written by Philip Stubbes, Stephen Gosson and their ilk, which found appropriate response in those classic caricatures of `the godly' on stage, Zeal-of-the-Land Busy in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair and Angelo in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure.
In contrast the essays by Patrick Collinson (a rather 'blokish' piece which still bears the marks of its oral delivery, on the Martin Marprelate tracts), Jenny Wormald (a robust defence of James I's political shrewdness and relatively liberal values which were hopelessly misread by those in the paranoid Tudor state over the border), Jim Sharpe (on the frequency of rebellion, sedition, and the articulate sense of being excluded among many of the lower classes, in the 1590s), Richard McCoy (on the poetry of Francis Davidson, whose poetry, according to McCoy, 'exposes the tensions and resentments behind the smooth facade of the cult of Elizabeth), and Guy himself (on the sharp move to the right in the ecclesiastical establishment), all support the dramatic thesis of the collection.
Chapter 2 turns to the Marprelate tracts, anti-episcopal polemic whose surreptitious printing on a private press within England coincided with that of Bright's patriotic Abridgement of 1589.
The Paul's Cross sermon of 1588 was preached in retaliation to the publication of the Marprelate Tracts. The sermon was published in 1588 but the comments from Reynolds to Knollys may have come from the 1634 re-issue; Bancroft, A Sermon Preached at Pavls Crosse (London, 1634).
Most of her subjects are far more weighty: John Stubbs's The Discovery of a Gaping Gulf, the Marprelate Tracts; Catholic propaganda.
Benger, 'The Authority of Writer and Text in radical protestant literature 1540 to 1593 with particular reference to the Marprelate Tracts' (Oxford University D.Phil.