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Ryrie, Alec (2019) 'Protestants.', in Early Modern Childhood: An Introduction. . Early Modern Themes.


Some pioneering works have looked at the role of Protestantism in certain exceptional categories of children, such as martyrs, those involved in cases of witchcraft or possession, or—a category which embraced almost all children at some point—those facing serious illness. Early modern Protestantism was a heartfelt religion, but also an unapologetically cerebral one. A Protestant commonplace that the home was a little church and the head of the household its minister. Children, and servants who were themselves often children as the modern world counts these things, were often the majority of such a church’s congregation. Protestant children at many points of the social ladder, both boys and girls, were raised in regular Bible-reading as a discipline. The very earliest English Protestant primer provided a text for a table-grace ‘to be sayd of chyldrene’. The inward piety of early modern Protestant children is, however, both the most important and the most unreachable of subjects.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Early Modern Childhood: An Introduction on 22 October 2019, available online:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:27 October 2021
Date of first online publication:22 October 2019
Date first made open access:03 November 2021

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