Dr. Martyn Bennett is Reader in History and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies for the College of Communications, Culture and Education, Nottingham Trent University. His publications include The English Civil War: A Historical Companion (2004); The Civil Wars Experienced (2000); The Civil Wars of Britain and Ireland 1637-1651 (1997); and A Nottinghamshire Village in War and Peace: The Accounts of the Constables of Upton 1640-1666 (1995).2005 0-7734-6045-4
Early Modern Nottinghamshire was a vibrant county, and within its borders men and women were at the heart of the nation’s culture, religion and politics. Nottinghamshire people created credit networks to support each other’s economic activity and protested at non-parliamentary taxation in the 1630s. While some of the county’s ministers discussed the nature of the Church of England at the beginning of the seventeenth century, a few decades later county men and women took advantage of the fall of the Church in the mid-seventeenth century, building upon the traditions of their fellow countrymen and women who had left the county for the United Provinces and America earlier in the century. Nottinghamshire’s aristocracy and gentry were at the centre of the nation’s cultural world, as authors and playwrights themselves and as spectators and consumers of the written and performed works of some of the greatest names in English literature. The county had its darker side, too, with the courts dealing with cases of theft, slander and infanticide. There were others, too, men and women who practised healing and divinations, leaving themselves open to accusations of witchcraft. The essays in this book deal with the wide range of Nottinghamshire people who contributed to the history and culture of this very central Midlands county.