Constitutions ancient and modern
Bourgeois politicians, not least those in Britain and the US, make frankly risible claims about the constitutions of their respective countries. But, argues Mike Macnair in the first of two articles, Marxists are right to treat constitutions seriously
In 1997 the then Tory prime minister, John Major, infamously claimed that the Labour Party’s Scots and Welsh devolution, other constitutional reform proposals and European Union policy amounted to throwing away 1,000 years of history. As Labour pointed out relentlessly, the idea of the ‘thousand-year constitution’ would have made the continuity of the ‘British constitution’ go back to the times of the Anglo-Saxon king of England, Ethelred, nicknamed ‘the Unready’ (Aethelraed Unraed, or ‘Noble Advice, Bad Advice’), who was on the throne until 1016. The idea attracted media scorn, and ‘defence of the constitution’ completely failed as an electoral theme in 1997 - the Tories lost by a landslide.
But Major’s speech-writers had, in fact, taken the celebration of 1,000 years of British history from Tony Blair, in his 1996 speech:
Consider a thousand years of British history and what it tells us. The first parliament of the world; the industrial revolution ahead of its time; an empire, the largest the world has ever known, relinquished in peace; the invention of virtually every scientific device of the modern world; two world wars, in which our country was bled dry, in which two generations perished, but which in the defeat of the most evil force ever let loose by man showed the most sustained example of bravery in human history.
This is our nation, our characteristics - common sense, standing up for the underdog, fiercely independent.1
The Labour leader’s usage of the ‘thousand years’ was as much historical nonsense as Major’s. But the usage on both sides demonstrates the continued purchase of the idea that the strength of the British constitution is its antiquity - the ‘ancient constitution’.
This idea resurfaced in a more extreme form in the (eventually successful) opposition in 2004-05 to the abolition of the office of lord chancellor, proposed in Blair’s Constitutional Reform Bill; the chancellorship was claimed to be 1,400 years old (on the basis of the alleged existence of a chancellor of the Kingdom of Kent in 605 CE). As I previously showed, at that time the ‘constitutional role of the lord chancellor’ which advocates were defending actually dated at most to 1945 (and as far as Tory chancellors were concerned, to 1987).2 The other side of this coin was that the point of the Constitutional Reform Act was to partially Americanise the British constitution, by implementing increased ‘separation of powers’ - in order to comply (it was alleged) with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Britain is thus a country where the (largely spurious) claim to the antiquity of the constitution is claimed to be its strength; and ‘modernisation’ projects in the UK have for the last 60 years been to a considerable extent those of ‘Americanisation’. It is therefore surprising from ‘this side of the pond’ to find people claiming that the ground of the present dysfunctionality of the US constitution, and its potential crisis and overthrow, is its antiquity.
I had intended to write on this question in response to the exchange between Dan Lazare and Bradley Meyer in this paper in January-February in relation to the January 6 invasion of the Capitol,3 but work commitments and other writing tasks got in the way. However, reading Linda Colley’s book The gun, the ship and the pen: warfare, constitutions and the making of the modern world4 has brought it back up my agenda. For towards the end of a book one of whose main arguments is about the modernity of written constitutions as such. Colley writes:
It is arguable that one reason for the political dysfunctionality and hampering divisions that have characterised the USA in recent decades is that the iconic constitution that so many former men at arms laboured over in Philadelphia back in 1787 is, by this stage, simply too old and too limited, and in need therefore of sustained and expert amplification and revitalisation. Yet, without the external massive pressures of a major war, how are such alterations ever to be brought about and agreed upon? (p420).
This is part of an epilogue which in these final pages shifts to downplay, though not to abandon, the main themes of the book. But the main themes are also relevant; since Colley’s book is a work of Tory history,5 and the same is true in different ways of the historians who lay behind the work of political scientist Samuel P Huntington, on which comrade Lazare relied, and of JGA Pocock, on whom comrade Meyer relied. The issues are complicated, so this will be a two-part article: in this first article I will address Colley and Huntington; in the second, I will discuss comrade Meyer’s use of Pocock and move from there to a more positive argument.
The gun, the ship and the pen is a highly readable book - rhetorically highly effective. But the logic underlying this rhetoric is far from transparent. It is a grand-narrative history of the global spread of the idea of a written constitution between the 1750s and 1914 - with a postscript on the 20th century - constructed through a series of individual anecdotal episodes.
In the first chapter we move from the Corsican constitution, drafted by Pasquale Paoli in 1755, to the expansion and increased expense of ‘hybrid warfare’ (both navies and armies operating on a world scale), to Haiti and the monarchical constitution of Henri Christophe (1811). Chapter 2 begins with the Nakaz of Catherine the Great, empress of Russia, printed in 1767, with side references to the 1770 Laws and Constitutions of Sardinia and the Qing Qianlong emperor’s Comprehensive Treatises and to Voltaire, Rousseau and Montesquieu on the role of war; Prussian king Frederick the Great’s codification project; and the Swedish king Gustaf III’s 1772 Form of government; before concluding with Tom Paine in Britain and the veneration of the Magna Carta, (allegedly) starting during the Seven Years’ War (1756-63).
Chapter 3 takes us to Philadelphia and the drafting of the US constitution - but, although it starts with the secrecy of the convention’s proceedings, it moves more or less immediately into the rapid printing of the results - not just to the US reading public, but also very intentional circulation overseas (a practice applied also by the Venezuelan independence fighters in 1811, by the drafters of the Norwegian constitution in 1814, and by Mexicans in 1821 - whose ideas were circulated and picked up in Calcutta). The Cherokees in 1827 failed to obtain the same political authority from asserting their civilised character through printing a constitution.
Chapter 4 pursues the same decentring of the usual narrative, looking at events in France in the 1790s through the eyes of New York Federalist politician, Gouverneur Morris, before moving on to Napoleon and the impact of French conquests; the Cadiz draft constitution put out in 1812 by Spanish opponents of the French invaders, and its wider influence; and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as an “almost Burkean” critique of Napoleonic radicalism. Chapter 5 arrives, perhaps belatedly, at London - seen in the first place through Jeremy Bentham, then the role of exiles, including leaders of the Latin American independence movements; and finally major John Cartwright (1740-1824) as constitution-draftsman and as progenitor of Chartism.
The general pattern of the book - to decentre liberal and radical historical narratives of constitutionalism - should by now be clear enough. Chapter 6 - ‘Those not meant to win, those unwilling to lose’ - is largely about liberal constitutionalism, as linked to imperialism, racism and male supremacy. Chapter 7 - ‘The light, the dark and the long 1860s’ - begins with Tunisian constitutionalists and world travel before briefly discussing the American civil war and ending with the unsuccessful African-constitutionalist ideas of James Africanus Beale Horton (1835-83). Chapter 8 - ‘Break out’ - celebrates the Japanese Meiji restoration and the monarchical constitution of 1889, and the subsequent influence of the ‘Japanese model’ on opponents of European imperialism.
As I said, the argument of the book is not exactly transparent. There is a transparent surface level of the argument; then a non-transparent lower layer; along with that, certain ‘spin’ features; and, finally, unsupported and unexplained choices, which are necessary for the surface and lower-layer arguments to work.
The transparent surface level I have already half-referred to: it is the claim that the extension of written constitutions was attributable to the growth of the costs and mobilisation needs of war - in particular ‘hybrid war’, the combination of naval and land operations - leading in turn to the need for ideologies (not Colley’s terminology) of national unity, to mobilise consent to taxation, conscription, etc, from the lower orders; and that written constitutions, especially when publicised through print, played a prominent, though not exclusive, role in the process. The argument is completely explicit and repeated over and over again in the book.
I have referred to the non-transparent lower layer of this argument, which is the negative converse of the positive claim. This is that the growth of constitutionalism is not the result of internal revolutionary processes. This negative claim only becomes explicit at the very end of the book (I quote above Colley’s application of the point to the USA). This is non-transparent because to establish that there is a common phenomenon of the relation of constitutions to war does not in itself logically entail that there is not also a connection to revolutions. This claim would need more argument than Colley offers - and more attention to the ‘standard narrative’ cases than she is prepared to deliver, given her choice to foreground cases outside this ‘standard narrative’.
Alongside this subtext come a series of rhetorical operations, which yield indirect suggestion that Toryism is to be preferred. The spin in chapter 6 (and elsewhere throughout the book), in which liberalism is associated with imperialism, racism and sexism, is part of the same phenomenon. Tory anti-racism goes back to Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko (1688) - enslaved Africans, too, may be noble ‘lost princes’; Colley’s own Britons: forging the nation 1707-1837 (1992) among other aspects celebrated the Tory feminism of Hannah More (1745-1833), and Colley’s first book In defiance of oligarchy: the Tory Party 1714-1760 (1982) expresses in its content, as well as in its title, a view of Toryism as populist opposition to Whig (liberal) tyranny.
Colley foregrounds monarchical constitutions and codes in the choice of cases for discussion, and casually claims they were more stable than republican ones. Monarchs and army officers are “impressive”, and so on: thus, for example, Catherine the Great showed “a deep interest in Enlightenment ideas, a taste for language and writing, a Protestant upbringing, an appreciation of the need to respond to the shocks and trials of escalating levels of war …” (p68). On the other hand, radicals and republicans are either personally unpleasant (thus eg. Tom Paine is characterised by “allies quarrelled with and turned into enemies” (p93) his political ideas are “obsessions” (p94), and Jeremy Bentham is shown as self-important and “politically obsessed” (pp203-208)) or they are deluded and led by experience towards Burkean conservativism - thus eg. Gouverneur Morris (pp155-157), and Mary Shelley (pp195-196). This focus reflects the underlying Tory principle that human inequality is natural; so actual rulers are to some extent idolised, while the advocacy of egalitarian politics has to be either “folly” or “knavery” - to use the expressions used at the time of the foundation of the Tory Party in the 1670s-80s.
This emphasis on personal character also reflects the Tory idea of ‘government of men and not of laws’ already argued by Behn and others in the political crisis of 1678-82. The spin in this direction in The gun, the ship and the pen appears in the form of the repeated characterisation of written constitutions as “paperwork” (the usual negative tag for bureaucratic form-filling operations); at pp420-421, Colley says (in fact here rightly) that “in the early 21st century - as always - written constitutions by themselves do not and cannot guarantee either good government or the secure possession of basic rights”.
In the last three pages of the book, however, she rows back from this point by providing a couple of anecdotes of protestors relying on print copies of constitutions against police repression in South Africa in 1917 and Russia in 1919. This coda, as I already indicated, appears inconsistent with the main body of the book’s rhetoric. I can only guess that the reason is that ending the book with open Tory hostility to written constitutions, though it is commonplace in the UK, would have reduced its marketability in the USA and elsewhere.
This brings us finally to the choices necessary to the shape of the argument. The first of these is what counts as a ‘constitution’. The common modern usage of the term is a document codifying the general structure of a state order (and we can also talk about customary state regimes, like the British, as ‘constitutions’). The word, in this sense of foundational political order, came into use in English legal and political argument in the mid-1600s.6
Codes, however, are not all 'constitutions' in this modern sense. And Colley, in fact, at rather an early stage uses as examples of ‘constitutions’ introduced by absolute monarchs two civil code projects, which deal mainly with relationships between private actors, rather than with state structures: Catherine the Great’s Nakaz (pp72-81) is made up of instructions, on an ‘enlightened’ basis, to a commission for the revision of the Russian Ulozhenie law-code of 1649, with consultation arrangements built in to the drafting procedure; Frederick the Great’s Prussian codification project (pp82-83) is also a civil code.
This, in turn, poses issues of Colley’s choices in relation to chronology. The reason is that the idea of a code of laws as such is a great deal older than the 1750s. Medieval and early modern legal and political actors were familiar with both the late Roman emperor Justinian’s codification of 529-34 CE, and with the tablets of the law brought down by Moses in the Bible; the king of Castile in modern Spain had adopted a codification sometime in the 1250s-60s, the Siete Partidas, and it was in regular use at least in the Spanish colonies in the 1600s-1700s; and so on. The idea that the laws ought to be published in an accessible form was already ancient Greek and Roman;7 the printing press was a qualitative change, but one which radically facilitated application of an existing principle.
Equally, there are older terminologies for what is now called in English ‘the constitution’. Samuel Pufendorf’s pseudonymous 1667 De statu imperii Germanici is what would now be called a book about the German constitution. Sir Thomas Smith’s De re publica Anglorum: the maner of gouernement or policie of the realme of England, written in the 1560s and printed posthumously in 1583, is similarly about the English constitution. The Roman jurist, Ulpian, wrote some time around the 210s CE that “Public law is that which concerns the state of Roman affairs (status rei Romanae), while private law is concerned with the utility of individuals, for some matters are of public and others of private utility.”8 The Athenaion politeia, traditionally attributed to the philosopher Aristotle (384-22 BCE),9 is analogously about the political order of ancient Athens.
What, then, makes the 1750s an appropriate starting point for Colley’s account? We are not told. The answer, I think, is that the positive connection Colley makes between constitutions and what she calls ‘hybrid warfare’ - perhaps better, what has been called the ‘military revolution’ of the early modern period10 - is defensible with an earlier chronology, since the gunpowder-based transformation of war costs is at least two centuries earlier than the 1750s. But Colley’s converse, negative conclusion, ruling out revolution as explanatory of constitutionalism, ceases to be defensible as soon as the chronology is pushed back to fully include the Dutch and English revolutions of the late 16th and 17th centuries. In fact Dutch and English (custom-based, ‘ancient’) constitutionalism was a defensive response to the counteroffensive conducted by monarchies in the interests of the power of the clergy; not, in the first place, connected with tax mobilisation for ‘hybrid warfare’.
In fact, there is also a larger and more positive point made available by abandoning Colley’s chronological limits. This is that the term ‘constitution’ can already be used in the English Restoration period referring to a city or other corporation.11 Here, unlike the Dutch and English ‘ancient constitutions’, they were usually codified in summary documents, corporation charters or other instruments. This, practice, indeed, went back to the middle ages and to instruments like the c1160 constitutum legis and constitutum usus of Pisa.12 From this perspective, we might think of the idea of codifying the constitutions of nation-states not merely as influenced by the fashion for ‘institutional’ codifications of law in general, but as specifically making the nation-state more like a city.
Dan Lazare makes the US constitution ancient or ‘retro’ in its own time, by attributing to the founders an imitation of the English Tudor constitution. His authority for this view is a chapter in political scientist Samuel P Huntington’s 1968 book, Political order in changing societies.13
Comrade Lazare rightly disavows any support for Huntington’s political views; it should be added that Huntington is (as Davide Orsi has argued) mainly “interested in offering advice to the American political elite”, so that his work has an ephemeral or journalistic quality.14 Political order in changing societies is as much a piece of ephemera in the service of short-term US policy advice as is the more famous The clash of civilizations (1996).
Huntington is (without directly citing Weber) pretty explicitly Weberian. He begins with the claim that “Political modernization involves the rationalization of authority, the differentiation of structures, and the expansion of political participation” (p93). In these three elements ‘rationalized authority’ means a central, sovereign political authority, as opposed to custom and natural law theories; ‘differentiated structure’ means a standing army, an elaborated, departmentalised bureaucracy, and Weberian rationalisation of law, including the disappearance of judicial legislation; ‘the expansion of political participation’ means either elections or mass parties (or both). Within this framework, continental modernisation takes the form of centralisation through the absolutist, monarchical state bureaucracy, followed later by ‘democratic revolution’ to get mass participation; and English modernisation is that of centralisation round parliament. But
In America, in contrast, political institutions did not undergo revolutionary changes. Instead, the principal elements of the English 16th-century constitution were exported to the New World, took root there, and were given new life at precisely the time that they were being abandoned in the home country. They were essentially Tudor and hence significantly medieval in character (p96).
The main body of the chapter consists of consideration of the three elements, each supposed to show the differences between forms of modernisation and the ‘Tudor’ character of American political institutions.
The final section ‘cashes’ the argument: the US faces a contradiction in its relationships with ‘developing’ countries between the aspiration to ‘modernisation’, on the one hand, and the aspiration to US-style constitutionalism, on the other. The social basis of US-style constitutionalism, Huntington argues, is the absence of class in US society, allowing social modernisation without political modernisation; but class remains present in ‘developing’ countries and what is needed for modernisation is a strong, centralising government, preferably with some traditional element. Thus, for example, India can be ‘democratic’ because of the role of caste; Lebanon because of confessionalism.
This is transparent apologetics for the US’s alliance policies in the semi-colonial countries in the 1960s, of supporting various forms of ‘strongman’ government: ‘developmentalist’ military regimes in Latin America, the shah of Iran, Park Chung-Hee in South Korea, Nguyen Cao Ky in South Vietnam, and so on. I would say that it looks extraordinarily dated after the turn of the US to ‘human rights’ and corruptly controlled, constitutionalist regimes under the Carter administration and after - but for the fact that there has been something of a return of the so-called ‘realist’ 1960s policy in recent years.
For present purposes, however, the issue is whether Huntington’s claim that the ‘Puritans’ carried over ‘Tudor’ constitutional forms into the American colonies and that these survived unchanged into modern times is really defensible as a historical claim.
His Weberian ‘modernity’ schema is actually unhelpful in clarifying what it purports to explain - the relative success of different countries in ‘development’. But consider it for the moment in its own terms. The idea of the necessity of sovereignty is not an innovation in Jean Bodin (c1530-96), as Huntington argues (pp100-01), but a reinterpretation of claims about the nature of law and government made by the late Roman emperors and ‘theorised’ by Augustine of Hippo (354-430); the idea of sovereign legislation as a fundamental source of authority was already part of English legal ideas in the 1400s, in competition with ‘natural law’ and ‘custom’ ideas; and, on the other hand, ‘natural law’ and ‘custom’ ideas continued to be used in legal practice alongside sovereign legislation in England down to and including the late 18th century.15 Huntington’s claim that constituency-localism was replaced by representation of the nation as a whole after the 17th century revolution is entirely dependent on the arguments of Edmund Burke against his constituents voting him out (p107) and on developments in the 19th-20th centuries (p108), after the American revolution - and even these are overstated.
For the idea of the ‘differentiation of structures’ Huntington begins with the claim that the mixing of the judicial and legislative roles is medieval (p111). “In England, the supremacy of the law disappeared in the civil wars and with it disappeared the mixing of judicial and political functions” (p112) - a claim which would have surprised the defenders in 2004 of the lord chancellor’s office and the appellate jurisdiction of the House of Lords. The executive presidency is a constitutional monarchy (pp114-15); this is true enough, but was as true of British monarchs before Victoria, contrary to Huntington’s suggestions.
Huntington claims that “England … lagged behind the continent in developing military professionalism, and the United States lagged behind Great Britain.” This time, a simple untruth: England had a professional standing army from the time of the creation of the New Model Army in 1644, though much reduced in size after 1660; though the Continental Army was mostly disbanded in 1784, the USA did create a small regular army after the adoption of the constitution.16 Meanwhile, the idea of the militia remained important in British defence debates down to the recent past.17
The third category, ‘mass participation’, is equally wrong-headed, but I will not bother with detailed refutation.
What lies behind this is partly Huntington’s particular mid-1960s policy agenda (discussed above). It is partly his reliance on late 19th and early 20th century English historians, whose ideas were formed within the framework of the later 19th century ‘modernisation’ of the English state: ie. the increase in the relative power of unelected and central bodies in response to the expansion of the franchise.
Its third element, which is central to the US writers on British history Huntington used, like CH McIlwain, is the acceptance as true of the ideological claims of some on the ‘parliamentary’ side in the civil war (and perhaps some ‘Puritan’ settlers in New England), who claimed that they were defending the constitution as it had been under ‘Good Queen Bess’. But in doing so, these 17th century politicians conveniently forgot Elizabeth I’s arbitrary imprisonment of troublesome parliamentarians and others; her prerogative Court of High Commission, and with it the major role of bishops in governance under her regime (the very extensive jurisdiction of the church courts was not even matched in colonial Massachusetts18); her vigorous use of Star Chamber; her judges’ imprisonment of juries who found verdicts the wrong way; her continuation of her sister Mary’s censorship of the press through the Stationers’ Company’s printing monopoly; and so on. Regular meetings of an elected assembly are not part of the Elizabethan regime: they result from the revolution of 1688.
Thus, on the basis of English history, Bradley Meyer is entirely right to say that the US constitution was a transfer of Whig political ideas, not of Tudor ones. But do those Whig ideas also display “the antiquity of a state founded at the end of the 18th century - before the capitalist Industrial Revolution and unchanged in its foundations to this day”, as comrade Meyer argues? To this point I will return in a second article.
‘The Blair-Falconer reform of the judiciary’ Weekly Worker December 16 2004: weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/557/the-blair-falconer-reform-of-the-judiciary.↩︎
D Lazare, ‘Trump’s “march on Rome”’ Weekly Worker January 14 (weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1330/trumps-march-on-rome); B Meyer, ‘Old regime is cracking apart’, January 28 (weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1332/old-regime-is-cracking-apart); D Lazare, ‘The meaning of January 6’, February 4 (weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1333/the-meaning-of-january-6).↩︎
Profile Books 2021.↩︎
I discussed Tory history as a methodology in ‘The Tory interpretation’ Weekly Worker January 31 2019 (weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1236/the-tory-interpretation).↩︎
The first clear example in legal argument in print is Matthew Hale arguing in Rickebies case (1642 - published 1648) about the royal prerogative of pardoning offenders: “the law of the Jews differs from our law, & so the constitution of other realms”; next Rex v Thomas (1664) 1 Keble 663, Williams arguing about the “auncient constitution of Wales”. References to the constitution of England in legal argument became a lot more common after 1688, unsurprisingly (cf also M Macnair, ‘Revolution principles and the revolution bench’ in C Macmillan and C Smith (ed) Challenges to authority and the recognition of rights Cambridge 2015, chapter 5). In political argument, the Oxford English Dictionary, has a 1610 reference in theological polemic to ‘The constitution of the common-wealth of Israel’, the next in Clarendon’s History of the rebellion (written between 1668 and Clarendon’s death in 1674, but not published until 1702-04) and in Henry Neville’s Plato redivivus (1681).↩︎
Eg, Lex Irnitana (c 90 CE) chapter 95: “Concerning the inscription of the statute on bronze. Any duumvir (magistrate) who is in charge of the administration of justice in that municipium (municipality) is to see that this statute is inscribed on bronze at the earliest possible moment and affixed in the most prominent place in that municipium, so that it may be properly read from ground level” (J Gonzalez and MH Crawford, ‘Lex Irnitana’ Journal of Roman Studies Vol 76, 1986, p199).↩︎
Digest 220.127.116.11: ‘publicum ius est quod ad statum rei romanae spectat, privatum quod ad singulorum utilitatem: sunt enim quaedam publice utilia, quaedam privatim’.↩︎
Though now widely thought to be from his ‘school’. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_Athenians_(Aristotle).↩︎
Now relatively unpopular (there is a convenient summary at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Revolution); but the point here is sharply increased costs of warfare in the 16th-18th centuries, and the critics of the ‘military revolution’ merely nibble at the edges of this issue.↩︎
Eg, R (Busfield) v Town of Rippon (1666) 2 Keble 25 (constitution of the town); cf Dutton v Howell (1693) Shower PC 24 (constitution of the governor’s council of Barbados); Philips v Bury (1694) Shower PC 35 (constitution of Exeter College, Oxford); R v City of Chester (1694) 5 Modern 10 (constitution of the city).↩︎
P Vignoli (ed) I costituti della legge e dell'uso di Pisa (sec XII) Istituto storico italiano per il Medio Evo (2003).↩︎
The chapter in question is lightly rewritten from a 1966 article: ‘Political modernization: America vs Europe’ World Politics Vol 18 (1966), pp378-414.↩︎
On medieval uses of sovereignty and other sorts of authority, N Doe, see Fundamental authority in late medieval English law Cambridge 1990; on continued use of natural law arguments in English courts in the 18th century, and their background, RH Helmholz Natural law in court Harvard 2015; M Macnair, ‘On reducing undue trust in judges: or, against the modern doctrine of precedent’ King’s Law J Vol 31 (2020), pp41-58.↩︎
New Model: for an outline analysis of the class aspect, and references, see M Macnair ‘Doing war differently’ Weekly Worker May 28 2015 (weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1060/doing-war-differently); US Army: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_Army#Early_national_period_(1783%E2%80%931812).↩︎
JR Western The English militia in the eighteenth century Oxford 1964; IFW Beckett Britain's part-time soldiers: the amateur military tradition 1558-1945 Barnsley 2011.↩︎
Contrast M Ingram Church courts, sex and marriage in England, 1570-1640 (Cambridge 1987) with DC Brown, ‘The keys of the kingdom: excommunication in colonial Massachusetts’ New England Quarterly, Vol 67 (1994), pp531-66.↩︎