Religion and Empire

The recusants of the British Isles and the Hispanic Monarchy: Discourses of exile and the textualization of religious conflict in the Modern Age

The confrontation between England and the Hispanic Monarchy was one of the outstanding episodes of the Modern Age in Europe.

The nature of the confrontation was not only dynastic or territorial, like many other conflicts of the time, but also cultural and religious, with two approaches to the idea of the State and the citizen, as well as the management of power and public opinion in modernity. In this context, Castile was a favoured place for receiving English, Irish and Scottish Catholics who had fled Anglican repression and who set up, with Spanish help, an elaborate resistance organization and ideological rearmament from exile to support the cause of the old religion in the British Isles. Although the lines of force of this conflict were apparent during the three hundred years that Catholic persecution lasted in the Isles—from the time of Henry VIII to the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829—this research focuses on describing and studying the most important institutional and publishing projects of British recusants exiled in Castile during the reigns of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) and James I (1603-1625), which included publications linked to the colleges for exiles that were founded in Hispanic territories under the patronage of the Habsburgs, the works of Jesuits in defence of the interests of the Mission to England or Ireland, and the links established by these exiles with certain Spanish nobles, friars and writers as part of the great political and religious debate of those years.

Line of research team