Roger Maynwaring

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Roger Maynwaring (Mainwaring, Manwaring) (1590–1653) was an English bishop, known for his support for absolutism.

Early life

Maynwaring was born in Shropshire, and educated at Worcester grammar, and All Souls College, Oxford. He became rector of St Giles in the Fields in 1616.[1]

Ecclesiastical offices

Maynwaring was appointed a royal chaplain in 1626. He preached in favour of the royal prerogative at the time of the forced loan confrontation of 1627, speaking of the hazard of damnation of those who resisted the royal command, when it came to raising taxes, or forced loans, a burning topic at the time. He also implied that the consent of Parliament to taxation wasn't a requirement.[2] The doctrine involved was not innovative, since it drew on the writings of Lancelot Andrewes, Marc' Antonio de Dominis, and Hadrian Saravia. But, in context, the application to taxes was particularly pointed.[3] Others preached in the same way, including Isaac Bargrave and Matthew Wren.[4]

Political stance and controversies

These addresses added fuel to an existing controversy, and created tension at a time of political strain. King Charles I had wished to have related sermons by Robert Sibthorpe printed; but George Abbot, the Archbishop of Canterbury, resisted. Making use of William Laud and other bishops, Charles had his way. In fact Laud had prompted Maynwaring to his topic, and pressed George Montaigne to license for publication both Sibthorpe’s and Maynwaring’s texts, as Religion and Alegiance [sic] (1627).[5][6][7]



The immediate consequence was that Maynwaring was impeached by the House of Commons, which objected to the views expressed, and the House of Lords accused him and Robert Sibthorpe of subverting the commonwealth. John Pym was very prominent in forwarding the impeachment.[8] In 1628 Maynwaring was imprisoned and fined; he was also suspended as a minister, prevented from clerical or secular advancement, and told he could not preach at Court.[7]

Further developments

The King in short order pardoned Maynwaring, instructing Attorney General Robert Heath to draw up the papers within a month, and gave him a further living, Stanford Rivers.[9] Some years later, Maynwaring became Dean of Worcester. In 1640 Worcester City Council objected to the altar and altar rails erected by Maynwaring whilst he was Dean.[10] In 1635 he became Bishop of St David's.

The matter was not regarded as closed, and Maynwaring was attacked in the Short Parliament of 1640, where Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex once more raised his case.[11] He was imprisoned again by the Long Parliament.[1]


  1. ^ a b  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1893). "Manwaring, Roger". Dictionary of National Biography. 36. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Andrew Pyle (editor), Dictionary of Seventeenth Century British Philosophers (2000), article on Maynwaring, pp. 562-3-7.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b Leo Frank Solt, Church and State in Early Modern England, 1509-1640: 1509-1640 (1990), p. 173-4.
  8. ^ Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Pym, John". Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 680. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ The Civil War in Worcestershire, Malcolm Atkin, 1995, p25 Alan Sutton, Stroud, Gloucestershire. ISBN 0-7509-1050-X
  11. ^ John Adamson, The Noble Revolt: The Overthrow of Charles I (2007), p. 14.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Theophilus Field
Bishop of St David's
Succeeded by
vacant to 1660
William Lucy
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