Restless Souls – Pilgrim Roots by Adrian Gray
This is an epic history of the people who laid the foundations of the Christian faith in a Viking-ravaged land, forged a new identity in a time of tragedy and miracles, then rebelled against what they saw as corruption of their Faith and Church. It covers the two counties of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire showing how their peoples interconnected and spread ideas.
In a story running from the early 7th Century until 1660, Adrian Gray places great and intriguing figures in the context of their times and in an unfolding story of spiritual change, rebellion and sometimes death. You will meet again some well-known figures such as Saint Hugh of Lincoln, Thomas Cranmer the architect of the Church of England, and the mercurial George Fox from Mansfield who formed the Quakers; you will learn more about the first leaders of the Baptist Church and those who became the ‘Mayflower’ Pilgrims, but the text also restores to our attention many more fascinating and often radical figures who have been forgotten over time. These include a range of characters stretching from Guthlac, whose supernatural experiences in the Fens became the first English biography, to Elizabeth Hooton, the Nottinghamshire Quaker who travelled the world and escaped death many times. Often, these people were motivated by a quest for a better Faith and Church, leading them from the ‘heresy’ of Lollardism to be champions of the Reformation and ultimately leaders of the Civil War against King Charles I. Many died for their beliefs.
The story also has its fair share of ‘villains’ including corrupt and venal bishops, despotic leaders who sent those who disagreed with them to the stake or the gallows, on both sides of the Atlantic, and one of Elizabethan England’s most sinister torturers.
ADRIAN GRAY has an MA in History from Cambridge University and is the author of over twenty books. He is well-known as the historical adviser to Pilgrims & Prophets Christian Heritage Tours and Bassetlaw Christian Heritage, which promote interest in the Christian history of the two counties.