My interests lie primarily in the political and religious history of the early modern British Isles. I am particularly fascinated by the Restoration period (1660-88), but am also working on the history of the Church of England more broadly across the seventeenth century. My publications include The Personal Rule of Charles II, 1681-85 (2007), and, as editor, The Later Stuart Church, 1660-1714 (2012). I enjoy collaborating with colleagues, not least by developing ideas generated whilst teaching into published projects. Restoration Politics, Religion and Culture: Britain and Ireland, 1660-1714 (2010), written with George Southcombe, began life as a series of undergraduate lectures at Oxford; The Nature of the English Revolution Revisited: Essays in Honour of John Morrill (2013) is co-edited with Stephen Taylor.
Revolutionary England is a perennially vibrant field of study. The roll-call of events, crises, and changes that electrified mid-seventeenth-century England certainly retains an impressive cumulative force. The descent into civil war, killing of a king, creation of a republic, fits of military government, written constitutions, dominance of Oliver Cromwell, abolition of a state church, eruption into major European conflicts, conquest of Scotland and Ireland, and efflorescence of powerfully articulated political thinking dazzled, bewildered, or appalled contemporaries, and has fascinated scholars ever since. Revolutionary England presents a series of cutting-edge interventions by established and rising authorities in the field. These are intended to honour one of the most respected scholars of early modern England. Clive Holmes has made remarkable contributions to an unusually wide range of fields and subjects of historical enquiry: civil war studies, the history of law, witchcraft, the gentry, and 'popular politics'. Doing full justice to all these subjects in one book would be impossible, but narrowing the chronological field to Clive's mid-seventeenth-century heartland provides a focused volume of essays produced by leading scholars inspired by his scholarship and teaching. Running through the volume are themes that both reflect Clive's own concerns and stand at the centre of current approaches to seventeenth-century studies: the relations between language, ideas, and political actors; the limitations of central government; and the powerful role of religious belief in public affairs.
Restoration history (1660-1688)
The Church of England in the early modern period
Archbishop William Sancroft (1617-93)
My research has been focused on Restoration Britain and Ireland, particularly early Whig and Tory ‘party’ politics in the wake of the Exclusion Crisis. Recently I have worked on the Church of England across the seventeenth century more broadly, and I am currently engaged on a study of William Sancroft (1617-93), Archbishop of Canterbury from 1677/8 to 1690, examining his developing role within the religious disputes that complicated English politics from the 1630s to the 1690s. As a step towards an eventual biography I am editing a book-length collection of Sancroft's letters for the Church of England Record Society.