Samuel Morland and the Protestant Protectorate of 1655
I am interested in the religiopolitical entanglements of the Cromwellian Republic and Protectorate within the European and global prospective. Specifically, I am looking at the diplomatic mission of Sir Samuel Morland as he investigated the slaughter of the religious minority group the Waldenses (Waldensians/Valdesi) in northern Italy in the Duchy of Savoy in 1655. This massacre was utilised as a prime example of Catholic cruelty against beleaguered Protestant groups and fit into the larger mythography and martyrology of anti-Catholic literature which was a staple of political and confessional polemics of the period. In Samuel Morland's account, The History of the Evangelical Churches of the Valleys of Piemont, he uses graphic woodcut images akin to those of Jaques Callot and the brutal propagandistic images associated with the Irish Rebellion of 1641. The work itself is of critical interest as it collects and archives the (sometimes apocryphal or at least dubiously sourced) history of the Waldenses from their medieval origins to their present state. This work, possibly cribbed or directly copied from Waldenaisn historians Léger and Perrin, worked to develop a justification and narrative of primitive Christianity and the Lord Protector's role in supporting them to other Protestant European powers. My work looks at the nature of this book, the career of Morland, the state apparatus of the Protectorate, and the aims of supporting this small Protestant group at the base of the Italian Alps.
Please see my Publications page for my history publications and conference presentations. Additionally, please see my Digital Projects page for information on the digital humanities projects I have developed and am a part of.