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The Murder of Mr. GrebellMadness and Civility in an English Town$
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Paul Kleber Monod

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300099850

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300099850.001.0001

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Looking for Allen Grebell

Looking for Allen Grebell

Chapter:
(p.236) 6 Looking for Allen Grebell
Source:
The Murder of Mr. Grebell
Author(s):

Paul Kleber Monod

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300099850.003.0006

This chapter examines why John Breads murdered Allen Grebell, arguing that even in his madness, Breads was trapped by his own history and that of his native town. His fantasies about devils drew upon a tradition of “thinking with demons” that was particularly strong in Rye and had long been connected with factional struggles. Breads' religious background may have given him a strong sense of connection with Rye's violent political past, and alienated him from the way the town was governed after 1689. The fact that he wanted to vent his rage on the oligarchs James Lamb and Ralph Norton indicates that his perceived enemies were the heirs of those moderates who had once opposed the godly in Rye. The chapter argues that intentionally or not, Breads had challenged the whole structure of governance in Rye when he stabbed Allen Grebell.

Keywords:   madness, Rye, political past, oligarchs, James Lamb, Ralph Norton

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