The tension between public duty and private conscience is a central theme of English history in the seventeenth century, when established authorities were questioned and violently disrupted. It has also been an important theme in the work of one of the foremost historians of the period, G. E. Aylmer. It makes, therefore, an especially appropriate subject for this volume. The contributors are leading historians, whose topics range from contemporary writings on conscience and duty to the particular problems faced by individuals and groups, both Puritan and Royalist, at the centre and in the localities. These scholarly and original studies throw new light on the innumerable dilemmas of conscience of seventeenth-century men and women, and together make a distinguished contribution to seventeenth-century history. Contributors: Christopher Hill, Gordon Leff, Austin Wollrych, Keith Thomas, Patricia Crawford, Kevin Sharpe, Conrad Russell, Neil Cuddy, Paul Slack, John Morrill, Claire Cross, P. R. Newman, Daniel Woolf, John Ferris, Richard S. Dunn, and William Sheils.