Elizabeth I - Puritans

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  • Elizabeth I - Puritans
    • Believed in the eradication of 'popish superstition'; claimed the structure of the hierarchy of the church was not determined by God but rather the Pope's desire for control; claimed that wearing clerical vestments has no foundation in the Bible.
    • Types
      • Moderate Puritans: accepted the structure of the church but pressed for reform of doctrine and practices.
      • Presbyterians (1570s & 1580s): called for thorough reform of the structure of the church and the simplification of the faith and ritual in line with Calvinist ideas.
      • Separatists (1580s & 1590s): broke away from the national church to persue a more radical protestant reformation.
    • Vestiarian Controversy 1566: A group of clergymen went against the Act of Uniformity 1559 by not wearing vestments. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Parker, issued his Book of Advertisements insisting that clergy conform. 37 clergymen refused and were deprived of their posts.
    • Presbyterians voiced ideas in 2 important pamphlets known as Admonitions. They attacked Elizabeth and called for the abolition of bishops.
      • 1570 - Thomas Cartwright gave lectures on Calvin's idea of power being held by the minister of each church. His ideas were debated in Parliament but rejected.
      • In response to this, the Thirty-Seven Articles were made law in 1571.
    • Archbishops Grindal's attack on 'Prophesying' - in 1571, Elizabeth ordered him to suppress prophesying but he refused and lectured her on the importance of spreading ideas (challenging Royal Authority) - in response Elizabeth put him under house arrest.
    • Archbishop Whitgift's attack on Presbyterianism - 1583 Whitgift issued three articles: Acknowledgement of Royal Supremacy; Acceptance of the Prayer Book 1559; acceptance of the 39 articles.
      • Resulted in over 300 ministers being suspended in the south alone.
      • Set tone of control for the Church and Elizabeth's Via Media.
    • Separatist Movement
      • More radical that Presbyterians.
      • The translation of the Bible into English and the Protestant belief that the Bible was the only source of religious teaching and ideas led to the conclusion that separate churches was possible and desirable.
      • 1580s separatist movement started under Robert Browne - ended when he went into exile in the Netherlands 1582.
      • Late 1580s - attacks on the church published (puritans disassociated themselves from). 1593 - Parliament passed the Act Against Seditious Sectaries giving authorities the power to execute those suspected of being separatists.


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