Religion and Personal Rule

Religion during Charles I Personal Rule - AS level History AQA

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  • Created by: Clodagh
  • Created on: 10-05-13 12:17
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  • Religion and Personal Rule
    • William Laud
      • He was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633-1645 after replacing George Abbot
      • Laud was tried and executed by Parliament during the civil war
      • His religious ideas were similar to those of Charles
        • He was a believer of ritual and ceremony and was not a fan of Puritans
      • He had been labelled as an Arminian by some as they shared similar beliefs
      • Laud's Aims
        • He wanted to restore 'the beauty of holiness' to church services
          • Ceremonies and the position of the altar were vital parts of worship. Puritans saw it as pro-Catholic
        • He wanted to restore the wide power of the church and its influence that it held in politics and society before the reformation
        • He was concerned to raise the educational level of the parish clergy and to make them 'equal to any gentleman in England'
        • He wanted to surpress Puritanism
      • He was anti-Calvinist, like Charles and so didn't believe in predestination
    • Imposing Uniformity
      • Suppression of preaching
        • In many Puritan parishes, having lectures on Sunday afternoons grew more common
        • Charles and Laud disliked preaching because it was difficult to control the content of sermons which might pose a threat to the authority of bishops
        • Puritans sought to foster a more active spiritual life amongst their congregations and this could undermine the role of the church
      • Changes to the conduct of services
        • In 1629 Charles ordered that catechizing (set question and answer sessions) would replace sermons in parishes
        • They tried to make services more uniform too by insisting on strict adherence to the prayer book, bowing by the congregation when the name of Jesus was spoken and the wearing of a surplice by the minister
          • These were elements of the Elizabethan settlement, but had been ignored in many parishes
        • Most churches had the communion table in the middle of the church, this being seen as a Protestant way of doing things
          • Laud had wanted the altar to be railed off at the east end of the church, however this was seen as a Catholic way of worship
        • The Laudian high-church service was visibly different from the 'mainstream' puritan-influenced services
          • For many, the ceremonies were an obvious return to the roman Catholic services. The ritual of the Laudian Church seemed to be the same as the Roman Catholic
            • Laudians were suspected of being secret papists
    • Improving Church Finance
      • Since the reformation, tithes were paid to the gentry instead of the clergy in many parishes
        • This provoked hostility from some landowners who accused Laud of threatening their property
      • He intended to use the money raised to restore buildings as many churches were in poor condition after years of neglect. Common problems included lead stolen from roofs
      • Laud wanted to better educate the clergy
    • Destroying Puritanism
      • Star Chamber and High Commission courts were used to prosecute Puritan critics of the church
      • In 1630 Alexander Leighton was fined, pilloried, lashed and had his ears cut off, his nose slit and his cheeks branded for attacking bishops
      • Prynne, Bastwick and Burton were Puritan pamphleteers who attacked Laud's Church in 1637
        • They were punished like common criminals (having their ears cut off) for referring to bishops as 'tigers', 'vipers' and 'bloodsuckers'


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