James and Religion


James and Religion


  • James responded to 1603 Millenary Petition with Hampton Court Conference, where they wanted popish service aspects abolished
  • Persuaded bishops to accept 39 articles
  • Published King James Bible 1611 in English
  • Appointed Calvinist Bishops e.g. Abbott who were more sympathetic to Puritans
  • 1621 James accepted a Puritan bill for suppression of drunkenness/ swearing
  • Representation of Arminian bishops e.g. Andrewes and Neile in the Privy Council to maintain balance (but didn't like Laud)
  • Tolerant of Catholics: 'would be a shame to lose so good a kingdom, for not tolerating a mass in a corner'
  • After initial effects of Gunpowder Plot, James became more lenient to Catholics - Oath of Allegiance 1606 used to determine loyal ones
  • Catholic population increased as a result


  • At Hampton Court Conference James apparently grew angry saying he would 'harry them out of the land' and fearing 'no bishop no king'
  • New canons of 1604 upset Puritans: hierarchy of bishops and sign of cross etc. to continue
  • 1% of Puritans went to United Provinces or America
  • 1618 Book of Sports went against Puritan teachings
  • James hated Jesuits, 'venemous wasps'
  • Catholic plots against James: Bye Plot, Main Plot and Gunpowder Plot 1605- Cecil knew about Gunpowder Plot and wanted to wipe out Catholics
  • James then passed laws banning Catholics from certain professions, saying their homes could be searched and property confiscated


Relatively good balance of religion in his reign, majority were happy


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