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Religious Policy 16601667
Charles' own sexual immorality and lax court life did little to uphold the Christian
teachings and made him seem indifferent to religion he supported toleration and
wanted the Anglican Church to include a range of protestant opinion.
In 1660, the position of Anglicanism was uncertain, the state church had been abolished
in the protectorate but the Anglican Church represented stability. In his declaration of
Breda, the king had promised "liberty to tender conscience" in order to win support.
Charles would have to establish a very broadbased church that could accommodate a
variety of opinions, his attitude was almost naïve.
Charles made an attempt to resolve a peace between Presbyterians and Anglicans when
the Anglican clergy and Presbyterians met at Worcester house which resulted in the
Worcester house declaration. The Worcester house declaration offered large
concessions to moderate Presbyterians, both on the nature of the prayer book and the
function of bishops. But the declaration was only temporary and by the end of the year
the country was using the Elizabethan prayer book more often and there were many
It was only temporary because when Charles issued his declaration his aim was to give
hope to the people, but he disliked the Presbyterians ever since he attempted to regain
the crown in DUNNO and his alliance with the Scottish presbyteries had failed. The
cavalier parliament was convinced that the restoration of the Anglican Church was vital
to the monarchy's survival.
The Strengthening of Anglicanism
The election of the cavalier parliament (full of royalists and supporters of the Anglican
Church) ended any hope of a broad bases church settlement. Charles disbanded the
army. Many religious laws were put in place to ensure the strength of Anglicanism.
The Corporation Act 1661 (part of Clarendon code)
Those elected to local government had to take an oath to renounce Presbyterianism and
accept Anglican sacrament.
Act of Uniformity 1662 (part of the Clarendon code)
Required all clergymen to declare their assent to the prayer book, which in the future
was to be used in all services. This had to be accepted or they were to be ejected from
their livings (1,000 out of 9,000 had to be ejected)
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The Conventicle Act 1664 (part of the Clarendon code)
This banned any group of people meeting together if it was unauthorised by the
The Five Mile Act 1665 (part of the Clarendon code)
This banned ministers who had lost their position in the Anglican Church by the act of
uniformity, from living within 5 miles of a church.
Quaker Act 1662
Banned national Quaker meetings and all Quakers needed to take an oath of allegiance
to the King.…read more