Personal Rule: Religion

  • Created by: Kate H
  • Created on: 09-04-15 13:25

Religious Policies

Supression of preaching

  • 1629 ordered catechizing replaces sermons
  • Each lecturer read liturgy printed by authority in his surplice
  • Laud supressed feoffees in fear they would cause unrest- no evidence- one left for New World

Changes to services

  • Uniform by strict adherence to prayer book, bowing in name of Jesus
  • Altar railed at east end of church permanently creating impression minister seperate from flock
  • Implied eucharist sacrificial- like Catholic mass
  • Reissue of Book of Sports; Stained gass; organs and choir stalls
  • Unpopular with gentry

'Thorough' enforcement of changes

  • All bishops to live in diocese
  • Court of High Commision for clergy infringing church laws (prerogative court)
  • Fearsome reputation- abolished in 1641 parliament- some clergy fled
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Opposition #1


  • Some liked new ritual and Book of Sports gave chance to relax

Many offended

  • Alienated sections of population; people having to change beliefs they grew up with; offence to interpet 39 Artcles in a predestination sense, though this was common years before


  • To New England increased markedly - only answer- as many as 15,000 in 1637

Puritan pamphlets & Prynne, Burton Bastwick

  • Bishops described as 'tigers' and 'vipers' but could result in harsh punishment
  • P, B, B 1637 tried in Star Chamber ears cut off
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Gentry's class-based opposition to Laud

  • Gentlemen should not have such a punishment
  • Seemed to be attacking position and property rights- not even gentry himself

Gentry's opposition to restoration of wealth of Church

  • Wanted to restore wealth to improve status of clergy
  • Restrictions on terms which ecclesiastical landlords could offer their tenants> tenants who lost out gentry
  • Unsuccessful attempts to recover impropriations to provide money for clergy stipends- at gentry's expense since they brought up impropriations

Gentry's dislike of Armininanism

  • Blurred social distinictions which Puritanism hightlighted- social snobs. Eg. Norwich diocese pews ordred to be uniform size so as not to block view of altar- offended community leaders who wanted to show their importance
  • Book of Sports threatened their law enforcement role - disorder

Fear of Catholicism

  • Ceremonial of Arminianism and Catholics at court> belief of Popish plot
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Charles and the Catholics

Charles' View

  • Tolerant but wanted outward conformity and submission- could be saved as long as 'a man belived in Christ'

Double Standard

  • Country Catholics subjected to fines- incomes from recusancy from £6000 in 1631 to £32000 in 1640
  • Catholic worship allowed at court ; mass in Chapel for H.Maria or ambassadors e.g Somerset House
  • Number of highly visible conversions


  • Impression of popery despite fines, ban on Jesuits etc.Laud's habit of calling clergy 'priests'
  • Seemed plausible given influcence ofn Queen and Cath. success in 30YW

Laud's view and misunderstandings

  • Fierce opponent of Catholicism ; Pope thought he was Cath and offereed cardinal's hat

Court- Papal evoys from 1634; Weston and Cottingon open or secret Catholics; Charles foreign policy of aligning with Catholic powers; influence of Hn. Mari

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Anti-Popery and Popish Plot

 Numbers     60,000 Catholics- just 2% of population

Scares and fears

  • Protestants felt under threat
  • Foxe's Book of Martyrs- torments of Protestants in 16th Cent.
  • Series of alarms from 1580s- Armada, Gunpowder Plot, invasion scares 1620s
  • Before 1625 all external, either from abroad of those who felt felt excluded from political process
  • New fear Catholics had infected the heart of the government

Increased fears after 1637

  • Catholic influence on policy seemed undeniable
  • Misguided attempt to impose Scottish prayer book- seen as Popish
  • Negotiating with Catholic Spain for money to supress Prot. subejcts although came to nothing
  • War with Scots: Charles seemed interested in Catholic military support in Ireland and Scotland letting H.Mar ask for Cath donation
  • Traditional King/Parl alliance in war under threat
  • Arrival of Catholic Queen Mother at height of Scottish crisis/ Charles in north/Arrival of Spanish fleet
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Anti-Popery- impact of religious fears on Short Pa

  • Lasted a month
  • Abrupt dissolution and presence of three Spanish envoys led to rumors Parliament had fallen due to a popish plot and lots of speculations
  • Londoners petitioned that the Catholics should be forced to wear distinguishing clothes
  • Atmosphere of hysteria destroyed chance of moderate and accomodating parliament in Long Parliament
  • John Pym in opening speech said 'design to altar the kingdom both in religion and government' - if these were King's policies the king was guilty of treason
  • No popish plot- commitment to Protestant cause
  • Couldn't express his policies or beliefs in a way that would be understood
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Religious Policy in Ireland


  • Allowed to practice unmolested because Presbyterian settlers in Ultster seen as more of a threat

Church of Ireland

  • Directed reforms here to bring it closer to CoE and limit influence of Presbyterians
  • Had stong Calvinist beliefs to assert itself against Catholic majority
  • Arminians appointed to vacant bishoprics in opposition to Calvinst AB Usher
  • Arminian imposition unpopular with Irish Church but no means of protest

Puritan opposition

  • Crushed by Court of High Commision; lost livings if didn't reform; no effective way to protest

Wentworth's land reforms

  • Those who might have supported alienated by campaign to win back church lands to allievate poverty of clergy
  • Lay people had church lands and attack made enemies such as Earl of Coke
  • United many groups against government
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Religious Policy in Scotland 1

Church of Scotland

  • Presbyterianism supported by vast majority of population
  • Successful reform would require close consultation with important General Assembly
  • Charles not sensitive

1626 Articles of Perth

  • Commanded observation of Articles of Perth and kneeling at communion
  • Insensitive and demonstrated his poor understanding of how this would anger Scots

1633 visit

  • First visit since becoming King, with Laud, shocked at plainess of churches- devoid of ornament
  • Returned determined to make them conform to their ideas
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Religious Policy in Scotland 2

New Scottish Book of Common Prayer and canons

  • "for the uniformity of...discpline" Laid down east end tables, kneelin and confesion-offence
  • Lack of consultation with clergy and imposition by royal decree
  • Avoided words such as 'priest' but rumors of 'popish rites' and not prepared to give it a go
  • Seen as English imposition which would lead to error

Charles' mishandling of 1637 Petition

  • Condemned prayerbook for 'sowing the seeds...contarty to true religion'
  • Involvement of bishops in p.b prep damaged their weak position
  • Charles had undone James' reforms and drove a wedge between Scottish/Eng Churches

National Covenant

  • To oppose prayerbook and bound subscribers to maintain true faith of the kirk against 'innovations and evils' led to Bishop's War
  • Charles' ill judged religious policy in Scotland which brought an end to personal rule
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Convocation and Canons

Convocation causes unease

  • Clergy immediately granted six subsidies while secular counterparts discussed grievancesSP
  • Changes in church since 1606 meant parliament wished to assert their authority in religious matters and unwilling to leave direction of church to convocation
  • Continued to sit after dissolution of parliament so canons had dubious legality

Laud's aims and what the canons said

  • Hoped they would provide peace in the Church
  • Codemned popery and deliberately moderate: position of table 'indifferent' too little too late

What the Oath of Allegiance said and why it backfired

  • Probably intended in same moderate way; preventing all innovations in doctrine and government of the church; supposed to secure men of suspicion of revolt to Popery and required them to swear they "approved the doctrine...consent to alter government by archbishops, bishops etc"
  • etc interpreted as Pope and became known as etcetera oath - plot to destroy protestant church
  • Puritan pamphlets showing backfire in Laud's face; oath abandoned
  • Convocation and canons merely inflamed passions and drove sides further apart
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