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  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: September 2009

7 - Conclusion: reconstruction as reformation


For my care of this church, the reducing of it into order, the upholding of the external worship of God in it, and the settling of it to the rules of its first reformation

William Laud, Speech at committal of Prynne, Burton and Bastwick

I make not the least doubt in the world but that the Church of England before the reformation and the Church of England after the reformation are as much the same church as a garden before it is weeded and after it is weeded is the same garden.

John Bramhall, A just vindication of the Church of England

The English reformation failed to make Ireland Protestant. The reconstruction of the Church of Ireland failed because it was a variant of a reconstruction of the Church of England. Once again in the 1630s, Ireland's failure to be or to become England was at the heart of the matter.

The programme of reconstruction carried out from 1633 to 1640 came close to being a refoundation of the established church in Ireland. It was ambitious and it was vigorous and the lord deputy, the lord archbishop of Canterbury and the lord bishop of Derry worked on it with energy and determination. Everything they did concerned itself with the visible church. There were the new canons, acts of state, statutes, and even another formulary.