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Chapter 3 - Responses to the Laudian Reformation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 October 2021

Anthony Milton
Affiliation:
University of Sheffield
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Summary

Moving beyond the familiar focus on the radical puritan reaction, Chapter 3 examines the full range of expressed opposition to the Laudian programme, not just from hard-line puritans, but also from conformists including those in the senior ranks of the Church. These arguments consistently adopted a remarkably conservative mode of defending established orthodoxy in doctrine and practice against recent Laudian innovations, with even puritans invoking the Prayer Book and the 1604 Canons. Even radical presses run by sectarians abroad could juggle with more conservative rhetoric. Most of the arguments of the famous anti-Laudian puritans Henry Burton, John Bastwick and William Prynne still followed more conservative lines (despite the violence of their language) although they radicalised after their punishments. The Scottish opposition to the new Prayer Book, it is argued, was mostly directed against pre-Laudian grievances (with the exception of Robert Baillie’s Ladensium Autokatakrisis which was aimed at English MPs in the Short Parliament). The chapter also analyses the Short Parliament and opposition to the etcetera oath, noting that tactical moderation still meant that the pre-eminent (although not the sole) mode of public debate concerning the Church of England was a conservative one that left the door open for moderate reforms.

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England's Second Reformation
The Battle for the Church of England 1625–1662
, pp. 68 - 100
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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