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WHERE WAS THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, 1646–1660?

  • CHRISTOPHER HAIGH (a1)
Abstract

When parliament abolished episcopacy, cathedrals, and the Book of Common Prayer, what was left of the Church of England? Indeed, as contemporaries asked between 1646 and 1660, ‘Where is the Church of England?’ The episcopalian clergy could not agree. Some thought the remaining national framework of parishes and congregations was ‘the Church of England’, though now deformed, and worked within it. Others thought that only those ministers and parish congregations who remained loyal in heart to the church as it had been qualified as ‘the church’: most of them continued to serve a parish church and tried to keep the old practices going. A third category of hard-liners thought ‘the Church of England’ was now restricted to a recusant community that worshipped with the Prayer Book in secret and rejected the new national profession. The fundamental issue was the nature of a church: was it a society of believers, however organized, or a hierarchical institution following rules prescribed by God? The question caused tensions and distrust among the clergy, and the rigorists thought of the rest as time-servers and traitors. Disagreements continued to divide the clergy after the Restoration, and were reflected in attitudes towards concessions to dissenters.

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Christ Church, Oxford, ox1 1dpchristopher.haigh@history.ox.ac.uk
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1 Beaumont, Joseph, Some observations upon the Apologie of Dr Henry More for his mystery of godliness (Cambridge, 1665), pp. 175–6, 180. All pre-1800 works were published in London unless otherwise indicated.

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3 Jus divinum regiminis ecclesiastici, or The divine right of church-government asserted (1646), p. 2; Jus divinum ministerii ecclesiastici, or The divine right of the gospel ministry (1654), pt 2, sig. Aa2, pp. 5–6, 9–12.

4 [Smith, Richard], A brief survey of the lord of Derry his treatise of schism (Paris, 1655), pp. 36–7, 42; [Sergeant, John], Schism disarm'd of the defensive weapons lent it (Paris, 1655), p. 291.

5 Owen, John, Of schism: the true nature of it discovered and considered (Oxford, 1657), pp. 251–2; idem, A review of the true nature of schisme (Oxford, 1657), pp. 172–3.

6 Beaumont, Some observations, p. 181.

7 Reasons of the present judgement of the University of Oxford concerning the Solemn League and Covenant, the Negative Oath, the ordinances concerning discipline and worship ([Oxford], 1647), pp. 11, 32–3.

8 Barwick, Peter, The life of the Reverend Dr John Barwick (1724), pp. 539–40.

9 Morrill, John, ‘The church in England in the 1640s’, in idem, ed., Reactions to the English Civil War, 1642–1649 (Basingstoke, 1982), pp. 89114; Spurr, John, The Restoration Church of England, 1646–1689 (New Haven, CT, and London, 1991), pp. 128; Bosher, Robert S., The making of the Restoration settlement: the influence of the Laudians, 1649–1662 (London, 1951), pp. 2730; Milton, Anthony, ‘Anglicanism and royalism in the 1640s’, in Adamson, John, ed., The English Civil War (Basingstoke, 2009), pp. 6181; Packer, J. W., The transformation of Anglicanism, 1643–1660, with special reference to Henry Hammond (Manchester, 1969).

10 Fincham, Kenneth and Taylor, Stephen, ‘Vital statistics: episcopal ordination and ordinands in England, 1646–1660’, English Historical Review, 126 (2011), pp. 319–44.

11 Fincham, Kenneth and Taylor, Stephen, ‘Episcopalian identity, 1640–1662’, in Milton, Anthony, ed., The Oxford history of Anglicanism, i (Oxford 2016), pp. 457–81.

12 Gauden, John, Hieraspistes: a defence by way of apology of the ministry and ministers of the Church of England (1653), sig. C3, pp. 77, 99, 122.

13 Sanderson, Robert, Twenty sermons formerly preached (1656), sig. A3; idem, The works of Robert Sanderson (Oxford, 1854), v, pp. 3940, 43–4, 47–8; idem, XXXIIII sermons (1657), sigs. C–C2, D2, F.

14 Warmstry, Thomas, Suspiria ecclesiae & reipublicae anglicanae (1648), pp. 282–3, 285.

15 [Hall, George], The triumphs of Rome over despised Protestantcie (1655), p. 110; idem, God's appearing for the tribe of Levi (1655), sig. A2, p. 8.

16 John Hacket, A century of sermons, ed. Thomas Plume (1675), p. xviii. Hacket's position is less certain, and he may belong in the next category of clergy.

17 Gauden, John, A sermon preached in the Temple-chappel, at the funeral of the Right Reverend Father in God Dr Brounrig (1660), pp. 23, 192–3, 228–9; Barwick, Life of the Reverend Dr John Barwick, p. 488.

18 Barwick, John, Hieronikes, or The fight, victory and triumph of S. Paul, accommodated to the Right Reverend Father in God Thomas, late lord bishop of Duresme (1660), pp. 48–9.

19 Symmons, Edward, A vindication of King Charles, or A loyal subject's duty (1648), pp. 306–7; Wodenote, Theophilus, Hermes theologus, or A divine Mercurie dispacht with a grave message (1649), preface by Edward Symmons, sig. A5; Matthews, A. G., Walker revised (Oxford, 1948), p. 164.

20 [Samwayes, Richard], England's faithful reprover and monitour (1653), pp. 1, 42–3, 60–2, 72.

21 Harwood, James, The plea for the Common Prayer Book (1654), sig. A3, pp. 1217, 27; idem, The Lord's Prayer unclasped (1654), sig. a3.

22 Langley, William, The persecuted minister, in defence of the ministerie (1656), pp. 810, 22–3, 49, 52, 69.

23 Watts, Jeffrey, A scribe, pharisee, hypocrite, and his letter answered (1657), pp. 1415, 20. Watts seems to have retained the rectory of Great Leighs in Essex until his death in 1663.

24 Getsius, Daniel, Tears shed in the behalf of his dear mother the Church of England and her sad distractions (1658), title page, p. 104.

25 Mayne, Jasper, Certain sermons and letters of defence and resolution (1653), ‘A sermon against schism’, p. 22.

26 B[oreman], R[obert], The triumph of learning over ignorance and truth over falsehood (1652), pp. 22–3, 30. Boreman had been removed from his Cambridge fellowship.

27 Raie, Clement, Gemitus plebis, or A mournful complaint and supplication (1656), pp. 89, 29.

28 Smyth, William, The safe way to glory, in several exercises of general use (1656), pp. 91–2, 100, 126.

29 Fuller, Thomas, The church-history of Britain (1655), sig. A2; idem, Mixt contemplations in better times (1660), p. 34; idem, A triple reconciler (1654), pp. 34–6, Anon., The life of that reverend divine and learned historian Dr. Thomas Fuller (1661), pp. 86–7.

30 Harwood, Plea for the Common Prayer Book, p. 15. For the ‘national Church’, see Hughes, Ann, ‘“The public profession of these nations”: the national church in Interregnum England’, in Durston, Christopher and Maltby, Judith, eds., Religion in revolutionary England (Manchester, 2006), pp. 93114.

31 Gauden, Hieraspistes, p. 105.

32 Gauden, John, A remonstrance presented to O.P. Feb. 4 1655 (1659); idem, The tears, sighs, complaints and prayers of the Church of England (1659), pp. 24, 47, 50, 60.

33 For such a church, see Judith Maltby, ‘Suffering and surviving: the Civil Wars, the Commonwealth and the formation of “Anglicanism”, 1642–1660’, in Durston and Maltby, eds., Religion in revolutionary England, pp. 158–80.

34 Nicholson, William, An apology for the discipline of the ancient church, intended especially for that of our mother the Church of England (1659), ‘The copy of a letter written by a divine, a friend of the author, signed J. T., sig. A2; [Jeremy Taylor], The golden grove, or a manuall of daily prayers and litanies (1655), sig. A2; idem, Unum necessarium, or The doctrine and practice of repentance (1655), sig. B4; idem, The measures and offices of friendship (2nd edn, 1657), pp. 121, 201–2.

35 Sherman, John, White salt, or A sober correction of a mad world (1654), pp. 214, 237.

36 M[ossom], R[obert], Sion's prospect in its first view (1651), sig. *2; idem, The preachers tripartite in three books (1657), bk 3, pp. 41, 69, 139–40.

37 Hewitt, John, Prayers of intercession for those who mourn in secret for the publick calamities of this nation (1659), pp. 24, 72.

38 Pierce, Thomas, The Christian's rescue from the grand error of the heathen (1658), p. 4; idem, The new discoverer discovered: by way of an answer to Mr. Baxter his pretended discovery of the Grotian religion (1659), sigs. b, b2, pp. 8, 9, 15, 35, 44, 57, 88, 89, 104, 160, 179, 211, 214, 269; Eautontmoroumenos, or The self-revenger exemplified in Mr. William Barlee (1658), p. 95.

39 Gatford, Lionel, A petition for the vindication of the publique use of the Book of Common Prayer (1655), sig. A2, pp. 34, 36.

40 Nicholson, An apology for the discipline of the ancient church, title page, pp. 2–3, passim; idem, A plain but full exposition of the catechisme of the Church of England (1655), sig. A2, pp. 6–7.

41 Pierce, The new discoverer discovered, p. 3.

42 Fincham and Taylor, ‘Vital statistics: episcopal ordination and ordinands in England, 1646–1660’, pp. 319–44; idem and idem, ‘Episcopalian identity’, pp. 474–5.

43 Fincham, Kenneth and Taylor, Stephen, ‘Episcopalian conformity and nonconformity, 1646–1660’, in McElligott, Jason and Smith, David L., Royalists and royalism during the Interregnum (Manchester, 2010), pp. 19, 21.

44 Morrill, ‘The church in England in the 1640s’, pp. 89–114; Maltby, Judith, ‘“The good old way”: Prayer Book Protestantism in the 1640s and 1650s’, in Swanson, R. N., ed., The church and the book (Woodbridge, 2004), pp. 233–56.

45 Baxter, Richard, Five disputations of church-government and worship (1659), sigs. P3, R2. Cf. Maltby, ‘Suffering and surviving’, p. 167, where any significant conception of a ‘recusant Church’ is doubted.

46 Baxter, Five disputations, sig. P3.

47 Hyde, Edward, Christ and his church, or Christianity explained (1658), sig. A2, pp. 429, 521, 523.

48 Swadlin, Thomas, Whether it be better to turn Presbyterian, Romane, or to continue what I am, Catholique in matter of religion (1658), pp. 89; idem, The XXXVI questions propounded for resolution of unlearned Protestants (1659), p. 16.

49 [Ferne, Henry], Episcopacy and Presbytery considered (1644), pp. 27–9; F[erne], H[enry], A compendious discourse upon the case (1655), pp. 1213, 66; idem, Of the division between the English and Romish Church (1652), sig. A5.

50 Hammond], [Henry, Of the power of the keyes (1647), sig. A2; idem, Of fundamentals (1654), p. 239; idem, A paraenesis, or seasonable exhortatory to all true sons of the Church of England (1656), pp. 4, 50–1, 57, 184, 230; idem, Of schisme. A defence of the Church of England against the exceptions of the Romanists (1653), pp. 179, 181; idem, The disarmer's dexterities examined (1656), p. 301.

51 Boughen, Edward, An account of the Church Catholike (1653), pp. 13, 41; idem, Mr Geree's case of conscience sifted (1648), p. 113.

52 Heylyn, Peter, Ecclesia vindicata, or the Church of England vindicated, part second (1657), sig. A3; idem, Ecclesia vindicata (1657), sig. a; idem, Theologia veterum, or the summe of Christian theologie (1654), sig. B2; idem, Certamen epistolae (1659), sig. A2.

53 [Allington, John], A brief apologie for the sequestered clergie (1649), pp. 910.

54 Bosher, Making of the Restoration settlement, pp. 49–67, 284–94; Bramhall, John, A just vindication of the Church of England (1654), p. 30; idem, An answer to Monsieur de la Militiere (1653), pp. 171–2; idem, A replication to the bishop of Chalcedon (1656), pp. 39–41, 109–10.

55 Steward, Richard, The English case, exactly set down by Hezekiah's reformation (1659), p. 24. Steward had died in 1651.

56 Wodenote, Theophilus, Eremicus theologus, or a sequestered divine (1654), pp. 129, 132.

57 [Brough, William], Sacred principles, services and soliliquies (1656), p. 20; idem, A preservative against the plague of schisme, or an antidote against the separations of the time (1652), pp. 54, 57, 60.

58 Thorndike, Herbert, A discourse of the right of the church in a Christian state (1649), pp. 235, 338–9; [idem], A letter concerning the present state of religion amongst us (n.p., 1656), pp. 1, 18, 20, 22. On Thorndike's ecclesiology, see Collins, Jeffrey R., The allegiance of Thomas Hobbes (Cambridge, 2005), pp. 245–54.

59 Thorndike, Herbert, An epilogue to the tragedy of the Church of England (1659), bk 3, p. 425.

60 Barwick, The life of the Reverend Dr John Barwick, pp. 401–2.

61 Anon., Ichabod, or Five groans of the church (Cambridge, 1663), p. 29.

62 Ussher, James, The reduction of episcopacie unto the form of synodical government received in the ancient church (1656); Hall, Joseph, The peace-maker, laying forth the right way of peace in matter of religion (1645), p. 48; Gauden, Hieraspistes, pp. 262–3; idem, Tears, pp. 448–9, 453, 461, 535; Spurr, Restoration Church of England, p. 26. Ussher's proposals date originally from 1641: Ford, Alan, James Ussher; theology, history and politics in early-modern Ireland and England (Oxford, 2007), pp. 240–56.

63 Taylor, Jeremy, A discourse of the liberty of prophesying. Showing the unreasonableness of prescribing to other men's faith and the iniquity of persecuting differing opinions (1647); idem, A collection of polemical and moral discourses (1657), sig. A3.

64 [Thorndike], A letter, p. 23; Sanderson, The works, v, p. 58.

65 Gatford, A petition, p. 62.

66 Green, I. M., The re-establishment of the Church of England, 1660–1663 (Oxford, 1978), p. 89; P[atrick?], S[imon], A brief account of the new sect of latitude-men (1662), pp. 3, 5–6.

67 Fincham, Kenneth and Taylor, Stephen, ‘The restoration of the Church of England, 1660–1662’, in Taylor, Stephen and Tapsell, Grant, eds., The nature of the English Revolution (Woodbridge, 2013), pp. 216–20; Fincham and Taylor, ‘Episcopalian identity’, pp. 476–8.

68 Milton, Anthony, Laudian and royalist polemic in seventeenth-century England: the career and writings of Peter Heylyn (Manchester, 2007), pp. 190–3; Spurr, Restoration Church of England, pp. 10–12; Packer, The transformation of Anglicanism, pp. 38–43, 183. Ferne became bishop of Chester, but Hyde, Boughen, and Steward were dead.

69 Crofton, Zachary, A serious review of presbyters re-ordination by bishops (1661), pp. 9, 1213, 32–4; I. R., A peaceable enquiry into that novel controversie about reordination (1661), pp. 18, 36–43, 143. Cf. [Thorndike], A letter, pp. 1, 4–5, 18, 20.

70 For the Church of England's difficulties over comprehension, see Spurr, John, ‘The Church of England, comprehension and the Toleration Act of 1689’, English Historical Review, 104 (1989), pp. 927–46.

71 Stillingfleet, Edward, Irenicum. A weapon-salve for the churches wounds. Or the divine right of particular forms of church government (1661, vere 1660), title page, sig. a3 and passim.

72 Ibid., pp. 156–7.

73 Ibid., pp. 27, 44, 46.

74 Quantin, Jean-Louis, The Church of England and Christian antiquity (Oxford, 2009), p. 286.

75 [Hammond, Henry], Considerations of present use concerning the danger resulting from the change of our church government (1644), pp. 57; [idem], Of the power of the keyes, p. 39; idem, Dissertationes quatuor, quibus episcopatus iura ex S. Scripturis et primaeua antiquitate adstruuntur (1651), sigs. C2–C4; idem, A letter of resolution to six quaeres of present use in the Church of England (1653), p. 362; idem, A vindication of the dissertations concerning episcopacie (1654), pp. 4, 159–60; idem, A paraenesis, p. 57; Packer, The transformation of Anglicanism, pp. 104–28.

76 Thorndike, A discourse of the right of the church, pp. 85, 299–300, 320–1; [idem], A letter, pp. 4, 20; idem, An epilogue to the tragedy, bk 3, p. 145.

77 Stillingfleet, Irenicum, p. 379; Hammond, Considerations, p. 12; idem, A vindication, pp. 7–8; [Thorndike], A letter, p. 18.

78 Marshall, John, ‘The ecclesiology of the Latitude-men, 1660–1689: Stillingfleet, Tillotson and “Hobbism”’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 36 (1985), pp. 408–16.

79 Stillingfleet, Edward, A discourse concerning the power of excommunication in a Christian church (1662); idem, Irenicum… The second edition, with an appendix concerning the power of excommunication in a Christian church (1662).

80 [Stillingfleet, Edward], Several conferences between a Romish priest, a fanatic chaplain and a divine of the Church of England (1679), pp. 148–50; idem, Irenicum, pp. 1, 25, 157–8, 170, 179, 181–2, 194, 314, 345, 347, 385.

81 Stillingfleet, Edward, The mischief of separation: a sermon preached at Guild-Hall chappel (1680), pp. 17, 19. For the controversy that followed, see Spurr, Restoration Church of England, pp. 154–8; Marshall, ‘The ecclesiology of the latitude-men’, pp. 416–21; Claydon, Tony, Europe and the making of England, 1660–1760 (Cambridge, 2007), pp. 298300, 310–11. Irenicum was reprinted in 1681.

82 Edward Stillingfleet, The unreasonableness of separation (2nd edn, 1681), pp. lxxxii–iv, xciii–iv.

83 Bodleian Library, Tanner MS 36, fos. 255–6; [W Sherlock], A discourse about church-unity (1681), pp. 183, 208, 557–92.

84 Bodleian Library, Tanner MS 31, fo. 170; S[amuel] P[arker], The case of the Church of England (1681), sig. A2, pp. 117–20, 123. Parker sought to establish the foundation of episcopal authority by An account of the government of the Christian church for the first six hundred years (1683).

85 Parker had praised ‘the learned and pious Mr Thorndike’ and ‘the truly pious and learned Dr Hammond’: The case, pp. 78, 89.

86 Lowth, Simon, Of the subject of church-power (1685), sig. A4. The book, like the letter, was written in 1683, but publication was held up because of its personal attack on Stillingfleet and John Tillotson.

87 Edward Stillingfleet, A sermon preached at a public ordination (1685), sig. A2.

88 [Stillingfleet], Several conferences, p. 149; idem, The unreasonableness of separation, p. lxxi.

89 Lowth, Simon, A letter to Edward Stillingfleet, D.D. (1687), pp. 23, 32, 54, 66–7, 79.

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