J. Rawson (Joseph Rawson) Lumby.

Compendium of English Church History : from 1688 to 1830, with a preface online

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BR 743 .L8 1883
Lumby, J. Rawson 1831-1895. '
Compendium of English Churc^i'
History : from 1688 to I





FROM 1688 TO 1830.











Several years ago I promised the publishers of this
Vohime to prepare for them a Manual of the History of
the English Church between 1688 and 1830. Other
duties arose and claimed all my time, and I found
myself unable to perform my promise. But for two or
three years I was in great hope that the work would be
done, in my stead, by a member of the University who
would, I am sure, have provided an excellent handbook
on this subject. He however was called away to other
labours, and finding himself unable to make such progress
with the volume as he desired at last withdrew fi'om the

Soon after this disappointment, both to the publishers
and myself, the following pages were offered me, and on
perusing them I thought them not unsuitable to the
purpose for which they were prepared. I therefore under-
took to look them over as they passed through the press
and to introduce them by a short preface when they were
in print.


Tlie book was written to be a handbook for those who
are Candidates for the Ordinary Theological degree, for
which this period of history is a fixed subject of exami-
nation. The chapters are of set purpose made very short,
but the reader is everywhere referred to authorities from
whence he may extend his knowledge at any point where
he desires to do so. In the chapters on the literature
it has been thought sufficient to point out the most
important writings. The student who desires to enlarge
his acquaintance with the authors named will do so more
satisfactorily by perusing their books, than by merely
mastering a few sentences in which an attempt should be
made to sketch or summarize their contents. Moreover
by the perusal of one author he will have his attention
directed in the best way to the works of others.

Some alterations and modifications of the text have
been made at my suggestion and thus I have become in a
degree responsible for the book, which I hope may supply
a want that has been a good deal felt by students pre-
paring for the Ordinary Degree.



_ _^ PAGE

The Revolution of 1688 and its Causes .... 1

William III. Toleration and Comprehension ... 22

The Nonjurors 38


The Roman Catholics under William III. and Queen

Anne 55

Church History in Queen Anne's Reign .... 62


Theological Literature in the Reigns op William III.

and Anne '^




Hbliqious Societies 103

Convocation from 1688 to 1717 113

Church History under George I. and George XL . . 126

The Methodists and the Evangelical Revival . . . 146

The Reign of George III . 165


Theological Literature after the commencement of the

eighteenth century 181


Sketch op Church History in Scotland, Ireland and

America 192


,ioPaTy r



In order to understand rightly the position of religious
parties in England at the time of the Revolution of 1688,
it will be necessary briefly to consider the events which
preceded and brought about that Revolution. Since
James II., being a papist himself, wished to bring
papists into public employment and to allow them all the
privileges enjoyed by members of the Established Church,
one of his first steps was naturally to try to obtain the
repeal of the Test Act\ This law had been passed in the
reign of Charles II. (1672), when the memory of j^ast events
and distrust of the King's religious opinions tended to
make men equally jealous of Protestant Dissenters and of
Roman Catholics, and its provisions excluded all persons,
not conforming to the Established Church, from municipal,
legal and military service, as well as from employment at

1 For the new parliament which had been summoned the Eang spared
no pains to secure the election of such members as would favour his
design. He granted new Charters and secured the nomination of persons
devoted to the Crown. Forty-four obsequious members were sent up
from the county of Cornwall alone, and the Iving looked upon the new
parliament as almost entirely devoted to him. See Oldmisou's Hist, of
England, ii. 698. Evelyn's Diary, Mar. 5, 1685.

L. 1


Court \ James II. who, to do him justice, was no dis-
sembler, bad not been long on the throne before his
intentions became manifest. It was after Monmouth's
rebellion (1685) daring the first year of his reign that he
began openly to speak of abolishing the Tests. At the
commencement of that insurrection the King had given
commissions in the army to papists, an act " which was over-
looked in the time of danger, in which all men's service
was to be made use of'"^; besides which papists might
legally serve for three months; but when that time had
nearly expired, James began to complain that the Tests
had been made purposely against him, and that to observe
them was an affront to himself. He therefore continued
the commissions of the Koinan Catholic officers, and
declared openly that he must regard as his enemies any
who did not vote for the Repeal of the Test Act in the
coming session of Parliament. All those whose interest it
was to be in favour at Court, adopted the same tone and
declaimed against the Tests, as being insulting to the King,
in obliging his subjects to swear that the form of religion
which he professed was- idolatrous, and contrary to his
rio-hts in depriving him of the services of some of his sub-
jects. But this did not deceive the mass of the people, who
had a deep-rooted hatred of popery and saw that the repeal
of the Tests would pave the way for a total change of the
established religion of the kingdom, and that if Roman
Catholics were allowed to hold office at all, none but

1 Dalrymple's Memoirs, ii. p. 69, Perry, Hist, of Ch. of Engl. ii. 468.

2 Burnet, Hist, of Jiis own Times, i. 651, who is quoted mainly for
those points on which he could not fail to be well informed and wherein
his own special leanings would not influence his evidence. Without his
work we should know very httle about the events and affairs which he
professes to explain.

THE commons' address TO THE KING. 3

Roman Catholics were likely to be employed by the
present King. The officers of the army foresaw that they
would have to change their religion or lose their com-
missions, and even the clergy, who had hitherto been so
submissive to the King and had preached the doctrines of
divine right and passive obedience most diligently, began
to see their danger and hesitated to lend their support to
so perilous a design as the repeal of the Tests \

Thus when Parliament met (Nov. 1685) and discussed
the violations of the Test Act^, the Commons voted
unanimously for an address to the King, praying him to
maintain all laws and particularly that one which related
to religious Tests, though at the same time they offered to
pass a Bill for indemnifying those who had transgressed
that laAV ^ In the House of Lords too the same tone soon
began to prevail. Upon this, finding that the feeling of
both Houses was fixed beyond the hojDe of change, the King
prorogued and eventually dissolved the Parliament, while
he shewed his opinion of its conduct by disgracing or dis-
missing from their places all those who had voted for the

Up to this time the King had been on good terms with
the clergy^, but now that, seeing whither his conduct

1 Burnet, i. 652.

- The king in his speech at the opening of Parliament informed the
houses that he had increased the permanent land forces and employed
officers who had not taken the Test. The Lords at first were courtier-
like and did not express their disapproval. See Life of James II. ii. 54.
Evelyn's Diary, Nov. 9, 1685.

^ Burnet, i. 666. ^ Burnet, i. 667.

5 It was Compton, Bp. of London, who had moved in the House of
Lords for a day to take the King's speech into consideration, and declared
that he spoke in the name of all his brethren, that the whole constitution,
civil and ecclesiastical, was in danger. For his conduct in this matter



tended, they were no longer so obsequious as before, he
ceased to treat them with any sort of favour and applied
himself to win the Dissenters over to his side. He declared
himself to be desirous of universal toleration and con-
demned the severity with which Nonconformists had been
treated by the Church. He encouraged Dissenters to hold
conventicles again, which they had not done openly for four
or five years S and intimated that he would not have them
disturbed. Some of the Dissenters were deceived by this
appearance of favour^; but the wiser men among them
distrusted the sudden change and saw that the King's
object was to embroil them with the Church, by which
means he hoped to break up and so weaken the opposition
to Popery. Therefore, though they held their conventicles
and were thankful for the freedom accorded to them, they
prudently abstained from doing anything which might
provoke the Church party I

Now that Parliament no longer stood in his way, the
King's government became most arbitrary. He had
obtained from some of the Judges an opinion^ that he
might dispense with laws at his pleasure, and acting on
this decision, he appointed a Romanist judge and made

the Bishop was removed from his office as Dean of the Chapel Eoyal.
Evelyn, Jan. 1, 168f.

1 Burnet, i. 172.

2 Sixty addresses were presented by Dissenters in praise of the King's
clemency. Kennett's History, iii. 465. Life of Ken by a Layman, i. 362.

3 Baxter and Howe signified their disHke to the King's dispensing
power as soon as it began to be exercised, and expressed their unwilling-
ness to purchase religious freedom at the expense of the liberties of their
country. Neal's Puritans, iv. 461.

4 The suggestion, that the King by his prerogative might exercise this
dispensing power, first came from Sir Edward Herbert, Lord Chief Justice,
but was eagerly accepted by some others. Evelyn's Dicmj (June 27,
1686). See Kennett, in. 451.


five papists members of the Privy Council. He set up
an illegal court of Ecclesiastical Commission, by means of
which he suspended the Bishop of London, for not obey-
ing hlm^, he also attempted to infringe the rights and
statutes of the Universities and at last brought matters to
a crisis by the Declaration of Toleration^ In this pro-
clamation the King set forth his dislike to religious
persecution and his desire to allow all his subjects liberty
of conscience ; he renewed his promise, made to his first
parliament, to support the Church of England ; at the
same time he suspended all penal laws in matters of
religion; suppressed all oaths and tests required of
persons in public employment ; and promised to maintain
his subjects in possession of their property and especially
of the Abbey lands ^.

By this declaration he also assumed the power of
repealing laws by his own authority, for as the penal lavv^s
were susj)ended without limit as to time, they were in
effect virtually repealed. Such a proceeding alarmed
most wise and thoughtful men who foresaw its con-
sequences, and although addresses were sent up by the
Dissenters, thanking the King for his declaration, yet they
were not signed by any men of distinction among them.

The next year (1G88) the declaration was renewed,
with the addition that the King would adhere firmly to it,
and employ no one in his service who would not uphold
it. But not content with republishing the declaration he

1 Bui-net, I. 675.

2 It was on April 4, 1G87, that the Declaration appeared in the
Gazette. The King's intention to issue such a Declaration had been
made known to the Privy Council on March 18th. He declared to them
that it had 'always been his opinion, as most suitable to Christianity, that
no man should be persecuted for conscience sake.' Kennett, iii. 463.

3 Burnet, i. 714.

6 king's declakation to be read in churches.

ordered that the Bishops* should distribute it among their
clergy, and that the latter should read it in their churches
during divine service on two consecutive Sundays, the
20th and 27th of May, 1G881

About this order the clergy were in great perplexity.
Many were the meetings held in and about London and
long the arguments on the point. Some were of opinion
that they might read the illegal declaration as a mere act
of obedience, saying publicly at the same time that they did
not approve of it ; others, and they the majority, saw that
if they obeyed once, they were bound to obey always, and
might be made to read declarations subversive of the
whole established religion, merely protesting against them
as they did so. They must therefore resist such arbitrary
assumption of power on the part of the King sooner or
later and they thought it best to make a stand at once.
For themselves they foresaw that their ruin was resolved
on unless they turned traitors to their principles, so that
they must prepare themselves to suffer for their Church
and their liberties. They therefore resolved not to read
the declaration ^

Sancroft, the Archbishop of Canterbury, acted at this
time in a way that became him well as Primate of the
Church on which this assault had been made'*. He sum-
moned the Bishops of his Province to meet in London
and discuss this most important matter. Six of the Bishops

^ See Evelyn's Diary, May 18th, 1688, on which day the six Bishops
petitioned the King not to impose the reading of the Declaration in the

2 Burnet, i. 736. 3 Burnet, i. 738.

•* See D'Oyly's Life of Sancroft, i. 255, seqq., where a full account of
this solemn meeting is given, and the resolutions at which the prelates


came, and twelve more sent word that they concurred
in the resolution not to read the declaration. The Arch-
bishop and the six Bishops, those of St Asaph, Bath and
Wells, Ely, Peterborough, Chichester and Bristol, drew up
a petition to the King, praying that they should not be
forced to read the declaration until it had been settled by
Parliament and Convocation what it was right for them to
do. For this petition, which James declared to be a libel,
they were committed to the Tower to await their triaP.
Such an insult perpetrated against these reverend fathers
of the Church roused the indignation of all classes of
men, and left no doubt that now they must look to them-
selves to protect their religion to which the King was
shewing himself sua. open enemy. The result of the triaP
in Westminster Hall and the unbounded rejoicings of the
people on the acquittal of the Bishops ought to have
warned James that he had carried his attempt to make
Roman Catholicism the religion of England too far, but
he was infatuated, and fortunately for our liberties held
on his course. Such was the submissive temper of the
nation at the beginning of James' reign, that it is highly
probable that he would have been allowed to subvert its
civil freedom without much resistance, but providentially
he identified himself Avith popery, the very thought of
which was hateful to the people, and in the course of three
short years by attacking their religion he had changed the
mass of his loyal subjects into determined and formidable
opponents I

1 See Evelyn's Diary (June 8th, 1688).

2 The trial took place on June 29th, 1688. Evelyn records how it
lasted the whole day, and the Jury were locked up all the night and gave
their verdict next morning.

3 See Smyth's Lectures on Modern History, ii. 53: **It is a melancholy
conclusion that if James had not violated the reUgious persuasions of his


For some time William Prince of Orange, the king's
son-in-law, had been looked to by Englishmen as their
only hope of deliverance from the tyranny of their own
King. He was the great champion of Protestantism in
Europe, and as husband to the Princess Mary, the pre-
sumptive heiress to the crown, he had a right to more
than an ordinary or passing interest in the affairs of
England. When the trial of the Bishops and the birth of
the Prince of Wales \ putting an end to all hopes of a Pro-
testant succession, made the people of England seriously
seek for a way out of their present difficulties, it was to
him they turned ^ It cannot be said that he received any
great encouragement to come over at first, for with the
remembrance of Monmouth's rebellion and the horrors
that followed it fresh in their minds, men hesitated to
incur the guilt of treason rasbly, and only seven patriots
signed the invitation to him ; four peers, two commoners,
and Compton, Bishop of London, who had been suspended
by the Ecclesiastical Court ^. But these men assert in their
letter to the Prince that "the greatest part of the nobility

subjects, he would have met \vith no proper resistance whatever, and that
the English nation, after all the sufferings and exertions of their ancestors,
would at this period have submitted to such violations of theu' civil
liberties, and would have a^llowed such precedents to be established, that
in the event these liberties might very probably have been lost, like those
of the other European monarcliies."

1 The prmce was born on Trinity Sunday, 1688, while the Bishops
were in the Tower. D'Oyly's Life of Sancroft, i. 288 and note.

2 The invitation sent to William that he should come over and help
the country was dated on the day of the acquittal of the Bishops (June
30th, 1G88).

3 The names of the seven signatories (though they were only sent in
cipher) deserve to be remembered. With Bishop Compton were the lords,
Devonshire, Danby, Shrewsbury and Lumley, and the commoners,
Mr Sidney and Admiral Eussel.


and gentry are as much dissatisfied as themselves ; that
nineteen out of twenty are desirous of a change, that very
many of the soldiers do daily shew such an aversion to the
Popish religion that there is the greatest probability they
would desert ; and amongst the seamen there is not one
in ten who would do James any service'."

With the seven signatures and this indirect promise of
support from others, together with some few letters from
influential persons, including several Tory Lords, William
had to be content. It does not come within our province to
enter upon the political difficulties of the coming of the
Prince of Orange ; suffice it to say that those difficulties
were most unexpectedly lessened by the quarrels of his
two great enemies, the Pope and the King of France, and
by the wilful blindness of James to the object of his son-
in-law's preparations; advantages which were seized at
the right moment and used as only a master-mind like
William's could use them.

Finding that his attempt against the Bishops had
failed, James next proceeded to cite the Chancellors of the
various dioceses and the inferior clergy to appear before
the Court of Ecclesiastical Commission and answer for
their conduct in havino; nedected to read his declaration.
This was a step too far even for Sprat, the hitherto
subservient bishop of Rochester, who resigned his seat''
in that court, rather than sit in judgment upon so many
pious and excellent men with whom it became him rather

1 See Smyth's Lectures, ii. 57.

2 Evelyn's Diary (July 23rcl, 1688). "Dr Sprat, Bishop of Rochester,
wrote a very honest and handsome letter to the Commissioners Ecclesias-
tical, excusing himself from sitting any longer among them, he by no
means approving of their prosecuting the clergy who refused to read the
Declaration for liberty of conscience, in prejudice of the Church of


to sufFer\ The Court was adjourned till December, 1688.
It never met again ; for on the 5th of November in that
year, the Prince of Orange landed at Torbay. On the
2nd of that month a declaration had begun to be cir-
culated in England, in which the Prince stated that at the
earnest solicitation of many Lords spiritual and temporal,
of many gentlemen and other subjects of all ranks, he had
interposed with no other view than to cause a free Parlia-
ment to be assembled which might remedy all grievances
and secure the national religion and liberty under a just
and legal government for the future l This declaration
opened James' eyes to the dangers which surrounded him*.
He sent for the Bishops and expressed a wdsh that they
would draw up a paper, declaring their abhorrence of the
Prince's attempt^ But most of them approved of all that
had been done and one of them (Gompton) had signed the
invitation to the Prince, so they would give no direct
answer to the King's request^ and left him with a recom-
mendation that he should call a Parliament with all speedy

1 Burnet, i. 744.

2 It was dissolved by the advice of the Bishops given to the King on
October 3.

3 Burnet, i, 775.

* The news that his son-in-law was about to invade the kingdom was
first conveyed to James by a letter of the King of France. Dalrymple's
Memoirs, i. v. 31.

« D'Oyly's Life of Sancroft, i. 353.

* Dr Stoughton, Ch. of the Revolution, p. 29.

7 The Bishops had two interviews with the King. First on Sept. 24th
they came (but the Primate was not with them) to his presence by
invitation, but were not bold enough to declare plainly what were their
thoughts and feelings. But they afterwards asked for another audience
(granted to them on Oct. 3rd) and then gave him their recommendation,
drawn up under ten heads, of which the advice to call a parliament
formed the ninth. See D'Oyly's Life of Sancroft, i. 339, 344.


Meanwhile William had followed up his landing by a
speedy march to Exeter where he stayed ten days in hopes
of being joined by some people of note in the neighbour-
hood. But the troublous times through which they had
so lately passed deterred the West-country folk from
plunging hastily into another civil war ; while the clergy,
who had so long preached passive obedience, were ashamed
to be found to have changed their opinions so soon, and
held back now that it had come to the point of taking up
arms against the King\ The Dissenters too were tardy
in joining him, and on the whole for the first week after
his arrival he was rather not opposed than supported ^
But soon the tide began to turn; people of influence in
the West declared for the Prince, and soon "every man
mistaking his neighbour's courage for his own, all rushed
to the camp or to the stations which had been assigned
them, with a violence proportioned to their late fears ^"

Now that it was too late, James saw the peril of his
position and hastened with an army to Salisbury, but the
number of his troops was soon so greatly diminished by
desertions to the Prince of Orange that he found himself
obliged to return to London ^ Wlien there, as a last
resource, he issued two proclamations, one promising a free
pardon to all his subjects who should now return to their
allegiance, and one for the speedy calling of a Parliament ^
As might have been expected these concessions, extorted
only by fear, had no practical effect, and James, deserted

1 Burnet, i. 790.

2 On William's complaints about the coldness of bis reception in
England, see Echard's Hist, of the Revolution, p. 167.

3 Dalrymple, i. 225. Smyth's Lectures, ii. 62—63.

4 See Echard, Hist, of Rev. p. 192.
e Stoughton, p. 47.


by all whom he had trusted, was forced to seek safety in

The news of the King's flight threw everyone into
consternation, no one knowing what should be done next
until some Peers, who happened to be in London, called a
meeting in the Guildhall, which was attended by the two
Archbishops and several Bishops \ They there drew up
an address to the Prince, in which they promised to assist
him in obtaining a Parliament for the welfare of the
country, the security of the Church and the freedom of
Dissenters. This address was signed by all the Prelates
present and by several Peers ^

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Online LibraryJ. Rawson (Joseph Rawson) LumbyCompendium of English Church History : from 1688 to 1830, with a preface → online text (page 1 of 17)