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Ecclesiastical history of England : from the opening of the long parliament to the death of Oliver Cromwell (Volume 3) online

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Theological Seminary



BR 756 .S76 1867 vTs "^ "

Stoughton, John, 1807-1897
,^7^f Ecclesiastical history of





Cfje C()urc8 of m iaestoration.









THE object of my former volmnes upon the Ecclesias-
tical History of England was to state facts and to
draw conclusions, without seeking to gratify any particular
party, and by such a method to promote the cause of
Chiistian truth and charity. Acknowledgments of success
to some extent, expressed by public critics, and by private
friends, holding very different ecclesiastical opinions,
encourage me to proceed in my arduous but agreeable
task ; and I now venture to lay before the public another
instalment of my work.

To account for its appearance so soon after its prede-
cessor, it is but fair to my readers and myself to state,
that it became the dream and desire of my life, a quarter
of a century ago, to write an Ecclesiastical History of my
own country ; and that, ever since, my reading and my
reflections have been directed very much into this channel.
For many years past, I have been engaged in studying
the affairs of the Church from the Commonwealth to the
Revolution ; and therefore, whatever may be the imper-
fections of these volumes, they are not, at any rate, a
hasty compilation, but the result of long and laborious

A 2


It may be well to indicate the sources from which my
materials are drawn.

The printed Journals of the Lords and Commons,
— the Parliamentary History of England, — CardweU's
Synodalia, — Thurloe's State Papers, — and other similar
collections, which did not exist in the days of Kennet,
Collier, and Neal, — supply, together with Burnet's and
Baxter's contemporary accounts, the backbone of the
following narrative. Journals, diaries, and biographies
of the period, with newspapers and tracts, of which
extraordinarily rich collections are found in the British
Museum and in Dr. Williams' Library, have helped to
clothe the skeleton. But the sources of illustration, upon
which I rest some slight claim to originality, are found
in certain unpublished MSS. which it has been my privi-
lege to examine and employ.

I. Amongst these the first place belongs to the Col-
lection of Papers in the Piecord Office. Besides the
assistance furnished by the published calendars of Mrs.
Green, extending from 1660 to 1667,1 have been favoured
with the use of that lady's unpublished notes down to
the close of 1669; these helps have greatly facilitated
my inquiries into the history of the first decade embraced
within these volumes. From that period to the Kevolu-
tion, I have been left with no other clue than the Office
catalogue of the books and bundles chronologically
arranged; and all the documents which I could find
bearing on domestic affairs — and they amount to many
hundreds — I have carefully examined. Although those
which relate to ecclesiastical matters are by no means
so numerous as those which relate to political, com-
mercial, and other subjects, they are of very great
value to the Church historian. They may be classified
as follows : —


As to the Estahlish'd Church —

i. Note-book of Sir Joseph Williamson,
ii. Applications for preferments, and correspondence

relating to them,
iii. Private letters allnding in various ways to Church
As to Nonconformists —

i. Informations against them, which are very nu-
ii. A spy-book, containing many curious particulars

of suspected persons,
iii. Correspondence containing a great number of
incidental allusions to the condition of Non-
The details are generally of a minute description, and
would very extensively serve the purpose of biographers
and local historians ; but they are not without consider-
able value for a purpose like mine, as my foot-notes
will testify.

Amongst the new historical illustrations thus afforded,
are those connected with the ecclesiastical aspects of the
general election of 1661, with the rumoured plots of that
and succeeding years, plots in which Nonconformists were
accused of being involved, — the conduct of Nonconformists
under their persecutions, — and the fabrication of letters
with the view of involving Nonconformists in trouble — of
which one striking example occurs in relation to William
Kiffin, and, as appears very probable, another referring to
certain London ministers. There are also notices of the
Indulgence of 1672, and of the case of Colledge, the
Protestant Joiner, as he was called. It is apparent
how much the antipathies of the two religious parties
of that day were augmented by political conside-
rations ; and from the documents are also obtained


many interesting and amusing glimpses of private social

II. Next to the State Papers, I may mention a
collection of fragmentary remains in the Archives of
Parliament, connected with the passing of the Act
of Uniformity, — and especially the Book of Common
Prayer attached to the Act (described in my Appendix),
prefixed to which is an Analysis of the alterations made
in the formularies. Accurate copies of these papers have
been furnished for my use by the kindness of Sir Denis
Le Marchant.

III. The ivell-hioivn MS. Collections in [the British
Mnseiim and at Lamheth. They have yielded items of
information I believe not published before — particularly
the returns made to Episcopal inquiries as preserved in
the Archiepiscopal Library.

IV. The MSS. in the University Libranj of Camhridge.
I have found amongst these some papers which have been
of service, especially in relation to the reign of James II. ;
one of them, giving an account of the opening of Parlia-
ment, I have printed in my Appendix.

V. The Morice and other MSS. in Dr. Williams'
Library. This collection forms a quarry hitherto imper-
fectly worked. There are three folio volumes, entitled,
Entering Books, or Historical Begister, extending over
the period between 1676-91. These I have found of
great service in throwing light upon Nonconformist
opinions of public events, in supplying the current
rumours of the day, and in recording pieces of informa-
tion relating to minor matters illustrative of those times.

■And here I may add, not only with regard to this and
other diaries, but also with reference to letters and notes
amongst the State Papers, that I have rehed on them
only for such purposes as are now indicated, and that I


do not rest my belief of any important historical events
simply upon evidence of this description.

VI. A curious Dinrij, kept at the time of the Restora-
tion, for the loan of which some years ago I was indebted
to Mrs. Green, who copied it from the original in the
Middleshill Collection. I have called it the Worcester
MSS. The diarist was Henry Townshend, Esquire, of
Elmley Lovet, Worcestershire, who lies buried in the
church of that parish ; and the nature of his impressions
of what went on around him may be inferred from his

VII. A document relative to the death of Charles II.,
being one of the valuable collection of papers entrusted
to the Record Commission for examination. This docu-
ment solves the curious enigma which puzzled Lord
Macaulay. For a copy of it I am indebted to the kind-
ness of Sir Thomas Duffus Hardy, who takes an im-
portant part in the Commission.

VIII. A 3IS. History of the Congregational Churches
of Suffolk, by the Rev. Thomas Harmer, Author
of Observations on Scripture ; a MS. History of the
Congregational Church at Yarmouth, drawn up from
the Church Book by my late friend Mr. Joseph Davey ;
and other old Church Records which I have been permitted
to inspect, as will appear from the foot-notes to these

IX. MS. Volumes and Papers in the Archives of Canter-
bury. For the inspection and use of these I am indebted
to the kindness and assistance of the Dean and of Canon

X. Subscription Booh, amongst the records of Chichester
Cathedral, which has been examined by Canon Swainson,
who has furnished me with the results inserted in the
Appendix. To him my best thanks are due ; nor can I


omit to record my acknowledgments to the Dean of
Chichester also, for all his kind and friendly attention.

With these various materials before me, I have entered
much more fully than previous historians have done into
several subjects — especially the re-establishment of the
Episcopal Church by the Act of Uniformity. In our
time, when the question of Establishments has been so
earnestly and so practically taken up, as to work out
already the greatest ecclesiastical change since 1662,
surely a full account of what was accomplished in that
memorable year, with its immediate results, — results
far from having spent their influence, — must be reckoned
amongst the most desirable portions of history. It is
remarkable that no State Churchman has ever gone at
large into this subject, supplying the defects of Neal, and
correcting the inaccuracies of Clarendon and Burnet.
Whilst I have attempted to supply the aclmowledged
desideratum from my own point of view, it has been my
aim, in these as in former volumes, to make my readers
acquainted not only with prominent transactions, but with
the social and private religious life of the period, the
personal piety which existed in difi'erent communions,
and the identity of that spiritual life which then deeply
struck its roots, as it ever does, under varied forms of
doctrinal belief, of Christian worship, and of ecclesiastical

I have also attempted to redeem my promise to furnish
a sketch of the theological opinions entertained in
England between the commencement of the Civil Wars
and the fall of James II. It would have been easier
and more attractive to indulge in broad generalizations
on the sulycct, and to work out my own theological con-
clusions, through the medium of historical reflection and
argument; but I have preferred the more useful and


trustworthy, as well as the more humble and laborious
method of analyzing and describing the publications of
the period in connection with the authors, and thus indi-
cating some of the extraneous influences which have
wrought upon the minds of eminent thinkers. Of course
I have been compelled to limit myself to those writers
who are best known and most significant, and therefore
the student will perhaps miss in my account some
favourite or expected name. But imperfect as the review
will be found, enough will appear to indicate strong
resemblances between currents of opinion then and
now ; and in this respect, the true apprehension of the
present will be materially assisted by a knowledge of
the past.

As in the course of my researches I have detected in
authors of the highest reputation a number of minute
inaccuracies, and some important errors, I cannot hope
to have escaped such evils myself, and I shall be very
thankful to candid critics for kindly pointing them out.

About one half of this volume covers ground traversed
by me in Church and State two hundred ijears ago,
published in 1862 : but it will be found, that with the
exception of a few sentences here and there, the account
now published is quite new. Facts before passed over
are here described at length, whilst certain trivial details
are omitted ; my views on some points have undergone a
little modification, and the entire narrative has been
rearranged ; but the spirit which I sought at the
beginning I have endeavoured to retain throughout.

It would be ungrateful not to add, that for facilities in
research, and for direct literary aid, I am indebted to
many friends. Besides special obligations which I have
acknowledged in the foot-notes and Appendix, I beg to
acknowledge the kindness of Mr.Thoms, Sub-Librarian


to the House of Lords — Mr. Aldis Wright, Librarian of
Trinity College, Cambridge — Mr. BuUen, of the British
Museum — and Mr. Hunter, keeper of Dr. Williams'

Nor can I omit to mention again, my fellow- workers
at home, especially one whose assiduity and care in
helping me to correct the press, deserve the highest

Two literary friends who took much interest in this
work, — the Eev. Joseph Aspland and Mr. John Bruce,
F.S.A., — are now, alas, beyond the reach of my thanks.

Should my life be spared, I hope in another volume to
bring the Ecclesiastical History down to the Kevolution.
A history of the eighteenth century lies amongst the
visions of the future.



Political Character of Puritanism i

Ecclesiastical Character of Puritanism 7

Spiritual Character of Pm-itanism , ii


Eichard Cromwell 15

His ParUament 17

Petitions from the Army 23

Richard's Resignation of the

Protectorate 26

Independents 28

Baptists 31

Presbyterians 33

Episcopalians 34


Interregnum 40

Restoration of Rimip Parlia-
ment 42

Monk's Military Power 44

Re-establishment of Presbyte-
rianism 49


Presbyterians and Monk 51

Presbyterians and Episcopalians 5 2

State of Parties 55

Convention Parhament 57

Commonwealth Army 58

Breda Declaration 61

Proclamation of Charles II. ... 63

Manner of Restoration 65

Presbyterian Deputation to the

King 68

Episcopalian Address 71




The King's return 7*

Presbyterian Addresses 77

Independent Addresses 79

Royal Supremacy 8o

Disbanding of the Old Army ... 86
Ecclesiastical proceedings hi

Parhament 88

Question of the Church's Settle-
ment 88

Restoration of Cathedrals 92

Petitions from Universities 9*

Changes in the position of
Parties in the House of Com-
mons 93

Church Property 95

Bishops 97

Preferments 9^


Presbyterian Chaplains 100

Meetings of Presbyterians 101

Presbyterian Proposals 102

Prelates' Answer 105

Controversy 106

Meetings at Worcester House ii +
The Eons's Declaration 117


The Regicides 126

New Bishops 131

Persecution of Nonconformists 134

Reaction against Puritanism ... 138

Venner's Insurrection 1 40

Opening of Suspected Letters 145


Elections for New Parhament . 147

Interception of Letters 151

Meeting of Parliament 154

Commission for SavoyConference 155

Convocation 158

Savoy Palace 162

Members of Conference 163

Coronation 166

Election for ^lembers of Convo-
cation 168

Presbyterians' Exceptions to the
Liturgy 170

Meeting of Convocation 173

Proceedings of Convocation ... 176
Bishops' Answers to Excep-



Baxter's Liturgy 180

Presbyterians' Rejoinder to
Bishops' Answers 183

Last two Meetings of Savoy
Conference 187

Baxters Account of Commis-
sioners 189

Baxter's Petition 191


Proceedings of Parliament 196

Burning of Solemn League and

Covenant 196

Bill for restoring Prelates to the

Upper House 197

Bill for governing Corporations 1 99
Bill for Restoration of Eccle-
siastical Courts 200

Uniformity Bill 202

State of feeling 206




Re-assembliBg of Parliament ... 209

Pretended Plots 211

Deliberations of Convocation... 213

History of the Prayer Book ... 214

Revision of the Book 219

Subscription 223

Consecration of Bishops 227


Uniformity Bill 229

Lords' Amendments 231

Debates on Amendments 233

Commons' Amendments 239

Conference between the two
Houses 241


Royal Assent to Bill of Uni-
formity 245

Change in the EstabUshment
made by the Act 246

Convocation responsible for
Changes in the Prayer Book 247

Bishops' share in Responsibility 248

House of Commons 250

Clarendon 250

Roman Catholic Party 251

Omissions in Act 253

Classes affected by it 255


Sir Henry Vane 256

Edmund Ludlow 258

Edward Whalley and Major-
General Gough 259

Effects of the Act of Uniform-
ity 261

Reports of Disaffection 267


Bartholomew Ejectment — Fare-
well Sermons 271

Reception of Catherine of Bra-
ganza 275

Petitions from Quakers 275

St. Bartholomew's Day 278

The Ejected Ministers 278


Petition from Presbyterians ... 283

Operation of the Act 285

Clergy who conformed 287

Bishops' Articles of Visitation 289
Ministers who continued in the

Establishment without con-
forming 290

Clergy who disapproved of the
Ejectment ^91

Rumoured Plots ^9*




King's Declaration of Indul-
gence 296

Baxter and the Independents... 298

Parliament 299

Debate on Indulgence 300

Papists and Nonconformists ... 303

Deaths of Bishops 305

Proscribed Worship 308

Colonial Policy 310

Plots and Informers 312

Nonconformist Places of Worship 314
Ejected Ministers 316


Conventicle Act 322

Execution of the Act 327

Convocation 329

Sheldon's Inquiries 331


The Plague 333

Ministers who remained in

London during the Plague ... 338

Usefulness of the Ejected

Clergy 340

Mompesson 341

Stanley and Shaw 342

Parliament at Oxford 343

Increase of Nonconformity 343

Five Mile Act 345

Nonconformists who took the

Oath of Non-resistance 348

Those who refused it 350

Dutch War 355


The Fire of London 357

Papists suspected 361

Exertions of Nonconformists

after the Fire 362

Disturbances in Scotland 363

Fanatics 365

The Dutch 366

Empty Exchequer 365

Impeachment of Clarendon 369

His Character 371

Comparison between Clarendon

and Burleigh 373

Extent of Nonconformity 375


Comprehension 378

EpiscopaUan Proposals 381

Presbyterian Modifications 383

Thorndike's Principles 385

New Conventicle Bill 387

Manton and Baxter 390

Conventicles 392


Sufferings of Quakers ,





The Cabal 400

Declaration of Indulgence 403

How regarded by Politicians ... 404
By Episcopalians and Presby-
terians 406

By Independents 407 Pardon of Quakers 414

Nonconformists return thanks

for Declaration 408

Grants to Nonconformists 410

Charles II. and the Quakers
Carver and Moore 412


Opening of Parliament 416

Political parties 417

Debate on the Declaration 418

Measures for ReUef 421

Test Act 425

Cancelling of the Declaration
of Indulgence 428

State of Nonconformists 429


Earl of Danby 434

New Test 436

Comprehension 438

Persecution of Nonconformists 441

Coffee Houses 443

Comprehension and Tolera-
tion 444

Bishop Croft 447


Roman Catholicism 450

The Duke of York 451

Protestant Opposition 455

St. Germain and Luzancy 458

Parliament 459

Committal of Four Lords to

the Tower 462

Bills against Popery 463

Act for Better Observance of

the Lord's-day 465

Act for Augmentation of Small

Li^dngs 467

Repeal of the law De Haretico

Comburendo 467

Bill for Exclusion of Papists

from Parliament 469


Bishops — Sheldon 47°

Ward 474

Morley 477

Cosin 478

Hacket 481

Wilkins 483

Pearson — Reynolds 48 5

Croft 487

Laney 488

Gunning 489

Paul — Warner 490

Earle — Skinner 491

Bishops— Nicholson— Henchman 492

Rainbow — Henshaw 493

Ironside 494

Frewen — Sterne 495

Dolben 498

Griffith — Glemham — Barrow 499

Wood 500

Brideoake 501

Lloj'd 502

State of the Clergy 50

Their Ignorance 507

Religious and Moral Character 5 1 o


ri^HE knell of the Puritan Commonwealth was rung
JL when Oliver Cromwell died. The causes of its
dissolution maj easily be discovered. Some of them
had been in operation for a long time, and had prepared
for the change which now took place. ^

Puritanism never won a majority of the English people.
By some of the greatest in the nation it was espoused,
and their name, example, and influence, gave it for a
time a position which defied assault ; but the multitude
stood ranged on the opposite side. Forced to succumb,
and stricken with silence, the disaffected nevertheless
abated not a jot of their bitter antipathy to the party in
power. Even amongst those who wore the livery of the
day, who used the forms, who adopted the usages of
their masters, many lacked the slightest sympathy with
the system which, from self-interest or timidity, they had
been induced to accept. The Puritans were not the
hypocrites ; the hypocrites really were people of another
religion, or of no religion, who pretended to be Puritans.

' For the state of Puritanism the thread of the Histoiy where I

during the Civil Wars aud the Com- dropped it, at the death of Oliver

mouwealth I must refer the reader Cromwell,
to mj' former Volumes. I take up


Besides these, there were numbers who whispered mur-
murs, or bit their Hps in dumb impatience, as they
watched for signs of change in the pohtical firmament.

A mischievous pohcy had been pursued by the Puritans
towards the old Church of England. Laud's execution
yielded a harvest of revenge. The extirpation of Episco-
pacy, and the suppression of the Prayer Book, kindled an
exasperation wliich kept alive a resentful intolerance
down to the period of the Revolution. I am aware of
the excuses made for Puritan despotism, and am ready
to allow some palliation for wrong done under provoking
circumstances, but I must continue to express indignation
at the injustice committed ; all the more, because of my
religious sympathy with the men who thus tarnished their
fame. It must, however, be confessed that had Presby-
terians and Independents been ever so merciful in the
hour of their might, there is no reason to suppose, from
what is known of their opponents, that they would have
shewn any mercy in return.

In enumerating the causes of the failure of Puritanism
as a political institution notice should be taken of the
prohibition of ancient customs. How far the prohibition
extended has been pointed out in former volumes, and I
must repeat, that whilst endeavours to suppress national
vice were most praiseworthy, some of the Parliamentary
prohibitions at the time were, to a considerable extent,
unjust and unnatural. Those who chose to celebrate
Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, and other seasons, had
a perfect right so to do ; and some, though not all, of
the amusements remorselessly put down, were in them-
selves innocent; pleasant, and even venerable in their
associations; and in their tendencies productive of kindly
fellowship between class and class.

Puritan rule iu England came as the child of revoli:-


tion — a revolution mainly accomplished by civil war.
The first battle, indeed, and that which led to all the
others, was fought on the floor of the House of Commons.
The patriots being returned as the representatives of the
most active and influential citizens, many of whom were
Puritans, possessed an immense amount of political
power, and, as statesmen, they turned the scale in favour
of revolution ; but the revolution had to make good its
ground by force, and the patriots, as soldiers, had to
crush resistance in the field. This was a necessity.
The attitude of the King, the chivalrous spirit of the
nobles who rallied round him, under the circumstances
in which Parliament had placed itself, rendered an appeal
to arms inevitable. The wager of battle having been
accepted, the quarrel having been fought out bravely,
the relative position afterwards of the victors and the
vanquished could not but embitter the feelings existing
on both sides. The vanquished submitted without grace
to their conquerors. They hated the new political con-
stitution. When they seemed quiet they were only
biding their time, only preparing for some fresh outbreak.
Memories of privation, of imprisonment, of cruel usage,
of houses burnt, of fathers, sons, and brothers slain,
and especially the mortification of defeat, constantly
irritated the Cavalier and goaded him to revenge. The
blister was kept open year after year. The wound never
healed. Alienation, or resentment, on the part of the
Koyalist provoked new oppression on the part of the
Commonwealths-man. Fresh oppression from the hands

Online LibraryJohn StoughtonEcclesiastical history of England : from the opening of the long parliament to the death of Oliver Cromwell (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 41)