A. The Puritans
1. The Puritans were not satisfied with the Elizabethan Settlement.
2. They wanted the Church to be purified even more.
3. They put a great emphasis on preaching and spirituality and disliked anything that was Catholic or ritualistic.
4. The first leader of the Puritans was Thomas Cartwright, a professor at Cambridge.
5. Most Puritans were Presbyterians, but there were other kinds.
6. The Separatists (or Dissenters) believed they should have nothing to do with the Church of England.
7. Congregationalists thought a church was complete in itself without being subject to any outside authority.
8. All of the Puritans were Calvinists, with the exception of a very small number.
9. Because of persecution, many Puritans left for New England.
B. The English Civil War
1. The Puritans finally became a majority in Parliament in 1640.
2. They tried and executed Archbishop Laud, who had vigorously persecuted the Puritans.
3. King Charles I opposed them and tried to use military force against Parliament.
4. Those who supported the Puritans were known as Roundheads.
5. Those who supported the king were known as Cavaliers.
6. Parliament's army was commanded by Oliver Cromwell, a Congregationalist.
7. Charles I was captured, tried and found guilty of being a traitor.
8. He was executed on January 30, 1649, ending the Civil War.
C. The Westminster Assembly
1. During the years of the Civil War, a committee of 121 ministers met at Westminster to draw up a new church government for England.
2. The Directory of Worship replaced the Prayer Book.
3. The Westminster Confession replace the 39 Articles.
4. There were also the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
5. This was accepted by Parliament in 1648.
6. Most Presbyterian churches still use the Westminster Confession and Catechisms.
D. The Restoration
1. After the death of Charles I, Cromwell ruled England as Lord Protector.
2. He died in 1658 and his sons took over.
3. However, the people were ready to have a king again.
4. Charles II (son of Charles I), was restored as the King of England in 1660.
5. In 1662, Parliament passed the Act of Uniformity requiring all ministers to use the revised Prayer Book.
6. Over 2000 Puritan ministers refused and were kicked out of their churches.
7. John Bunyan was put in jail for 12 years because he did not attend the local Anglican church.
8. Those in Scotland (the Covenanters) were hunted down like animals and killed.
9. Charles died in 1685, leaving his brother, James II, as king.
1. James II was a Catholic and wanted to return England to Catholicism.
2. The Protestants in England appealed to William of Orange in Holland to come to their aid.
3. William drove out James and he and his wife, Mary, became king and queen of England.
4. This was known as the Glorious Revolution.
5. In 1689, the Act of Toleration was passed, giving all Protestants the freedom to worship as they pleased.
6. The Bill of Rights was also passed, recognizing the basic rights and freedoms in other areas of society.
For Further Reading
The Great Plague of London
The Great Fire of London