1. Robert Browne organized the first Congregationalist, or Independent, church in Norwich, in 1581, and was immediately arrested.
2. On his release, he and his followers fled to Holland.
3. Congregationalists believed that every congregation was self-governing without supervision from the outside.
4. When Henry Barrowe and John Greenwood were hanged for denying the authority of Queen Elizabeth in the church, most of their followers also left for Holland.
5. Later, William Brewster and John Robinson formed congregations and also fled to Holland.
6. One Congregationalist, John Smyth, adopted Baptist principles and formed the first Baptist church in England in about 1611.
7. The persecution of Congregationalists ended under Oliver Cromwell, who was himself a Congregationalist.
8. The Congregationalist churches issued the Savoy Declaration, a summary of their beliefs, in 1658.
9. Persecution was renewed under Charles II, and did not stop until the Toleration Act of 1689.