The Interregnum and the unsuccessful quest for religious conformity

Following the execution of Charles I in 1649, Parliament began a search for religious uniformity and the final completion of the Reformation begun by Henry VIII.

Their aims were defined in the Grand Remonstrance which insisted that religious conformity was vital to England’s future and insisted that the whole church should be reformed. For many who fought against the King, this was a justification for taking up arms.

But for other mainstream Puritans, the years that followed were a missed opportunity. Reformation had been overwhelmed by religious fragmentation and a world that had been turned upside down, and everywhere, Puritanism fragmented into groups such as the Quakers who focused on the individual’s conscience rather than conformity of worship.

This created the political consequences which eventually contributed to the failure of the republic and in 1660, the Restoration.

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The Interregnum and the unsuccessful quest for religious conformity
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Ann Hughes

Emerita Professor of Early Modern History

Professor Hughes was educated at the University of Liverpool where she completed a PhD on ‘Politics, society and civil war in Warwickshire’. She has worked at the…

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