By Polly Ha
This e-book deals another interpretation of pre-Civil battle England, not easy the normal narrative that English presbyterianism used to be effectively extinguished from the past due 16th century till its well known public resurgence through the English Civil struggle. From their emergence within the 1570s, English presbyterians posed a probability to the Church of britain, and, in 1592, the English crown arrested the leaders of the presbyterian flow. Ha indicates that, through the resulting part century of obvious silence, English presbyterians remained continuously energetic. They made a concerted attempt, for instance, to construct an alliance with universal legal professionals opposed to episcopal authority. but additionally they sought to turn out the compatibility in their church govt with royal supremacy. They agitated for additional reformation of the Church of britain, yet via the early 17th century they'd contributed to the start of 'independency' and to puritan appeals to neo-Roman perspectives of liberty.
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Extra info for English Presbyterianism, 1590-1640
Furthermore, there was a danger that emphasis on the separation of Church and State resembled English recusant objections to lay authority (namely that of the prince) in the Church. ”8 In arguing for the separation of Church and State, presbyterians were more concerned to prevent the clergy from wielding political power (as in the papal tradition) than they were to exclude lay involvement in church government. This is most obvious in their demand that lay elders be elected for oversight of the Church.
74 The “Reformed Church Government” provides evidence that presbyterians directed their arguments against church courts to lawyers and judges after their trials in the early 1590s and that their arguments were rooted in their platform for presbyterian reform. . 77 The contents of the “Reformed Church Government,” which challenged the matters tried in church courts, are perhaps more surprising than the fact that it was directed to a lay audience. Much scholarly attention has centered on puritan objections to the inefficiency of church courts and the controversial procedures used by the ecclesiastical commissioners.
This reveals that presbyterian criticisms were neither simply provoked by inefficiency nor by the measures used against them in the late sixteenth century. Their hostility to episcopacy was both grounded in English tradition and driven by an alternative ecclesiastical vision that extended to forms of punishment and procedure, and included the subject matter of the spiritual tribunals. 82 Whereas Cosin argued that tithes were allocated to spiritual courts by statute “in the days of K[ing] Richard II,” the “Reformed Church Government” cited Judge Fitzherbert to point out that before Richard II’s reign, up to the time of Anti-Episcopacy 33 his predecessor Edward III, the right of tithes was determinable in temporal courts.
English Presbyterianism, 1590-1640 by Polly Ha