Under Charles II, a series of acts known as the Clarendon Code defined the religious settlement. The king became supreme governor of the Church of England, and the Act of Uniformity of 1662 authorized a slightly revised Book of Common Prayer. The Test Act of 1673, aimed at both dissenting Protestants and Roman Catholics, allowed only those who passed the test of taking communion in the Church of England to hold public and ecclesiastic office or military commissions. A crisis developed during the reign of James II, Charles II’s Catholic brother. Wanting toleration for both Dissenters and Catholics, James II issued a Declaration of Indulgence, which the Anglican bishops openly opposed. Then in June 1688, James II’s second wife gave birth to a son. This male heir, to be raised Catholic, took precedence over James II’s two older daughters, Mary and Anne, who had been raised Anglican. The political elite of England wanted neither a king seeking to suspend parliamentary law nor a Catholic succession. So in a bloodless coup, they invited James II’s eldest daughter, Mary, and her Dutch husband, William, Prince of Orange, to England, and James II and his new family fled. By the Glorious Revolution, William III and Mary II became joint sovereigns of England. The Church of England remained the established church, but the Toleration Act of 1689 did permit Dissenters to have their own chapels. In 1693, the monarchs granted a charter for the Virginia college bearing their names, the first Anglican-affiliated institution of higher learning in the colonies. Since William and Mary had no children, nor did Anne despite many pregnancies, Parliament passed the Act of Settlement in 1701; henceforth, only Protestants who conformed to the Church of England would be permitted to succeed to the English throne. Anne, the last Stuart monarch, was a staunch Anglican and personally provided for the poorer clergy in what became known as Queen Anne’s Bounty. Upon her death, she was succeeded by her closest Protestant relation, George, elector of Hanover. With the firm establishment of the Anglican Church in England, efforts were made to strengthen the church in the colonies by such organizations as the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, founded in 1698 to distribute Anglican literature abroad, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, a missionary body. Nevertheless, a pattern of religious diversity continued in the American colonies. Although the Anglican church expanded in the eighteenth century, it did not keep pace with other Protestant denominations, and, by the time of the revolution, it had fallen to fourth place, after Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and Baptists. The Church of England obviously could not survive the American Revolution as such, since its clergy had to pledge allegiance to the English monarch. While many colonial Anglican clergymen were loyalists, some did side with the American patriots. After independence, those who still believed in the Anglican doctrines founded the American Episcopal Church. Florene S. Memegalos See also: Bible; Christ and Christianity; Religion (Chronology); Religion (Essay). Bibliography Cross, Arthur Lyon. The Anglican Episcopate and the American Colonies. Reprint of Harvard Historical Studies 9, 1902. Hamden, CT: Archon, 1964. Elton, G. R. Reform and Reformation: England, 1509 1558. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1977. Prall, Stuart E. Church and State in Tudor and Stuart England. Arlington Heights, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1993. Rhoden, Nancy L. Revolutionary Anglicanism: The Colonial Church of England Clergy During the American Revolution. New York: New York University Press, 1999. Scarisbrick, J. J. Reformation and the English People. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1984. Woolverton, John Frederick. Colonial Anglicanism in North America. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1984.
Is the Church of England still in God’s own country? – Telegraph Church of England English national church Britannica.com History of the Church of England – Wikiwand