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Deism in Enlightenment EnglandTheology, Politics, and Newtonian Public Science$
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Jeffrey R. Wigelsworth

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719078729

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719078729.001.0001

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The issue of succession: politics and theology, 1701–09

The issue of succession: politics and theology, 1701–09

(p.44) Chapter 2 The issue of succession: politics and theology, 1701–09
Deism in Enlightenment England

Jeffrey R. Wigelsworth

Manchester University Press

The question of the successor to William III occupied the minds of many during the early years of the eighteenth century. As per the Act of Settlement, Queen Anne, daughter of James II, came to the throne. John Toland joined the debate early in 1701 with his Anglia Libera, in which he supported the passing of the crown to the House of Hanover. His Hanoverian enthusiasm and pro-Whig arguments made him the topic of political gossip abroad and the target of many High Church Tories at home. Tindal's involvement in debates regarding the requirements for fellows reflects the great extent to which deism and national politics were intertwined. This college matter demonstrated how fragile the religious peace in England was. The deists sought to help England chart a course into smoother political and theological waters, which avoided the waves caused by High Church policies. Other deists too attempted to find a place within the fast-moving events of the day through their political writings.

Keywords:   Queen Anne, House of Hanover, William III, High Church, Tindal

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