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Insular ChristianityAlternative models of the Church in Britain and Ireland, c.1570–c.1700$
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Robert Armstrong and Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086984

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086984.001.0001

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Coping with alternatives: religious liberty in royalist thought 1642–47

Coping with alternatives: religious liberty in royalist thought 1642–47

(p.149) Chapter 8 Coping with alternatives: religious liberty in royalist thought 1642–47
Insular Christianity

Anthony Milton

Manchester University Press

This article examines the ideas of religious toleration that can be found in royalist proposals in both England and Ireland in the 1640s, and the manner in which bishops and chaplains were forced into often uncomfortable contemplation of its implications. While practical issues relating to external jurisdiction had posed significant problems in the Irish debates, English discussions at times seemed to leave a theoretical door open for the existence of multiple self-governing religious groups, although the precise degree to which they could exercise jurisdiction over themselves was not entirely clear. It is perhaps not surprising that in both England and Ireland Charles and his clerical advisors were often not particularly averse to granting a degree of formal religious toleration to alternative religious groups. For royalist clergy in particular, such grants of toleration constituted a far more tempting alternative than having to accept the radical reform of the established church on Presbyterian lines.

Keywords:   Royalism, Toleration, Jurisdiction, Established church

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