English Religious Laws passed from 1660 to 1727

 

 

 

Act

Effect

Date passed

Date repealed

Duration

Comments

Corporation

13 Car II, stat. 2. c.1

Required oaths and communion for officers

1661

1828

167

Penalties reduced by Indemnity Act; Final repeal 1871

Licensing

14 Car. II. c. 33

Publications must be approved by Archbishop or Bishop

1662

Lapsed 1679; renewed 1685; not renewed 1695

Intermittent

To 1695

College Physicians had power to censor medical works until 1695

Uniformity [a]

13 & 14 Car. II. c.4

Ejected nonconformist ministers by 1664

1662

 

To present

Bartholomew Act

Uniformity [b]

Required teachers to take communion and have Bishop’s License

1662

1689

27

 

Uniformity [c]

Required oath 39 Articles universities

1662

1871

207

Changed in 1772: Cambridge graduates could declare membership of Church of England instead of subscribing to Articles.

Quaker

13 &14 Car. II. c. 1

Banned Quaker assemblies, required oaths

1662

1689

1812

27

Replaced in effect by Conventicle Act 1664, modified by Toleration Act, repealed 1812

Conventicle  [1]

16 Car. II. c. 1

Banned religious gatherings of more than 5, expired in 1668

1664

(1668)

4

 

Replaced in 1670

Five Mile

17 Car. II. c. 2

Banned ejected ministers and unlicensed preachers within  5 miles of towns

1665

1689,

1812

24+

Suspended by Toleration Act, repealed in 1812

Conventicle [2]

22 Car. II. c. 1

Banned religious gatherings of more than 5

1670

1689,

1812

19+

Suspended by Toleration Act, repealed in 1812

Test

 

25 Car. II. c. 2

Civil/military officers must take communion, renounce Mass, swear Corporation oaths, aimed at Catholics, also affected other Nonconformists

1673

1828: Sacramental Test Act

1829: Catholic Relief Act

156

Penalties reduced by Indemnity Acts of 1728 etc.

Jews relieved in 1858

Atheists relieved in 1886

Papist’s Disabling

30 Car. II stat. 2. c.1

Barred Catholics from Parliament

1678

1829

151

 

Toleration

1 Gul. & Mar. c. 18

Suspended penal laws agt. Nonconformists, allowed Trinitarians to license chapels, allowed Quakers to make declarations instead of oaths

1689

 

To present

Modified in 1779

Blasphemy

9 Will. 3. c. 35

Penalties incl. death for arians, socinians and atheists

1697

1813

116

Penalties removed 1813; repealed in 1967

Occasional Conformity

10 Anne c. 6

Barred  Dissenters from taking Anglican communion to qualify for office

1711

1718

7

 

Schism

 13 Anne c. 7

Barred Dissenters from keeping schools

1714

1718

4

 

Indemnity

1 Geo. 2. c. 23

Reduced penalties under Test and Corporation Acts; allowed Dissenters to hold offices

1727

 

Intermit-tent

Became annual from 1756 until repeal of Test and Corporation Acts

 

 

Some sources used in compiling this chart:

Online:

John Gascoigne, ‘Jebb, John (1736–1786)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2005 http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/14680, accessed 12 Sept 2014

Institute of Historical Research and History of Parliament Trust: British History Online website:  Calendar of State Papers Domestic, Charles II, The Calendars of State Papers for James II, William and Mary, Anne and George I are all at the same site.

Institute of Historical Research and History of Parliament Trust, British History Online website: John Raithby (ed.) Statutes of the Realm: volume 5 - 1628-80 (1819)

Institute of Historical Research and History of Parliament Trust, British History Online website: John Raithby (ed.) Statutes of the Realm: volume 6 - 1685-94 (1819)

Wikipedia:

List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1660–1699

List of Acts of the Parliament of England, 1700–1706

List of Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain, 1707–1719

List of Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain, 1720–1739

Penal Law

Books:

C. Braithwaite, The Second Period of Quakerism (London: 1919)

 

Heather Ellis, Generational Conflict and University Reform: Oxford in the Age of Revolution (Leiden: 2012)

 

H. S. Q. Henriques, The Jews and the English Law (Oxford: 1908)

 

J. P. Kenyon, The Stuart Constitution 1603-1688: Documents and Commentary (Cambridge: 1969)

 

Thomas Erskine May, The Constitutional History of England since the Accession of George Third 1760-1860, vol. 2 (New York: 1866)

 

David Ogg, England in the Reign of Charles II (2nd. ed., rpt. Oxford, London and New York: 1934, 1972)

 

K.R.M. Short “The English Indemnity Acts 1726-1867” Church History (Sept. 1973) 42, no. 3: 366-376

 

John Spurr, The Post-Reformation: Religion, Politics and Society in Britain, 1603-1714 (Harlow, Essex: 2006), pp.145-152

 

E. Neville Williams, The Eighteenth Century Constitution, 1688-1815 (Cambridge and New York: 1960)

 

notes:  I thank Alan Brooks for commenting on this table; all mistakes, omissions etc.

are solely my responsibility

 

After creating this, I discovered a very similar Timeline of Key Legislation and Events prepared by David L. Wykes on the Dr. Williams’

Centre for Dissenting Studies website—I really wish I had seen this earlier! ]

 

 

Margaret DeLacy, 2012

 

 

 

 

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