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Source: (consider it) Thread: Historical Question: Were the Puritans persecuted?
Fr Weber
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The Puritans were disloyal churchmen from the beginning. And it wasn't just that they wanted a place at the table; from the very beginning they were totalizing, and when they came into power they were ruthless in removing "popery" and "prelacy" from the church.

The pendulum swung. They took a "prophetic" stand. There were consequences. Deal with it.

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Jengie jon

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Nope does not stand Anglican persecuted Non-Conformist whether or not they were seditious have a look at the story of Henry Vane the Younger.

You are making history fit the story you want it to.

Jengie

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Yeah chucked out of your benefice the day before pay day isn't persecution. Not being allowed to preach within five miles of your previous benefice ain't persecution or any major centre of population. Not being able to go to University or hold a professional position ain't persecution. Not being allowed to marry or bury your own people ain't persecution.


Go on.

Jengie

Jengie, you are right of course, but remember the context. There had been 2+ big regime changes in the previous 20 years. It was in a time when religion and politics were totally intertwined. A person's view on church government could not be separated from their views on who should rule and how. We make a big mistake if we try to read back into the Five Mile Act etc modern ideas about freedom of conscience, and regard them as an outrage for not fitting what we now think.

The first big regime change had followed a violent war. It had traumatised family and community. It's only relatively recently that historians have begun to appreciate the social dislocation inflicted on ordinary people by nine years worth of three civil wars. At the end the winners had dispossessed the losers of both power and property. The wheel had then turned and put the first lot of losers back in the winning seats. Part of the deal was that they should let those who were prepared to acquiesce in the Restoration live in peace.

Our modern eyes may see this as religious intolerance, but what was actually happening was the state attempting to purge of power and influence those ultras that were not really willing to accept the Restoration, that were still really loyal to 'the good old cause' and waiting for a chance to take it up again.

And Fr Weber, this wasn't about being loyal or disloyal churchmen. That's a modern idea. It was about competing visions of the state expressed in religious terms because nobody at that time separated religion and political ideology.

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Fr Weber
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Of course, Enoch--but the church wasn't a bureaucratic department of state. Political theory of the 16th & 17th centuries saw Church and State as twin pillars of the world order. To be disloyal to one was to be disloyal to both.

My point is that what was done to Puritans after the Restoration was no worse than what was done to Anglicans during the Protectorate, as anyone who wasn't on board with Presbyterian polity was cashiered. Step on people on your way up and you can pretty much guarantee that they'll take a swing at you on your way back down.

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Jengie jon

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The University thing continued until the 19th Century or even 20th.

Jengie

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
The University thing continued until the 19th Century or even 20th.

Jengie

The Oxford University Act of 1854 and the Universities Test Act of 1871.
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Jengie jon

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Both those dates are 19th Century the reason for me stating 20th century is that many of the redbricks came from Nonconformity due to lack of access and their founding is significantly later.

Yeah, but the big thing with Enoch post is that it is again the argument that those who are persecuted can't persecute. If the Puritans were not persecuted because they later persecuted. Then I maintain it is equally logical to claim that the Anglicans were not persecuted under the commonwealth because of their behaviour afterwards.

If, on the other hand, the Anglicans are to be let off their later persecution later because of the persecution earlier by the Puritans then so should the Puritans be let off their later persecutions?

Six of one and half a dozen the other both are illogical. The fact is that persecuting and persecutors were often the same people at different times.

Oh, the 17th century of power. Not much truck with that actually. I rather have parliamentary democracy than monarchical dictatorship and the Divine Right of Kings was a claim to Monarchical Dictatorship. Yes, I know Cromwell became just as big a dictator as Charles I but not the approbation of all Puritans (see previous post). Again six of one and half a dozen the other.

Jengie

[ 29. November 2016, 20:49: Message edited by: Jengie jon ]

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Steve Langton
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by Fr Weber;
quote:
Of course, Enoch--but the church wasn't a bureaucratic department of state. Political theory of the 16th & 17th centuries saw Church and State as twin pillars of the world order. To be disloyal to one was to be disloyal to both.
That's a pretty good statement of why 'state churches' result in persecution. Whether they be narrowly nationalist like Anglicans or a broader set-up like the RCC. OK, in England after "Bloody Mary's" killing of many Protestants Elizabeth/Charles/James/etc were imprisoning or simply making life difficult and only killing when there was overt rebellion involved - but what was going on was definitely persecution.

Puritans persecuting back? Like I said earlier, at that stage many of the Puritans were still operating with the idea of a 'Christian state' and saw dissent rather as the Anglicans and RCC did - disloyalty to state and church alike. Other Puritans had advanced further in terms of religious freedom and toleration and the Continental Anabaptists had actually realised that the Biblical teaching opposed such state churches and therefore also opposed such legal persecution. It was a messy situation and few come out of it well, even including the Pilgrims with whom this thread started.

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Callan
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I think the bottom line is that the Puritans were both persecuted and persecuting. How much slack you want to give them depends on the extent that you share their theology.

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Steve Langton
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
I think the bottom line is that the Puritans were both persecuted and persecuting. How much slack you want to give them depends on the extent that you share their theology.

In one sense I don't want to give the persecuting Puritans ANY slack. But as I've said, they lived in a turbulent time and given how much theological ground they did cover in Protestant restoration of Biblical ideas, I'm fairly sympathetic to the fact that they didn't all manage to see the point the Anabaptists did. Wish they had all also seen that point, but....
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
In one sense I don't want to give the persecuting Puritans ANY slack. But as I've said, they lived in a turbulent time and given how much theological ground they did cover in Protestant restoration of Biblical ideas, I'm fairly sympathetic to the fact that they didn't all manage to see the point the Anabaptists did. Wish they had all also seen that point, but....

Of course, they all thought they were in the business of restoring biblical ideas.

Personally, I think William Penn came closest, and I'm not sure he could really be described as a puritan and certainly wasn't an anabaptist.

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
I think the bottom line is that the Puritans were both persecuted and persecuting. How much slack you want to give them depends on the extent that you share their theology.

This.

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Alt Wally

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This is the short hand version of the story I got through my public education:

- The Pilgrims came over on the Mayflower seeking religious freedom. Unclear what this meant, but likely somebody, somewhere was making them do something they didn't want to do.
- They made a compact of some sort.
- They were clueless about how to survive, and probably all would have starved if not the for Native Americans.

I don't recall anything being said about actual persecution or deprivation. It seemed more about just wanting to come over and do their own thing.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
This is the short hand version of the story I got through my public education:

- The Pilgrims came over on the Mayflower seeking religious freedom. Unclear what this meant, but likely somebody, somewhere was making them do something they didn't want to do.
- They made a compact of some sort.
- They were clueless about how to survive, and probably all would have starved if not the for Native Americans.

I don't recall anything being said about actual persecution or deprivation. It seemed more about just wanting to come over and do their own thing.

Most national histories - as recounted in schools - conveniently airbrush the less salubrious bits away. I was never taught anything (for example) about the Raid on the Medway- probably Britain's most embarrassing military foul-up. Nor were most of my contemporaries, though maybe that's all changed now.

(Good to see you again BTW!)

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Gamaliel
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The Dutch Raid on The Medway was taught when I was a kid, alongside the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London.

Maybe I was just a history geek but I knew about them back in the early 1970s.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Good to know, Gamaliel, but I lived in Kent when I were but young...

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Gamaliel
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It was in the R J Unstead books which most junior schools had in the mid to late 1960s.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
It was in the R J Unstead books which most junior schools had in the mid to late 1960s.

And in the 1950s, when I was at primary school.

Unstead history books.....I've just had a Proust's madeleine moment!

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Alt Wally

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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
Most national histories - as recounted in schools - conveniently airbrush the less salubrious bits away.

Indeed. I mentioned what I learned about the Pilgrims only to say I don't believe there is a popular perception of them as being persecuted. Really more that they wanted to "do it their way".

quote:
(Good to see you again BTW!)

Thanks!
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american piskie
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
The Dutch Raid on The Medway was taught when I was a kid, alongside the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London.

Maybe I was just a history geek but I knew about them back in the early 1970s.

A staple of Lower* History in 1950s Scotland. I think the subliminal message was that these three disasters would never have been allowed to happen in the Lord Protector's days.

(*) For their Leaving Certificate clever Scottish lads and lasses did five Highers and Lower Geography or History, together with the compulsory Arithmetic.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by american piskie:
I think the subliminal message was that these three disasters would never have been allowed to happen in the Lord Protector's days.

Why would the Scotch want to suport the memory of the one who not only thrashed them at Dunbar in 1650, but rubbed their noses in it by singing Psalms 68 ("Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered") and 117 ("his merciful kindness is great toward us")?
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american piskie
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Because Scottish History syllabuses were written to normalise the Union. And there was also the lurking fear of the Irish immigrants.

(Scottish History was just not taught in secondary school: I learned about the English Reformation.)

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fausto
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by american piskie:
I think the subliminal message was that these three disasters would never have been allowed to happen in the Lord Protector's days.

Why would the Scotch want to suport the memory of the one who not only thrashed them at Dunbar in 1650, but rubbed their noses in it by singing Psalms 68 ("Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered") and 117 ("his merciful kindness is great toward us")?
Uh, I think you meant to say "the Scots". "The Scotch" is a drink -- and its therapeutic use is for memory suppression, not memory support.

But its use in this instance might help explain any omission.

[ 02. December 2016, 13:37: Message edited by: fausto ]

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Stetson
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Fausto wrote:

quote:
Uh, I think you meant to say "the Scots". "The Scotch" is a drink -- and its therapeutic use is for memory suppression, not memory support.

For the record, though, there are some Scottish communities, at least in Canada, that identify as "Scotch".

The Scotch

I also remember my mom, married into a family of Lowlands extraction, referring to Scottish people as "the Scotch", though I'm not sure where she picked that up from. My dad's family were also very much into the libation, so maybe she was overlapping the usage.

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Lamb Chopped
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A couple of centuries ago "Scotch" (for people) was a standard usage. She may be harking back to that, via exposure to a community that hung on to it.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
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Matt Black

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
There seems an illogical thought going on here. There is no reason why people who once were persecuted will not when they have the power turn persecutors. Equally, no reason why the persecutors can't if they fall from power then be persecuted.

What slight evidence there is the brutalism of being persecuted quite often seems to leave a level of acceptance of violence that would not otherwise be there.

The victims are not innocent, good or exceptionally moral so much as lacking power. They are likely to be much the same as any other random population of the times.

Jengie

Yes. Look at (some of the) survivors of the Shoah in post-1948 Israel, or Dutch Calvinists in South Africa from the 17th century.

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Matt Black

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Looking at the thread as a whole, I think we're confusing/ conflating two separate albeit connected episodes in 17th century Anglophone history: the first relating to the background to the Pilgrim Fathers' arrival in Massachusetts in 1620, and the second set of circumstances prevailing after the Restoration in 1660 (Five Mile Act, Test Acts, etc). The second period has more overt examples of persecution, not least in the statutes passed, but has nothing to do with the Pilgrims' departure for the New World, so doesn't rally answer the OP question. There was however a similar wave of pressure on the more Reformed/ reforming/ 'lower' sections of the Church of England arising from the Hampton Court Conference of 1604, where James VI/ I famously insisted "No Bishop, no King" and that anyone who dissented from that line he would "harry out of the land"; a significant proportion of CofE clergy (Fisher puts it as high as a third IIRC) resigned their livings in response rather than conform. This provided both the background to the Pilgrims' sense of persecution by the Establishment (State and Church) and also a pool of disaffected individuals from whom they and subsequent Puritan proponents of emigration could draw.

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Steve Langton
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Not I think just mixing up two distinct episodes...

The point is that the 'Puritans' as a whole were never a totally cohesive movement. They did pretty much all want a 'purer' form of church than a Church of England which they saw as compromised and still perpetuating too much of the old RCC.

And most of them were still in the 1600s thinking in terms of a national church and as the English Civil War shows, were willing if pushed to take up arms against the monarch and his/her church. Ipso facto they were a threat to law and order in England and attracted varying degrees of persecution.

At the same time Elizabeth and James had learned from the Catholic persecution under 'Bloody Mary' and were trying to control dissent and make life difficult for dissent, rather than simply send them all to the stake.

Except where there was Anabaptist influence from the Continent, separation of state and church was a slow-growing idea and even to this day, UK Baptists can be ambivalent in relation to the state and pacifism.

Like most 'Independent/Separatist' groups of their time, the Pilgrims sat somewhere between the 'Purer State Church' Presbyterians and the Anabaptists; their ideas wouldn't fully satisfy me, but you can see them in their various experiences feeling their way to a more modern (but also more scriptural!) view.

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Gamaliel
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I think the third of the clergy thing was more associated with the later episode in Charles 2nd's reign rather than the earlier one in the reign of James 1st, Matt Black.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by fausto:
I think you meant to say "the Scots". "The Scotch" is a drink

"Some inhabitants of Scotland now call themselves 'Scots' and their affairs 'Scottish'. They are entitled to do so. The English word for both is 'Scotch', just as we cal les francais the French, and Deutschland Germany. Being English, I use it." A.J.P. Taylor, English History 1914-45.
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Matt Black

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I think the third of the clergy thing was more associated with the later episode in Charles 2nd's reign rather than the earlier one in the reign of James 1st, Matt Black.

I looked up Fisher: slight exaggeration, as he says 300 not a third. (Knew there was a three in there somewhere!)

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Jengie jon

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For those who want a different view of the Church of England on the start of the Civil War you might like to listen to the start of Radio 4s Start the week.

Jengie

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Walking 18 miles to help Refugees get an education.

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fausto
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by fausto:
I think you meant to say "the Scots". "The Scotch" is a drink

"Some inhabitants of Scotland now call themselves 'Scots' and their affairs 'Scottish'. They are entitled to do so. The English word for both is 'Scotch', just as we cal les francais the French, and Deutschland Germany. Being English, I use it." A.J.P. Taylor, English History 1914-45.
*sigh* One would think the English would have learned by now only to p*** off the Scots when they needed to. But, alas, no. [Roll Eyes]

[ 05. December 2016, 10:20: Message edited by: fausto ]

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Gee D
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Today we remember Richard Baxter - a good example of the sort of persecution that did go on under Charles II.

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Albertus
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Yes. The very best of them- an undoubted saint.
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