Rooting out nonconformist sects

A key aspect of the rise of tension preceding the Civil War, during the 'personal rule' of Charles I, was the attempt by senior members of the Church of England to undermine Puritan opponents - who were portrayed as posing a threat not merely to the established church but to civil order generally. These instructions were issued by the notorious Court of High Commission (set up by Henry VIII to enforce the Act of Supremacy and the Act of Uniformity), with the aim of rooting out the clandestine meetings of a wide array of sects that were, or were thought to be, thriving in London's Puritan underground.
Catalogue reference: SP 16/314, f. 79 (c.1636)



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