Making Toleration: The Repealers and the Glorious Revolution

Making Toleration: The Repealers and the Glorious Revolution

by Scott Sowerby

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In the reign of James II, minority groups from across the religious spectrum, led by the Quaker William Penn, rallied together under the Catholic King James in an effort to bring religious toleration to England. Known as repealers, these reformers aimed to convince Parliament to repeal laws that penalized worshippers who failed to conform to the doctrines of the Church of England. Although the movement was destroyed by the Glorious Revolution, it profoundly influenced the post-revolutionary settlement, helping to develop the ideals of tolerance that would define the European Enlightenment.

Based on a rich array of newly discovered archival sources, Scott Sowerby’s groundbreaking history rescues the repealers from undeserved obscurity, telling the forgotten story of men and women who stood up for their beliefs at a formative moment in British history. By restoring the repealer movement to its rightful prominence, Making Toleration also overturns traditional interpretations of King James II’s reign and the origins of the Glorious Revolution. Though often depicted as a despot who sought to impose his own Catholic faith on a Protestant people, James is revealed as a man ahead of his time, a king who pressed for religious toleration at the expense of his throne. The Glorious Revolution, Sowerby finds, was not primarily a crisis provoked by political repression. It was, in fact, a conservative counter-revolution against the movement for enlightened reform that James himself encouraged and sustained.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674073098
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 03/05/2013
Series: Harvard Historical Studies , #181
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Scott Sowerby is Assistant Professor of History at Northwestern University.

Table of Contents

Note to Readers vii

Introduction 1

1 Forming a Movement: James and the Repealers 23

2 Writing a New Magna Carta: The Ideology of Repeal 57

3 Fearing the Unknown: Anti-Popery and Its Limits 79

4 Taking Sides: The Three Questions Survey 97

5 Seizing Control: The Repealers in the Towns 117

6 Countering a Movement: The Seven Bishops Trial 153

7 Dividing a Nation: The Geography of Repeal 193

8 Dancing in a Ditch: Anti-Popery and the Revolution 219

9 Enacting Toleration: The Repealers and the Enlightenment 247

Appendix A List of Repealer Publications 267

Abbreviations 271

Notes 273

Manuscripts Consulted 363

Acknowledgments 393

Index 397

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