Quakers fight for religious freedom in Puritan Massachusetts, 1656-1661

The Puritans fled from England to America in large numbers during the 17th century to escape the religious persecution of the Church of England. While the average age of marriage among the Puritans was much older than was typical during this time period — and not all Puritans got married — specific ideals were very much established for the institution. Puritans differed dramatically from the Church of England on the subject of marriage as a civil — vs. Puritans did not see marriage as a religious sacrament or institution, but rather as a legal contract unrelated to one’s religious beliefs. As a result, the Puritans believed that a marriage should be performed by a magistrate, or officer of the state, as opposed to a member of the clergy. Because Puritans did not see marriage as essentially tied to religion, they did not view the end of a marriage as a sin.

The Puritan Roommate

The Puritans were members of a religious reform movement known as Puritanism that arose within the Church of England in the late 16th century. They believed the Church of England was too similar to the Roman Catholic Church and should eliminate ceremonies and practices not rooted in the Bible. Puritans felt that they had a direct covenant with God to enact these reforms.

Under siege from Church and crown, certain groups of Puritans migrated to Northern English colonies in the New World in the s and s, laying the foundation for the religious, intellectual, and social order of New England.

Two leading literary and cultural scholars of New England Puritanism and its legacy, Harvard Professors Each congregation was autonomous and followed the rules of its own written covenant, and each DATE YOU ACCESSED ESSAY​.

Puritan leaders did not have much tolerance for people of other religions, and as a result, the Puritan government often persecuted and banished religious outsiders who tried to enter and live in their Puritan towns. A fear was embedded in the Puritan society that if they started to admit outsiders, they would lose their political and religious control of the colony. Beginning in , members of the newly formed Religious Society of Friends Quakers started to arrive in the Massachusetts colony on ships from England, where Quakerism had recently emerged.

The Quakers who arrived in Boston’s harbor demanded that they be allowed to live in Massachusetts and practice their own religion freely. They were greeted by intense hostility and were often forced to board the next ship out. These two women entered Boston’s harbor on the Swallow, a ship from Barbados in July of The Puritans of Boston greeted Fisher and Austin as if they carried the plague and severely brutalized them. The two were strip searched, accused of witchcraft, jailed, deprived of food, and were forced to leave Boston on the Swallow when it next left Boston eight weeks later.

Almost immediately after their arrival, Fisher and Austin’s belongings were confiscated, and the Puritan executioner burned their trunk full of Quaker pamphlets and other writings. Shortly after they arrived in Boston, eight more Quakers arrived on a ship from England. This group of eight was imprisoned and beaten. While they were in prison, an edict was passed in Boston that any ship’s captain who carried Quakers into Boston would be fined heavily.

12. Reformation Principles and the Puritan Church Books of the 1650s (Mark Burden)

Although they have been widely consulted by church historians and historians of religion, the role played by Puritan church records of the s in the furtherance of personal, church, and national reformation has rarely been assessed. The following account has been compiled in response to a highly productive conference on the s convened by Fiona McCall at the University of Portsmouth. The conference discussed, among many other matters, the nature and extent of Episcopalian and Puritan church records during the s, the importance of the national surveys of religion undertaken by the Protectorate, and the need for an adequate catalogue of manuscripts and other material objects dating from the period.

The real value of the concept of ‘reformation’ to the Puritan churches was not its meanwhile, church reformation meant the establishment of rules, confessions, the dates suggested in the narrative, the motives attributed to the key actors.

The Massachusetts Bay Puritan understanding of marriage was governed by strict laws and customs. They did not consider marriage a religious sacrament, but a civil matter, regulated by the state. The officiant at a wedding was a magistrate, not a minister, a practice that continued until The marriage had to be sexually consummated to be considered valid. If a man was impotent, the marriage was annulled.

Once married, any kind of permanent separation was strictly prohibited. A man who refused to live with his wife was subjected to severe punishment, even flogging.

History of the Puritans from 1649

In late Stuart England, print genres such as histories and almanacs were happy to put a precise date on the Reformation, but was not widely memorialised. This was partly because the complex history of English Protestantism meant that different dates for its founding could be canvassed the arrival of Luther’s ideas in the s, Henry VIII’s break with Rome, the reforms of Edward VI’s reign and Elizabeth’s ecclesiastical settlement ; and because this ambiguous past was used as a weapon in contemporary religious battles.

These disputes first prevented a dating consensus emerging, and then convinced those trying to unite English Protestantism that it was counter-productive to be too precise about Tudor history. Particularly after the Revolution, commentators tried to resolve the issue by placing the Reformation in the future.

The Dating Traditions During the Victorian Period The Puritans liberalized divorce laws to prevent marriages that were destructive to family.

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The Puritans

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Puritanism, a religious reform movement in the late 16th and 17th centuries that was known for the Puritans’ efforts contributed to both civil war in England and the founding of colonies in America. Only the elect could vote and rule.

From to , Puritans in the Commonwealth of England were allied to the state power held by the military regime, headed by Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell until his death in They broke into numerous sects, of which the Presbyterian group comprised most of the clergy, but was deficient in political power since Cromwell’s sympathies were with the Independents. During this period the term “Puritan” becomes largely moot, therefore, in British terms, though the situation in New England was very different.

After the English Restoration the Savoy Conference and Uniformity Act drove most of the Puritan ministers from the Church of England , and the outlines of the Puritan movement changed over a few decades into the collections of Presbyterian and Congregational churches, operating as they could as Dissenters under changing regimes. The English Interregnum was a period of religious diversity in England.

With the creation of the Commonwealth of England in , government passed to the English Council of State , a group dominated by Oliver Cromwell, an advocate of religious liberty. In , at Cromwell’s behest, the Rump Parliament abolished the Act of Uniformity , meaning that while England now had an officially established church with Presbyterian polity, there was no legal requirement that anyone attend services in the established church. In , the Long Parliament had abolished episcopacy in the Church of England and replaced it with a presbyterian system, and had voted to replace the Book of Common Prayer with the Directory of Public Worship.

The actual implementation of these reforms in the church proceeded slowly for a number of reasons:. With the abolition of the Act of Uniformity, even the pretense of religious uniformity broke down. Thus, while the Presbyterians were dominant at least theoretically within the established church, those who opposed Presbyterianism were in fact free to start conducting themselves in the way they wanted.


Doron S. Ben-Atar and Richard D. The Puritans were far more sexually adventurous that you might suspect, so much so that they challenged traditional family values and caused religious crises. And maybe caused just a leeetle bit of a panic about bestiality. From the very beginning, early Americans were thinking about sex.

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October 21, am Updated July 26, am. Letters penned by Puritan forefathers including Colonial Gov. They saw sex and love as important factors to help a man and a woman form a passionate relationship and strengthen it. He points to a love letter that Winthrop wrote in to his wife, Margaret Tyndall, as an example of Puritan passion. Scholars agree they clung to decidedly conservative Calvinist beliefs about love and marriage. Lisa Wade, a sociologist at Occidental College in Los Angeles and an expert on sexual culture and gender, says the Puritans viewed marriage — always monogamous and never same-sex — primarily as a means of producing children.

Even so, Bremer — who has written 16 books about Puritanism — says letters and sermons suggest the Puritans were eager and attentive lovers. But the Puritans have a lot to teach us. Read Next. People are freaking out over this giant naked statue. This story has been shared 74, times. This story has been shared 61, times.

The Puritans really loved having sex

The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries , who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become more Protestant. Puritans were dissatisfied with the limited extent of the English Reformation and with the Church of England’s toleration of certain practices associated with the Roman Catholic Church. They formed and identified with various religious groups advocating greater purity of worship and doctrine , as well as personal and corporate piety.

Puritans adopted a Reformed theology and, in that sense, were Calvinists as were many of their earlier opponents. In church polity, some advocated separation from all other established Christian denominations in favour of autonomous gathered churches.

“Puritan” United States is contrasted with the “Gallic” or promiscuous French. This contrast is often “gender,” sexual harassment law, or rules of conduct regarding sexuality in the military. Strict U.S. regulation during dating.” Journal of Sex.

Puritans became noted in the 17th century for a spirit of moral and religious earnestness that informed their whole way of life, and they sought through church reform to make their lifestyle the pattern for the whole nation. Their efforts to transform the nation contributed both to civil war in England and to the founding of colonies in America as working models of the Puritan way of life.

Puritanism may be defined primarily by the intensity of the religious experience that it fostered. Calvinist theology and polity proved to be major influences in the formation of Puritan teachings. Still, because of the importance of preaching, the Puritans placed a premium on a learned ministry. During the reign of Queen Mary —58 , however, England returned to Roman Catholicism, and many Protestants were forced into exile. Many of these Puritans—as they came to be known during a controversy over vestments in the s—sought parliamentary support for an effort to institute a presbyterian form of polity for the Church of England.

Both groups, but especially the Separatists , were repressed by the establishment.

The Rules of a Holy Life — by Nicholas Byfield – A Puritan’s Mind and C. Matthew McMahon

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