Peers, pastors and the particular church
The failure of congregational ideas in the Mersey Basin region, 1636–41
in Church polity and politics in the British Atlantic world, c. 1635–66
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This chapter explores the failure of congregationalist ideas to penetrate into the Mersey Basin area of Lancashire and Cheshire in the late 1630s and early 1640s. The chapter focuses on the network of godly clergymen around local aristocratic magnates, the earls of Derby and particularly Lord Strange. These clerics, led by Charles Herle, the future prolocutor of the Westminster assembly, would organise against attempts from New England ministers such as Samuel Eaton and Richard Mather to introduce congregationalist ideas into the region. As civil war broke out, both presbyterians and episcopalians would act together to protect their vision of a cohesive national Church of England from congregationalism.

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