Introduction
The later Stuart church in context
in The later Stuart Church, 1660–1714
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The later Stuart church inherited many of the problems that had been faced by its antecedents at institutional, social, and intellectual levels, but was also rocked by several new and profound challenges. The predominance of the Church of England was shaken by the Toleration Act, which removed the option of persecuting dissenters for their religious beliefs. The apparent amnesia or ingratitude of many clerics after the legal re-establishment of the church in 1662 was the product of the consequences of the schism that ensued from it. Between 1660 and 1662 Charles II's efforts to implement his deeply held desire for 'a liberty to tender consciences' were frustrated and a narrowly based, intolerant church was established by law. In the parliament of 1685, the bishops had spoken out against James II's efforts to maintain a significant standing army that contained Catholic officers.

Editor: Grant Tapsell

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