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Toleration Act in United Kingdom

The Toleration Act of 1689


James II, like his brother, claiming the right to “suspend” the laws and statutes which Parliament had enacted against Roman Catholics and Dissenters, issued a Declaration of Indulgence in 1687, which exempted Catholics and Dissenters from punishment for infractions of these laws. Furthermore, he appointed Roman Catholics to office in the army and in the civil government. In spite of protests, he issued a second Declaration of Indulgence in 1688 and ordered it to be read in all Anglican churches, and, when seven bishops remonstrated, he accused them of seditious libel. No jury would convict the seven bishops, however, for James had alienated every class, and they were acquitted. The Tories were estranged by what seemed to be a deliberate attack on the Anglican Church and by fear of a standing army. The arbitrary disregard of parliamentary legislation, and the favor shown to Roman Catholics, goaded the Whigs into fury.

Religious Toleration for Protestant Dissenters: Continued Persecution of Roman Catholics

Both Whigs and Tories had participated in the Revolution, and both reaped rewards. The Tories were especially pleased with the army laws and with an arrangement by which farmers were given a “bounty” or money premium for every bushel of grain exported. [That is, when wheat was selling for less than 6s. a bushel]. The Whigs, having played a more prominent part in the deposition of James II, were able to secure the long-coveted political supremacy of Parliament, and religious toleration of Dissenters.

The Toleration Act of 1689 did not go as far as the Dissenters might have desired, but it gave them the legal right to worship in public, while their enemies, the Roman Catholics, remained under the ban.

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  • Article Name: Toleration Act
  • Author: International
  • Description: The Toleration Act of 1689 Background James II, like his brother, claiming the right to suspend the laws and statutes [...]

This entry was last updated: October 30, 2016


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