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The Act of 1593 against the Puritans and the Act against the Recusants - Essay Example

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The Act of 1593 against the Puritans and the Act against the Recusants

ceforth I will from time to time obey and perform her majesty's laws and statutes, in repairing to the church and hearing divine service, and do my uttermost endeavour to maintain and defend the same. (Gee & Hardy, 1896)
The Church at that time, led by the Queen, forebad all that the Queen did not agree with and would ensure that all laws pertaining to the Church and the Parliament were enforced. Any signals from the citisenry at the time of Queen Elizabeth's reign that did not follow the orthodox Church of England at that time and chose to follow any puritan religious movements was dealt with by the Courts.
Historically, the Puritans were members of a group of English Protestants that were looking to reform and possibly separate from the church establishment of the time. From the onset, the Puritans ranted to have the Church replace the popish rituals including the ornaments and rituals that were prevalent in the Church at that time such as vestments, musical organs and genuflection and move toward a more Presbyterian model, otherwise known as a Congregationalist model. As Puritans were commonly referred to during that period of history as Dissenters, it was common for those following the Puritan practice to be barred for any profession that required official religious conformity, which then endeavored new industries to be developed.
The Puritan and Recusants Belief System
Although both groups equally professed their disdain for the secularism that was found within the Church itself. The Puritans refused to accept the entire Church structure as it was currently showing. The Catholics who were then referred to as Recusants, did not wish to take any part of the church's services and would rather be punished than attend Elizabeth's church. Puritans did not directly challenge Elizabeth's claim to the throne but couldn't be accused of working for a foreign power.
The Puritans
The central belief system within the Puritanism movement is "God's supreme authority over human affairs, particularly in the church, and especially as expressed in the Bible." (Wikipedia, 2006)
The Recusants
The Recusants, as defined by Encarta, were "
Roman Catholics in the 16th century who refused (Latin recusare, "to refuse") to attend religious services in the Church of England because of their allegiance to the pope. Because Recusants rejected the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Crown and constituted a minority who did not go to the state church, they were penalized with increasingly severe legislation. This culminated in fines of 20 per month. In times of danger from foreign invasion further disabilities were imposed. The issue came to a head with the papal bull of 1570, which absolved all subjects ...Show more


The Act of 1593 was an effort for Queen Elizabeth to repress Puritanism and began "with the Supremacy Act 9ante, No. LXXVII), and was continued by the Uniformity Act (ante, No. LXXIX) and the proclamation of 1573 addressed to the bishops appointing a special commission of oyer and terminer." (Gee & Hardy, 1896) Many of the efforts of the Queen to repress Puritan thought included ensuring that the laws were upheld regarding same and were required to declare their thoughts through open submission of same through uttering the following:
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