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English Presbyterianism 1590–1640$
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Polly Ha

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759878

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759878.001.0001

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Royal Supremacy

Royal Supremacy

(p.13) Chapter 1 Royal Supremacy
English Presbyterianism 1590–1640
Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses the crown's supremacy over the Church of England. The presbyterians represented a continued challenge to supremacy by its subjection of the crown's authority to collective jurisdiction and biblical precedent. The treatise “Reformed Church Government” analyzes how the presbyterians continued to use the concept of a mixed polity and the malleable nature of supremacy to their own advantage. It also stresses that Presbyterianism could be united with royal supremacy through minimal change by the simple substitution of ministers and elders for bishops. The Letters Patents of the Presbyterie is a treatise written in 1632 that argues against episcopal authority and in favor of presbyterian reform. By the 1630s, the shrewdest polemical tactic for the presbyterians was instead to ratchet up their attack on episcopacy.

Keywords:   supremacy, Church of England, presbyterians, crown, collective jurisdiction, biblical precedent, Reformed Church Government, Presbyterianism, Letters Patents

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