Wednesday 20th January, 2016








not required


Dr Williams's Library Seminar Series


The Lecture Hall, Dr Williams's Library, 14 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0AR


Philip Henry and the restoration of the Church of England, 1660-61


Historians have identified the speed and thoroughness with which the Church of England and episcopacy were restored after 1660, and the significance of the Church’s insistence upon episcopal ordination and the use of the Common Prayer Book. They have also found widespread support for the restoration of the pre-war church and demands for the use of the Prayer Book and its ceremonies by the gentry and the ordinary parishioner. At the local level there was strong support for a resumption of the old ways. The spontaneous return of maypoles and morris-dancers which so vexed the godly has been widely noted, but there is evidence as well of the popular demand for the return of the prayer book and its ceremonies. Many also pressed ministers to conform. As a consequence, ministers were under pressure to conform more than a year before it was legally required by the 1662 Act of Uniformity.

One of the most detailed accounts of the challenges ministers opposed to the re-establishment of the Church of England faced before 1662 is provided by Philip Henry. His diaries are well known. Kept regularly from 1657, the surviving diaries for 1661 and 1662 provide an invaluable insight into the restoration of the Church at the local level and the conflict in the parish between the godly and the supporters of prayer-book religion and the old ways. Henry was minister of Worthenbury in the detached portion of Flintshire until he was dismissed in September 1661. He continued to live in the parish and attend services in the church he had served until September 1662, when he retired to Broad Oak in the same county.

Dr David Wykes, Director, Dr Williams’s Library

Dr David Wykes

David Wykes is the Director of Dr Williams’s Library and an historian of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century dissent, and late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century rational dissent and Unitarianism. He has a particular interest in dissenting academies and the contribution made by dissent to business, society and politics. He is currently working on an account of dissent between the Restoration and the Hanoverian succession, and of eighteenth-century dissenting academies.

Additional Information

The talk will last 40 mins and will be followed by a coffee and tea reception. Booking is not required but places are made available on a first come first served basis.