- Seven Bishops
The Seven Bishops were seven bishops of the
Church of England. When James II issued his second Declaration of Indulgencein 1688- which granted expansive religious freedoms by suspending penal laws enforcing conformity to the Church of England, allowing persons to worship in their homes or chapels as they saw fit, and ending the requirement of affirming religious oaths before gaining employment in government offices - the Seven Bishops petitioned the King against it. James ordered them imprisoned in the Tower of Londonfor seditious libel. They were brought to trial before the Court of King's Bench, and found not guilty.
Shortly thereafter, James was deposed by his nephew, William III in the
Glorious Revolution. The right to petition the king and the illegality of commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning were enshrined in the Bill of Rights 1689.
The Seven Bishops were:
Despite their petition and their trial, five of these bishops (all but Lloyd and Trelawny) remained loyal to James II after the
Glorious Revolutionand were among the nine bishops who became non-jurors, refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to William and Mary, and losing their bishoprics as a result.
* [http://yarchive.net/macaulay/history/chapter_VIII.html Chapter VIII] of Macaulay's "History of England" - the second half of this chapter describes the circumstances surrounding the Petition and Trial of the Seven Bishops
* [http://www.jacobite.ca/documents/16880518.htm Petition of the Seven Bishops]
* [http://anglicanhistory.org/nonjurors/ Documents by and about the Nonjurors]
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