Seven Bishops

Seven Bishops

The Seven Bishops were seven bishops of the Church of England. When James II issued his second Declaration of Indulgence in 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 London for 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 Revolution and 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.

External links

* [ 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
* [ Petition of the Seven Bishops]
* [ Documents by and about the Nonjurors]

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