A Road to Revolution: The Continuity of Puritanism, 1559–1642

  • Jacqueline Eales
Part of the Themes in Focus book series (TIF)


The royalist cleric Peter Heylyn in his Aerius Redivivus of 1670 described English presbyterianism, which he also termed puritanism, as part of an international Calvinist faction dedicated to raising rebellions against monarchical and episcopal government. Heylyn identified various phases in the history of English puritanism, describing the 1570s and 1580s as decades of expansion, followed by decline in the 1590s due to the deaths of prominent lay patrons and the successful efforts of the privy council in imprisoning and executing leading puritan agitators. At the accession of James I the puritans were, according to Heylyn, ‘brought so low’ that they might have been permanently suppressed, if the king had not been so taken with the pleasures of court life in England. His failure to act allowed puritanism to survive and eventually to overthrow royal power in the Civil War.1


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Notes and References

  1. 1.
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© Jacqueline Eales 1996

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  • Jacqueline Eales

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