Skip to main content

The Jacobean Religious Settlement: The Hampton Court Conference

  • Chapter
Before the English Civil War


The death of Queen Elizabeth was an event which her subjects had feared for so long that when at last it happened and left the world to all appearances unchanged they were taken by surprise. The aged Archbishop of Canterbury, John Whitgift, ‘trooped up to the cross in Cheapside’ to hear James I proclaimed and observed to his relief that it was business as usual in the City: ‘not one shop window shut up for fear of any disturbance’.1 As the new era began, so it continued, with little of the expected sense of dislocation. Looking back from the other end of the seventeenth century, one writer referred to ‘the long reign of Queen Elizabeth and King James’ as if it made a single epoch.2

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Institutional subscriptions


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Notes and References

  1. The petition is most accessible in J. P. Kenyon (ed.), The Stuart Constitution (Cambridge, 1966), pp. 132–4. A manifesto published in 1605 by thirty ministers of Lincoln diocese and known as An abridgement supplies details of 746 supporters which, it has been suggested, may be some indication of the number of signatures secured in May–July 1603. (R. G. Usher, The Reconstruction of the English Church (1910), vol. I, p. 290 n.1.)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Frederick Shriver, ‘Hampton Court Re-visited: James I and the Puritans’, JEH, XXXIII (1982), 52–3.

    Google Scholar 

  3. John Cosin, ‘The Sum and Substance of the Conferences Lately Held at York House Concerning Mr Mountague’s Books’, in The Works of John Cosin (Oxford, 1845), vol. II, pp. 17–81.

    Google Scholar 

  4. William Barlow, The summe and substance of the conference (1604), repr. Cardwell, History of Conferences, pp. 167–212; ‘Anonymous Account’ entitled ‘A declaration of the conference’, BL Harl. MS 828, f. 32, printed, Usher, The Reconstruction of the English Church, vol. II, pp. 341–54; a further account in BL Add. MS 38492, f. 81 (copy, Cambridge University Library MS Mm. 1.45, folios 155–7, printed, Usher, vol. II, pp. 335–8); a very short puritan account printed by Usher from Barlow, Usher, vol. II, pp. 338–41; letters from the king (Cardwell, History of Conferences, pp. 160–1), Bishop Tobie Matthew (ibid., pp. 161–6), Patrick Galloway (ibid., pp. 212–17), James Montague (Ralph Winwood, Memorials of Affairs of State (1725), vol. II, pp. 13–14.

    Google Scholar 

  5. HMC Salisbury MSS, XVI, p. 363. For the petition of the Northamptonshire gentry, see W. J. Sheils, The Puritans in the Diocese of Peterborough 1558–1610, Pubns of the Northants. Record Socy, XXX (Northampton, 1979) pp. 110–12.

    Google Scholar 

  6. John Hacket, Scrinia Reserata: A Memoriall Offer’d to the Great Deservings of John Williams, D.D. (1693), I. pp. 63–4.

    Google Scholar 

Download references


Editor information

Howard Tomlinson

Copyright information

© 1983 Simon Adams, Patrick Collinson, Anthony Fletcher, Conrad Russell, Kevin Sharpe, David Thomas, Howard Tomlinson

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Collinson, P. (1983). The Jacobean Religious Settlement: The Hampton Court Conference. In: Tomlinson, H. (eds) Before the English Civil War. Palgrave, London.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-333-30899-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-349-17308-2

  • eBook Packages: Palgrave History CollectionHistory (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics