The Church-History of Britain
Fuller’s Church-History reflects his own experiences of revolution. Its last part is one of the earliest accounts of the Civil War era, antedating accounts by Edward Hyde, earl of Clarendon, and Thomas Hobbes. He begins with divisions in the English Church during Queen Elizabeth’s reign and proceeds with events in his own lifetime, especially in the reign of Charles I. He sees the Caroline political and ecclesiastical regime, especially the role of Archbishop Laud, as having alienated many nonconformists, as well as provoking the Scots to attack. The trial and execution of King Charles following the defeat of the royalist cause is somber. The Church-History cites reasons for the regime’s failure that have often been overlooked. Responses to the work by Peter Heylyn were followed by Fuller’s detailed, anguished, and determined reply. Fuller’s contemporary analysis of one the great upheavals in British history is a striking account of what happened and why.
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