Date of Award
In 1558 with the accession of a Protestant Queen on the throne, England had the appearance of religious freedom. Around 1559 Dutch and Flemish dissenters emigrated to England bringing with them Baptist beliefs. Elizabeth's religious policy, however, was not one of toleration. Not being a religious zealot, she desired a workable religious situation. As a result the Elizabethan Settlement was a compromise and came to mean no religious liberty but no inquisition. In 1559 Elizabeth became Supreme Governor of the Anglican Church in the Act of Supremacy. The Act of Uniformity passed in the same year forced the people to attend their parish churches under the threat of heavy penalties. This act also adopted the Book of Common Prayer of 1552. The main objections to this Settlement, according to W.H. Burgess, were the “restraint upon preaching, equivocal communion service of the…Prayer book and the retention of the canon law inherited from Catholic times and enforced upon the clergy instead of the discipline of the New Testament.” It is evident that the dissenters would not enjoy the freedom that they had anticipated under Elizabeth.
Henderson, Eugenia, "The establishment of the Baptists in England in the early part of the seventeenth century" (1966). Honors Theses. 1048.