The Clarendon Code

Edward Hyde, First Earl of Clarendon (1609-1674) was an ardent royalist when he entered Parliament in 1640 and later he chose to go into exile with Charles II.  After the Restoration he was made Lord Chancellor and became chief adviser to the King . In this role he was responsible for four pieces of legislation in England that was intended to strengthen the King`s hold over the Church of England.  Very similar legislation was used to enforce the King`s will in Scotland.

The Corporation Act 1661. This was a requirement that every member of a municipal corporation must take the Sacrament according to the rites of the Church of England at least once a year.

The Act of Uniformity 1662. This required all ministers to be ordained by a bishop and to use the Prayer Book.

The Conventicle Act,1664. This made all religious services except for the Church of England, illegal.

The Five Mile Act . This forbade all expelled clergymen to live within five miles of a corporate town , unless they had taken an oath to be loyal to the established order.


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