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Act of Uniformity 1662

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Over the course of English parliamentary history there were a number of Acts of Uniformity. All had the basic object of establishing some sort of religious orthodoxy within the English church. See Act of Uniformity for links to the different "acts of uniformity" within the English Parliament.

The Act of Uniformity 1662 (13 & 14 Ch. 2, c. 4) was enacted after the restoration of the monarchy. It required the use of all the rites and ceremonies in the Book of Common Prayer of 1662 in church services.

The Act of Uniformity 1662 (14 Car 2 c 4) was an Act of the Parliament of England. It is also cited as 13 & 14 Ch.2 c. 4,[nb 1] 19 May 1662. It prescribed the form of public prayers, administration of sacraments, and other rites of the Established Church of England, following all the rites and ceremonies and doctrines prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer.

Adherence to this was required in order to hold any office in government or the church, although the edition of the Book of Common Prayer prescribed by the Act (1662) was so new that most people had never even seen a copy. It also required episcopal ordination for all ministers, which was reintroduced after the Puritans had abolished many features of the Church during the Civil War.[Act of Uniformity 1662]


The Act of Uniformity 1662 required the use of all the rites and ceremonies in the Book of Common Prayer in church services. [Choudhury 2005] It also required episcopal ordination for all ministers. As a result, nearly 2,000 clergymen were "ejected" from the established church for not conforming to the provisions of the Act. [Choudhury 2005] Subsequently, a Nonconformist was an English subject belonging to any non-Anglican church or to a non-Christian religion. A person who also advocated religious liberty may be more narrowly considered as such. [Reynolds 2003]

Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, and those less organized, were considered Nonconformists at the time of the 1662 Act of Uniformity. Later, as other groups formed, they were also considered Nonconformists. These included Methodists, Unitarians, 'Quakers', Plymouth Brethren, English Moravians, and The Salvation Army. [Nonconformist. (2014)] NOTE: Modified in 1872-The provisions of the Act of Uniformity 1662 were modified by the Act of Uniformity Amendment Act 1872.


Note: Image source retrieved from: {http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/Cha2/14/4/introduction?timeline=true#reference-c919446]

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