From the Elizabethan Settlement to the Abolition of Episcopacy

R. H. Helmholz

in The Oxford History of the Laws of England

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780198258971
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681882 | DOI:

Series: The Oxford History of the Laws of England Series ISBN 0-19-961352-4

From the Elizabethan Settlement to the Abolition of Episcopacy

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This chapter discusses the prospects of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the mid 16th century. It discusses these against the backdrop of the Protestant Reformation. Before the halfway mark of the 17th century was reached, the spiritual courts had disappeared. They had sunk along with the order of episcopacy with which they were invariably linked. Spiritual discipline exercised through Eldership and Classis, the system that replaced the older jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts during the years of the Interregnum, rejected much, although not quite all, of what had gone before, and in some matters, testamentary law being the most urgent and obvious example, the absence of traditional ecclesiastical jurisdiction caused widespread inconvenience. The abolition of episcopacy in the 1640s had brought an end to the effective jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts.

Keywords: Protestant Reformation; ecclesiastical; jurisdiction; episcopacy; testamentary

Chapter.  38128 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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