Four proclamations issued by Charles II and James II of England in an attempt to achieve religious toleration. Charles II issued Declarations in 1662 and 1672, stating that the penal laws against Roman Catholics and Protestant dissenters were to be suspended, but protests by Parliament caused both attempts to be abandoned. James II issued similar Declarations in 1687 and 1688, the latter leading to the trial of the Seven Bishops. James II insisted that the Declaration should be read in all churches; a Tory High Churchman, Archbishop Sancroft and six bishops who refused to do so were tried on a charge of seditious libel and were acquitted. The verdict was a popular one and widespread protest and defiance followed during the months leading up to the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
Subjects: History — Christianity.