The issue of succession: politics and theology, 1701–09

Jeffrey R. Wigelsworth

in Deism in Enlightenment England

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780719078729
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703304 | DOI:
The issue of succession: politics and theology, 1701–09

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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The question of the successor to William III occupied the minds of many during the early years of the eighteenth century. As per the Act of Settlement, Queen Anne, daughter of James II, came to the throne. John Toland joined the debate early in 1701 with his Anglia Libera, in which he supported the passing of the crown to the House of Hanover. His Hanoverian enthusiasm and pro-Whig arguments made him the topic of political gossip abroad and the target of many High Church Tories at home. Tindal's involvement in debates regarding the requirements for fellows reflects the great extent to which deism and national politics were intertwined. This college matter demonstrated how fragile the religious peace in England was. The deists sought to help England chart a course into smoother political and theological waters, which avoided the waves caused by High Church policies. Other deists too attempted to find a place within the fast-moving events of the day through their political writings.

Keywords: Queen Anne; House of Hanover; William III; High Church; Tindal

Chapter.  13415 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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