- King Henry VIII was strongly opposed to the Protestant religion founded by Martin Luther, yet ironically turned the Church of England toward the religion.
- When his son Edward, became king, the church took another turn toward the Protestant religion.
- When Mary became queen many Protestants fled England because she was a devout Catholic.
- Elizabeth I was a protestant like her brother and brought it back to the Church of England.
Puritans wanted to take away what the church's own teachings were, and teach strictly from the Bible.
Neither King James I nor his son, King Charles I, was able to cope with Parliamentary criticism. Charles had gone so far as to rule the nation without Parliament. As a result, many English freedoms were severely restricted and religious persecution increased. Many Puritans were jailed without due process of a court trial. As the economic, political, and religious conditions in England grew worse, the Puritans began looking for a religious refuge of their own. Their eyes turned toward the flourishing colony of their Calvinist cousins, the Pilgrims.
Separatists (later called Pilgrims), believed that the Church of England was too tainted with Catholic teachings and thought they should separate from it entirely. (Elizabeth I thought of this as dangerous and rebellious so she had the meetings broken up and many of the leaders hung.)
(Lesson: Puritan Background and the Plymouth Settlement &
Puritan Migration and the Settlement of New England)