Proceedings against the ’scandalous ministers’ of Essex, 1644-1645
Title Details

208 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

Series: Church of England Record Society

Series Vol. Number: 28

Imprint: Church of England Record Society

Proceedings against the 'scandalous ministers' of Essex, 1644-1645

by Graham Hart

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  • Contents
  • Author
During the 1640s Parliament carried out a purge of the parish clergy, ejecting over 2000 ministers from their livings. The proceedings of the purge in Essex in 1644-45 are recorded in two manuscripts: British Library, Additional MS 5829 (well known to scholars but not previously published), and University of Leicester Library, MS 31. The latter manuscript has only recently been recognised as a contemporary record of the purge of the clergy of Essex which was thought to have been lost in the eighteenth century. It is shown to be a sibling of the books which record similar events in Suffolk, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

These manuscripts illustrate the pressures which had built up within the Church at parish level during the 1630s and during the first Civil War in a county where puritanism was particularly strong. Comparison of the content of the two MSS enables a study of how the purge was conducted and its results. It shows that a significant number of the victims were able to retain their livings, and suggests how this came about.

Appendix 1: Essex ministers sequestrated and ejected by the earl of Manchester
Appendix 2: The outcome for the twenty-eight ministers articled against in the Cole MS
Appendix 3: The membership of the Essex committees for scandalous ministers

Editorial conventions
British Library, Additional MS 5829, folios 1-74 (Cole MS)
University of Leicester Library, Special Collections, MS 31 (Leicester MS 31)


GRAHAM HART worked in the Civil Service, mainly for the Department of Health, where he was the Permanent Secretary. After retirement he took up historical research, obtaining a Ph.D. from the University of Essex under Professor John Walter. He edited The Cambridgeshire Committee for Scandalous Ministers 1644-45 (2017).



July 2024

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Title Details

208 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

Series: Church of England Record Society

Series Vol. Number: 28

Imprint: Church of England Record Society