An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

British Calvinism: The Marian exiles

In the first starting phase of Calvinism in Britain occurred during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI. The second suffering phase saw almost 300 became martyrs at the hands of Mary Tudor I (Bloody Mary) in her five year reign.

She was staunchly Catholic and sought to undo all that these Reformers had done.

Under persecution some 800 Reformers sought exile on the Continent from 1553-1558. As a result they came into contact with European Calvinists and many became radicalised and more vehemently Calvinistic. When Mary I died many of them returned home with the intention of carrying out Reform. Queen Mary's wanton persecution of the Reformers also had the effect of alienating the English against her and so made them far more receptive to the Reformers when they returned.

C H Garret in her 1938 The Marian Exiles provided a census of around 800 of those who left England and took refuge in Reformed cities including Geneva, Zurich, Aarau, Basel, Emden, Frankfurt and Strasbourg.

The influential marian exiles who returned included:

Matthew Parker         (1504-1575)
George Wishart         (1513-1546)
John Knox                 (1514-1572)
Edmund Grindal        (1519-1583)
William Whittingham (c 1524-1579)

The third settlement phase of Calvinism was brought about by the return of these Marian exiles during the Elizabethan settlement.

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