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Conf/Prog - The 'British' churches 1603-1707: from dynastic union to Anglo-Scottish union, 22-23 June 2017, University of Kent, UK

University of Kent


Event Date:

June 22, 2017 - June 23, 2017

Opportunity Cover Image - Conf/Prog - The 'British' churches 1603-1707: from dynastic union to Anglo-Scottish union, 22-23 June 2017, University of Kent, UK

Timed to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the launching of the Five Articles of Perth by James VI & I in Scotland in 1617, this conference seeks to bring together scholars with an interest in religion across the British Isles during the 17th century.

Since the advent of 'New British History' in the 1980s, a range of scholars have given extensive treatment to various aspects of British history, but the religion of the three kingdoms still remains relatively under-explored. This conference aims to redress the balance by providing the opportunity for a discourse on any aspect of the history of the British churches, loosely within the period from the accession of James VI to the English throne in 1603, until Anglo-Scottish union in 1707. Religious developments in Scotland, England and Ireland will be considered in their own right, as well as through the prism of the three kingdoms, to gauge similarities and differences pertaining to the churches over which the Stuart monarchs sought to achieve varying degrees of control. Among the themes and topics to be considered during the conference will be the extent to which the histories of the churches are convergent or divergent, as well as the impact of key events or moments in one church, on developments within the others; while doctrine, government, conformity and nonconformity, private and public worship, parish life, Catholic dissent and confessional relations are all ripe for re-investigation. In the context of the potential disintegration of the United Kingdom post-Brexit, the conference will aim to provide a fresh perspective on the extent of religious union and/or disunity in the British Isles before the opening of the 18th century and so contribute to a better understanding of tensions within early modern nation states.

There will be plenaries from Raymond Gillespie (Maynooth) and Anthony Milton (Sheffield); shorter papers from twenty-one scholars, including Ian Atherton (Keele), Julian Goodare (Edinburgh), Laura Stewart (York) and Stephen Taylor (Durham). Peter Lake (Vanderbilt) will lead the final roundtable discussion.

The conference will take place in Keynes College at the University of Kent. It is being jointly organised by Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent. The organisers are: Jackie Eales (CCCU), Kenneth Fincham (Kent), Andrew Foster(Kent), Leonie James (Kent) and Sara Wolfson (CCCU).

Speakers & Papers

Raymond Gillespie (Maynooth) ‘The “British” churches: a view from the edge’
Anthony Milton (Sheffield) ‘The British state churches and beyond’
Ian Atherton (Keele) ‘Cathedrals in the Three Kingdoms and the British Churches, 1603-1707’
Andrew Carter (St Andrews) ‘“These old episcopal men”: James Sharp and English influence on the restoration of episcopacy in Scotland, 1660-64’
Nicholas Cranfield ‘James VI & I and the Prince of Denmark: Redecorating Holyrood Palace chapel 1617’
David Crankshaw (KCL) ‘Scottish Involvement in English/British Coronations, 1661–1714’
Andrew Foster (Kent) ‘What did dioceses really mean for England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland?’
Julian Goodare (Edinburgh) ‘Charles I's revocation reassessed’
George Gross (KCL) ‘1651: The Last Coronation in Scotland – An Anomaly?’
David Hayton (Queen's Belfast) ‘A British church? Centrifugal and centripetal forces in the Church of Ireland, 1691-1707’
Ping Liao (Oxford) ‘“To Get a Regiment of Presbyterians”: Religion and the Scottish Military Identity during the Later Stuarts, 1660-1714’
Fiona McCall (Portsmouth) ‘“Tubby preaching rogues”: varieties of resistance to Godly religious values in the English parish 1645-1660’
Liam O'Rourke (TCD) ‘Irish Church patriot and Tory politician: the life and career of Archbishop John Vesey (1636-1716)’
Alasdair Raffe (Edinburgh) ‘Pluralism, Disestablishment and Re-establishment: the Scottish Churches, 1687-1690’
Matthew Reynolds ‘Whigs, Tories and the murder of Richard Habin’
Alice Soulieux-Evans (Cambridge) ‘Cathedrals, the Laudian legacy and the consequences of Charles II’s religious declarations, 1660-c.1689’
Laura Stewart (York) ‘The early Stuart Church in Scotland’
Stephen Taylor (Durham) 'Fasts, Thanksgivings and the relationship between the Churches of England and Ireland 1660-1723'
Andrew Thomson ‘George Morley and church unity in the Restoration’
Sarah Ward (Oxford) ‘Calumniators and true devils: The Welsh Clergy, Anti-Puritanism, and Political Comment in Wales, 1640-1660’
Rebecca Warren (Kent) ‘“So many a good Christian may be none of the best Preachers”: the church in Wales under Oliver Cromwell c.1654-1660’
David Wykes (Dr Williams Library) ‘English Dissent, the Three Kingdoms, and the Atlantic World in the late seventeenth century’
John Young (Strathclyde) ‘The making of the 1643 Solemn League and Covenant’
Led by
Peter Lake (Vanderbilt)


The conference opens on Thursday 22 June with registration at 9.30 am. The first plenary (Raymond Gillespie) will be after lunch that day and the second plenary (Anthony Milton) will be that evening following the conference dinner. The conference resumes at 9am on Friday 23 June and closes at 5pm following a Roundtable discussion chaired by Peter Lake. A full conference programme will be published shortly. Rooms are available for delegates to stay 21 June-23 June.

Registration, Location & Contact


The registration portal will be going live soon. The portal will contain pricing information and a secure payment system for conference delegates and other interested parties.


The conference will be held in Keynes College on the University of Kent's Canterbury campus.


Please direct all enquiries about the conference to Professor Kenneth Fincham.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below. 

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Conference Type
Publish Date
March 06, 2017


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