By James B. Bell
Examines the debatable institution of the 1st Anglican Church in Boston in 1686, and the way later, political leaders John Adams, Samuel Adams, and John Wilkes exploited the disputes as political dynamite including taxation, alternate, and the quartering of troops: subject matters which John Adams later recalled as motives of the yankee Revolution.
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Extra info for A War of Religion: Dissenters, Anglicans and the American Revolution
New England church and state leaders were stunned by the revocation of the charter, the appointment of Andros as the royal governor, and the commencement of Anglican church services in Boston. The events ushered in a decade of cataclysmic and irreversible change in the structure of Massachusetts society, in its politics, and in the nature of its religious community. 17 The once-dominant Puritan oligarchy was now forced to accept the presence of the Church of England in the Boston Town Meeting House, parsons outfitted in the hated surplice reciting the liturgy of the corrupt Common Prayer.
This group accepted divine right episcopacy and Episcopal ordination, and used the canons for unscriptural rule. The other group, the ‘true Church of England’, consisted of nonconformists, the ‘legal parts’ of the Church of England. Samuel Myles, the son of a Massachusetts Baptist minister and a graduate of Harvard College, succeeded Radcliff as minister of King’s Chapel and presided over the church for nearly 40 years. In the first months after his appointment, Myles demonstrated that he was politically astute and a fervent royalist.
Although it was not a chartered agency of the state church funded by the government, it was a philanthropic institution of the church, governed by Anglican leaders for the purpose of recruiting, appointing, and supporting missionaries overseas. More than half of the original 94 English members of the Society were clergymen, led by the archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the bishop of London. Between 1702 and 1783 more than 300 missionaries were sent by the Society to serve American provincial posts.