The Civil War


Archbishop William Laud, supported by King Charles I, who was married to the Catholic Henrietta Maria, emphasised the sacramental value of the Church of England and its continuity with its catholic past.

Laudian Screen, Brancepeth


This caused fierce opposition, as did the King’s disregard for Parliament and his belief in a divine right to rule. Civil war resulted. Both Archbishop Laud and Charles were executed. Episcopacy was abolished and for a decade the Church of England formally became Presbyterian.

The execution of Charles I at the Banqueting House, Westminster, 1649




But a new age did not dawn and in 1660 the monarchy was restored, episcopacy re-established and the Prayer Book revised.


The return of Charles II as king in 1660.