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  1. #1
    Loves to help with queries.
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Religious denomination

    What religion would ancestors of mine have been c1600 in Suffolk, England?

    Would their parish have been C of E, and did any law of the land prevent them from being anything other?

  2. #2
    A fountain of knowledge.
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada


    Queen Elizabeth 1533-1603 put an end to religious wars. She allowed people to worship in their own religion without fear of persecution, unlike her predecessors. Your family could have been C of E or R.C.

  3. #3
    Marie C..


    Or Quakers.

  4. #4
    Starting to feel at home.
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Bracknell, Berkshire


    In the East of England, I believe most people were Anglican. There were also Roman Catholics and Quakers.

    I came across some Quaker men who were serving tea to visitors to Spalding during the Flower Festival there. They were dressed in pretty floral pinafores. I said the the chap who came up to my wife and me, "I like your pinny". He merely smiled shyly and carried on taking the order. I hope your ancestors were Quakers. They are lovely people. I enjoyed the tea. I now enjoy the memory.

  5. #5


    Officially, people in 1600 had to attend the C of E services. Catholics who didn't attend had to pay recusancy fines. Queen Elizabeth had said that she "didn't want to make windows into men's souls": as long as they went to church (C of E) she wasn't worried about their inner beliefs. In fact, during the war against Spain and all the conspiracies involving Mary Queen of Scots, Catholics were a bit suspect.

    There were Puritans, but they tended to be within the C of E. There were a few Separatists, who soon afterwards went to Holland, but they were just a few hundred people. There weren't any Quakers yet, in 1600. They were in the 1650s.

    There were lots of clothmakers in Suffolk, and they tended to be Puritans, so that would be your best bet.

  6. #6
    Reputation beyond repute
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    In 1600, everyone in England was deemed to be a member of the Church of England. Attendance on a Sunday was compulsory. Payment of taxes to the Church of England clergy was compulsory. Parishioners had no say in the selection of a clergyman.

    [PS Sorry I didn't press refresh and didn't spot that Vance had already posted]


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