John Milton: Anti-prelatical tracts

(4747 words)

In May 1641 Milton published the first of his anti-prelatical tracts, a series of efforts to reform the structure of the church and above all abolish the bishops. Four more tracts followed in the next two years. Milton was not yet as radical either in politics or theology as he soon became: like most Englishmen, he still recognized the king and thought of his power as shared with the Lords and the Commons. But parliament, he argued, should be the sole agent of church reform. If not, the king would impose his own high-church ceremonial and doctrine, through his control of the appointment of bishops. His pamphlets helped to generate an extraordinary explosion of tract and counter-tract, a war of words such as no modern European country …

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Forsyth, Neil. "Anti-prelatical tracts". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 February 2012
[, accessed 30 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Religious Reform, Protestants, Dissenters