Talk:History of the Puritans

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Image copyright problem with Image:DrAmes.jpg[edit]

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Et cetera oath[edit]

I think, logically, the details of the oath belong in the Laudianism article (to which I've just linked the phrase). I would like to see the oath discussed there, and the Puritan reaction here. After all, its impact was not just on them. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:19, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

praying towns[edit]

A major section is based on (basically) a single article about a single person (John Eliot). Is such a section properly sourced for this article, and is the section sufficiently germane for this article? Collect (talk) 22:46, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Are you kidding? That one little section (#5.3.4.1) right now happens to be the only part of the whole humongous article that has any in-line refs whatsoever, and you want to get rid of it. It's definitely encyclopedic, and definitely belongs in this article, if any article. One of the purported reasons for their going to the New World was supposedly, conversion of the native inhabitants to Christianity, so it's more than fitting we document what precious little of it actually went on. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 23:22, 14 December 2008 (UTC)


But was it part of the reason for the Puritans heading to the New World? The Spaniards? Yes. But the use of a single person as providing a reason for Puritans in general when it was clear that many opposed his actions? Seems to me that this belongs in an article on John Eliot and not on Puritan history in general. Unless, of course, you find a source claiming that this was a general belief of the Puritans? I didn't. Collect (talk) 00:25, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I think King James I was quite explicit, that whoever went over (including the Puritans) had to make an attempt at bringing the inhabitants to Christendom, to justify their going over there. This was their whole pretext for going over and taking already-inhabited land. Take that away, and there isn't even a pretext, or any attempt at justification whatsoever. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 00:33, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
You are making Synthesis here -- the Puritans clearly were divided on the conversion of the Indians. The land was, in large part, not occupied when the English settled Massachusetts. The Indians who had recently arrived had fought the prior Indians. The plagues were already here, not brought over, and surely not brought as "Warfare." The Plymouth Indians had, in fact, died off and the Indian plague nearly killed off the Pilgrims. And the Pilgrims were not Puritans in any case. Thus you can see why the singular example of John Eliot is questionable as relevant to the broader subject of Puritans? Thanks! Collect (talk) 00:38, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not making any synthesis. I'm telling you exactly what King James I decreed, and every colonist (Puritan or otherwise) was well aware of it. The royal command didn't make any kind of excuse like "well they're all dead already, so go ahead and take over the land", or any of these other original arguments you just made. It made one excuse, and one excuse only, for taking the land, and that is propagation of Christ to the natives. Would you like me to find the exact quote and paste it here? Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 00:43, 15 December 2008 (UTC)


WP:SYN -- James I said all colonists had to convert Indians. The Puritans were colonists. Ergo, the Puritans had to convert Indians. Problem? "Praying Towns" were not part of the general Puritan system. And when the Pilgrims found empty land - why not use it? Local Indians even spoke English (Squanto and Samoset) -- the colonists were not total strangers in their way of life, and Plymouth Colony had a long record of peace with the Indians. No "praying towns" as the Pilgrims were not even Puritans. Thanks! An article on the Puritans is not a good place for agendas. Collect (talk) 11:39, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
WP:SYN refers to putting together unconnected sources on the article page itself, which is not allowed. It's not an argument that is applied to talk-pages, unless they involve proposed changes to the article. Despite my disagreement with everything you say, that comes from your own utterly unsourced and original views of international law ("when the Pilgrims found empty land, why not use it?") and despite the fact that I have already given the correct legal source on this very point, there does not seem to be any discussion of changes to the actual article going on here. So this whole conversation seems moot. If you want to delete the sections on Pilgrims on the grounds of your POV that "the Pilgrims were not Puritans", you will have to first convincingly demonstrate that the Pilgrims were not Puritans; this will be difficult, since in the eyes of wikipedia, in the eyes of nearly everyone living at the time, and in the eyes of everyone who has written about it since then, the Pilgrims were indeed a sect of Puritans, for all effective purposes. They may have had their differences with other sects, like they all did, but they are always classified as part of the Puritan movement, they are relevant, and should not be deleted from this article. If you have anything like a reliable source explicitly stating the view that "the Pilgrims were not Puritan", I'd like to see it. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 12:28, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Nope. It refers to any edits made using such a rationale. WRT "pilgrims" see [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] and so on ... [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] and a few thousand more if you need tham. Lesson? Pilgrims = Separatists who left England in 1608. Puritans = Church of England reformer opposed to Laud. Clear now? Collect (talk) 13:20, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

That's very clever and thorough work. You did a goog-book search for the phrase [pilgrims were not puritans] (but without any quotes) then dumped all the results on this page without apparently reading any of them. I clicked on the first link, to an old Harper's Magazine, and it is an interesting discussion about the distinctions between the Puritans proper and the Plymouth Pilgrims, but even it acknowledges that the Pilgrims came under the broad spectrum of the Puritan movement. I'm not sure what it is specifically you are proposing for the article, or if you just like to argue in general, but I would definitely be against expunging all references to the Plymouth Pilgrims from this article on the spurious grounds that they were a distinct and supposedly unrelated sect. If you are using this as a roundabout argument because you really don't like it being mentioned that some Native Americans converted to Puritanism, I would oppose that suggestion as well. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 13:39, 15 December 2008 (UTC)


The facts are clear -- the Pilgrims left England in 1608, long before Laud or his ilk were around. As to searching on googlebooks, note the other links NOT from books as well. And I read every single link, thank you most kindly. The Pilgrims are in this article only because Plymouth Colony was merged with MBC, not because the Pilgrims were Puritans (Myles Standish, in fact, may have been raised a Catholic). The issue is the weight you wish to give ONE person as an exemplar for all Puritans. I fear that Eliot was not such an exemplar at all, and that giving huge weight to his acts is like blaming all Puritans for the seventeenth century European preoccupation with witches. Collect (talk) 13:48, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Possible new sub-section after 3.3.2 Synod of Dort 1618-1619[edit]

Since Calvinism is an important part of Puritanism this synod where TULIP was formalized could be added. According to the WP Synod of Dort the following Englishmen attended:George Carleton (1559–1628), Joseph Hall (1574–1657), Thomas Goad (1576–1638), John Davenant (1576–1641), Walter Balcanqual (1586–1645), Samuel Ward (1572-1643). And finally the section deleted from Puritan/Demonology Puritans took a non-literal view of the Harrowing of Hell, in the "Descensus controversy" of the late 16th century and early 17th century. The orthodox view of the Church of England was represented by Thomas Bilson, interpreting the Apostle's Creed literally on this point; he was supported by Richard Parkes in this matter, in controversy with Andrew Willet and his Limbomastix, who took the non-literal line going back to Calvin, but also adopted by Catholic controversialists. This issue then came up at the Synod of Dort, where it was the unique instance of a point of doctrine at that time distinguishing Anglican beliefs from the generality of Reformed orthodoxy.[1] could be used here. I hope this is of some use. Nitpyck (talk) 22:23, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Proposed split[edit]

The article is now very long, and splitting seems a reasonable idea. The most natural way would be by monarch (Elizabeth, James, Charles, post-1649) to give four articles, each of which would amount to more than 32K. There might be more to do after that, but how would that be as a start? Charles Matthews (talk) 07:55, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

I'm going to implement the split. The template has been there for a year, and I read no objections here. Charles Matthews (talk) 07:13, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Done, see page. But History of the Puritans under Charles I turns out to be longer than all the others put together: over 100K. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:59, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
There are other problems with this. This paragraph was my contribution to the article:

Puritan settlement in Virginia Colony (1618) One small group of Puritans had already settled in Warrascoyack County in the Virginia Colony, beginning in 1618 with Christopher Lawne who established a plantation at Lawne's Creek. He died the following year, but several other prominent Puritan merchants soon emigrated there, including the Bennett family of Somerset. Under the leadership of Richard Bennett, the community moved from Warrascoyack to neighboring Nansemond beginning in 1635, then sought temporary refuge in Maryland in 1648. They returned to Virginia when the "Roundheads" appointed Bennett as governor there in 1652; later, in 1672, all of them, including Bennett, converted to the Quaker faith upon meeting its founder, George Fox.

Now I hardly knew which new section to look for it in, but finally found it under "...James I" even though not much had happened there before 1625, only a very little. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 11:05, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, there are still issues. On the other hand the standard narrative of the Puritan emigration connects the movement of people to the religious policy of the English monarch of the time (whether they emigrated from England or the Netherlands). Obviously that section was sorted by the date 1618. In fact it is the kind of topic where one would look to have a detailed article elsewhere, and use {{details}} to link to that. Charles Matthews (talk) 13:03, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
    • ^ Jean-Louis Quantin, The Church of England and Christian Antiquity: The Construction of a Confessional Identity in the 17th Century (2009), 114-130.