Church in Danger

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'Church in Danger' was a political slogan used by the Tory party, and particularly by High Tories in elections during Queen Anne's reign.[1]

'Church in Danger' was a rallying call for many Anglicans in England who feared that the established Church of England was under attack by the policies of the Whigs, particularly the Toleration Act 1688. The Act allowed freedom of worship to Nonconformists i.e., Protestants who dissented from the Church of England such as Baptists and Congregationalists but not to Catholics. Nonconformists were allowed their own places of worship and their own teachers, if they accepted certain oaths of allegiance.

To Tory supporters and High Church Anglicans such as Dr. Henry Sacheverell, such toleration would ultimately undermine the established Church of England through reducing attendance and allowing sedition to be preached in England. The slogan proved to be effective and featured heavily in Tory election campaigns, particularly during the English general election, 1705 which occurred in the midst of the Tackers controversy and the British general election, 1710 where, in the context of the trial of Henry Sacheverell and the subsequent Sacheverell riots, the slogan contributed to a Tory landslide victory.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ W.A. Speck, Tory & Whig: The Struggle in the Constituencies 1701-1715, (London, 1970), p.96.
  2. ^ James Richards, Party Propaganda Under Queen Anne: The General Elections of 1702-1713, (Charlotte, 1972), p. 111.