The text presented here under the title the History of the Church of England is the entry ENGLAND, CHURCH OF from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the content of which lies within the public domain. It is obviously written from an Anglican point of view and whether the modern Church of England "remains the same church that was planted in England at the end of the 6th century" is very much a matter of opinion. (A Roman Catholic might beg to differ on the question.)

Some minor amendements have been made to the text: the abbreviation St is everwhere expanded to Saint; all q.v. and some SEE 'another entry' references have been deleted where they are redundant and interfere with the narrative; the odd personal or place name has been changed (e.g. Oswio to Oswiu) but otherwise the text is exactly as was written around a century ago. Obviously the history terminates at the beginning of the 20th century and thus takes no account of developments within the last hundred years or so.

For convenience's sake the text, aside from the two introductory paragraphs and the long list of authrorities, has been broken down and noded in accordance with the plan set out below.

The Church of England claims to be a branch of the Catholic and Apostolic Church; it is episcopal in its essence and administration, and is established by law in that the state recognizes it as the national church of the English people, an integral part of the constitution of the realm. It existed, in name and in fact, as the church of the English people centuries before that people became a united nation, and, in spite of changes in doctrine and ritual, it remains the same church that was planted in England at the end of the 6th century. From it the various tribes which had conquered the land received a bond of union, and in it they beheld a pattern of a single organized government administered by local officers, to which they gradually attained in their secular polity. In England, then, the state is in a sense the child of the church.

The doctrines of the English Church may be gathered from its Book of Common Prayer as finally revised in 1661, with the form of ordaining and consecrating bishops, priests and deacons, with the exception of the services for certain days which were abrogated in 1859; from the XXXIX Articles (see Creeds), published with royal authority in 1571; and from the First and Second Books of Homilies of 1549 and 1562 respectively, which are declared in Article XXXV to contain sound doctrine.

The remainder of the text that recounts the History of the Church of England has been broken down as follows:-

1. Percusors of the English Church

2. The Anglo-Saxon period

3. The Medieval period

4. The Early Modern period

5. The Modern period


General Histories:
Narrative: J. Collier, Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain (to 1685), ed. T. Lathbury (9 vols., London, 1852); T. Fuller, Church History (to 1648), ed. J. S. Brewer (Oxford, 1845), valuable near the authors own time; C. Dodd, Church History of England (to 1625, by a Roman Catholic), ed. M. A. Tierney (.5 vols., London, 1839-1843); Dean W. F. Hook, Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury (to 1663) (12 vols., London, 1860 1879); G. G. Perry. Student's English Church History (to 1884) (London, 1887), a carefully written book; A History of the English Church, ed Stephens and Hunt, in 8 vols., noticed below under various periods; H. 0. Wakeman, An Introduction to the History of the Church of England (London, 1896), a brightly written manual by a pronounced high churchman.
Documents: D. Wilkins, Concilia (446-1717) (4 vols. fol., London, 1737), a splendid work; A. W. Haddan and Bishop W. Stubbs, Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents (3 vols., Oxford, 1869-1873), supersedes Wilkins so far as it goes, but deals with English Church only to 870, with Welsh, Scottish and Cumbrian churches to later dates; H. Gee and W. J. Hardy, Documents of English Church History (to 1700) (London, 1896), useful for students.
Constitutional: Bishop W. Stubbs, Constitutional History of England (parts of) (~ vols., revised ed., Oxford, 1895-1897), a work of great learning; F. Makower, Constitutional History of the Church of England, from the German (London, 1895); F. W. Maitland, Roman Canon Law in the Church of England (London, 1898), authoritative. (See under Convocation.)

From 597: Bede, Historia ecclesiastica, ed. C. Plummer, (2 vols.,Oxford, 1896), the primary authority to 731, trans. by J. A. Giles (Bohns Library) and others; see also Eddius's contemporary Vita Wilfridi, in Historians of York, ad. James Raine, Rolls series (3 vols., 1879-1894); W. Bright, Early English Church History (to 709)(3rd ed., Oxford, 1897), a learned and beautiful book; articles in Dictionary of Christian Biography (to 9th century), ed. W. Smith and H. Wace (4 vols., London, 1877-1887).

Later Anglo-Saxon: In Chronicles and biographies, as Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Two of the Saxon Chronicles, ed. C. Plummer (2 vols., 1892), trans. by B.Thorpe, Rolls series (1861), and others; Asser, Life of Alfred, ed. W. H. Stevenson (flyford ioon trsns. by Giles~ )Memorials of St. Dunstan ed. W. Stubbs Rolls series (1874). Modern: J. Lingard, History of the Anglo-Saxon Church (2 vols., London, 2nd ed., printed 1858); W. Hunt, History of the English Church, 597-1066, ed. Stephens and Hunt (London, revised ed., 1901).

For later medieval times:
(1) Chroniclers, etc., after 1066, as Florence of Worcester, ad. B. Thorpe, Eng. Hist. Soc. (2 vols., 1878), trans. by J. Stevenson in Church Historians (London, 1853); Symeon of Durham, ed. T. Arnold, Rolls series (2 vols., 1882); Eadmer (for Archbishop Anselm), ed. M. Rule, Rolls series (1884); William of Malmesbury, Gesta regum, etc. (to 1152), ed. W. Stubbs, Rolls series (a vols., 1887), and Gesta pontificum, ed. N. E. S. A. Hamilton, Rolls series (1870); (John of Salisbury?) Historia pontificalis (for Archbishop Theobald, 1139I161), ed. Pertz, Rerum Germ. scriptt, xx.; Materials for the Life of Archbishop Becket, ed. J. C. Robertson, Rolls series (7 vols., 1875-1885); Giraldus Cambrensis (12th century), Gemma ecclesiastica and Speculum ecclesiae, Works ii. and iv., ed. J. S. Brewer, Rolls series (1862, 1873); Matthew Paris, Chronica majora (to 1259), ed. H. R. Luard, Rolls series (7 vols., 1880-1883), and many more.
(2) Letters, as Archbishop Lanfranc, Epistelae, ed. Giles (Oxford, 1844); Archbishop Anselm, Epistolae, ed. Mign (Paris, 1863); Robert Grosseteste, Epistolae, ed. H. R. Luard, Rolls series (1861), and others.
(3) Bishops Registers. as Registrum J. Peckham (Archbishop of Canterbury, 1279-1292), ed. C. T. Martin, Rolls series (3 vols., 1882-1886); Exeter Registers, ed. Hingeston Randolph (5 vols., 1889); Registers of Bishops Drokensford and Ralph of Shrewsbury, ed. W. H. Dickinson and T. S. Holmes, Somerset Record Soc. (3 vols., 1887, 1895-1896), and others.

For Wycliffe and early Lollards: see Wycliffe. R. Pecock, Repressor of Overmuch Blaming of the Clergy, ed. C. Babington, Rolls series (2 vols., 1860); and T. Gascoigne, Loci e libro veritatum, ed. J. T. Rogers (Oxford, 1881), which gives ample notices of abuses, should be consulted for 15th century. Modern books: W. R. W. Stephens, The English Church, 1066-1272 (revised edition, 1904), and W. W. Capes, The English Church in the 14th and 15th Centuries (1900), both ed. Stephens and Hunt (London); J. Raine, Archbishops of York (ends at 1373) (London, 1863); F. A. Gasquet, Henry III and the Church (London, 1905). Biographical: Dean R. W. Church, Anselm (London, 1870); M. Rule, Life and Times of St Anselm (written from a Roman Catholic standpoint) (2 vols., London, 1883); C. de Rmusat, Vie de S. Anselme (Paris, 1868); G. G. Perry, St Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln (London, 1879); F. S. Stevenson, Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln (London, 1899), and others.

For the Reformation Period:
Documentary: Notices in Letters and Papers, Henry VIII., ed. J. S. Brewer, J. Gairdner, R. H. Brodie, Record Publ. (19 vols., 1862-1905), and Calendars of State Papers for Henry VIII, Edward VI, ed. R. Lemon (1856) and M. A. Green (1870), for Mary, ed. Lemon (1856), Record Publ., and for Elizabeth, Hatfield MSS., Hist. MSS. Comm.; Acts of the Privy Council, ed. J. R. Dasent (1890), in progress; Records of the Reformation, ed. N. Pocock (2 vols., Oxford, 1870); E. Card~ell, Documentary Annals (Oxford, 1839); Original Letters, ed. H. Ellis (Ii vols., 1824-1846); Zurich Letters (2 vols.), Original Letters (2 vols.), ed. Robinson (1842-1847); Latimer's Sermons (1844), and Archbishop Parker's Correspondence, ed. J. Bruce and T. T. Perowne, all Parker Soc. Publ., Cambridge; see also General Index to Parker Soc.s Pu/sI. (1855); R. Pole (Cardinal), Epistolae, ed. Quirini (5 vols., Brescia, 1744-1757); G. W. Prothero, Select Statutes, etc.; Elizabeth and James I. (3rd ad., Oxford, 1906).
Supplementary: Strype, Ecclesiastical Memorials (6 vols., 1513-1556); Annals (Elizabeth) (7 vols.); Memorials of Cranmer (2 vols.); Lilies of Parker (3 vols.), Grindal, Whitgift (3 vols.), all with a large repertory of documents, also of Cheke, T. Smith and Aylmer (all Oxford, 1820-1824); Burnet, History of the Reformation, ed. N. Pocock (7 vols., Oxford, 1865), with many documents.
Chronicles and early Histories: W. Camden, Annales (Elizabeth), ed. T. Hearne (3 you., 1717); Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary, ed. J. G. Nichols (Camden Soc., 1850); E. Hall, Chronicle (Henry VIII.), ed. C. Vvhibley (2 vol., London, 1904); N. Harpsfield, Treatise on the Pretended Divorce of Henry VIII, ad. N. Pocock (Camden Soc., 1878); J. Foxe, Acts and Monuments (often called The Book of Martyrs), ed. S. R. Cattley and G. Townsend (a book with many facts industriously gathered, many Elocuments and some errors) (8 vols., London, 1843-1849); H. Machyn, Diary (1550-1563), and Narratives of the Reformation, both ed. J. G. Nichols (Camden Soc., 1854, 1859); W. Roper, The Life of Sir Thomas More, ed. S. Singer (1817), and other editions, a beautiful book by More's son-in-law; N. Sander, De origine ac progressu schismatis Anglicani, continued by E. Rishton (Rome, 1586), Lranslated by D. Lewis (London, 1877) (Sander was a Roman Catholic priest who wrote in 1576; his language is violent but the narrative generally trustworthy); The Presbyterian Movement in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, ed. R. G. Usher (R. Hut. Soc., 1905). Modern histories: J. H. Blunt, History of the English Reformation (London, 1878), a careful work, though of no great historical importance; T. E. Bridgett, Life of Blessed John Fisher (London, 1888); R. W. Dixon, History of the Church of England from the abolition of the Roman Jurisdiction (5 vols., London, 1878-1892), a book showing great knowledge and insight; V. M. Doreau, Henry VIII et les martyres de la Chartreuse (Paris, 1890); H. Fisher History of England 1485-1547, presents a brilliant and trustworthy narrative of affairs during the reign of Henry VIII, and forms vol. v. of the Political History of England, ed. W. Hunt and R. L. Poole (London, 1906); P. Friedmann, Anne Boleyn(London, 1884), an important work; W. H. Frere, History of the English Church, 1558-1625, ed. W. R. W. Stephens and W. Hunt (1904), scholarly; J. A. Froude, History of England (1527-1588), a work of literary beauty, research and historical grasp, from an anti-ecclesiastical standpoint, with some blemishes, but of increasing value after the reign of Henry VIII. (12 vols., London, 1856-1870, cheap editions, 1881-1882, 1893); J. Gairdner, History of the English Church, Henry VIII to Mary, ed. Stephens and Hunt (London, 1902), by the highest authority on the period; H. E. Jacobs, The Lutheran Movement in England (Philadelphia, 1890), chiefly on progressive doctrinal change; A. F. Pollard, Henry VIII. (London, with illustrations 1902, with references 1905), an excellent general history of the reign, England under Protector Somerset (London, 1900), and Life of Cranmer (London, 1904).

For Rebellion Period:
Contemporary and early: State Papers, Domestic, 1625-1649, ed. 3. Bruce, W. D. Hamilton, Mrs S. C. Lomas (23 vols.), from 1649, ed. E. Green (13 vols), and Calendars of Committees for Plundered Ministers, etc., all Record Publ.; Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution, ed. S. R. Gardiner (Oxford, 1899); J. Evelyn, Diary, ed. A. Dobson (3 you., London, 5906); also ed. W. Bray and ed. H. B. Wheatley; B. Hacket, Scrinia reserata, Life of Archbishop Williams (London, 1715) P. Heylyn, Cyprianus Anglicanus, Life of Archbishop Laud (Dublin, 1668); W. Laud, Works, ed. W. Scott and W. Bliss, Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology (7 vols., Oxford, 1847-1860); 3. Milton, various Prose Works, ed. C. Symmons (7 vols., London, i806); Puritan Visitations of Oxford, ed. M. Burrows (Camden Soc., 1881).
Later: W. H. Hutton, History of the English Church, 1625-1714, ed. Stephen and Hunt (London, 1903), and William Laud (London, I 895); S. R. Gardiner, History of England, under various titles, 1603-1657 (London, 1863-1903), and an 8 vol. edition begun 1883, a work of vast research and learning, contains fair and careful accounts of religious matters; D. Masson, Life of Milton (7 vols., London, 1859-1894); D. Neal, History of the Puritans, ed. J. Toulmin (3 vols., I 837); W. A. Shaw, The English Church, 1640-1660 (2 vols., London, 1900), and on the Westminster Assembly, Cambridge Modern History, iv. c. 12 (Cambridge, 1906); 3. Stoughton, Ecclesiastical History of England, Civil Wars, etc. (4 vols., London, 1867-1870), by a dissenting divine, a careful and unprejudiced history; J. Walker, Sufferings of the Clergy (London, 1714).

For Restoration and Revolution Period: R. Baxter, Religuiae Baxterianae, ed: M. Sylvester (London, 1696); and E. Calamy, Abridgment of Life of Baxter (2 vols., 1713); R. Bentle Life of Bishop Stillingfleet, with Works in 6 vols. (London, 1710); Bishop G. Burnet, History of his Own Time (6 vols., Oxford, 1783); G. Doyly, Life of Archbishop Sancroft (2 vols., London, 1821); W. Kennett (Bishop), Compleat History, vol. iii. (London, 1710); T. Lathbury, History of the Nonjurors (London, 1843); T. B. Macaulay, History of England (5 vols, London, 1858-1861) Magdalen College and James II, ed. J. R. Bloxam, Oxford Historical Society (Oxford, 1886); R. Nelson, Life of Bishop Bull, ad. Burton (Oxford, 1827); J. H. Overton, The Non jurors (London, 1902), and Life in the English Church, 1660-1714 (2 vols., London, 1885); E. H. Plumptre, Life of Bishop Ken (2 vols., London, 1888); I. Walton, Lives (Bishop G. Morley and others) (London, 1898, and frequently).

For 18th century: C. J. Abbey, The English Church and its Bishops, 1700-1800 (2 vols., London, 1887); C. J. Abbey and J. H. Overton, The English Church in the 18th Century (London, revised ed., 1887), a pleasant and useful book); R. Cecil, Life of John Newton (London, f827); A. C. Fraser, Life of Bishop Berkeley, vol. iv. of Works (Oxford, 1871); Lord Hervey, Memoirs of the Reign of George II, ad. J. W. Croker (3 vols., London, 1884); A. H. Hore, The Church of England from William III to Victoria (2 vols., Oxford, 1886); J. Hunt, Religious Thought in England (3 vols., London, 1873 Huntingdon, Selina, Countess of, Life and Times (2 vols,, London, 1839-1840); J. Keble, Life of Bishop Wilson (Oxford, 1863): W. E. H. Lecky, History of England in the 18th Century, vols. i.-iii. and v. (8 vols., London, 1879-1890); Bishop T. Newton, Autobiography, with Works (6 vols., London, 1787); J. H. Overton and F. Relton, History of the English Church, 1714-1800, ed. Stephens and Hunt (London, 1906); W. Roberts, Memoir of Hannah More (4 vols., London, 1834); W. A. Spooner, Bishop Butler (London, 1891); Sir J. Stephen, Essays in Ecclesiastical Biography (2 vols., London, 1853), for an account of the Evangelicals early in the 19th century; Sir L. Stephen, English Thought in the 18th Century (2 vols., London, 1881), for theological controversies; H. Thompson, Life of Hannah More (London, 1838); R. Watson, Anecdotes of the Life of Bishop R. Watson (2 vols., London, 1818), presents a curious picture of a bishop's life 1782-1816; R. and S. Wilberforce, Memoir of W. Wilberforce (5 vols., London, 1838). See under Methodism; Wesley family; and George Whitefield.

For the Oxford Movement and onwards: A. W. Benn, English Rationalism in the 19th Century (2 vols., London, 1906); A. C. Benson, Life of Archbishop E. W. Benson (2 vols, London, 1899); 3. W. Burgon, Lives of Twelve Good Men (2 vols., London, 1888); R. W. Church, History of the Oxford Movement (London, 1891); J. T. Coleridge, Life of Keble (Oxford, 1869); R. T. Davidson and W. Benham, Life of Archbishop A. C. Tait (2 vols., London, 1892); H. P. Liddon and .1. 0. johnston, Life of Pusey (4 vols., London, 1893-1893); T. Mozley, Reminiscences of 0,-let and the Oxford Movement (2 vols., London, 1882); J. H. Newman, Apologia pro Vita sua (London, 1864); R. Prothero, Correspondence of Dean A. P. Stanley (2 vols., London, 1893); R. G. Wilberforce and A. Ashwell, Life of Bishop S. Wilberforce (3 vols., London, 1879); Report of the Royal Commission on Ecclesiastical Courts (1883), and Report of the Royal Commission on Ecclesiastical Discipline (1906), both H.M. Stationery Office; Official Year Book of the Church of England, S.P.C.K. (1906). (W. H.)