The New Student's Reference Work/Puritans

Pu′ritans, the name first given—according to Fuller in 1564, according to Strype in 1569—to those clergymen of the church of England who refused to conform to its liturgy and discipline as arranged by Archbishop Parker and his coadjutors. During the reigns of James I and Charles I the spirit of Puritanism continued to spread in English society and in Parliament, in spite of all efforts by the government to suppress it. The tyranny of Laud and the outrages of Charles on the English constitution led many who strictly were not Puritans to oppose both church and king for the sake of the national liberties. Before the war between Charles and Parliament broke out a considerable number of the Puritans emigrated to America, where they became the founders of the New England states, and practiced the form of religion to which they were attached. For an eloquent description of the character and virtues of the Puritans see Macaulay's Essay on Milton. See, also, Pilgrims.