Hampton Court conference

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Hampton Court conference, 1604. Although Elizabeth I established a protestant church in England in 1559, it offended puritan opinion by retaining many catholic practices. In 1603 the accession of James I provided the puritans with an opportunity to state their case by presenting him with the millenary petition. James, who relished theological debate, responded by summoning a conference of puritans and bishops to Hampton Court in January 1604. Discussions produced considerable convergence on minor matters, but the only major achievement was the authorization of a new translation of the Bible—the ‘King James version’. Puritans were disappointed at the outcome, especially when a number of hard-line ministers were expelled from their parishes. But James was no persecutor and during his reign all but a tiny minority of puritans retained their commitment to the established church.

Roger Lockyer

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Hampton Court Conference and Hampton Court Palace: see under Hampton, England; James I.