anti-Catholic, Commonwealth of England, Dutch, Elizabethan Religious Settlement, English Civil War, English Reformation, French, Gilbert Burnet (1643-1715), Greek, Hebrew, Henry VIII, Henry Woodfall, James II, Joseph Downing, Latin, London, Nicholas Sanders, politics, religion, Salisbury, Scotland, theology, Thomas Ward, Treaty of Utrecht, William of Orange
Bishop Burnet’s History of his Own Time
Gilbert Burnet (1643-1715)
London: Thomas Ward, Joseph Downing & Henry Woodfall, 1724-34
Scottish theologian and religious leader Gilbert Burnet was an influential advisor to William and Mary. Burnet’s anti-Catholic writing and preaching gained him the friendship of William of Orange at The Hague. He became bishop of Salisbury. He was fluent in Dutch, French, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. In the mid-1670s a French translation of Nicholas Sanders’ De origine et progressu schismatio Anglicani librie tres (1585) appeared. Sanders attacked the English Reformation as a political act carried out by a corrupt king. Several of Burnet’s friends wished him to publish a rebuttal of the work.
In 1679 the first volume of The History of the Reformation of the Church of England was published. It covered the reign of Henry VIII. The second volume (1681) covered the reign of Elizabeth and the Elizabethan Religious Settlement. The third volume (1714) consisted of corrections and additional material. Burnet began his History of His Own Time in 1683, covering the English Civil War and the Commonwealth of England to the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. This chronicle of the political and religious events during his lifetime demonstrated his fierce bias against James II and was a celebrated book at the time of publication.
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