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The Records of Kings Chapel, Boston

Edited by James B. Bell and James E. Mooney
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The story of the origins of the first Anglican congregation established in Boston and New England, Kings Chapel, is significantly shaped by the gradually emerging imperial policies of the government of Charles II during the late seventeenth century. It is a transatlantic account influenced largely by two forces, one in London, driven by the members of the Board of Trade and Plantations, and the other in Boston, driven by a handful of merchants with active and productive commercial ties with London and Bristol trading firms. Extending the Church of England to Puritan Boston after the revocation in 1684 of the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s first charter and the creation of the province as a royal jurisdiction was received reluctantly by the town’s residents, who considered it a novel, abrupt, and unwanted political and ecclesiastical act. This was not merely the extension of a religious group from the Old World to the New, for the Church of England was granted great political and cultural authority through the laws of England’s unwritten constitution.