Nonconformity and Dukinfield

During the Civil War approximately 20% of the population began to diverge from the established Anglican Church, especially in this very republican area of the country. However, after the Restoration of the Monarchy, and the crowning of King Charles II in 1662 an 'Act of Uniformity' was passed whereby all rectors refusing to follow the common prayer book etc., were ejected from the Church. Out of approximately 10,000 throughout the country, 2,000 were ejected, but 20 - 25% of the country continued to worship illegally, holding secret services in barns etc.

During the Reign of William of Orange (1689-1702) nonconformists began to be accepted, and the laws were somewhat relaxed. Under the 1689 'Act of Toleration' the first Nonconformist Chapels came into being. Officially then, nonconformist registers did not start until 1689. However, between the years 1753 and 1837, in an attempt the legalise marriage under the 'Hardwicke Marriage Act', all marriages had to take place in the official Anglican Parish Church by banns or by licence. Only Jews and Quakers were exempt.

Dukinfield holds rather a special series of notable firsts in the country's history of nonconformity:

Nonconformity Firsts in Dukinfield - a whole series of new pages added.

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