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act of toleration

Act of Toleration 1689

The Act of Toleration was an act of the English Parliament (24 May, 1689, citation 1 Will. & Mar. c. 18), the long title of which is "An Act for Exempting their Majestyes Protestant Subjects dissenting from the Church of England from the Penalties of certaine Lawes". The Act granted freedom of worship to Nonconformists who had taken the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy and formally rejected transubstantiation i.e., Protestants who dissented from the Church of England such as Baptists and Congregationalists but not to Catholics or Quakers. It allowed Nonconformists their own places of worship and their own teachers and preachers, subject to acceptance of certain oaths of allegiance. It deliberately did not apply to Catholics and non-Trinitarians and continued the existing social and political disabilities for Dissenters, including their exclusion from political office and also from universities.

Dissenters were required to register their meeting locations and were forbidden from meeting in private homes. Any preachers who dissented had to be licensed.

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