British Dissenting Studies, 1650-1850, is one of the largest open databases devoted solely to materials related to English Nonconformity.  Nonconformity emerged with considerable force (and diversity) in the first half of the 17th century, with three groups – Baptists, Presbyterians, and Independents (later called Congregationalists – establishing themselves as the primary denominations, although the Quakers would soon form a fourth group with substantial numbers by the second half of the century.  These nonconformists, or dissenters, worshiped outside the established Church of England. Though marked by considerable variations in church polity, dissenters nevertheless created a distinctive culture marked by an emphasis upon education, business, social and political reform, as well as an appreciation for literature and the arts. Dissenting congregations were established by church “covenants” and existed as “gathered communities” united by their adherence to scripture over church traditions, an individual faith rather than a historic creed, though doctrinal platforms were not uncommon among all three denominations. 

Contents of British Dissenting Studies, 1650-1850:

Biographical Index – Dissenters, 1650-1850

British Baptist Letters, 1700-1860

Religious Dissent and Culture, 1650-1900

Dissenting Women Writers, 1650-1850

Henry Crabb Robinson (1775-1867): Selected Letters and Life Writings

Calendar of the Attwater, Saffery, Whitaker, and Reeves Collections, Oxford

Mary Hays: Life, Writings, and Correspondence

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