He was indeed taken in June 1673 while holding a conventicle at Knockdow, and condemned by the privy council to 4 years and 3 months' imprisonment on the Bass Rock and a further 15 months in the Tolbooth at Edinburgh.
Opposition from a master potter of the district, who threatened to put the Conventicle Act in force, was overcome, but more serious difficulties were presented by the antagonism of the Wesleyan Methodist circuit authorities.
Under the Quaker Act of 1662 and the Conventicle Act of 1664 a number were transported out of England, and under the last-named act and that of 1670 (the second Conventicle Act) hundreds of households were despoiled of all their goods.
The Quaker Act 1662 and the Conventicle Acts of 1664 and 1670, designed to enforce attendance at church, and inflicting severe penalties on those attending other religious gatherings, were responsible for the most severe persecution of all.
C. 12, § 2, enacts that" if any person ecclesiastical, or which shall have an ecclesiastical living, shall advisedly maintain or affirm any doctrine directly contrary or repugnant to any of the said articles, and by conventicle before the bishop of the diocese, or the ordinary, or before the queen's highness's commissioners in matters ecclesiastical, shall persist therein or not revoke his error, or after such revocation eftsoons affirm such untrue doctrine,"he shall be deprived of his ecclesiastical promotions.
30 a " conventicle " type of Christian fellowship, supplementary to attendance at the parish church.
He was strongly opposed to the Conventicle and Five Mile Acts.
The conventicle type, favoured more especially by the so-called " Free Churches."
He was released on the 26th of May 1664; and in spite of the Conventicle, or Five Mile Act, he resumed his preaching.
As Argyll, in face of all warnings, went to court, he was arrested, and during the session of parliament of January 1661 was tried for treason, and, on the ground of his letters to Monk, was convicted and executed, as was the leading Remonstrant preacher, James Guthrie, accused of holding an illegal conventicle, " tending to disturbance,.
Hence the Conventicle Act (1664) imposed penalties on those taking part in religious meetings in private houses, and the Five Mile Act (1665) forbade an expelled clergyman to come within five miles of a corporate borough, the very place where he was most likely to secure adherence, unless he would swear his adhesion to the dbctrmn.e of non-resistance.
In1652-1654and1658-1662Biddle held a Socinian conventicle in London; in addition to his own writings he reprinted (1651) and translated (1652) the Racovian Catechism, and the Life of Socinus (1653).
In Carthage, for example, it would appear that the breach between the Catholic Church and the Montanistic conventicle was caused by a disagreement on the question whether or not virgins ought to be veiled.