In Mary's reign (1555) the licences were withdrawn, the queen or her advisers deeming the game an excuse for "unlawful assemblies, conventicles, seditions and conspiracies."
Open-air conventicles were held in all parts of the provinces, and the fierce Calvinist preachers raised the religious excitement of their hearers to such aitch that it found vent in a furious outburst The lcono- P oasts.
In June 1675 he signed the paper of advice drawn up by the bishops for the king, urging the rigid enforcement of the laws against the Roman Catholics, their complete banishment from the court, and the suppression of conventicles, 2 and a bill introduced by him imposing special taxes on recusants and subjecting Roman Catholic priests to imprisonment for life was only thrown out as too lenient because it secured offenders from the charge of treason.
We order that the adherents of this faith be called Catholic Christians; we brand all the senseless followers of the other religions with the infamous name of heretics, and forbid their conventicles assuming the name of churches.
And thus, within the large congregations where there was so much that was open to censure in doctrine and constitution and morals, conventicles were formed in order that Christians might prepare themselves by strict discipline for the day of the Lord.
They simply formed small conventicles within the Church.
Besides such regular churches in London and the provinces under the early Stuarts, there were also numerous "conventicles" composed of very humble folk, such as the eleven about London which Bishop Joseph Hall (1574-1656) reports in 1631, and which he states in 1640 had grown to some eighty.
We hear of crowded Calvinist conventicles in Little Poland from 1545 onwards, and Calvinism continued to spread throughout the kingdom during the latter years of Sigismund I.
In 1634 the justices of the peace were ordered to enter houses to search for persons holding conventicles and bring them before the commissioners.
And, hating manual labour, go about begging, holding conventicles and posing among simple people as interpreters of the Scriptures."
James tried to suppress the general irritation by a proclamation against conventicles, and a threat to take away the courts of law from Edinburgh, if people did not go to church on Christmas day.
Outrages on conformist ministers were frequent, and conventicles were accompanied by armed men.
After an alleged attempt to negotiate through Argyll (1678) with the preachers, in view of the threatening increase of armed conventicles, Lauderdale resolved on suppression.
The gentry, who had proclaimed their inability to suppress conventicles, were ordered to sign a bond making them responsible for their tenants, and were bound over to keep the king's peace by " law burrows," a method common in private life but unheard of between monarch and people.
Meanwhile, armed conventicles abounded, and the extreme faction openly denounced and separated themselves from the rapidly growing mass of the Indulged.
Their places were filled with less competent men whom the people did not wish to hear, and so conventicles began to be held.
Surely the rebukes of James apply to conditions of the whole Church and not sporadic Jewish-Christian conventicles in the Greek-speaking world, if any such existed.