First published in 1972, this volume shows the potency, and the limitations of Nonconformity in shaping the beginning of modern Britain. It draws upon a wide range of sources including the writings and discussions of Nonconformists themselves, their critics, and contemporary commentators.

The extracts and the extensive introduction set Nonconformity in the broader context of social and political history, and address the ‘life’ of the free Churches: their conflicts, internal and externals, their organization and spread, and their theology. The collection demonstrates the variety and diversity of Nonconformity as well as the controversies and debates of the period.

This book will be an excellent reference for students of History, English and Theology, and will provide a starting point for those who wish to explore Nonconformist history.

Preface and Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Dissent at the beginning of the nineteenth century 2. Growing Confidence 3. Starts and Stops 4. The golden age 5. Ebb tide; Select Bibliography; Index