In 1788 the Archdeacon of Exeter, at a meeting to vote thanks to William Pitt on the resolution of the regency crisis, claimed that the strongly Tory city of Exeter now regarded the Revolution of 1688 as truly glorious.<sup>1</sup> This speech reflected a significant shift on the part of the clergy of Exeter, who had been tainted with Jacobitism for the first half of the century. It was a change that arose, in part, from the policy of cooperation that the Whig Church establishment had adopted with the Hanoverian regime. The policy was controversial: but the bishops who had supported the new regime were vindicated. There was no danger for the Church in the Hanoverian succession. From 1760 onwards the challenges that confronted the Church came from social and economic changes, rather than from political turbulence. For whilst there were political forces which threatened the Church: the French Revolution, Catholic emancipation and the Whig reforms of the 1830s, they were for the most part illusory. The most dramatic change which the Church of England had to accommodate was the transition from the role of the Established Church with a virtual monopoly, to being one of a number of denominational churches.
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