John Whitgift on the Puritans

Here is a fascinating quote by John Whitgift (1530-1604), Archbishop of Canterbury from 1583 till his death in 1604, about the Puritans. Though mentored by the Marian martyr John Bradford, he was hostile to the Puritans from 1570 onwards when he debated Thomas Cartwright (1535-1603). The Puritans, according to Whitgift, “think themselves to be mundiores caeteris, more pure than others as the Cathari dyd [sic], and separate themselves from all other Churches and congregations as spotted and defyled [sic].”[1] Many students of the Puritan movement, including this one, would beg to differ.

[1] An Answere to a certen Libel intituled an Admonition to the Parliament (London, 1572), 18.