This book provides readers with an account of the rivalry between the two kingdoms of Church and State between the years 1450 and 1660. England inherited, from medieval times, two systems of authority: the Church, governed by Pope and Bishops; and the State, ruled by Monarch and Lords. However, from the late fourteenth century onwards, this division was increasingly challenged by the laity's insistence on their right to choose not only between different systems of Church government but also between different forms of religious belief. The author charts the rivalry between clergy and laity's and shows how political and social developments between 1450 and 1660 were decisively influenced by this conflict. This second edition includes updates throughout the text in the light of recent scholarship and a new bibliography.