These ministers supported each other in a godly brotherhood. At first the Puritans received the name Puritan because they sought to purify the National Church of England. In later times they were called Puritans because of the purity of life that they sought. They set out to reform the Church of England. Their desire was to conform the national Church to the Word of God in government, worship and practice.
Queen Elizabeth was head of the national Church and she opposed and blocked reformation. When James I (who reigned from 1603 to 1625) came to the throne there was hope that now reform would progress. Instead the struggle intensified. It did not improve when Charles I came to the throne in 1625. Ministers began to despair of improvement and some left for America where a new race of Puritans developed. The situation came to a climax when civil war broke out during the 1640s. During that time Oliver Cromwell became the supreme governor in place of the King. When Cromwell died there was no one suitable to replace him. The nation returned to the monarchy. Charles II came to the throne.
The struggle in the Church was renewed with even more conflict than before. An act of Parliament was passed which required conformity to rules which the Puritans simply were unable to follow. In 1662 over 2,000 ministers and leaders in the Church of England were forced to leave. Rather than compromise their consciences they