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Today in History

On this day in 1714, the "Schism Bill," which intended to reestablish Roman Catholicism in England, died with its chief supporter, Queen Anne.

On this day in 1779, Francis Scott Key, author of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and one of the founders of the American Sunday School Union, was born.

History of The Episcopal Church

The beginnings of the Church of England, from which The Episcopal Church derives, date to at least the second century, when merchants and other travelers first brought Christianity to England. It is customary to regard St. Augustine of Canterbury's mission to England in 597 as marking the formal beginning of the church under papal authority, as it was to be throughout the Middle Ages.

In its modern form, the church dates from the English Reformation of the 16th century, when royal supremacy was established and the authority of the papacy was repudiated. With the advent of British colonization, the Church of England was established on every continent. In time, these churches gained their independence, but retained connections with the mother church in the Anglican Communion.

(Copyright 1999, Diocese of Oregon. All rights reserved.)