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Millenary Petition

So called because about 1,000 ministers were said to support it, this petition was presented in April 1603 to James as he was traveling from Scotland to London to begin his reign as James I of England. The men who composed the petition spoke “neither as factious men . . . nor as schismatics”; they requested not a full program of Presbyterianism but moderate reforms within the diocesan structure of the church. These reforms could be decided, they suggested, by “a conference among the learned.” They did, however, ask for the removal of certain grievances. These were the sign of the cross in baptism, less liturgical music, no bowing at the name of Jesus, no profanation of the Lord's Day, the reform of church courts, and other matters. James agreed to the conference, which was held at Hampton Court* in January 1604.