Opposition to secular activity on Sunday (e.g., recreation, work), which was sometimes promoted by Protestant Christianity. Sabbatarianism was strong in lowland Scotland from the REFORMATION (1560) to the 18th century. The Scottish Parliament prohibited activities in 1579 and 1661. Sabbatarianism was revived by EVANGELICALISM in the 19th century. From the 1830s, work and shopping were discouraged, and the TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT achieved Sunday closing of pubs (1853). Sabbatarianism was also supported by presbyterians in Northern Ireland. A broader coalition obtained Sunday closing of public houses in Ireland in 1878 (except in five urban areas; included 1906).

In England and Wales, Puritans and others sought legislation from the 1570s. King JAMES VI/I issued a proclamation against Sunday sports (1603) but later permitted them (Book of Sports, 1618). CHARLES I conceded an Act (1625), then reissued the Book (1633). The House of Commons condemned sports and dancing in 1641, and passed an ordinance (1644). Laws followed in the 1650s (see COMMONWEALTH AND PROTECTORATE). Legislation was resisted after the RESTORATION (1660) except for the 1677 Sunday Observance Act which banned work. Some Societies for the Reformation of MANNERS opposed Sunday trading and work (1690s–1730s). Sabbatarianism revived in the late 18th century: the Sunday Observance Society was founded in 1775, and the 1780 Sunday Observance Act (applicable in Great Britain) prohibited opening of shops ...

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