Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts

Sunday 30 June 2019

When Covenanters Ruled (1581 – 1651)

I’ve always been fascinated by the histories of the ScottishCovenanters. Who were they and why were they so important? Interestingly,  part of the Covenanters, the Cameroonians were major part of the American revolutionary wars. 
The first major Covenant was signed during the Scottish Reformation of 1560, which was to work tirelessly over the nest centuries to establish the Presbyterian church of Scotland. The main group of reformers were known as the Covenanters, with a more extreme off shoot known as the Cameroons, who eventually settled in America and were a major part of the American revolutionary wars (1765 - 1783) 
Their intentions was to keep James Vl on the throne and bring him up “in the fear of God” – the young king was famously educated by the fierce Presbyterian intellectual, poet and writer George Buchanan, who was not averse to a touch of corporal punishment on the royal behind. Although later not only James VI and his ill-fated son Charles I, both attempted to reintroduce rule by the Bishops and to Anglicise the Scottish church. This was massively rejected.  The National Covenant of 1638 was a stunning gesture of defiance and independence against the King, and its implications for the Stuart monarchy were long lasting, not least because it was a genuine mass movement – some 300,000 people signed it. This led not only to civil war but to the war of the Three Kingdoms.

From 1581 – 1651 - The Covenanters were the government of Scotland. The Covenants bound them to the protestant faith. – Scots confession of faith 1560. (signed by James VI)  1637 – Charles I and archbishop of Canterbury imposed rule of bishops., which led to a riot in St Giles, started by Jenny Geddes.  
The National Covenant signed in 1638. Drawn up and signed at Greyfriars graveyard. 1640 adopted by the Scotch Parliament.  The Covenanters raised an army to resists Charles I religious reforms, defeated him in Bishops war. 
This crisis led to the War of the Three kingdoms, which lasted ten years. 
The English Parliament asked for Scots help. They agreed on condition that the Scottish system of church government was adopted in England 1643,

*The Solemn League and Covenant Treaty - to preserve the reformed religion of Scotland. The Scottish armies were important in the victory over the king.
Civil War Scotland - 1644 – 1647
Royalist who opposed the Covenanters took up arms (Episcopalian) led by John Graham, 1stMarquis of Montrose.  Divisions between religions, Royalists, Covenanters – and the Highland and Lowlands Covenanters. Charles I surrendered but refused to sign the covenant.
Covenanters were divided. – Kirk party , more militant  and rejected any engagement with Charles I.  (1647). Their army invaded England but was defeated at the Battle of Preston. This left Kirk party in charge – and this led to war with English parliament. 

The Covenanters were defeated by Oliver Cromwell 1650 – 1652., and his new model Army, who marched as far north as Dunnottar castle Stonehaven.
Charles Ii signed the Treaty of Breda 1660 and declared oath to Covenanters, and had his coronation at Scone. After Charles II Restoration 1661, he renounced the Covenanters and had the Episcopacy and Bishops restored. To stop unrest south west Scotland, Covenanters rebellion, the government brought down 6000 highland troops. 

The Covenanters fought and defeated John Graham of Claverhouse – 1679 Rebellion – but were defeated at Bothwell Brig. 1200 captured and taken to Edinburgh and 400 imprisoned Greyfriars kirkyard.

The Covenanters split – and Cameroonians, who had more extreme positions. To stamp out sedition, the UK government ordered field executions without trail. This is known as The Killing Time
The Cameroonians supported William of Orange, who summoned a convention of estates. 1689 in Edinburgh. The Cameroonian guard helped to defeat the Jacobite highlanders, at the battle of Dunkeld. They were disappointed when William did not adapt their religion and Covenanters. They formed the United Societies. 

The Covenanters migrated to North America by way of Ireland - fleeing persecution they set up churches in Ireland and north America. In 1717, the preacher William Tennent founded Log College, the first Presbyterian seminary (reformed Presbyterian church) The Covenanters were among the first vocal agitators for independence from Great Britain and volunteered as soldiers. They also opposed to slavery.  (there are monuments to the Killing Time)
Although the king defeated their attempts to dictate the religion of his subjects, Presbyterianism became the established religion of Scotland.  

Monday 27 July 2015

``Gaelic Traditions and Culloden

There are false myths of Gaelic traditions and of the battle of Culloden.
 I have been shocked over how much Scottish history is misrepresented and badly taught (if at all actually!) Our true heritage matters greatly for how we feel about our confidence in our country today.

I grew up in Edinburgh and I have always believed that the battle of Culloden 1746 (near Inverness) was a big defeat of the Scots by the English with a great many Scots killed.
It turns out that the battle was part of a civil war and a religious battle between Protestants and Catholics. 

When Queen Ann had no successors to protect the stability of Protestantism and because of concern over the wars with France - the English parliament brought over George of Hanover to succeed her. On the Hanoverian side were English, German and Scottish troops.

On Charles Edward Stuart’s side (Bonnie Prince Charlie) were Scottish, French and English troops. For instance the MacDonalds of Skye were on the Hanoverian side. Considering the importance of the Protestant movement in Scotland much of the Scottish Lowlands did not support the Jacobites (John Knox 1514). There was also an English Civil war of 1642 – 1679, between cavaliers and roundheads.
 Culloden was a marshy moor land and Charles would not listen to advice. This was the last major battle on Scottish soil. After the battle the Highland clans were suppressed. Gaelic culture was suppressed by the UK government after the 45, with the Act of Proscription to break up the clans and prohibit the wearing of tartan. I believe Scott helped to revive Scottish culture with his books. In 1822, Walter Scott, author of Waverley, a story of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion, arranged a pageantry of Scottish traditions for the visit of King George IV to Scotland when the monarch dressed in a kilt. The tartan pageantry was popular and the kilt then became Scotland's National Dress.


Gaelic speaker Coinneach Maclean The nephews of the great Gaelic poet Sorely Maclean, has been writing up his thesis at Glasgow university and he has been lecturing on Gaeldom. After studying for a tourist guide qualification at Edinburgh university, he was shocked at the total lack of Gaelic history in the course. In fact he claims the tourist course was full of factual errors. Tourism is a big industry for Scotland and it matters greatly that correct and authentic accounts are given to visitors.

According to Tom Devine the Episcopalian church were greatly worried about the Union and many were Jacobites. Religion played a much bigger part then today.  

Has Gaelic culture been written out of Scotland’s Story? David Ross, The Herald.
Coinneach Maclean, former deputy chief executive of the National Trust for Scotland and acedemic, says the country is squandering an irreplaceable heritage while making billions from it