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Covenanter Stories – No. 11, Alexander Hamilton




Alexander Henderson (1583-1646) was an Episcopalian when he obtained a professorship at St. Andrews University. Appointed to the parish of Leuchars in Fife in 1611, his sympathy with the Presbyterians grew, until he opposed the Articles of Perth, and voiced strong opposition to Laud’s prayer book in 1638. He was one of those who drew up the National Covenant, and later became Moderator of the General Assembly at Glasgow in 1638. In 1639 he became the minister of Greyfriars in Edinburgh, becoming the recognised leader of Scottish Presbyterianism during the Bishop’s Wars, (1639-1640) which followed the decisions of the Glasgow Assembly.

After a brief and unsuccessful visit to Oxford to plead the Scottish cause, Henderson returned to Scotland to begin work on the wording of the Solemn League and Covenant, and the Directory for Public Worship. He spent the last few months of his life in 1646 debating with the king over forms of church government.

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