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Covenanter Chronology


Chronology of Events in 17th Century Scotland

1560 Reformed Faith established as the national religion of Scotland

1581 The King’s Confession

1603 Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England, James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England

1610 Bishops established in Scotland.

1611 Authorised Version of the Bible translated in England.

1618 The Five Articles of Perth, in which James seeks to conform Scottish worship to Anglican practice. In France and Germany the Thirty Years’ War between Protestants and Romanists begins.

1620 Pilgrim Fathers leave England in the ‘Mayflower,’

1625 Coronation of Charles I. Treaty between England and Holland.

1637 Laud’s Liturgy first read at Edinburgh High Kirk (St Giles) Jenny Geddis starts a riot, by throwing a stool at the Dean.

1638 National Covenant signed at Greyfriars Kirk. Presbyterianism re-established. First & Second Bishop’s Wars.

In 1640 Charles I calls the ‘Long Parliament’ to raise funds for supplies for a war with Scotland.

1641 Massacre of thousands of Protestant English Settlers in the north of Ireland.

1642-48 First & Second Civil Wars.

1643 Solemn League and Covenant. Presbyterians and Puritans pledge to conformity of religion throughout England, Scotland and Ireland. English Civil War results in Cromwell being installed as Lord Protector.

1643-49 Westminster Assembly of Divines draws up the Westminster Confession of Faith.

1644 Marquis of Montrose changed his allegiance from the Covenanters to the King’s side, and began to wage war on the king’s behalf.

1645 Archbishop Laud executed.

1646 Charles I taken prisoner by Cromwell.

1648 Charles beheaded

1650 Montrose hanged at Edinburgh. Cromwell defeated David Leslie at Dunbar, garrisons of soldiers were garrisoned throughout Scotland. Charles II landed in Scotland and signed the Solemn League and Covenant.

1651 Charles II crowned King at Scone, and Cromwell subdues Scotland.

1652 Charles defeated at Worcester, Eight commissioners appointed to govern Scotland, changing to a Council of State, comprised of eight members.

1658 Death of Cromwell.

1660 Restoration of the Monarchy. Recissory Act, Prelacy re-established as Charles II throws off any vestige of Presbyterianism.

1661 Death of Marquis of Argyle. Death of Rev James Guthrie. Government of the Church of England restored to the bishops.

1662 Bishops and Curates appointed to Scottish Churches. Middleton Act passed. Non-conforming ministers ejected from their churches. Field meetings and conventicles begin.

1663 Act of parliament restricts the right of meeting at Conventicles. Persecution commences.

1664 In England, conventicles forbidden outside the authority of the Church of England.

1666 Persecution by soldiers increases. Dalry incident leads to a Covenanter uprising in Ayrshire and the Covenanters march on Edinburgh. Battle of Rullion Green ends in defeat of the Covenanters.

1669 First act of Indulgence resulting in the division of the Covenanters into the indulged and the non-indulged. James, Duke of York converts to Romanism.

1670 Attendance at Conventicles becomes treasonable, preaching in the open air a capital offence.

1672 Proclamation of the Act of Indulgence for Roman Catholics in England. William of Orange becomes Stadtholder in Holland.

1673 Second declaration of Indulgence

1674 Attendance at Conventicles made a capital offence. Introduction of The Bond. (Landowners and Lairds were made responsible for ensuring that their tenants adhered to episcopacy)

1677 William of Orange marries Mary, daughter of the Duke of York. A popish plot to kill Charles II, and replace him with James II.

1678 ‘Highland Hosts’ imposed upon Covenanting households

1679 Murder of Archbishop Sharp (May 3rd) at Magus Muir. Rutherglen Declaration, Battle of Drumclog, march on Glasgow, battle of Bothwell Brig. Wreck of the ‘Crown.’

1680 Sanquhar Declaration. Battle of Ayres Moss, where the Covenanters are defeated, Richard Cameron killed and Hackston taken prisoner.

1683 25 Covenanters escaped from Edinburgh’s Canongate Tolbooth.

1684-85 The ‘Killing Times’ The hottest and fiercest period of persecution.

1684 Death of Charles II, James VII & II crowned. Monmouth’s Rebellion. Protestants in Ireland are denied the Parliamentary vote, while the Protestant Lord Lieutenant of Ireland is commanded to give up his command.

James II demands a standing army with Papist officers.

James dissolved the English Parliament because it disagreed with him. James publishes, “Declaration of Liberty of Conscience.”

1688 Death of James Renwick, death of George Wood at Sorn. Seven English bishops were imprisoned in the Tower of London for refusing to read the King’s “Declaration of Indulgence for Roman Catholics” in their churches. James and Prince Charles fled to Ireland and then to France. William and Mary landed at Torbay. The Glorious Revolution takes place in England. Birth of the Prince of Wales.

1689 Toleration Act of William and Mary in England gives relief to the Protestants.

1690 James defeated by William at the Battle of the Boyne. The Church of Scotland is returned to her spiritual freedom.

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