NQ Scottish History

The Age of Reformation, 1542-1603

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In the early 1500s the socio-political landscape of Scotland, as with most of Western Europe, was heavily influenced by the Catholic Church, led by the Pope.

However, a split in the church had developed and begun to spread across the continent. It was the beginning of the Reformation in Europe.

1) Background

• The Reformation in Europe
• The Church in Scotland

2) The Reformation of 1560

• The Reformation in Scotland
• Scotland's relationship with France
• Scotland's relationship with England

3) The reign of Mary, 1561-67

• Mary's return from France
• Religious and political tensions 
• Murder at Holyrood

4) James VI and the relationship between Monarch and Kirk

• The minority of James
• Personal rule of James
• The English Succession

5) The impact of the Reformation on Scotland to 1603

• Culture and politics
• Education and economy

6) Perspective

• The Reformation and Scottish identity
• Changing perceptions

Classroom materials

These are documents which are considered integral to the coursework and can be downloaded for use in conjunction with the information and resources provided on this website.

Video resources

These videos provide additional insight into the characters, events and historical context of this topic.

Audio resources

Listen to a selection of interviews and readings which relate to the period of reformation in Scotland.

Historical documents

These online interactive historical documents have been produced from the archives of the National Archives of Scotland.