Scotlands History

National Covenant

The National Covenant was an agreement, signed in 1638, by aggrieved Scots who wanted to reform religion in Scotland.

The Covenant came about because of an essential disagreement between the people and the Crown (the Stuarts, particularly Charles I). The Crown contended that the King is the spiritual leader of the church, while the populace held that no-one, not even a King, could head a church – only Jesus could be the head of the church.

A period of extreme repression followed. For example, it was an offence punishable by death to preach other than from the Book of Common Prayer that was introduced by force by Charles I in 1637.

This repression led to a civil war, in which the Covenanters allied with the English.

  • Ornate initial W from the beginning of the National Covenant

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