This book examines the importance of the Scottish Covenanters during one of the most turbulent and complex periods of early modern British History. Thematic issues are examined within a chronological framework and consideration is given to the importance of the Covenanters in a wider British and European context. The reasons for the emergence of the Covenanting movement against the rule of Charles I in Scotland by 1637 are examined, as is the nature of the Covenanting government and administration of Scotland throughout the 1640s prior to the conquest of Scotland by Oliver Cromwell in 1650-1. The Covenanters were at the forefront of a wider British and Irish conflict involving Charles I and the kingdoms of Scotland and Ireland. The role of the Covenanters in this wider British and Irish conflict of the 1640s is discussed and there is a specific focus on Scotland and Ulster. The continental European dimension is considered in terms of the Thirty Years War (1618-48) and Covenanting involvement in that conflict. The impact of the Covenanters on Scottish society is also examined in terms of the drive for a godly society and witch-hunting. Other social issues covered include war widows, victims of warfare and refugees from Ireland on Scottish soil. Contemporary documents included in the book highlight these issues. Collectively the documents cover a range of social, political, military, economic and religious issues. This will be an important book for undergraduates taking university courses in early modern Scottish and British History covering the conflicts of the three kingdoms of the Stuart monarchy in the 1640s.
Dr John R. Young is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Strathclyde. He has published widely on the 1640s in particular and seventeenth century Scotland in general. He is a Vice President and Convener of the UK and Republic of Ireland section of the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions (ICHRPI).