COVENANTERS , the name given to a party which, originating in theReformation
See also:movement, played an important
See also:part in the
See also:history of Scotland, and to a lesser extent in that of England, during the 17th century . The Covenanters were thus named because in a series of bands or covenants they bound themselves to maintain the Presbyterian
See also:doctrine and polity as the
See also:sole religion of their
See also:country . The first "godly
See also:band" is dated
See also:December 1557; but more important is the
See also:covenant of 1581,
See also:drawn up by
See also:John Craig in consequence of the strenuous efforts which the
See also:Roman Catholics were making to regain their hold upon Scotland, and called the
See also:King's Confession or
See also:National Covenant . Based upon the Confession of Faith of 156o, this document denounced the
See also:pope and the doctrines of the Roman Catholic
See also:Church in no measured terms . It was adopted by the General
See also:Assembly, signed by King
See also:James VI. and his
See also:household, and enjoined on persons of all ranks and classes; and was again subscribed in 1590 and 1596 . In 1637 Scotland was in a state of turmoil .
See also:Charles I. and Archbishop Laud had just met with a
See also:reverse in their efforts to impose the
See also:liturgy upon the Scots; and fearing further
See also:measures on the part of the king, it occurred to Archibald
See also:Lord Warriston, to revive the National Covenant of 1581 . Additional
See also:matter intended to suit the document to the
See also:special circumstances of the
See also:time was added, and the covenant was adopted and signed by a large gathering in Greyfriars' churchyard,
See also:Edinburgh, on the 28th of
See also:February 1638, after which copies were sent throughout the country for additional signatures . The subscribers engaged by
See also:oath to maintain religion in the state in which it existed in 158o, and to reject all innovations introduced since that time, while professed expressions of
See also:loyalty to the king were added . The General Assembly of 1638 was composed of ardent Covenanters, and in 164o the covenant was adopted by the parliament, and its subscription was required from all citizens . Before this date the Covenanters were usually referred to as Supplicants, but from about this time the former designation began to prevail . A further development took place in 1643 .
The leaders of the English parliament, worsted in the
See also:Civil War, implored the aid of the Scots, which was promised on
See also:condition that the Scottish
See also:system of church
See also:government was adopted in England . After some haggling a document called the
See also:League and Covenant was drawn up . This was practically a treaty between England and Scotland for the preservation of the reformed religion in Scotland, the reformation of religion in England and
See also:Ireland " according to the word of
See also:God and the example of the best reformed churches," and the extirpation of popery and prelacy . It was subscribed by many in both kingdoms and also in Ireland, and was approved by the English parliament, and with some slight modifications by the
See also:Westminster Assembly of Divines . Charles I. refused to accept it when he surrendered himself to the Scots in 1646, but he made important concessions in this direction in the " Engagement " made with the Scots in December 1647 . Charles II. before landing in Scotland in
See also:June 165o declared by a solemn oath his approbation of both covenants, and this was renewed on the occasion of his
See also:coronation at Scone in the following
See also:January . From 1638 to 1651 the Covenanters were the dominant party in Scotland, directing her policy both at home and abroad . Their power, however, which had been seriously weakened by
See also:Cromwell's victory at
See also:Dunbar in
See also:September 1651, was practically destroyed when Charles II. was restored nine years later . Firmly seated upon the
See also:throne Charles renounced the covenants, which in 1662 were declared unlawful oaths, and were to be abjured by all persons holding public offices . Episcopacy was restored, the
See also:court of high commission was revived, and ministers who refused to recognize the authority of the bishops were expelled from their livings . Gathering around them many of the Covenanters who clung tenaciously to their
See also:standards of faith, these ministers began to preach in the
See also:fields, and a
See also:period of persecution marked by savage hatred and
See also:great brutality began . Further oppressive measures were directed against the Covenanters, who took up arms about 1665, and the struggle soon assumed the proportions of a
See also:rebellion .
The forces of the
See also:crown under John
See also:Graham of Claverhouse and others were sent against them, and although the insurgents gained isolated successes, in general they were worsted and were treated with great barbarity . They maintained, however, their cherished covenants with a zeal which persecution only intensified; in 168o the more extreme members of the party signed a document known as the "
See also:Sanquhar Declaration," and were afterwards called
See also:Cameronians from the name of their
See also:Cameron (q.v.) . They renounced their
See also:allegiance to King Jamesand were greatly disappointed when their standards found no' place in the religious settlement of 1689, continuing to hold the belief that the covenants should be made obligatory upon the entire nation . The Covenanters had a
See also:martyrology of their own, and the
See also:halo of
See also:romance has been
See also:cast around their exploits and their sufferings . Their
See also:story, however, especially during the time of their
See also:political predominance, is part of the general history of Scotland (q.v.) . The texts of the National' Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant are printed in S . R .
See also:Gardiner's Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution (
See also:Oxford, 1899) . See also J . H .
See also:Burton, History of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1905) ; A . Lang, History of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1900) ; S .
R . Gardiner, History of England (
See also:London, 1883—1884) ; G .
See also:Grub,' Ecclesiastical History of Scotland (Edinburgh . 1861); J . Macpherson, History of the Church in Scotland (Paisley, 1901); and J . K . Hewison, The Covenanters (1908) .
COVENANT (an O. Fr. form, later convenant, from con...
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