Top of page The Scottish Revolt and the Seeds of Civil War In 1640 England is on the brink of Civil War. Scottish revolts against the English King Charles I when he tried to change and reform the Scottish Church. The 1638 National Covenant pledged to oppose such "innovations", and, in December, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland voted to expel bishops from the kirk. The Scots quickly occupied Dumbarton, preventing any prospect of an Irish landing, while Montrose occupied Aberdeen in March, leaving Hamilton unable to disembark his troops. While he and Parliament agreed on the need to suppress the revolt, neither trusted the other with control of the army raised to do so, and it was this tension that was the proximate cause of the First English Civil War. Totalitarianism. [22], In June, the Scottish Parliament met in Edinburgh, and granted Argyll a commission of 'fire and sword' against Royalist areas in Lochaber, Badenoch and Rannoch. Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford, his most capable advisor and Lord Deputy of Ireland also asked the Parliament of Ireland for funds; in March, they approved an army of 9,000 to suppress the Covenanters, despite violent opposition from their co-religionists in Ulster. The war also left the King desperately short of money. Victory confirmed Covenanter control of government and kirk, and Scottish policy now focused on securing these achievements. [19], The only significant engagement of the war took place on 18 June, at the Battle of the Brig of Dee south of Aberdeen, between Royalist forces under Viscount Aboyne and Montrose. The 1637 Scottish Book of Common Prayer King Charles I, and his father King James before him, had throughout their reigns wished to prescribe fixed forms of liturgy and prayer (as had long been in place in England) to their native Scotland. The news of the outbreak was sent to the King by Sir Arthur Chichester, Governor of Carrickfergus, and Charles read the letter to the Scottish Parliament on the 28th October 1641. [6], This mattered because fear of 'Popery' remained widespread, despite the fact that in Scotland it was restricted to parts of the aristocracy and the remote Highlands and Islands. See also History of the United Kingdom. [15], The plan was overly complex, and preparations were hampered by lack of funds, while many Englishmen were sympathetic to the Covenanter cause. The Scottish Revolution in its International Context, 1639-1640 A Senior Honors Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for graduation with research distinction in History in the undergraduate colleges of The Ohio State University by Aboyne. Scotland had helped to spark this series of wars in 1638, when it had risen in revolt against Charles I's religious policies. While 'Presbyterian' and 'Episcopalian' now implies differences in both governance and doctrine, this was not the case in the 17th century. EuroDocs Creator: Richard Hacken, European Studies Librarian, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA. A force of 5,000 conducted this campaign with great brutality, burning and looting across a large area, one of the most infamous acts being the destruction of Airlie Castle. [8], A general perception Protestant Europe was under attack meant increased sensitivity to changes in church practice; in 1636, a new Book of Canons replaced John Knox's Book of Discipline and excommunicated anyone who denied the King's supremacy in church matters. The roots of the 1641 rebellion lay partly in the Elizabethan conquest and colonisation of Ireland, and partly in the alienation of Anglo-Irish Catholics from the newly-Protestant English state in the decades following that conquest. This is an example of how the Bishops Wars destabilised all three kingdoms. [7] Scots fought in the Thirty Years' War, one of the most destructive religious conflicts in European history, while Scotland had close economic and cultural links with the Dutch Republic, then fighting for independence from Catholic Spain. Charles dissolved the 1640 parliament after only three weeks. The First Bishops' War ended in stalemate. The Covenanters defeated attempts by Charles to re-impose his authority in 1639 and 1640, and gained control of Scotland, but, to protect that settlement, they sought support from sympathisers in Ulster and England. Grampian. The Marquis of Hamilton advised Charles there was now no alternative to war. [9] When followed in 1637 by a new Book of Common Prayer, the result was anger and widespread rioting, said to have been set off with the throwing of a stool by Jenny Geddes during a service in St Giles Cathedral. However, both sides viewed this as a truce, and continued preparations for another military confrontation. The National Covenant of Scotland was formulated to resist the King's innovations, particularly the Prayer Book. Major concessions were granted to the Covenanters under the treaty of London. On the march north, lack of supplies meant they looted the areas they passed through, creating widespread disorder; several units murdered officers suspected of being Catholics, then deserted. ALEXANDER FRASER 12th Lord Saltoun at the age 13 was betrothed to Amelia Fraser, heiress of Lovat, but the Old Fox prevented the marriage, died 1748. The renewed power struggle between King and Parliament eventually led to civil war in 1642. It was widely believed these terms were agreed by the Scots in concert with the Parliamentary opposition, since funding this required the recall of Parliament in November 1640. the war between the main European powers in the second half of the 17th century over Spain. Others include the Irish Confederate Wars, the First, Second and Third English Civil Wars, and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. In addition, many had been educated in French Calvinist universities, which were suppressed in the 1620s. Lastly, an Irish army under the Earl of Antrim would invade western Scotland from Carrickfergus, where he would join forces with the MacDonalds and other Royalist clans. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License [14], Charles decided to re-assert his authority by force, but preferred to rely on his own financial resources, rather than recalling Parliament. In 1640, he finally relented and recalled the English Parliament to try and get them to raise funds and the army. Meanwhile the Covenanters take both Edinburgh and Dumbarton castles; and the Duke of Argyll attacks the royalist clans in the Highlands. [27], Under the October Treaty of Ripon, the Scots were paid £850 per day, and allowed to occupy Northumberland and County Durham pending final resolution of terms. GILBERT FRASER was at King William the Lion’s Scottish Court and witnessed a charter in 1166. [2], The vast majority of Scots, whether Covenanter or Royalist, believed a 'well-ordered' monarchy was divinely mandated; they disagreed on what 'well-ordered' meant, and who held ultimate authority in clerical affairs. When Charles' representative, Lord Traquair, tried to suspend it, his action was declared illegal and Parliament continued to sit. Scotland - Scotland - Cromwell: Cromwell imposed on Scotland a full and incorporating parliamentary union with England (1652). Mortlich 2m n Aboyne, Aberdeens. The English "New Army" under the Earl of Stafford is pushed back through Northumberland and the Scots under Alexander Leslie take Newcastle on 28 August. [15], A Scottish army of 16,500 men under the experienced veteran Alexander Leslie, camped a few miles away on the other side of the border near Duns. [16], The English army mustered at the border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed totalled some 15,000 men, but the vast majority were untrained conscripts from the Northern trained bands or militia, many armed only with bows and arrows. [31] Unlike Scotland, Presbyterians were a minority within the Church of England, while religious Independents opposed any state church, let alone one dictated by the Scots. The 1639 and 1640 Bishops' Wars were the first of the conflicts known collectively as the 1638 to 1651 Wars of the Three Kingdoms, which took place in Scotland, England and Ireland. Home | Timelines | Biography | Military | Church & State [28], While defeat forced Charles to call a Parliament he could not get rid of, the 1641 Irish Rebellion was arguably more significant in the struggle that led to war in August 1642. Covenanters (Scottish Gaelic: Cùmhnantaich) were members of a 17th-century Scottish religious and political movement, who supported a Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and the primacy of its leaders in religious affairs.The name derived from Covenant, a biblical term for a bond or agreement with God.. [17] Both sides included large numbers of professional soldiers who had served in the European wars, but the senior English commands went to Charles' favourites, who were largely inexperienced. Charles raised an army to assert his authority and the Covenanters responded by creating a new administrative body for the defence of Scotland. Charles dissolved Parliament; he would have to rely on his own resources to fund the war. This resulted in the two Bishops' Wars of 1639 and 1640. In general, Royalists viewed the monarch as head of both church and state, while Covenanters held this applied only to secular matters, and "Chryst Jesus...was King of the Kirk'. However, Parliament refused to co-operate with his plans and no subsidies were granted. Since Charles did the same, the result was to destabilize not only Scotland, but England and Ireland also, resulting in The Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Royalists generally supported rule by bishops, while most Scots supported a Presbyterian kirk ruled by presbyters. Kingdom of Scotland Kingdom of England 1640 1659 Catalan Revolt Kingdom of Spain Principality of Catalonia Kingdom of France 1640 1668 Portuguese Restoration War Kingdom of Portugal Kingdom of Spain 1641 1667 First Beaver War Iroquois Supported by: The 1643 Solemn League and Covenant was driven by concern over the implications for Scotland if Parliament were defeated; like Charles, the Covenanters sought political power through the creation of a unified church of Scotland and England, only one that was Presbyterian, rather than Episcopalian. It coincides with a series of failed harvests in Scotland that leaves up to a quarter of the population dying of starvation. This was followed in August 1639 by a series of acts passed by the Parliament of Scotland that amounted to a constitutional revolution. I n 1637, King Charles I and Archbishop Laud tried to bring the separate churches of England and Scotland closer together, firstly by the introduction of a new Book of Canons to replace John Knox's Book of Discipline as the authority for the organisation of the Kirk, and secondly by the introduction of a modified form of the Book of Common Prayer into Scotland. He had no option but to call another parliament to raise funds and to ratify the treaty with the Scots. Aware of this, when the Assembly gathered in Glasgow in December it rejected the changes, expelled bishops from the kirk, and affirmed its right to meet annually, not just when the king agreed. 19 November 1600: The birth at Dunfermline Palace of the future King Charles I. War of the Spanish Succession. Conrad Russell; The Scottish Party in English Parliaments, 1640–2 OR The Myth of the English Revolution, Historical Research, Volume 66, Issue 159, 1 February 1 We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website.By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. It was widely believed these terms were agreed by the Scots in concert with the Parliamentary opposition, since funding this required the recall of Parliament in November 1640. This agreed to refer all disputed questions to the General Assembly, or Parliament of Scotland, for resolution. Episcopalian structures were governed by bishops, usually appointed by the monarch, Presbyterian by presbyters, elected by ministers and elders. at Dunnichen Moss nr Latham, Arbroath. 2nd Bishop’s War 1640 Reeling from his defeat of the year before and his loss of absolute monarchy in Scotland, Charles wanted to destroy the Covenant, but lacked the military capacity to do so. [15], His advisors convinced Charles the only way to finance a second war was to recall the English Parliament, and in December 1639, he issued writs for the first time since 1629. and the Bishops' Wars between England and Scotland. Grampian. Opponents of the reforms united around the Scottish National Covenant, introduced in February 1638. Malcolm II, King of Scotland bt Danes; Poss. '[11] Support for the Covenant was widespread except in Aberdeenshire and Banff, heartland of Royalist and Episcopalian resistance for the next 60 years. Nechtanesmere [24], Lord Conway, commander in the north, focused on reinforcing Berwick-upon-Tweed, the usual starting point for invading England. Ragtag Scottish forces routed a large English army 700 years ago today at the Battle of Bannockburn, paving the way for the kingdom’s independence. Others suggest it was a plot by the King to avoid paying the £80,000 owed by the crown to the family. 12 April 1700: Scottish colonists finally abandon the failed settlement at Darien in Panama. Matters came to a head in 1637, when Charles I attempted to impose uniform practices on the kirk and the Church of England, changes opposed by the presbyters and English Puritans. [30], However, ease of victory in the Bishops Wars meant they overestimated their military capacity and ability to enforce this objective. [32], Many of the political radicals known as the Levellers, and much of the New Model Army, belonged to Independent congregations; by 1646, the Scots and their English allies viewed them as a greater threat than Charles. On 17 August, cavalry units under Montrose crossed the River Tweed, followed by the rest of Leslie's army. [25], On 28 August, the Scots forced a passage over the River Tyne at the Battle of Newburn; they still had to take Newcastle, but to Leslie's surprise, when they arrived on 30 August, Conway had withdrawn to Durham. The Darien venture costs Scotland many hundreds of lives and a quarter of its total available resources. The Scottish National Covenant. Their origin stemmed from disputes over governance of the Church of Scotland, popularly known as the kirk, dating back to the 1580s. Meanwhile, in January 1640 the Covenanter leaders mustered their regiments, and to secure their rear, occupied Aberdeen, centre of the Royalist north-east. SIMON FRASER Master of Lovat died 1640. [18], Charles joined his troops at Berwick on 30 May, announcing he would not invade Scotland, as long as the Covenanter army remained ten miles north of the border. Defeat in the 1648 Second English Civil War resulted in his execution; failure to restore his son in the 1651 Third English Civil War was followed by Scotland's incorporation into the Commonwealth, a union made on English terms. [13], Charles agreed to defer discussion of the new canons to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, but made it clear to his supporters he had no intention of making any concessions. Sitemap | Links | Contact | Bibliography | About | Privacy, David Plant, Crisis in Scotland, 1638-1641, BCW Project This was, as any student of history should know, a time of great religious upheaval and controversy. Nevertheless, Cromwell’s administration of Scotland was efficient, and his judges, some of them Englishmen, achieved an admired impartiality. Opponents to the King's policies at Westminster were now better prepared to challenge his authority. EuroDocs > History of Scotland: Primary Documents. K ing Charles' eleven-year personal rule was brought to an end in 1640 when rebellion broke out in Scotland. 1664 (28 Oct) Fyvie. [10], In February 1638, representatives from all sections of Scottish society agreed a National Covenant, pledging resistance to liturgical 'innovations. The English troops consisted largely of militia from Southern England, poorly-equipped, unpaid, and unenthusiastic about the war. The Protestant Reformation created a Church of Scotland, or 'The Kirk', Presbyterian in structure, and Calvinist in doctrine. The Second Bishops' War ended in a humiliating defeat for the English army. [21], Charles hoped this would provide an example for the Short Parliament, which assembled in April; however, led by John Pym, Parliament demanded he address grievances like ship money before they would approve subsidies. Although he and Parliament agreed on the need to suppress the revolt, neither trusted the other with control of the army raised to do so, and it was this tension that was the proximate cause of the First English Civil War. After three weeks of stalemate. [3] However, there were many other factors, including nationalist allegiance to the kirk, and individual motives were very complex; Montrose fought for the Covenant in 1639 and 1640, then became a Royalist, and switching sides was common throughout the period. During the 1630s, Charles tried to harmonise the administration of the churches of England and Scotland by forcing through Archbishop Laud's episcopalian reforms without consulting either the clergy or the Scottish parliament. Text updated: 3 November 2012. Outside of Ireland, there was the Scottish rebellion in 1640 started by Protestant (largely Presbyterian) Scots who felt that King Charles I was far too liberal with Catholics. [12] The Marquess of Argyll and six other members of the Scottish Privy Council backed the Covenant. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. English Civil Wars, also called Great Rebellion, (1642–51), fighting that took place in the British Isles between supporters of the monarchy of Charles I (and his son and successor, Charles II) and opposing groups in each of Charles’s kingdoms, including Parliamentarians in England, Covenanters in Scotland, and Confederates in Ireland. It resulted in a Covenanter victory, although casualties were minimal. Bishops’ Wars, (1639, 1640), in British history, two brief campaigns that were fought between Charles I and the Scots. http://bcw-project.org/church-and-state/crisis-in-scotland/ Earl of Montrose bt Earl of Argyll. 79 Chichester's letter, dated two days after the outbreak, announced that "certain septs of the Irish" had risen in force, and that "great fires" could be seen from Carrickfergus. 5 August 1600: An attempt is allegedly made on James VI's life by the Gowrie family in Perth during what is known as the Gowrie conspiracy. Blockaded since the end of May, starvation forced him to surrender in September. HUGH FRASER Tutor of Lovat, died 1643. 0685. [23], The Scottish commander was Alexander Leslie, an experienced veteran of the Swedish army, who assembled a force of 20,000, well-equipped and with vastly superior artillery to their opponents. Scottish Revolt of 1640. This is an extract from a proclamation (announcement or order) made by Charles at Newcastle on 14 May 1639 telling people in Scotland what he wanted them to do. The House quickly asserted its power by executing Strafford in May 1641; in August the Scots finally evacuated Northern England after the Treaty of London. The Wars of the Three Kingdoms , [b] sometimes known as the British Civil Wars , [c] [d] were an intertwined series of conflicts that took place between 1639 and 1653 in the kingdoms of England , Scotland and Ireland – separate kingdoms which had the same king , Charles I . The Covenanters became the leading political and religious force in Scotland after they succeeded in dominating the Glasgow Assembly and throwing out the King's bishops. King Charles was forced to call a Parliament in London to raise revenue for the continuation of the war against Scotland. Kingdom of Scotland (indecisive) 1640 Second Bishops' War part of War of the Three Kingdoms. Charles also planned to raise funds by repossessing Scottish lands formerly held by the Roman Catholic church and sold off at the Reformation. The Long Parliament first met in November 1640. This was the start of the ‘Forty-Five’ Jacobite Rebellion. Charles unsuccessfully tried to compensate for this by recruiting foreign mercenaries from the Spanish Netherlands, exposing him to accusations of using foreign Catholics against his own subjects. Grampian. [1] Arguments over the role of bishops were as much about politics and the power of the monarch as religious practice. Mortlach. The rebellions commenced when James VII fled England, and the Dutch Protestant William of Orange and Mary II assumed the monarchy. The House quickly asserted its power by executing Strafford in May 1641; in August the Scots finally evacuated Northern England after the Treaty of London. August 1640: The Second Bishops' War. One of the most prominent opponents was Oliver Cromwell, who claimed he would fight, rather than agree to such an outcome. Aberdeens. So his proposed reforms alienated landowners whose holdings were threatened as well as the clergy and general Presbyterian population of Scotland. 1010. Feel free to get in touch: eurodocs @ byu.edu [20], The kirk's General Assembly met again in August 1639 and confirmed the decisions taken at Glasgow, which were then ratified by the Scottish Parliament. [26], The only other significant action of the war was the siege of Edinburgh Castle, held for Charles by Sir Patrick Ruthven, who served with Leslie in the Swedish army. An English army of 20,000 would advance on Edinburgh from the south, while an amphibious force of 5,000 under the Marquis of Hamilton landed in Aberdeen, where it would link up with Royalist troops led by the Marquess of Huntly. More Charles was king of England and Scotland. Malcolm Canmore, later Malcolm III bt MacBeth, King of Scotland. Leslie advanced to Kelso, within the ten mile limit, but neither side was anxious to fight; on 11 June, negotiations began that ended in the Pacification of Berwick on 19 June. With neither the King nor the Covenanters prepared to compromise their religious convictions, a military solution to the crisis became inevitable. Scotland: attempt to impose Book of Common Prayer 1638 SCOTTISH REVOLT: invade England Charles forced to call Parliament (Presbyterian, Puritan leanings) 1640-1653 LONG PARLIAMENT & PURITAN REVOLUTION 1642 Charles attempts coup: enters Parliament with armed men coup fails, flees to north = … The Jacobite Rebellions were a series of uprisings aimed at restoring James VII of the House of Stuart and his successors to the throne of Great Britain during the 17th and 18th centuries. [5] This policy was adopted by his son, Charles I, but the two were very different in doctrine; many Scots, and English Puritans, considered Charles' reforms to the Church of England as essentially Catholic. King Charles' eleven-year personal rule was brought to an end in 1640 when rebellion broke out in Scotland. [33], British wars 1639–1640 concerning religion in Scotland, For the religious conflict in the Holy Roman Empire in 1592–1604, see, General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, most destructive religious conflicts in European history, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bishops%27_Wars&oldid=997634570, 17th-century military history of Scotland, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 1 January 2021, at 14:26. During the 1630s, Charles tried to harmonise the administration of the churches of England and Scotland by forcing through Archbishop Laud's episcopalian reforms without consulting either the clergy or the Scottish parliament. The wars were the result of Charles’s endeavour to enforce Anglican observances in the Scottish Church and of the determination of the Scots to abolish episcopacy. He was trying to end rebellion in Scotland. Historian Aidan Clarke writes, "the religious factor was merely one aspect of a larger problem posed by the Gaelic Irish, and its importance was easily obscured; but religious difference was central to the relationship between the government and the colonists". The Scots bypassed the town, and headed for Newcastle-on-Tyne, centre of the coal trade with London, and a valuable bargaining point. Under the October Treaty of Ripon, the Scots were paid £850 per day, and allowed to occupy Northumberland and County Durham pending final resolution of terms. By seizing Dumbarton Castle, they also prevented Strafford's Irish army from landing in Scotland, allowing them to focus on the threatened English invasion. The King's insensitive religious reforms lead to the emergence of the Covenanter movement English Civil Wars, also called Great Rebellion, (1642–51), fighting that took place in the British Isles between supporters of the monarchy of Charles I (and his son and successor, Charles II) and opposing groups in each of Charles’s kingdoms, including Parliamentarians in England, Covenanters in Scotland, and Confederates in Ireland. A series of acts were passed which amounted to a constitutional revolution, including Tri-annual Parliaments, and making the Covenant compulsory for all holders of public office. [29], Victory confirmed Covenanter control of government and kirk, and Scottish policy now focused on securing these achievements. However, this union, maintained by an army of occupation, did not enjoy popular consent. In April, Royalist leader Lord Banff re-occupied Aberdeen after two minor engagements; in one of these, the so-called Trot of Turriff, David Prat became the first casualty of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Origins of the war – wars in three kingdoms. In the 17th century, debates over religious practice and structure were closely linked to different views of power and control; as a result, the conflict led to major changes to the Scottish political system, as well as the kirk. On 23rd July 1745 Prince Charles Edward Stuart, son of James ‘The Old Pretender’ landed on the Isle of Eriskay off the west coast of Scotland. [4], When James VI and I succeeded as king of England in 1603, he viewed a unified Church of Scotland and England as the first step in creating a centralised, Unionist state. One suggestion is he did not trust his ill-disciplined and mutinous troops, but morale in the rest of the army now collapsed, forcing Charles to make peace. It became known as the Short Parliament. 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