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Revolution and Counter-revolution in Scotland, 1644-51

by David Stevenson


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ISBN: 9781788853880
Published: 08 Sep 2003
Format: E-Book
Extent: 300
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Imprint: John Donald
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About the Book

In 1644 a massive Scottish army of Scottish Covenanters moved over the border into England, claiming they were not invading their neighbour but acting to save its liberties, by helping ensure that the absolutist King Charles I did not win the civil war he was fighting with the English parliament. It was a daring move but the Covenanters believed it a necessary for defensive reasons, for if Charles triumphed over parliament in England he would then attempt to overthrow the Covenanters' regime. More positive ambitions were also involved. Having won the English civil war, the Scots then planned to impose a settlement that protected Scotland's political position under the union of the crowns, and force on England and Ireland Scotland's Presbyterian church. The Covenanters proved over-ambitious and over-confident, driven by their conviction that God would being them triumph. They did play a decisive role in parliament's victory, but not in the sensational way they had hoped, and the English were reluctant to give them credit - or to accept the Scottish vision of a Scottish-dominated, Presbyterian Britain.
Moreover, invading England provoked a major Royalist rebellion in Scotland, led by the Marquis of Montrose. Disillusioned by the English parliament, some sought a compromise with the king, but a new invasion of England in 1648 led to disaster. Extremist covenanters then seized power in Scotland, and sought to impose radical policies, but they were forced by a growing royalist revival to again fall back on monarchy, provoking English invasion led by Oliver Cromwell. This volume continues the story begun in The Scottish Revolution of the Covenanters' sudden rise to power, but how their soaring ambitions and religious zeal in the end led Scotland to an unparalleled disaster. Scotland had long boasted of being 'the never conquered nation.' The legacy of the Covenanters was that Scotland could never make that boast again. It is a book that will appeal to scholars and students of the civil wars, as well as to all those with an interest in this fascinating and turbulent period in Scottish - and indeed British - history.

The Author

David Stevenson

David Stevenson is Professor Emeritus of Scottish History at the University of St Andrews and the author of numerous books, including the standard two-volume history of the Covenanters.