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Edward J Cowan and Richard J Finlay

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780748614196

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748614196.001.0001

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The Covenanting Tradition in Scottish History

The Covenanting Tradition in Scottish History

(p.120) (p.121) Chapter 6 The Covenanting Tradition in Scottish History
Scottish History

Edward J. Cowan

Edinburgh University Press

The National Covenant of February 1638 and The Solemn League and Covenant of October 1643, though imperfectly understood, have both proved capable of generating extreme responses for three and a half centuries. They have spawned a substantial, if surprisingly unhelpful, literature largely manufactured by worthy ministers more concerned with revelation than with history. Yet Scottish historians have been oddly reluctant to confront the essential ideas behind, and implicit in, the covenants themselves while also ignoring their lingering influence in subsequent generations. This chapter explores the covenanting tradition with particular reference to the ‘Killing Times’, a period which proved equally productive of mythologisation and antiquarian flytings.

Keywords:   covenants, Killing Times, Scottish history, mythologisation, flytings

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