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The Blasphemies of Thomas AikenheadBoundaries of Belief on the Eve of the Enlightenment$
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Michael F. Graham

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748634262

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748634262.001.0001

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Edinburgh and Scotland in the 1690s

Edinburgh and Scotland in the 1690s

(p.10) 1 Edinburgh and Scotland in the 1690s
The Blasphemies of Thomas Aikenhead

Michael F. Graham

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses the situation of Edinburgh and Scotland in the 1690s. Thomas Aikenhead's trial and execution took place in a city that retains some elements that Aikenhead and his contemporaries would recognise, thanks to the combination of Edinburgh's dramatic topography and the preservation of several buildings in the central city that were standing during Aikenhead's lifetime. The National Covenant had linked the security of the Presbyterian Kirk with the security of the monarchy, suggesting that the latter was just as threatened by ‘innovations’ in religion as the former. As the seat of parliament, Edinburgh played host to much of the regime change in Scotland. Residents also participated in these changes, and then felt their impact on local institutions.

Keywords:   Edinburgh, Scotland, Thomas Aikenhead, Presbyterian Kirk, National Covenant, parliament

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