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Religion and National IdentityGoverning Scottish Presbyterianism in the Eighteenth Century$
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Alistair Mutch

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748699155

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748699155.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Presbyterial Business

Presbyterial Business

(p.47) Chapter 3 Presbyterial Business
Religion and National Identity

Alistair Mutch

Edinburgh University Press

The presbyteries of the Church of Scotland had to deal with a considerable volume of business. A contested change of minister in the parish of Kells is used as an illustration of the way in which such business could prevent presbyteries from fulfilling the tasks envisaged in guidance manuals. Even without such exceptional events, the presbytery had a good deal to do in ensuring the supply of properly qualified incumbents for the parishes under its control. The early eighteenth century was marked by a determined effort to have parishes visited by the presbytery. The partial success but eventual failure of such attempts is examined through a detailed examination of practice in a number of presbyteries across the country. A practice which was clearly impractical was translated into monitoring at a distance through the practice of ‘privy censures’ and the inspection of local records. This helped to consolidate a distinctive focus on the keeping of detailed records.

Keywords:   Church of Scotland, Presbytery, Parochial visitation, Privy censure, Record revision, Monitoring

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