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Restoration Scotland, 1660-1690

Restoration Scotland, 1660-1690: Royalist Politics, Religion and Ideas

Copyright Date: 2003
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 267
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  • Book Info
    Restoration Scotland, 1660-1690
    Book Description:

    In the twilight years of Scottish independence, the Restoration period witnessed both the triumph of Stuart absolutism and the radical Covenanting resistance of the "Killing Times" immortalised in presbyterian memory. This is the first account of this fascinating and dramatic period in Scottish history. It begins with the widespread popular royalism that acclaimed Charles II's return to power in 1660 and concludes by examining the collapse of royal authority that occurred under his brother, James VII & II, and the events of the Williamite Revolution of 1688-90. In reconstructing the world of late-seventeenth century Scotland, this book draws on an extensive range of printed and manuscript sources, the majority of which have never been used by historians before. Amidst current interest in Scottish political and parliamentary history before 1707, this book emphasises the dynamic and characteristic cosmopolitanism of Restoration intellectual culture as revealed from a range of national, British and Continental perspectives. In doing so, it challenges numerous historiographical orthodoxies, and modifies conventional understanding of pre-Enlightenment Scotland. CLARE JACKSON lectures in the history of political thought at the University of Cambridge.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-143-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Clare Jackson
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-13)

    In the twilight years of Stuart absolutism and Scottish independence, the Restoration period witnessed the apogee of royalist sentiment. This book provides the first reconstruction of late-seventeenth century Scottish intellectual culture, starting with the widespread popular royalism that accompanied Charles II’s restoration in 1660 and closing with the collapse of royal authority that occurred when his brother, James VII & II, was driven from the throne in 1688. In doing so, this book restores to historical attention the richness and significance of the Restoration within Scottish history. For, until recently, historiographical orthodoxy tended to depict the entire seventeenth century as...

  7. 2 Restoration Scotland
    (pp. 14-44)

    The restoration of Charles II as King of Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales on 29 May 1660 presented an occasion for universal celebration and rejoicing throughout Scotland. According to the minister of the Tolbooth Church in Edinburgh, James Kirkton, no ‘accident in the world altered the disposition of a people more’ than the arrival of news proclaiming the monarch’s return to power.¹ Witnessing the popular reaction at the Mercat Cross in Edinburgh, the diarist, John Nicoll, recorded how the ‘haill bellis in Edinburgh and Cannongait did reing, the drumes did beatt, trumpettis soundit’, while ‘the spoutes of the Croce rynnand...

  8. 3 The Origins and Nature of the Scottish Monarchy
    (pp. 45-72)

    Charles II’s return to power was accompanied by a widespread determination that political authority should never again be allowed to disintegrate in the fatal manner that had unleashed the miseries of the recent civil wars. A renewed political Augustinianism dictated that government was essential to ‘bridle the Extravagancies of restless Mankind’, in the words of Mackenzie of Rosehaugh.¹ Preaching a thanksgiving sermon to celebrate the restoration in 1660, the Aberdeen minister, Alexander Scrougie, confirmed that magistracy was so indispensable that ‘better no Creation, then no Government; better not to be at all, then not to be under Rule’.² Since government...

  9. 4 Constitutional Monarchy
    (pp. 73-103)

    In November 1678, the leading English Whig politician, the earl of Shaftesbury, delivered a speech to the House of Lords, remarking on the political and constitutional state of late-seventeenth century Europe. In his opinion, although subjects of all the northern countries enjoyed ‘an undoubted and inviolable right to their liberties and properties’ by law, he observed that the Scots had ‘outdone all the eastern and southern countries’ by having their ‘lives, liberties and estates sequestered to the will and pleasure of those that govern’.¹ At a time when fears of popery and arbitrary government were being increasingly articulated in England,...

  10. 5 The Politics of Religion
    (pp. 104-130)

    Orthodox historiography has largely tended to attribute blame for most of the political instability and civil strife experienced throughout Scotland between 1660 and 1689 to the unpopularity of the Restoration religious settlement which re-imposed an episcopalian system of church government on a predominantly presbyterian population. Correspondingly little attempt has hitherto been made, however, to examine the relationship between ecclesiastical divisions and political sympathies. The previous chapter demonstrated that differing degrees of practical political opposition did not necessarily preclude theoretical attachment to the Stuart monarchy. It is likewise far from clear that religious nonconformity instantly denoted political disloyalty. Opponents of prelacy...

  11. 6 The Preservation of Order
    (pp. 131-162)

    Amidst the religious and political turmoil unleashed by the European wars of religion, post-Reformation political theorists increasingly distinguished between a normal state of affairs where the rule of law strictly prevailed and a state of emergency which allowed civil authorities unrestricted powers to ensure civil order. Despite a prevailing consensus that absolute monarchical government in Scotland should conform to the rule of law, this precept was increasingly undermined as popular unrest escalated across the country during the late-1670s and 1680s. Acknowledging ‘a distinction of ordinary and extraordinary times’ in a commonplace-book from around 1682, one episcopalian minister nevertheless stressed the...

  12. 7 The Defence of True Religion
    (pp. 163-190)

    In depicting the Restoration period as ‘the Killing Times’, a vivid and venerable historiographical tradition characterised late-seventeenth century religious culture as bitterly divided between episcopalians and presbyterians. Yet, for all the moments of fanatic violence and extremism and government oppression and brutality, a substantial middle ground always existed that deplored denominational division. For while the majority of the political establishment was prepared to support the re-establishment of episcopalian church government as part of the Restoration settlement, few were convinced that enforcing strict ecclesiastical discipline necessarily served to enhance the spiritual welfare of the Scottish people. As Gilbert Burnet lamented in...

  13. 8 The Revolution of 1688–1689
    (pp. 191-215)

    Historiographical orthodoxy has long maintained that in 1688 the Scots were the ‘Reluctant Revolutionaries’. Having devoted the majority of their intellectual energies since 1660 to refuting extreme presbyterian fanaticism, by 1688 many politicians and writers apparently found that they lacked the mental resources to confront an arbitrary and papistical monarch. Hence the reported birth of the Prince of Wales in June 1688 evidently ‘occasioned little interest north of the border’, despite heralding the prospect of a perennial Catholic succession. William of Orange’s proclamation addressed to the Scots in October of that year also ‘fell on equally deaf ears’. Nor were...

  14. 9 Conclusion
    (pp. 216-222)

    The investigation of political and religious ideas pursued in this book has constructed an evocation of shared sensibilities rather than a series of detailed expositions of individual texts. In doing so, it has drawn on an extensive range of sources, the large majority of which have not previously been used in this manner. Such sources have included anonymous political memoranda, sermon notebooks, manuscript legal depositions, private correspondence, commonplace-book reflections, diary entries and bardic poetry, together with printed works encompassing a heterogeneous range of subjects from political thought and religious reflection to theoretical jurisprudence and natural and moral philosophy. While the...

  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 223-250)
  16. Index
    (pp. 251-258)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 259-259)