Chapter

The Kirk, Parliament and the Union, 1706–7

Stewart J. Brown and Christopher A. Whatley

in The Union of 1707

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780748638024
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672295 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638024.003.0006
The Kirk, Parliament and the Union, 1706–7

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On the eve of its recent tercentenary, histories of the Union could, in most instances, be categorised as belonging to one of two contrasting schools. In the first of these schools, the Union has been portrayed as marking the end of Scotland's independence and in the second, the Union has been viewed as a calculated measure borne out of economic necessity. Religion and concerns over the future of the Presbyterian government of the Church of Scotland have received less scrutiny by historians. In his recent study of the Union, Christopher Whatley has challenged much of the established historiography associated with 1706–1707. Building upon Whatley's seminal study, this chapter examines the demands of the Kirk and how these were addressed in the Scottish Parliament. It assesses the wider significance of the church act: whether this act was essentially political, designed to appease Presbyterian churchmen and weaken popular opposition, or whether there is evidence that Presbyterianism was as significant to the majority of members of Parliament as it was to the Kirk and the Scots people in general.

Keywords: Kirk; Scottish Parliament; Union; Scotland; Church of Scotland; Christopher Whatley; Presbyterianism; religion; churchmen

Chapter.  10854 words.  Illustrated.

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