Bonding, Religious Allegiance and Covenanting

Jane E. A. Dawson

in Kings, Lords and Men in Scotland and Britain, 1300–1625

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2014 | ISBN: 9780748691500
Published online September 2015 | e-ISBN: 9781474400848 | DOI:
Bonding, Religious Allegiance and Covenanting

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This chapter re-examines the links between the Reformation and the kinship society of Scotland. A two-way process of influence can be identified between ecclesiastical and civil thinking on obligation and allegiance. This can be revealed by analysing the language and context of religious bonds and bonds of manrent listed in Jenny Wormald’s seminal book Lords and Men in Scotland, 1442-1603. The use of the words and concepts of letters of maintenance can be seen in the ‘First Band’ of December 1557. Understanding this religious band within the conceptual world of noble lordship opens up a new understanding of covenanting, including the National Covenant of 1638. In the reverse direction, sacramental practice and discipline was influenced by the bloodfeud. One metrical psalm in particular, ‘Judge and revenge my cause, O Lord’ (Ps. 43), became absorbed into the culture of feud and revenge within Scotland. It was used in the high-profile murders of Lord Darnley, Regent Moray and the Bonnie earl o’ Moray, and moved into popular culture as a ‘blood-feud psalm’.

Keywords: bonds; lordship; bloodfeud; Reformation; covenants

Chapter.  8145 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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