Revolution Settlement


The Revolution Settlement restored the Presbyterian system to the Established Church of Scotland and largely reconciled the Covenanters with the State. Protests against reform of the Church of Scotland by King Charles I came to a head in 1638 with the Signing of the National Covenant. This was followed by an alliance with the English Parliamentarians through the Signing of the Solemn League and Covenant in 1643. Despite promises to the contrary, the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660 made the situation worse and 300 ministers were expelled from their churches after refusing to accept his new system of church governance. A period of repression led to armed revolt and the time of the Covenanters, who were defeated in the Battle of Rullion Green (1666), gained victory at Drumclog but suffered a final defeat at Bothwell Brig (1679).

A time of intense persecution followed, known as the 'Killing Times'. At least 1600 Covenanters were killed, 2800 imprisoned and thousands more driven from their homes, including 1700 banished to the American plantations.

This conflict ended in 1690 with the Settlement. Most of the Covenanter ministers joined the Established Church leaving only a few dissenters, known as the Society People or Cameronians, after Richard Cameron (1648-80), who were eventually to form the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

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