Andrew Holmes1
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  • 1 School of History and Anthropology, Queens University Belfast
The Scottish Reformations and the Origin of Religious and Civil Liberty in Britain and Ireland: Presbyterian Interpretations, c.1800-60
in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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This article examines Presbyterian interpretations in Scotland and Ireland of the Scottish Reformations of 1560 and 1638–43. It begins with a discussion of the work of two important Presbyterian historians of the early nineteenth century, the Scotsman, Thomas McCrie, and the Irishman, James Seaton Reid. In their various publications, both laid the template for the nineteenth-century Presbyterian understanding of the Scottish Reformations by emphasizing the historical links between the Scottish and Irish churches in the early-modern period and their common theology and commitment to civil and religious liberty against the ecclesiastical and political tyranny of the Stuarts. The article also examines the commemorations of the National Covenant in 1838, the Solemn League and Covenant in 1843, and the Scottish Reformation in 1860. By doing so, it uncovers important religious and ideological linkages across the North Channel, including Presbyterian evangelicalism, missionary activity, church–state relationships, religious reform and revival, and anti-Catholicism.

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