Scottish Presbyterians and Anglo-Scottish union 1707
The thesis is an examination into the attitudes and reaction of Scottish Presbyterians to Anglo-Scottish union in 1706-7. Primarily to the work focuses upon the Church of Scotland but it also looks at Presbyterian groups like the Cameronians and Hebronites as well as briefly looking at Episcopalian and Catholic attitudes to union. Anglo-Scottish union is set in its historical context. The thesis examines the political and religious background to union within Scotland and at Anglo-Scottish relations in particular the legislative war that led to the treaty negotiations of 1706. The failed attempts during the 17th century and in 1702-3 are looked at from a largely Presbyterian perspective. Focusing upon the critical period between April 1706 and January 1707 the thesis discuses Presbyterian reaction to the treaty the reasons for their hostility and how it was expressed. It examines the role of the church in organising addresses, its attitudes to popular unrest as well as discussing the proposed Cameronian-Jacobite alliance and attempted armed rising. It examines Presbyterian alternatives such as federative relationship or settling the succession with limitations with particular emphasis on a Presbyterian scheme for a covenanted Scottish Republic. The work challenges the view that the Act of Security for the church was a masterstroke by Queensberry by which the church was brought off and silenced and demonstrates that it was in fact a government u-turn, forced upon it by the church, in an attempt to rectify the political blunder of leaving church security out of the original treaty. It also demonstrates that far from being silenced the commission continued to work in the church's interests right up until the treaty was ratified. The work demonstrates that the church was not universally opposed to the union. Union had its supporters and the bulk of the ministry while hostile to the original treaty accepted union with church securities. The thesis also examines some of the reasons why Presbyterians acquiesced in the union such as the role of providence, attitudes to government, security and fears of a popish successor.