Non-conforming Presbyterian women in Restoration Scotland, 1660-1679
The church settlement established in Scotland on the Restoration of Charles II led to Presbyterians refusing to conform to the chosen Episcopalian model. Presbyterian women played a key role in dissenting activity between 1660 and 1679. These activities included rioting, conventicling, harbouring outlawed Presbyterians, petitioning on behalf of Presbyterian clergy and withdrawing from church. The social background of a Presbyterian woman dictated the way in which she dissented against the Episcopalian church settlement. In refusing to conform to Episcopacy, Presbyterian women were not mere pawns of men but acted on their own initiative. Non-conforming Presbyterian women were punished by a ruling elite in Restoration Scotland which was governed by considerations of gender in its desire to preserve an ordered society.