"A Laymanís Guide to the Scottish Reformation ."

This is about the events of the period (1525-1690) that led to the establishment of the Protestant ,Presbyterian Kirk in Scotland and includes the struggles of the Covenanters.  The objective in this work is to sort the facts from the early sources that are often written with many biblical references, polemic debate and allegories that was the custom and practice of the clerical historians. Hence, the Layman`s Guide of the title.

Part I is a background to the arrival of  Protestantism in Scotland, the events of the First Reformation - John Knox and the foundation of the Presbyterian Kirk in 1560. It goes on to look at the events leading up to the imposition of an episcopal church in Scotland and the joining of the Crowns of England and Scotland in 1603 when James VI became King James I of England. 

Part II is a review of events through 1603 - 1690 which was an extraordinarily busy time for both the politics of the day and the bloody history of the strict Presbyterians, the Covenanters. This period saw James VI/I,  and his successors, pursuing `Divine Right` policies and forcing an episcopal church upon the people. Then there were further tribulations brought upon Scotland by Charles I and his acolytes Archbishop Laud, and Sir Thomas Wentworth in Ireland. The Civil wars of the three kingdoms - the last battles between England and Scotland, and the heavy hand of Cromwell that settled things for a while. In 1660 Charles II was restored to the throne and the bloody story of the Covenanters began in earnest with executions of the Marquis of Argyll, Rev James Guthrie, and Archibald Johnston, Lord Warriston. Many more followed them to the gibbet or to face the rifle volley, to receive a martyr`s crown during the following twenty eight years.

A very detailed chronology which sets the events of the period in time and context is in the Appendix.

Part III is a dictionary section in which notes expand on specific events and topics mentioned in the text and chronology. These notes have been augmented with explanations of events in England and Ireland that impacted the Scots and the Reformation. 23 Appendices provide amongst other things, verbatim extracts from most of the significant documents and Declarations, including extracts from the original Covenants and other hard to come by documents. 

The book runs to nearly 600 pages and is lavishly illustrated with over 100 photographs. I have also added an extensive Glossary of mainly old Scots terms; and for convenience, a Dramatis Personae list of individuals who feature in the story of the Reformation.

I have sought to provide a  book that informs in as much detail as the reader chooses, whether for general background history, specific times and events that affected their ancestors, or deeper into understanding the theology and theocratic principles that drove Scotland to adopt Presbyterianism as its creed. As ever I hope it is a good read and a modest reference book that is easy to return to.

The blurb...

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If you have any questions Heritage Books can  be reached at (800) 876-6103 or the author at b.orr@btopenworld.com  or

A Laymanís Guide to the Scottish Reformation - Brian J. Orr. A Layman's Guide to the Scottish Reformation relates the story of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland and the subsequent trials and tribulations of the nascent Presbyterian Church. Covering the period from about 1530 to 1690 it is one of the busiest periods in Scottish and English history ranging across the reigns of Mary Queen of Scots and the Stuart Kings, James VI/I, Charles I, Charles II and James II. For added spice there are the complications of the Wars of the three kingdoms, rebellion in Ireland, and Cromwell's republican rule of the Commonwealth. Through this heady cocktail of events runs the story of the Presbyterian Kirk, the battle against the Divine Right policies of the Kings' and their demands for uniformity with the Episcopalian Church of England; and, the stubborn dissent and bloody persecution of the Covenanters in their stand for religious freedom. The Guide is the sister work to the author's first book As God is my Witness (Heritage Books Inc, 2002) which told the story of the people of the Reformation. The Guide deals with the events of the Reformation and is very widely referenced to many early works by clerical historians that are mainly now in archives and antiquarian collections. A very substantial and detailed Time Line provides a consecutive record of events. The bulk of the work is in a dictionary format of augmented notes on several hundred topics ranging from the 'Aberdeen Assembly, 1605' to 'Zeal - defence of Presbyterianism.' A substantial Glossary is provided along with a Dramatis Personae of the main character of the Reformation. Lavishly illustrated, it also has a lengthy bibliography as a source for further reading, and some 24 appendices (primarily text) of rare documents relevant to the early history of Presbyterianism. 2004, 5Ĺx8Ĺ, paper, index, 594 pp.
ISBN: 0-7884-3188-9