Abjuration Act 1662 , and the Abjuration Oath 25 Nov 1684.

There was more than one Abjuration Act usually with an oath to be taken by the people. These were essentially  about formally rejecting or disowning another statement. The Abjuration Act of 1662 was a formal rejection of the National Covenant of 1638 and the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643. These were declared to be against the fundamental laws of the kingdom. The Act required all persons taking public office to take an oath of abjuration not to take arms against the king, and rejecting the Covenants. This excluded most Presbyterians from holding official positions of trust.The Abjuration Oath of 25 November 1684 was concerned with rejecting the Declaration by James Renwick of The Apologetical Declaration and Admonitory Vindication against Intelligencers and Informers. Renwick`s document on behalf of the Society people stated their sufferings and the principles they held, including their intention to  to punish oppressors judges, soldiers, informants and false witnesses.

The oath therefore was offered to suspects. If refused they could be be instantly put to death in the presence of any officer holding a commission from the Privy Council and two witnesses. This was much used in the Killing Time and was the reason for many instant executions of of Covenanters in the fields, hills and on their own doorsteps. The Ordinance of of 22 November 1684  prescribing the Oath also specified action that was to to be taken against minister`s` wives and children

 You shall turn out all the wives and children of the forfeited estates from their habitations, if it shall appear they have conversed with their parents or husbands, or if they refuse to vindicate themselves  by their oath.

The Abjuration Oath ran:

I A,B. doe hereby abhorr, renunce and disoune, in presence of the Almighty God, the pretendit Declaratione of Warr lately affixed at severall paroch churches in so far as it declares a warr against his sacred Majestie and asserts that it is laufull to kill such as serve his Majestie in church, state, army or countrey, or such as act against the authors of the said pretended declarations now shewne to me. And I doe hereby utterly renunce and disoune the villanous authors thereof who did (as they call it) statut and ordaine the same, and what is therein mentioned, and I swear I shall never assist the authors of the said pretended declarations or ther emissaries or adherents in any poynts of punishing, killing and makeing of warr any manner of way as I shall answear to God.

Home Scottish Reformation The Covenanters Ulster Scots English Reformation European Reformation General Topics & Glossary My Books & Bibliography Contact