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The Kirk and the Union, 1706-07: a reappraisal

The Kirk and the Union, 1706-07: a reappraisal The Kirk and the Union, 1706-07: a reappraisal JEFFREY STEPHEN, M.A., Ph.D. The church has been described as the most formidable opponent of union, a bulwark of the opposition which potentially offered a nation­ wide organisation and platform through which to fight union.1 That opposition it has been argued was neutralised by the Act of Security for the church which has been described as a master stroke by the government.2 Thereafter the institutional leadership of the church acquiesced while the localities continued to oppose union but such opposition gradually fell away. The main focus of this paper shall be to question the assertion that the Act of Security for the church, which was crucial to the debate, was a master stroke by the government. Arguably, far from being a master stroke, the Act was in fact a U-turn by the court as they attempted to rectify the blunder of leaving the church's security out of the original articles. Much of the church's hostility was directed not so much at union, as the union proposed in the treaty which appeared to endanger Presbyterianism. That hostility was understandable, not unexpected and much of it could have been avoided. The prospect of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Scottish Church History Edinburgh University Press

The Kirk and the Union, 1706-07: a reappraisal

Scottish Church History , Volume 31 (1): 29 – Apr 1, 2002

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2516-6298
eISSN
2516-6301
DOI
10.3366/sch.2002.31.1.4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Kirk and the Union, 1706-07: a reappraisal JEFFREY STEPHEN, M.A., Ph.D. The church has been described as the most formidable opponent of union, a bulwark of the opposition which potentially offered a nation­ wide organisation and platform through which to fight union.1 That opposition it has been argued was neutralised by the Act of Security for the church which has been described as a master stroke by the government.2 Thereafter the institutional leadership of the church acquiesced while the localities continued to oppose union but such opposition gradually fell away. The main focus of this paper shall be to question the assertion that the Act of Security for the church, which was crucial to the debate, was a master stroke by the government. Arguably, far from being a master stroke, the Act was in fact a U-turn by the court as they attempted to rectify the blunder of leaving the church's security out of the original articles. Much of the church's hostility was directed not so much at union, as the union proposed in the treaty which appeared to endanger Presbyterianism. That hostility was understandable, not unexpected and much of it could have been avoided. The prospect of

Journal

Scottish Church HistoryEdinburgh University Press

Published: Apr 1, 2002

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