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Fix up[edit]

The article is for the most part well written but there are quite a lot of patronizing and 'out of place' language. Stuff like "sadly for him they did not" or "Like the Soviets in the wings, an alternative authority was already taking shape." It really makes for bad reading. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:13, 6 July 2008 (UTC)


I know that it is virtually impossible to knock down a myth once it is up and running, but the money the Scots received from the English Parliament in 1647 was not for the person of the king but for the services of their army. The fact that the two transactions came at the same time-payment and handover-has created a lasting confusion. The position laid out in this article is simply wrong. Rcpaterson 23:44, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Scotland, The Civil War, and Wikipedia[edit]

Information on Scotland during the English civil war is extremely difficult to find on Wikipedia. Many articles dealing with the English Civil War and the Interregnum have only throwaway comments or allusions to the situation in Scotland. The succession boxes go from Charles I to the Commonwealth of England, and the information on the situation in Scotland on the Commonwealth's page is so near to being non-existent that one might think everyone in Scotland was just taking a nap from 1649-1660. To remedy this, I am branching the Scottish portion of the succession through the Covenanter article, in the hopes that this might make it easier to find information on Scotland, and in the hopes that this article will be fleshed out and expanded. Reveilled 21:20, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Improvements welcome, but did you notice the links to the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and the Scottish Civil War? ..dave souza, talk 11:26, 6 June 2006 (UTC) Having said that, these succession links now look good. ta. ..dave souza, talk 11:30, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Killing Time[edit]

I've expanded and modified this section to make the overall position a liitle clearer, including a reference to the 1666 Pentland Rising, which only appears in passing (as a date alone)in the previous version. The real point of my editing, however, was to correct the all to common misconception about the nature of the so-called 'Killing Time'. The term itself is a ninteenth-century invention, first appearing in Robert Wodrow's monumental The History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland from the Restoration to the Revolution. It refers, in fact, to the period from the 1680s onwards, in which the government resorted to extraordinary methods to deal with political sedition, rather than religious dissent as such. It is important to bear in mind-though no reference is made to it in the article-that some attempt was made by the authorities from 1669 onwards to accommodate the more moderate shades of Presbyterian opinion by a series of Indulgences. By 1680 the extreme Covenaters-a tiny minority-had pushed beyond all compromise, embracing outright sedition in manifestos like the Sanquhar Declaration and the Apologetic Declaration. It was in pursuit of these political extremists that the government resorted to the extra-judicial methods that were to be a feature of the Killing Time. But the number actually killed by Claverhouse and others is now reckoned to be far less than Wodrow and his school claimed. Rcpaterson 00:19, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for that interesting clarification of a splendidly gory name that puzzled me when a superficial look didn't show much killing. I've added some links to other articles and mentioned the part the Cameronians played in the Revolution, and have also removed the description of Jenny Geddes as a fishwife: she's generally described as a street market woman, from memory selling vegetables, and while the thought of her crying "caller herrin" is nice, it's not a description I've seen. Any source for this would be welcome.
Note that the link to the National Covenant just redirected back to Covenanter: anyone want to do a new page? ..dave souza, talk 10:59, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Rcpaterson, whilst I a Covenanter agree with most of your comment, the root of our civil disobedience to the tyrannical Government was religious principle. Hence, the reason for our civil disobedience was religion not politics. Our biblical principle: Either obey Christ or obey the Government (that was then, we believe, opposing Christ the King of Church and State). We chose and, if circumstances warrant again, will chose the former as we (in addition to King and Parliament though they broke the Covenants) have covenanted to do in the National Covenant and the Solemn League & Covenant. We Covenanters will suffer no encroachment upon Christ's Kingship regardless of what judicial or "extrajudicial" measures a tyrannical government may use.--Coviepresb1647 (talk) 14:05, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Final Paragraph[edit]

"The Covenanters have a martyrology of their own, and an artificial halo of romance has been cast around their exploits and their sufferings. It is important to remember that in its latter stages, especially in its Cameronian metamorphosis, the Covenanter movement had little interest in religious freedom for its own sake. The aim, rather, was to deny freedom to everyone else. Their story, however, especially during the time of their political predominance, is part of the general History of Scotland."

Definitely POV and patently false. Timotheus4 03:45, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Revised, new section added. ..dave souza, talk 12:19, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Covenanter-Religious Radicals and Political Innovators.[edit]

I would just like to announce to all who have an interest in this topic that I intend to begin a fairly radical rewrite/reorganisation in the very near future. The whole piece needs to be better paced and structured: most of the information is already there, but relevance and context needs to be explained a little better. Above all, I intend to bring out some of the political-as opposed to the religious-dimensions of the movement, with particular reference to the development of the Scottish parliament. By its very nature it may take more than one session to complete: so please excuse the scaffolding (road cones?)while the work is in progress.Rcpaterson 01:10, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Work now complete. Rcpaterson 05:46, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Looks good. I'm going through and correcting punctuation when I have time. I'm not as familiar with what is allowed in British punctuation, so forgive me if I correct something that didn't need correcting. --S Roper 17:24, 21 July 2006 (UTC)


I would like to add that the whole article is too long and overblown. While it may certainly be the labour of love of someone that personally finds the topic very interesting, I would suggest that it is in fact WAY too boring for most people to read. Why no put in some pictures, or references to modern celebrities and how the issue has affected them?

"Indeed, it is truly said: the eye sees in a subject what the eye has means of seeing." Thomas Carlyle

"Why no put in some pictures, or references to modern celebrities and how the issue has affected them?" Classic comment - "the Covenanters and Celebrity Come Dancing" or "Celebrity Big Brother and the Covenanters". Truly we live in the 140 character and 2 minute attention span generation.

National Covenant[edit]

Wouldn't it be a good idea to give the National Covenant its own page? (and perhaps to split up other parts of this article, as well--it is rather long). Surely the hisotry and provisions of the document cannot be adequately described in an article that's about the Covenaters quite broadly.

Please make this more readable and interesting

I was interested to learn about the covenanters until I read the covenanter page. I have rarely seen a subject rendered so excruciatingly and mind numbingly boring. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:13, 18 October 2008 (UTC)


The suggestion for pictures is appropriate; I am trying to think how to rearrange the article so the first few paragraphs are an introduction and the remaining text is in-depth like what is already here. Regarding the picture of James VI, someone with a better grasp of this page's content should modify the caption. --Matthew K 17:23, 25 September 2006 (UTC)


I saw someone doing several copy edits in this article and got inspired. When I saw 'uplified' in that rhyme, I decided to look for it. The only other copies of the rhyme (that aren't direct copies of this article) use uplifted. For example, the citation (which could, admittedly have been corrected) by Stevenson (Stevenson, Lay Morals chapter 4)... (see also If someone with access to a more authoritative source could check this, it would be well; for now it seems acceptable to imagine this was merely a mistake when the text was placed in the article.

I admit I'm rather fond of the American English spellings I have always used and therefore '-our' and 'centre' and some words with 'll' surprise me; I tried to leave all of the correct ones alone and maintain the intuitive British English standard for this article. If I 'fixed' something that wasn't broken, feel free to change it back ;) --Matthew K 02:21, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

no measured?[edit]

From the second paragraph of the first section: "it denounced the Pope and the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church in no measured terms." I can't guess what this means. "Measured terms" are careful and precise. So the opposite might be extravagant, or might be vague. It is hard to imagine that the terms of the king's covenant were both extravagant and vague. I hope that someone informed about the king's covenant will change this phrase to something more intelligible. Maproom (talk) 23:52, 31 January 2008 (UTC)


"bequeathed problems that would challenge solomon" has no place on this page —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:32, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Sourcing required.[edit]

"—the Liturgy, the Canons, the Five Articles of Perth and the Court of High Commission—were swept away." is almost word for word directly from Martyn Bennett's The Civil Wars in Britain and Ireland p. 35. Should be sourced. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:52, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Succession Box[edit]

I have restored the succession box at the bottom of the page. Admittedly, this article does not deal solely with the situation in Interregnum Scotland, but to my knowledge there is no article on Wikipedia which deals with Scotland's government (disctinct from the wars that government was involved in) in that period better than this one. Further, even if the box is not best placed here, it isn't really appropriate to just remove it as was done, as it breaks the succession boxes on other pages, as the rulers of Scotland before and after this have links to this article, but without links out, it is difficult for a reader to follow the chain. If another editor feels the box does not belong here, please find a more suitable article to move the chain of succession through, create a box there, and edit the boxes on the other pages to match before deleting this one. Reveilled (talk) 17:35, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Copyright problems[edit]

This article has been evaluated as part of an ongoing contributor copyright investigation. While it seems to be clear of issues prior to this edit, I'm sorry to say that at that point text was introduced which had been previously published in King Lauderdale: The Life of John Maitland, Second Earl and Only Duke of Lauderdale. (For one example: "...might at least be a British church; for it was here, in the area of religion, that the royal prerogative was less circumscribed. How was such a model to be defined? For James the answer..." is taken from page 26. (See also [1] and we can see that this continued in the next edit, with [2]).

We have the option of reverting the article to this version, which seems clean, following which content contributed by other users can be restored if it does not interact with text from this contributor in such a way as to create an unauthorized derivative work (since the copyright problem versions will probably be deleted, it's important to attribute in edit summary, such as "content contributed by [[User:Example]]"). The article can also be completely rewritten. The article is being blanked and listed at the copyright problems board to give contributors an opportunity to determine how best to proceed. It will be revisited by an administrator after about a week to see what further steps may be necessary. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:24, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Article title[edit]

Why is this article not entitled Covenanters in the plural?

I agree. The page should be renamed Covenanters to match its content and readers redirected from the singular Covenanter. Kim Traynor (talk) 16:16, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Naming conventions (plurals) indicates this should be singular, the common term is a Covenanter for an individual who was part of the Covenanters. As in the article, "if the authorities learnt that a murdered Covenanter had been given a decent burial, their bodies were usually disinterred and buried in places reserved for thieves and malcontents. Quite often the corpse was hanged or beheaded first". Not a big deal as far as I'm concerned, we could always rejig the lead to "A Covenanter was a member of the Scottish Presbyterian movement known collectively as 'Covenanters, that played an important part in the history of Scotland," etc. As the guidance says,
Let's say you were writing a page about Covenanters. Should you call the page [[Covenanters]], which is basically what the page is about, or [[Covenanter]], which makes it easier to link to from passages like "Harold was a Covenanter bold"? Probably the latter. One can still write [[Covenanter]]s (which the software is smart enough to render as Covenanters), but if the page is called [[Covenanters]], then whenever one wants to use the term in the singular, one is forced into creating a piped link—the ungainly [[Covenantrs|Covenanter]], creating a redirect is ok but should be changed to a piped link in practice.
Since simply moving the page goes against the guideline, Wikipedia:Requested moves would be appropriate before the move goes ahead. . . dave souza, talk 17:30, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for that explanation which makes the reason for choosing the singular a lot clearer. Kim Traynor (talk) 21:53, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

No way is this too long![edit]

I see a previous conrtibutor feels this article is too long. This is a very important and complex episode in history and I feel the original author has done very well to keep it within the present scope of this page.


Undid user Dercovenanter's claim re origin of surname Coventry. If it has any shred of truth it should have better citations and be in the See Also section and not the Introduction section! JustWinBaby (talk) 19:44, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

I agree with this reversion. The phrase "Many linguists..." is highly suspect, as I can't believe that many people are specifically interested in the origin of that particular surname. Nor do I see how this information adds any knowledge of substance to the subject of the page. Kim Traynor (talk) 01:33, 21 April 2012 (UTC)


The oldest English translations I can find use the word 'covenant' to describe Israel's agreement with god, in addition the parallels of between Israel, sworn to the covenant, and Scotland were explicitly noted by many covenanters. The Geneva bible predates 1638 by 78 years, a Catholic English bible the Douay-Rheims Bible also published in the 1500s uses the same term, as does the KJV, published in 1611. Jethro 82 (talk) 13:28, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Too many pics on page?[edit]

User Jfhutson feels that this page has too many images and has therefore removed two: the second illustration of a conventicle in progress and the Covenanter's bible. I have reverted his edit on the following ground: the column of images on the right of the page is a visual narrative of the subject. Admittedly, the presence of the bible is possibly only justified if someone clicks the image and reads the explanatory caption. Given that conventicles can only be imagined from eye-witness accounts (as per the paintings), I can't think of a better piece of primary historical and visual evidence than this object. (Incidentally, this image has been used on several webpages across the internet to illustrate an old bible.) Jfhutson also argues that there is no need to include two depictions of conventicles. My reason for posting the H. E. Marshall image was to show the way the period has been depicted in a book intended for Scottish children, in other words how the atmosphere of a conventicle during "The Killing Time" (e.g. armed sentry and look-out) was conveyed to a later generation. I am, however, open to persuasion on whether this image should be discarded rather than retained. Does anyone have a view on this? Kim Traynor | Talk 22:07, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

The term Schismatics[edit]

I'm not sure what the term "Schismatic" meant in relation to the Covenanters. Schismatics formerly redirected to Covenanter, and several articles use the term and need disambiguation. Can someone please clarify Schismatic and the articles at Special:WhatLinksHere/Schismatics? Thanks. Sondra.kinsey (talk) 19:11, 12 May 2017 (UTC)