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Scottish Presbyterians and the Act of Union 1707

Jeffrey Stephen

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Set against the background of post-revolution Scottish ecclesiastical politics, this book addresses the hitherto largely neglected religious dimension to the debates on Anglo-Scottish Union. Focusing predominantly on the period between April 1706 and January 1707, the book examines the attitudes and reactions of Presbyterians to the treaty and challenges many of the widely held assumptions about the role of the church and other groups during the debate. The focal point of the Kirk's response was the Commission of the General Assembly. Through the extensive use of church records and other primary sources the work of the commission in pursuit of church security through its debates, committees and addresses, is discussed at length. The book also examines the church and groups like the Cameronians and Hebronites in relation to the parliamentary debate, the pursuit of alternatives to incorporation, popular protest, addressing and armed resistance.


1. Union
The Religious and Political Background 1689-1706.
2. And the Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail Against It: Securing the
Church in the event of a Union.
3. 'Upon the Watchtower of This Church': The Commission of the
General Assembly.
4. Presbyteries and Parishes: Addressing Against Union.
5. The Church and Popular Protest.
6. Incorporating Union
the Search for an Alternative.
7. 'That God may Mercifully Bring Good out of the Union.'

About the Author

Jeffrey Stephen is a Research Fellow at the Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen


A particular strength of Dr Stephen’s book is the way he has untangled the several strands of opinion on union amongst the presbyterian community... it is an important piece of research, which challenges old assumptions and confirms and supplements other recent revisionist work on the union.
- Christopher Whatley, University of Dundee, Parliamentary History
Focussing primarily on the period between April 1706 and January 1707, the author has meticulously researched the attitudes of the Church of the time ... Historians with a particular interest in the role of the Church will undoubtedly appreciate the insight offered by this work.
- Life and Work