Google Site Search


Causes & Background]
Charles & Parliament]
Personal Government]
[The Scottish Revolt]
The Long Parliament]
The First Civil War]
The Second Civil War]

The Scottish Revolt

Alexander Leslie - Earl of Leven. Scotland’s greatest soldier.

The Scottish Revolt. - It was in Scotland that the religious revolt began.

Scotland was still a feudal country where men had little interest in politics. In Scotland the Reformation had been a popular movement. The Scottish Church had a democratic organisation, and the influence of the ministers over the Lowland population was immense. James had restored authority of the bishops and broke the power of the Scottish General Assembly. Charles continued his father’s policy.

In 1637 he imposed on Scotland an order of service and prayer book closely resembling the Anglican. The first reading in St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh caused a riot. Organised resistance followed. A petition called the National Covenant pledging the signatories to maintain the integrity of the Scottish Church was signed by huge numbers of people.

Charles thought it necessary to allow the meeting of Scottish General Assembly which proceeded to abolish the power and authority of the Anglican episcopacy in Scotland.

Charles then prepared for war however his army was untrained and lacking in morale, while the army of the Scottish Covenanters was full of enthusiasm and contained many who had gained experience as mercenaries on the Continent.

Under the command of Alexander Leslie, a veteran of the 30 Years War in Holland and Sweden, the Covenanter’s army defeated the army of the King at the Battle of  Newburn, then captured the city of Newcastle and occupied Northumberland and Durham

Charles was forced to negotiate.

By the Pacification of Berwick everything was referred to a new Parliament and General Assembly.  Fresh disputes followed. Resolved to continue the war, Charles was driven by lack of finance to summon the English Parliament. Even Wentworth agreed, trusting to the old national grudge of Englishmen against Scotsmen.

When Parliament met, the Commons preceded at once to the raise their own grievances. The King insisted that they must first deal with his demands, but having heard that the leaders of the Commons were negotiating with the Scots, he quickly dissolved the Parliament. The arbitrary measures recommended by Wentworth did not, however, raise sufficient finance for the King’s needs.

The Scots invaded England and occupied Northumberland and Durham. Then 2 peers petitioned the King to recall Parliament. He preferred to call a Great Council of 12 peers at York. The peers negotiated with the Scots the Treaty of Ripon. However the calling of a new Parliament could not be avoided.


To contact David W Fell click on shovel

[Home] [Causes & Background] [Major personalities] [Armies & soldiers] [War in West Riding] [Books & Resources] [Credits & Contact] [Links]