The Episcopal Church of Scotland, 1660-1685
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The restoration of episcopacy in the Church of Scotland in 1661 was a deeply divisive event, sparking the resignation of around a quarter of the clergy and initiating a large dissenting movement of presbyterians. This thesis examines how the established episcopal church coped in an age of religious pluralism, and how it convinced a generation of presbyterian clergy to accept bishops despite having sworn the National Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant, which seemed to preclude them. James Sharp, Archbishop of St Andrews, has primarily been seen as a political operator, who may or may not have betrayed Scottish presbyterianism in return for a mitre in the early 1660s; this thesis looks at him as a churchman and recovers his and his colleagues’ view of Restoration episcopacy. Chapter One re-examines the events of 1660 and 1661 and finds that, far from helping restore bishops, Sharp worked with other clergy in a campaign to prove that presbyterianism could coexist with the newly restored monarchy. When this failed and bishops were restored, Archbishop Sharp and his colleagues persuaded a sceptical ministry to conform to episcopacy by pursuing an inclusive settlement and accepting a number of ecclesiological compromises, explored in Chapter Two. The difficulties of running such a broad church are considered in Chapter Three: the boundaries between conformity and non-conformity were more porous than historians have thought, and this chapter moves beyond simple binaries to describe how some lay people developed unique patterns of parochial non-conformity, picking between conforming clergy. Chapter Four looks at the attempts to deal with dissent through Indulgence and Accommodation schemes associated with Bishop Robert Leighton, and why they failed. Lastly, Chapter Five provides the first account of the royal supremacy in Restoration Scotland, and how the established church resisted Erastian control by the state.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2024-05-24
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 24th May 2024
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