The Presbytery of St Andrews, 1586-1605 : a study and annotated edition of the register of the minutes of the Presbytery of St Andrews, Vol. 1
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The purposes of this work are to examine the development and functions of the church court which came to be known as the presbytery during the late sixteenth century and during the early seventeenth century in Scotland, as well as providing a more readily accessible primary source for further studies within the area. The development of a presbyterian polity in Scotland during the sixteenth century is attested to by the surviving records of its kirk sessions, presbyteries, synods and general assemblies. This study is concerned primarily with the record of the St. Andrews presbytery; it was among the first established, and its importance as the presbytery of which Andrew Melville was a member and in which he had significant influence marks it as a church court of unusual interest and marks its records as a valuable source for the study of the development of presbyteries. The introduction surveys the historical background and the evolution of church courts along with the extant records of the earliest presbyteries. Specific attention is given to the St. Andrews record and its condition, history and characteristics. Further analysis of the responsibilities of the presbytery is included along with comparisons to other contemporary records and the relationships between the presbytery and other ecclesiastical judicatories, as well as the effects of changing political circumstances. Textual notes are supplied as is a complete index of subjects, persons, and places.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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