The Scottish Parliament, 1639-1661 : a political and constitutional analysis

Young, John Roach (1993) The Scottish Parliament, 1639-1661 : a political and constitutional analysis. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The Covenanting Movement was essentially composed of radicals and conservatives. Radicals were in a minority among the noble estate, but had a strong base among the gentry and the burgesses. In addition, pragmatic Royalists were Royalists who accepted and subscribed compulsory Covenanting oaths and obligations in order to secure admission to public office, particularly Parliament. The radical wing of the Covenanting Movement dominated parliamentary proceedings from 1639-1646. A radical political and constitutional agenda had been formulated prior to the 1639 Parliament. Such an agenda was enacted in the Scottish Constitutional Settlement of 1640-41. The radicals similarly-orchestrated the calling of the 1643 Convention of Estates and the signing of the Solemn League and Covenant. Whilst there was a rapprochement between radical and conservative nobles in 1645-1646, the cutting edge of the radicals was maintained by the gentry and burgesses and the emergence of a Scottish Commons can be detected. The crisis over the position of the king in 1646-1647 led to the ascendancy of conservatism among the Scottish Estates, 1647-1648. The defeat of the Engagement Army in the summer of 1648 led to a coup d'etat in Scotland and the instillation of a radical regime which held power unchallenged until the defeat at the Battle of Dunbar in September 1650. Thereafter there was a patriotic accommodation between the various political factions in Scotland in light of the growing threat to national independence from Cromwellian military forces. Following military defeat at the hands of Cromwell, Scotland eventually became incorporated within the Commonwealth and Protectorate. In political terms, the continuance of an "Argyll interest" can be observed. The Restoration witnessed the rescinding of Covenanting legislation. although Covenanting procedures were adopted, rather than abandoned. Whilst the Restoration witnessed the reassertion of noble power. a significant political role for the gentry was still maintained. That the gentry and burgesses provided the political backbone of the Covenanting Movement was reflected in the complicated committee structure of Parliament. 1639-1651. In addition. non-parliamentary gentry and burgesses were regularly involved in the proceedings of both parliamentary session and interval committees. Detailed parliamentary procedures and regulations were established in 1640-41 and continued to be modified according to circumstances throughout the 1640s and continued to 1651. The Restoration Parliament of 1661 saw a return to more traditional parliamentary regulation, particularly under the control of the crown and crown royal appointees.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Supervisor's Name: MacInnes, Professor A. I.
Date of Award: 1993
Depositing User: Adam Swann
Unique ID: glathesis:1993-8391
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2017 14:17
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2017 14:17

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