Signing of the Scottish National Covenant — The Glasgow Assembly — Episcopacy abolished in the Scottish church — John Hampden on trial for refusing to pay ship money


20 At Stirling, Lords Traquair and Roxburgh issue the King's proclamation condemning the protests against his proposed reforms of the Scottish church and banning further meetings of the supplicants. Source: TSR, TKP
22 The King's proclamation repeated in Edinburgh, followed by protests at his refusal to consider the grievances of the supplicants. TSR
  The Lords Loudon and Rothes and the minister David Dickson send letters summoning noblemen, lairds and others to Edinburgh to support the supplicants. TSR
23 A committee of four each of the lairds, burgesses and clergymen meet with the lords Loudon, Rothes, Balmerino and Lindsay. They propose to draw up a covenant to defend the true religion of the Church of Scotland. Alexander Henderson and Archibald Johnston of Wariston begin drafting the document. TSR
  The Earl of Traquair, lord chancellor of Scotland, arrives in Edinburgh to plead with the supplicants to submit to the King. TSR
28 First signing of the Scottish National Covenant at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh. Copies of the document distributed throughout Scotland for signing. TSR, TKP


3 The Scottish Privy Council meeting at Stirling admits that it can do nothing to settle the crisis over the Covenant except report matters to the King. Source: TSR
16 The burgh council at Aberdeen refuses to sign the Covenant but there is little resistance to it elsewhere. TSR
24 King Charles summons Lords Traquair, Roxburgh and Lorne to discuss the crisis in Scotland. TSR


8 Traquair, Roxburgh and Lorne arrive at court. Lord Lorne granted a private conference with the King to discuss Scotland's grievances. Source: TSR
18 John Lilburne flogged and pilloried in London for distributing unlicensed Puritan books. His punishment turns into an anti-government demonstration. TKP, DNB
25 Nobles, lairds and clergymen assemble at Inverness where the Covenant is signed and introduced into northern Scotland. TSR


  (Early May) Scottish lords living in England sent home to use their influence against the Covenanters. Source: TSR
8 The King appoints the Marquis of Hamilton his commissioner to resolve the crisis in Scotland. TKP


9 The Marquis of Hamilton arrives in Edinburgh. ODNB
12 Conclusion of the trial of John Hampden before the Court of Exchequer for non-payment of ship-money. Seven of the twelve judges rule in favour of the Crown, but the judgment is widely regarded as a moral victory for Hampden and his supporters. DNB
  Representatives of the Covenanters begin negotiations with the Marquis of Hamilton at Holyrood House. TSR
14 Hamilton withdraws a new proclamation from the King when he realises the extent of Covenanter opposition. TSR
21 The King informs Hamilton of his military preparations against the Covenanters. TKP
30 The King issues a proclamation to the lords-lieutenant of the northern counties to muster the trained bands. TKP


  (Early July) After two weeks fruitless negotiation, the Marquis of Hamilton leaves Edinburgh for further consultation with the King. Source: TSR
1 King Charles discusses the troubles in Scotland with the English Privy Council for the first time. TKP, TSR
4 Hamilton returns to Edinburgh after receiving orders from the King to issue a proclamation to pacify the Covenanters while secret preparations are made to use military force against them. TSR
20 Accompanied by lairds and clergymen, the Earl of Montrose arrives in Aberdeen to persuade the magistrates and council to sign the Covenant. Influenced by the Arminian "Aberdeen Doctors" of the university, they refuse. TSR


  (Mid August) A convention of Scottish burghs held at Stirling orders that no burgh may appoint a magistrate or burgess who has not signed the Covenant. Source: TSR
  (Mid August) Hamilton presents the Covenanters with a set of demands from the King that they must agree to before a general Assembly may be called. TSR
17 Hamilton's demands rejected by the Covenanters. TSR
25 Hamilton leaves Edinburgh. At Dunbar, he meets Lords Traquair, Roxburgh and Southesk. They draw up articles of advice for the King. TSR
27 Covenanter leaders begin preparations for electing commissioners to the general Assembly. TSR


9 King Charles signs new instructions to Hamilton, apparently making concessions to the Covenanters but playing for time while military preparations continue. Source: TSR
  (Mid-September) Hamilton returns to Edinburgh. TSR
21 The King informs Hamilton that cannon are being sent north to Hull. GFEF
22 Proclamation issued in Edinburgh summoning an Assembly to meet in Glasgow in November 1638 and a Parliament in Edinburgh in May 1639. An alternative covenant, known as the "King's Covenant" presented for signing. TSR
  Presbyteries begin electing commissioners for the Glasgow Assembly. TSR
  (End of September) Covenanters issue a further protestation against the King's latest proclamations and against the King's Covenant, which is not widely supported. TSR


24 The Edinburgh presbytery issues a complaint against the bishops calling for them to appear before the Assembly to answer for their errors in introducing the new liturgy. This encourages the bishops to avoid the Assembly. Source: TSR


21 Opening of the Glasgow Assembly. Source: TSR, TKP
22 Alexander Henderson elected moderator of the Glasgow Assembly. TSR
23 Archibald Johnston of Wariston elected clerk of the Assembly against the wishes of Hamilton, who had proposed another candidate. TSR
27 Completion of the formal constitution of the Assembly. With the overwhelming dominance of Covenanters, Hamilton decides to dissolve it. TSR
28 The Marquis of Hamilton announces the dissolution of the Glasgow Assembly and walks out. He calls a meeting of the Privy Council to draft a proclamation confirming and justifying his action. The Earl of Argyll remains at the Assembly, which continues to sit in defiance of Hamilton. TSR, TKP


4 The Glasgow Assembly nullifies the acts and pronouncements of previous General Assemblies (between 1606-18) because they had been dominated by the King and Bishops. Source: TSR
6 The Assembly condemns Laud's Prayer Book and the Book of Canons. TSR
8 The Assembly votes to abolish episcopacy from the Scottish Church and to declare it unlawful. TSR
  King Charles issues a proclamation annulling every act made, or to be made, by the Glasgow Assembly. Further instructions issued to the Lords-Lieutenant of the northern and midland counties to arm and drill the trained Bands. Colonel Astley sent on a tour of the north to assist preparations for war. TKP
10 The Assembly abolishes the "popish" Five Articles of Perth, which had been reluctantly accepted by the General Assembly of 1618. TSR
19 The Marquis of Hamilton denounces the proceedings of the Glasgow Assembly. TSR
20 The Assembly dissolves itself after affirming the Kirk's power to summon annual assemblies and calling one to meet in July 1639. TSR
28 Hamilton leaves Scotland to report to the King. TSR


DNB: Dictionary of National Biography

GFEF: God's Fury, England's Fire, Michael Braddick (London 2008)

ODNB: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

TSR: The Scottish Revolution 1637-44, David Stevenson (Newton Abbott 1973)

TKP: The King's Peace 1637-41, C.V. Wedgwood (London 1955)

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