The Bishops' Wars: Timeline 1638-41

An overview of developments in Scotland and England during the crisis that resulted in the two Bishops' Wars of 1639-40.


Feb 28 First signing of the Scottish National Covenant at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh.
Jun 09 The Marquis of Hamilton arrives in Edinburgh as the King's commissioner to resolve the crisis in Scotland.
Nov 21 The Glasgow Assembly meets.
Nov 28 The Marquis of Hamilton declares the dissolution of the Glasgow Assembly, but the Assembly continues to sit.
Dec 08 The Glasgow Assembly abolishes bishops from the Scottish Kirk.
Dec 20 The Glasgow Assembly dissolves itself.


Jan 26 King Charles proclaims his intention to raise an army against the Scots.
March Outbreak of the First Bishops' War.
May 30 Covenanter troops occupy Kelso near the border with England.
Jun 03 The English cavalry retreats from Kelso; collapse of morale in the King's army.
Jun 05 The King agrees to negotiate with the Scots.
Jun 19 Signing of the Pacification of Berwick.
Dec 05 King Charles informs his Privy Council that he will summon a Parliament in England to prepare for another war with Scotland.


Apr 13 The Short Parliament meets.
May 05 The King dissolves the Short Parliament.
Jun 02 The Committee of Estates appointed to govern Scotland and to prepare for war with England
Aug 03 The Committee of Estates votes to mount a pre-emptive invasion of England: the Second Bishops' War.
Aug 28 The battle of Newburn: the English army defeated.
Oct 26 Signing of the Treaty of Ripon.
Nov 03 The Long Parliament meets.
Nov 10 Scottish commissioners arrive in London to negotiate the finalisation of the Treaty of Ripon.


Jul 24 The Scottish Parliament approves the draft of the treaty negotiated in London.
Aug 10 King Charles signs the Treaty of London with the Scottish commissioners.
Aug 14 The King arrives in Edinburgh.
Aug 28 King Charles ratifies all legislation recently passed in the Scottish Parliament.