‘The Scots have dealt very ill with me – very ill’ said Charles II, according to the diarist, Samuel Pepys. Once firmly ensconced on the English throne, Charles would take his revenge at leisure, ignoring the Scottish parliament, ruling there through commissioners. This royal rancour appears ungrateful, given that in 1651 Scottish armies had fought – to near annihilation – to support his claim for the throne against Cromwell. But his Scottish allies were Covenanters, hard-line Presbyterians who had alienated a seemingly natural ally like Cromwell, and they demanded Charles to vow to England’s forced conversion to their faith as price of their support. Charles renounced this oath, and by the Rescissory Act (1661), ejected Covenanter ministers from their livings. Guerrilla warfare resulted, and his commissioners raised militias to aid suppression. The Crown appointed an Archbishop of St Andrew’s; this was anathema to the Covenanters, who assassinated him (1679). The New Model Militia crushed the ensuing rebellion in the ‘Killing Times’ (1680–88).
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