Scotland and the Civil War 1639–51


Map Code: Ax02124

Between 1639–51, England, Scotland and Ireland fought the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. In 1639, King Charles I unsuccessfully used military means to coerce Scotland into adopting Anglican religious practices. The Scots, most of whom were Covenanters – a dissenting Protestant group, resisted and the ‘Bishops’ Wars’ ensued. Meanwhile, the huge influx of Protestant Scottish and English into Ulster, and its displacement of Catholicism, erupted into conflict at Carrickfergus (1642) and Benburb (1646), when Irish Catholics and Scottish Covenanters clashed. The Covenanters, now a de facto Scottish government, supported the English pro-parliamentary forces after the schism between the king and parliament in 1642, resulting in Civil War. The Covenanters fought alongside the Parliamentarians at Marston Moor (1644), a resounding defeat for the Royalists. In 1649, after executing Charles I, parliament created the Commonwealth of England (1649–53), during which time it lost the support of the Scottish Covenanters, who feared the future of Presbyterianism under the Commonwealth. Many became pro-Royalist and fought at the Battle of Worcester (1651), crushing pro-Parliamentarian forces.

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