The Scottish Reformation 1560


Map Code: Ax01760

Despite its uncompromising reputation, the Presbyterian Reformation in Scotland was implemented with far more tolerance than was displayed south of the border. Monasteries were not abruptly dissolved with their assets seized for the royal coffers, but simply allowed to die out with their residents. Similarly, the process of conversion of the general population was undertaken with little coercion or persecution. This arose, in part, from expedience. In England Reformation was the personal project of a powerful monarch; in Scotland, Mary remained Catholic and, when deposed in 1567, would lead a revolt against the new orthodoxy. The Reformation itself had been an explicit act of insubordination; Mary had authorized Parliament to convene in her absence providing religion was not discussed. It sat on 1 August 1560, with 14 earls, six bishops, 21 abbots and 22 Burgh commissioners (and other gentry) present, and over three weeks passed three Acts abolishing the old faith in Scotland.

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