Following the Scottish Reformation in 1560, two distinct parties emerged, one favouring Presbyterianism and the other Episcopalianism. The Presbyterians entered into a series of covenants to maintain the Protestant Reformation in Scotland in the face of what they saw as encroaching Catholicism, culminating in National Covenant of 1638. The Bloody Covenant tells the story of the century and a half after the Reformation, a period of discrimination, violence and destruction, until the final settlement of the Church of Scotland in the late seventeenth century. It was a period of bitter division which brought the country to the brink of revolution. Ronald Ireland examines events on both a national and a local level, focusing on the royal burgh of Peebles in the Borders, paying particular attention to the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and the subsequent Covenanting struggle. Authoritative and accessible, it is an essential guide to the history of Scotland during this turbulent time.
Ronald Ireland is a retired chartered surveyer. He has been interested in Scottish history since his youth and has lived in Peebles, which features prominently in this book, for forty-five years. He is chairman of the Peebles Civic Society and a member of Historic Scotland.