Why did the young Protestant monarch William of Orange fail to make his mark on Scotland? How did a particularly hard-line 'Protester' branch of Presbyterianism (the last off-shoot of the Convenanting movement) become the established Church in Scotland? And how did it come about that Scotland suffered a kind of 'cultural revolution' after the Williamite revolution, nipping in the bud the proto-Enlightenment? This book reviews the political events that led to the abolition of episcopacy in 1689 and with it the concerted attack on the parish clergy. It explores for the first time the background and influences that led to the brutal 'rabbling of the curates' in south-west Scotland. It explores the mind-set of the notorious Covenanting tract Naphtali (1667), and of its author Sir James Stewart of Goodtrees, who was the author of the Act establishing hard-line Presbyterianism in 1690, and became Lord Advocate of Scotland in 1692. The purges of the universities after the 1690 Act led to a hardening of attitudes, and the on-going purging of the parishes led ultimately to the emptying of two-thirds of all the parishes of Scotland.
The book suggests how these events contributed to the notion of 'King William's ill years'.
Ann Shukman graduated in Modern Languages from Cambridge and gained a doctorate in Russian Literary theory from Oxford. Her lifelong interests have been Russia and the Christian church. She was one of the first women ordained in the Church of England, in 1994. At various times of her life she has been Lecturer in Russian Language and Literature at Birmingham University and Keele University, and tutor for Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She was also Warden of the St Theosevia Centre for Christian Spirituality in Oxford. She moved to Scotland in 2000 and has since become passionate about Scottish culture, history and church history.