Thursday, August 13, 2009

The General Assembly of 1638

Following the tumultous scenes in Scotland with the signing of Scotland's National Covenant on 28th February 1638, a General Assembly was held on 21 November of the same year, at Glasgow Cathedral. It was a revolutionary meeting which saw the Covenanters take control of the Kirk and effectively seize power in Scotland. Of the 204 men gathered there to represent every Presbytery in Scotland were some of Ulster interest:

Eagle Wing passengers:
James Hamilton, Minister at Dumfries (ex Ballywalter)
John Mackleland, Minister at Kirkcudbright (ex Newtownards)
John Livingstone, Minister at Stranraer (ex Killinchy)
Robert Blair, Minister at Ayr (ex Bangor)
John Stewart, former Provost of Ayr

Eagle Wing had returned in failure to Ulster in November 1636. But exactly two years later these five men were at the very centre of the new political power in Scotland.

also of interest are:
James Blair, Minister at Portmontgomerie (the era when Portpatrick was renamed by Hugh Montgomery in honour of himself)
The Earl of Eglinton (Sir Hugh Montgomery's cousin)

The full list is extensive and includes great men such as Samuel Rutherford (Minister at Anwoth) David Dickson (Irvine), Archibald Campbell, James Sharp (later to be assassinated when he switched sides) and Alexander Henderson. With thanks to Stephen Gregory at Union College for his assistance last week, which led to me getting the full list of attendees.