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Urban Politics And the British Civil Wars: Edinburgh, by Laura A.M. Stewart

By Laura A.M. Stewart

On 23 July 1637, riots broke out in Edinburgh. those disturbances brought on the cave in of royal authority around the British Isles. This quantity explores the political and non secular tradition within the Scottish capital from the reign of James VI and that i to the Cromwellian career. It examines for the 1st time the significance of Edinburgh to the formation of the Scottish competition move and to the institution of the innovative Covenanting regime. even though the first concentration is the Scottish capital, an explicitly British viewpoint is maintained. it is a wide-ranging examine that engages in debates approximately early sleek city tradition, the matter of a number of monarchy and the difficulty of post-Reformation spiritual radicalism.

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London, 1999), 24–5. 52 The ratification of the Solemn League and Covenant and the creation of the committee for both kingdoms was the British solution to a problem first expressed by Scotsmen on the streets of Edinburgh on 23 July 1637: how could a sovereign godly nation, with the purest kirk in Christendom, be protected from the corruptions of a bigger, richer, more powerful sister-kingdom? 53 What follows is an account of the intricacy and intensity of the capital’s political and religious world.

9 Treasurers had begun to appear in urban centres around the fourteenth century to manage the burgh’s income, its ‘common good’,10 5 The most useful source for studying Edinburgh’s population is the Annuity Tax. It assessed every household in Edinburgh for a contribution towards clerical stipends, but it ran into serious problems, discussed in Chapter Two. 6 Ewan, Townlife, 55. 7 The Concise Oxford Dictionary (Oxford, 1976), 763. 8 Ancient Laws and Customs of the Burghs of Scotland, ed. C. , Edinburgh, 1868), i, 6, 34, 54, 81.

The town council’s decision to build a parliament house, incorporating space for the central courts, symbolised Edinburgh’s status as a capital—both as an active participator within the Scottish political community, as well as a meeting point for nobles, gentry, ministers and lawyers from all over the country. During the 1500s, Edinburgh had increasingly asserted itself as the main centre for royal government; after the reformation, this situation was confirmed when the new church more or less adopted Edinburgh as its home.

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