Liberty and authority, the political ideas of presbyterians in England and Scotland during the seventeenth century

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 1978
Thesis identifier
  • T3454
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • This thesis opens with a survey of state policy and puritan political opinion from the 1620's to the l640's, emphasising the puritan notions of a world conflict of protestantism against the counter-reformation, the alleged symbiosis of catholicism with absolutism, and the association of political liberty with economic prosperity. Chaptel two examines the theories of Charles I's Scottish opponents from 1638 to 1641. The political thought of Charles Herle and other English parliamentarians of the first civil war (1642-46) forms the subject of the third chapter, while the fourth is devoted to Samuel Rutherford's Lex Rex, a major work of presbyterian political theory. Chapters five and six,analyse the position of the English presbyterian party in the controversies of 1647 to 1651, including the toleration issue, Pride's Purge, the king's execution, and the Engagement controversy. The seventh chapter explains the political thought of Edward Gee, a notable presbyterian of the interregnum. Chapter eight deals with two aspects of presbyterian relations with the exiled Charles II: his Scottish "restoration" of 1650-51 and the English presbyterians' contribution towards his eventual restoration in 1660. Chapter nine examines the political theories of the Scottish covenanters from the 1660's to the 1680 s. The final chapter studies the English presbyterians' contribution to political thought from 1660 to 1689, including the exclusion crisis of 1679-81. Throughout the thesis the firm constitutionalism of the presbyterians is shown, and emphasis is placed upon elucidating the presbyterian concepts of the nature of liberty and authority, and the characteristic presbyterian justification of their theories by scripture and reason.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 1978
Former identifier
  • 38937