'The grave and solemn Earl' : a political study of John Kennedy, sixth Earl of Cassillis during the Covenanting movement, 1637-1651

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Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2016
Thesis identifier
  • T14337
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 201392738
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Qualification Name
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  • The Scottish Covenanting Movement can be viewed as a reaction to the absentee monarchy of Charles I and his liturgical innovations designed to bring Scotland into religious uniformity with England. The Covenanters asserted their right to uphold Presbyterian church governance and rebelled against the monarch. John Kennedy, sixth Earl of Cassillis, was a committed Covenanter and powerful nobleman in the south of Ayrshire. Cassillis has been overlooked as a major operator in the Covenanting Movement by modern scholarship. He is viewed by most historians simply as a radical Covenanter and committed supporter of the Kirk, however, Cassillis operated on many platforms of public life during the Covenanting Movement. This thesis will study his political career throughout the Covenanting Movement, in the years 1637-1651.Before assessing Cassillis' contribution to the Covenanting Movement at a national level, it is first pertinent to assess the Earl in the locality. In doing so, a local perspective will illustrate how the nobility in early modern Scotland operated outside the national political spheres. This will open the thesis up for wider discussion of Cassillis' political career and the wider Covenanting Movement. Given the parliamentary innovations of the Covenanters, this thesis will incorporate Cassillis' activity in Parliament throughout the whole of the Covenanting period. In addition to this, Cassillis' military actions will also be incorporated due to his recurring role as a colonel in the Covenanting armies. Outside of Parliament, Cassillis' political activity will also be incorporated, such as his diplomatic missions to the United Provinces and his role as a leading lay figure in the Kirk.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2016
Former identifier
  • 9912525290502996