Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.


(kəvənăn`tərz), in Scottish history, groups of Presbyterians bound by oath to sustain each other in the defense of their religion. The first formal Covenant was signed in 1557, signaling the beginning of the Protestant effort to seize power in Scotland. It was renewed thereafter at times of crisis, most notably in the 17th cent. The National Covenant of 1638 aimed to unite the Scots in opposition to the episcopal innovations of King Charles I and William LaudLaud, William,
1573–1645, archbishop of Canterbury (1633–45). He studied at St. John's College, Oxford, and was ordained a priest in 1601. From the beginning Laud showed his hostility to Puritanism. He became president of St.
..... Click the link for more information.
, especially the adaptation for Scottish use of the English Book of Common Prayer. The Covenanters successfully resisted the king's armies in the Bishops' WarsBishops' Wars,
two brief campaigns (1639 and 1640) of the Scots against Charles I of England. When Charles attempted to strengthen episcopacy in Scotland by imposing (1637) the English Book of Common Prayer, the Scots countered by pledging themselves in the National Covenant
..... Click the link for more information.
 (1639–40). In the English civil warEnglish civil war,
1642–48, the conflict between King Charles I of England and a large body of his subjects, generally called the "parliamentarians," that culminated in the defeat and execution of the king and the establishment of a republican commonwealth.
..... Click the link for more information.
 they supported the parliamentary party only after the English Parliament had accepted (1643) the Solemn League and Covenant, which provided for the eventual establishment of a Presbyterian state church in England and Ireland as well as in Scotland. After the first civil war, however, the Independents in the English army secured control of affairs and prevented implementation of the Covenant. The Scots, therefore, concluded the agreement known as the "Engagement" with Charles I, by which the king agreed to establish Presbyterianism in England if restored to the throne. As a result, the Covenanters fought for Charles I in the second civil war (1648) and, after his execution (1649), they fought for Charles II, who also subscribed (1650) to the Solemn League and Covenant. They were subdued, however, by Oliver Cromwell's conquest of Scotland (1650–51). After the Restoration (1660), Charles II resumed his father's effort to impose episcopacy in Scotland. The Covenanters were subjected to alternate attempts to conciliate them and to hunt them down. The result was a series of new compacts of resistance among them and new attempts to suppress them. A rebellion in 1679, which culminated in a rout at Bothwell Bridge, was met with harsh repression, as was the resistance of Richard CameronCameron, Richard
, 1648–1680, Scottish leader of the Cameronians, an extreme group of Covenanters. In 1672, under the influence of the open-air preacher John Welch, he became a Covenanter preacher and was known for his eloquence.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and his followers, who issued the Sanquhar Declaration in 1680. The troubles ended with the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which restored the Presbyterian Church in Scotland.


See study by J. D. Douglas (1964).

References in periodicals archive ?
There was, first, the principle of national independence--the Crown of Scotland not subject to any other Crown; 2nd, the principle of the Reformation, the Bible above the Church, and above all human authority; 3rd, the principle of the Covenanters, conscience above the King; and 4th, the principle of the Revolution--the King must reign according to the law.
The Blasphemy of Jan van Leiden, written after Menno's baptism and call to leadership, was addressed to "all true brothers and Covenanters in the dispersion." It was thus.
Instead Carlton quotes Sir James Turner (95), a former covenanter serving in the Scottish Royal Army that officers served only for money.
He makes little effort at historical accuracy in either case, however--one of the most significant rituals, the improvised trial of Morton by the Covenanters at Drumshinnel, was based on a story about smugglers, not presbyterians (see Dickson 56).
The crowd tried to emulate the achievements of their Covenanter ancestors in order to seek a new era of organized activism and social mobilization (see Krull 725-26).
My initial introduction was through an organisation called Junior Covenanters, run in Stafford by the giant David Weaver and the less robust Paul Hitchenor, who was afflicted by a chronic stammer which disappeared only in the pulpit.
Neil Oliver assesses the impact of the Covenants of 1638 and 1643 - written contracts with God which sought to redefine the position of the Scottish Covenanters.
A History of Scotland (8.00pm) Neil Oliver assesses the Covenants of 1638 and 1643 - written contracts with God which sought to redefine the position of the Scottish Covenanters.
These were contracts that sought to redefine both the position of the Scottish Covenanters in Britain, and the role of Britain itself.
Undoubtedly, the Damascus Document is one of the most important sources of information on the early history of the Qumran community, and therefore a vital source for an assessment of Qumran covenanters' attitudes towards the Jerusalem temple.
He was the author or editor of some forty-four books, including biographical studies of celebrated poets and authors, popular editions of their works, and historical studies of Covenanters and eminent Scots.
The Qumran reckoning, in all likelihood, was known to the Judean Covenanters from the books of Jubilees and Enoch and was not their own innovation.