The April Committee 1640: The Projection and Reflection of the Covenanting Revolution

Steve Murdoch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article discusses the methods by which the Scottish Covenanters sold their revolution against the government of Charles I to a number of European powers including Sweden, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and England. Rather than simply selling their revolution in terms of a theological dispute with their king (Charles I), the Covenanters demonstrated an acute awareness of their international allies and potential enemies. They thus sought to engage with each through a variety of diplomatic missions all sent out by a committee that met in one week. The same members of this committee could portray events as Scotland in a variety of ways. Leading sympathetic protestant powers were told of an impending 'Spanish Inquisition' which had to be stopped through military intervention (Sweden and the Dutch). Monarchs more sympathetic to the House of Stuart were told of the Scots as reasonable moderates only seeking international arbitration against a poorly advised king (France, Denmark). In all cases their missions proved successful revealing an astute understanding of international diplomacy the diplomats of Charles I could not match.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationl'Écosse et ses doubles, ancien monde, nouveau monde
Subtitle of host publicationOld World - New World: Scotland and its Doubles
EditorsMorag Monro-Landi
Place of PublicationParis
Publisherl'Harmattan à Paris
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)978-2-296-13629-8
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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