The Covenanters World

Where in the world are people interested in the history of the Scottish Covenanters? Around ninety per cent of the hits on this blog come from the Scotland and the British Isles, the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

The map below shows where all of the hits from this year so far have come from.

I am not sure about the status of Svalbard on the internet, but it is the only European area not to record a hit.

Antarctica does not even appear on the map, but it would be nice to know if someone in that bleak most presbyterian of lands was interested in the history of Scottish muirs.

In the Americas, Greenland, Cuba and the Falkland Islands make unlikely bedfellows with no hits, as do some South and Central American states such as Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and Uruguay.

In Asia, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, the Central Asian ‘Stans, North Korea. Laos or Burma all returned zero hits. China also recorded no hits, but some did make it through from Hong Kong. One suspects that censorship is the major issue in most of those cases.

‘Francophone’ Africa and East Africa have so far proven particularly resistant to the allure of the Scottish Covenanters.

Where does the person with the most unlikely interest in the history of the Covenanters live? Let us all know by leaving a comment below.

Good night and good luck,



~ by drmarkjardine on October 17, 2012.

7 Responses to “The Covenanters World”

  1. My map doesn’t have as much orange 🙂

  2. Does a huge scepticism about 99.9% of the martyrology myth count as “the most unlikely interest in the history of the Covenanters” Mark? If so, then Wollongong, Australia is maybe the answer.

    It is without doubt a fantastic website. Clearly a great amount of time and effort goes is into it and I applaud you for that. You are providing a marvellous resource, although I am sometimes left feeling that a more critical examination of the whole canon of martyrology would expose many (if not all) of the ‘martyr’s’ memorials and grave sites as being a later (& dare I suggest) politically expedient invention!

    Your site definitely is helping me to identify, unravel, decode and disprove so much of the deception and propaganda of the Shields, Wodrow and many other very ‘interested parties’ following the Dutch takeover.

    I think a detailed examination of the funding, appearance and provenance of ‘martyr’s’ memorials would lead to some interesting new findings that might change the way we view this period of history.


    David Wallace

    • Hi David,

      I think I try to lay out what evidence we have and put it in context. It can be read both ways, either confirming or disproving ‘the canon”. Clearly, some of martyrs are later inventions, others have weak evidence, but on the whole I think a substantial number of killings can be stood up.

      Where I think the weakness of many of the traditions lies is in the attempts to remove potentially embarrassing material after the Revolution. There is no doubt that many moderate presbyterian pro-Revolution men were involved in the repression of the Society people. All that had to be tidied away to create a pleasing narrative.

      Good luck,


      • Hi Mark,

        I agree with much that you have written. You do indeed examine material and contextualise it very well for the lay person. My major concern is not with your approach to the material – it is excellent, balanced and provides a large amount of detail – my concern is the context that the material sets needs to be re-examined, challenged and corrected wholesale.

        They say ‘mud sticks’; the authors of this particular history have managed to ‘pull the wool over the eyes’ of almost everybody for nigh on 325 years. Yes, killings did occur – on both sides – many, nothing but brutal acts of cold blooded murder, some were acts of self defence and others (in context) legally sanctioned.

        On page 14 of Sir George MacKenzie’s “Vindication of the Government of Scotland”, the author characterises the situation as being much more like a guerilla war than ‘saintly acts of faith’. He cites an example of the ‘fresh news of murdering of some of the King’s Horse Guards at Swine Abbay [sic] in their beds” as being the reasoning behind soldiers being able to demand of the people which side they were on, and if the answer was against the King then the soldiers were entitled to treat these people as enemies in War and act accordingly.

        Many of those deaths that we can identify probably fall either into the above category, or were actively involved in a movement which held that to murder those “such as opposed their principles” and that “to kill malignants was acceptable to God”.

        MacKenzie claims, “not one died for any Principle in Religion, unless it be thought a Religious Principle to die for Actual Rebellion” (“Vindication of the Government of Scotland” P.15).

        My contention is that a far broader brush needs to be applied to these times and that a true and properly contextualised history is required to fully understand all that occurred. This obviously requires a detailed examination of all sources available and that we distance ourselves from the modern religious and political interpretations of events. The only contemporary elements that should form part of this are our modern understanding of Standards of Proof and our wider understanding of historical bias.



  3. […] can see my previous looks at the where the hits have not come from, here for 2012 and here for […]

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