Texts – Michael Shields, Faithful Contendings Displayed

Faithful Contendings Displayed is an account of the United Societies written by Michael Shields, the clerk of the Societies’ General Convention from December 1682 until 1690. Shields was the brother of the Societies’ minister, Alexander Shields, and was a writer in Edinburgh.

It was written at some point after 1690 and before Shields’ possible death on the Darien Scheme, possibly as a vindication of the Societies’ actions, but it was not published until 1780 when John Howie of Lochgoin put it in the public domain.

It requires careful reading, as Shields shaped the narrative to conceal embarassing information, but as a source for the Societies it is without parallel.

Michael Shields, Faithful Contendings Displayed (ed. John Howie of Lochgoin, 1780)