Charles I’s views of himself, theology and politics became increasingly contradictory to the beliefs of the Presbyterians. Charles tried to bring together the laws and churches of Scotland and England, with all roads leading to himself.
In 1637 he produced the Book of Common Prayer, written without the involvement of the General Assembly. With their belief that Scottish Protestants were related directly to God, not via a King or interference from ‘all kinds of Papistry’, the Presbyterians were compelled to pen The National Covenant in 1638.
A major expansion of their Covenant of 1581, it was signed firstly in Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh, with around 300,000 signatures given to copies in churches around the country.
Those who signed were described as having been ‘covenanted’.