Edinburgh and the Reformation

Edinburgh and the Reformation

Edinburgh and the Reformation

Edinburgh and the Reformation

Excerpt

This book has been a long time in the making and owes much to others. The research for it began in 1969 and later emerged as a doctoral thesis of the University of London. It has undergone considerable changes since then. Part one, which looks at the city itself as well as its reactions to the Reformation, is largely new; parts two and three have been rewritten; the appendices have been revised and recast. The idea for the book first came from Professor A. G. Dickens, who guided and encouraged an initially reluctant postgraduate student into the study of the Reformation in the Scottish burghs. It owes more to him than he would admit or even suspect. The first breakthrough in that research — in discovering the details of a protesant coup and catholic countercoup in the town in 1559 — owed a great deal to the painstaking, expert help of Dr. Walter Makey, Edinburgh City Archivist, in deciphering what at times approached the indecipherable. His help and advice, always generously given, have continued through many hours spent in Edinburgh’s records. Any student of Edinburgh history owes much to Dr. Makey; I owe more than most. I must reserve a particular and special debt of gratitude to Professor Gordon Donaldson. He has read the whole of the text, saving me from grievous error on a number of occasions, and offered advice on many points, too many to acknowledge individually. I have benefited immeasurably from his unrivalled knowledge of this period and from exposure to his meticulous scholarship, which is a model any historian would do well to emulate. The faults which remain are indelibly my own.

I wish to thank the Company of Scottish History and the editors of the Scottish Historical Review and the Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research for their permission to reproduce in appendices I and ii material which first appeared in their journals. Particular thanks go to Dr. James Kirk for his generous permission to include details from his doctoral thesis relating to the members of Edinburgh kirk sessions in the 1570s and to Dr. Marcus Merriman for a guiding hand through the difficult waters of the 1540s.

The material in the book has been gathered mostly in a series of expeditions to Edinburgh and London. These would have been impossible without, on the one hand, the assistance of the staffs of the Scottish Record Office, the . . .

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