Midlothian’s 100 Objects - an C18th Covenanter’s Bible

An 18th century Bible used by Covenanters at Flotterstone. Photo: Scottish Life Archive/Scran
An 18th century Bible used by Covenanters at Flotterstone. Photo: Scottish Life Archive/Scran

This photo, taken from the Scran archive, shows a two volume Bible dating from the 18th century.

The pages are curled with use, and the binding is badly damaged.

The photograph is part of the Alasdair Alpin MacGreggor Collection held in the Scottish Life Archive.

The Bible featured was used at the annual Covenanters’ Conventicle at Flotterstone, near Penicuik.

Conventicles first came into being in the 1620s, as private religious meetings held by those who opposed the Church reforms of James VI, such as kneeling for communion.

Conventicles were held throughout the 17th and 18th centuries by Covenanters and presbyterians, despite various government clampdowns and attempts to impose episcopacy.

The Covenanters play a large part in Midlothian history.

The Battle of Rullion Green, near Flotterstone, took place in December, 1666 and was the culmination of the brief Pentland Rising, which began in Dalry. At least 3,000 men of the Scottish Royal Army led by Tam Dalyell of the Binns opposed about 900 Covenanters.

The battlefield is protected by Historic Scotland.

The nearby Old Pentland Cemetery contains the remains of some of the Covenanters who were killed in the battle.

Photo: Scottish Life Archive/Scran

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