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GUTHRIE, James (Rev.) [?-1661] -- Scottish cleric

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a/k/a
The Martyr of Sterling

A leader of the Anti-Engagers in the controversy over whether Scotland should enter into an agreement -- the Engagement -- with the English crown against Cromwell.

Following the execution of Charles I, the Anti-Engagers came to power and invited his son, Charles II, to Scotland. Charles arrived in Scotland in June of 1650 and subscribed to the Covenants of Scotland. On the 23rd of June 1650 Charles accepted the Dunfermline Declaration in which he denounced his father's rejection of the Reformation of the Church of Scotland, repudiated his mother's Roman Catholic idolatry, and vowed to uphold the true religion against all heresies and superstition in the realm of Scotland.

As far as the English were concerned, this was a declaration of War. In the ensuing conflict, Cromwell prevailed, and Charles fled to France.

Scotland now came under the administration of English commissioners for nine years, and former supporters of the crown were harshly treated.

When Cromwell died in 1658, there were immediate calls for Charles II to return to the throne. On the basis of a letter Charles sent to the Edinburgh Presbytery, wherein he reiterated his resolutions to preserve and protect Scotland and its institution, the Scottish Resolutioners were encouraged to support him. The old controversies reawakened and many of the Protestor party were deposed, arrested and imprisoned, including our James Guthrie.

Charles II was no better than his father had been. Arriving in Scotland in January, 1661, he immediately repudiated his former Scottish agreements. Over the next few months, loyal royalists who had suffered under Comwell were rewarded, and Charles began a purge of perceived traitors. The Marquis of Argyle was executed for his role in removing Charles I. Lord Wariston was hunted down and executed. Rutherford and Guthrie were tried and condemned. Rutherford died before he could be executed, but Guthrie kept his appointment with the hangman.  -30-
 

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