Archival Collections at St. Giles' Cathedral

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St. Giles' Cathedral
Collection ID: COV.STG.1638

National Covenant - Original Copy, 1638-02-28


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Location of this collection:
St Giles' Cathedral
High Street
Edinburgh, Midlothian EH1 1RE, UK

Collection description


1 Leaves
Scots .


Custodial history:

THE NATIONAL COVENANT. The compiling of the document that became known as the National Covenant was entrusted to Archibald Johnston of Wariston and Alexander Henderson on the 23rd February 1638. Revisions were made to the document on the 24th, 26th, and 27th of February, at which point it was taken to the Tailors' Hall and read out to an assembly of commissioners sent by the Presbyteries and then to a gathering of around 250 ministers. On 28th February, the revised copy was signed at Greyfriars Kirk by a gathering of nobles, barons, and gentlemen. That evening, Johnston wrote out "foor principal copyes in parchment" and the following morning the copies were signed by near 300 ministers and commissioners of the Royal Burghs. The copy held in St Giles' was originally held at Dundas Castle, after being "delyverit to the Laird of Dundas to be keipit". It remained there until 1924 when it came into the possession of Alexander Wallace, a justice of the peace from Aberdour in Fife, who presented to St Giles' Cathedral in 1926.

(Source – 'The National Covenant: a list of Known Copies' D. Stevenson – Scottish Church History Society, 1988).

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