Declaration: the Solemn League and Covenant between Scotland and England
Covenant to be between the two kingdoms

The which day [John Lindsay], earl of Lindsay produced and exhibited before the convention of estates a covenant agreed upon between the committees of the convention of estates and of the general assembly and the commissioners of both the houses of the parliament of England, as the result of their consultations concerning the desires of both houses of the parliament of England for a near and strict union to be entered into by the two kingdoms. Of the which covenant the tenor follows:

We noblemen, barons, knights, gentlemen, citizens, burgesses, ministers of the Gospel and commons of all sorts of the kingdoms of England and Scotland, by the providence of God living in one island under one king and of one true Protestant reformed religion, having before our eyes the glory of God and the advancement of the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the honour and happiness of the king's majesty and his posterity and the true public liberty, safety and peace of the kingdoms in which everyone's private condition is included; and calling to mind the treacherous and bloody plots, conspiracies, attempts and practices of the enemies of God against the true religion and professors thereof in all places, especially in this island ever since the reformation of religion, and how much their rage, power and presumption are of late and at this time increased and exercised, whereof the deplorable estate of the church and kingdom of Ireland, the distressed estates of the church and kingdom of England and the dangerous estate of the church and kingdom of Scotland are present and public testimonies. We have now at last (after the other means of supplication, remonstrance, protestation and sufferings) for the preservation of ourselves and our religion from utter ruin and destruction, according to the commendable practice of these kingdoms in former times and the examples of God's people in other nations, after mature deliberation, resolved and determined to enter into a mutual and solemn league and covenant, in respect of which we subscribe and with our hands lifted up to the most high God do swear:

1. That we shall all and each one of us sincerely, really and constantly though the grace of God endeavour in our several callings and places the preservation of the true Protestant reformed religion in the church of Scotland in doctrine, worship, discipline and government according to the word of God, and the reformation of religion in the church of England, according to the same holy word and the example of the best reformed churches, and as may bring the churches of God in both nations to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in religion, confession of faith, form of church government, directory for worship and catechising, that we and our posterity after us may as brethren live in faith and love.

2. That we shall in the same manner without respect of persons endeavour the extirpation of popery, prelacy, superstition, heresy, schism and profaneness and whatsoever shall be found to be contrary to sound doctrine and the power of godliness in both nations, least we partake in other men's sins and thereby be in danger to receive of their plagues, and that the Lord may be one and his name one in both kingdoms.

3. We shall with the same sincerity, reality and constancy in our several vocations endeavour with our estates and lives to preserve the rights and privileges of parliaments and the liberties of the kingdoms respectively, and to preserve and defend the king's majesty, his person and authority in the preservation and defence of the true religion and liberties of the kingdoms, that the world may bear witness with our conscience of our loyalties and that we have no thought nor intentions to diminish his majesty's just power and greatness.

4. We shall also with all faithfulness endeavour the discovery of all such as have been or shall be incendiaries, malignants or evil instruments to hinder the reformation of religion, or to divide the king from his people, or the one kingdom from the other, that they may be brought to public trial and receive appropriate punishment as the degree of their offence shall require or deserve, or the supreme judicatories of both kingdoms respectively or others having power from them shall judge convenient.

5. That we shall all and each of us according to our place and interest inviolably observe the articles of the late treaty of peace between the two nations, and shall by all good means endeavour that justice be done without partiality in manner aforesaid upon the opposers of it, to the end that this blessed peace may be perpetual to all posterity.

6. That we shall also to the utmost of our ability in this common cause of religion, liberty and peace of the kingdoms assist and defend all those that enter into this league and covenant in the maintaining and preserving thereof, and shall not suffer ourselves directly or indirectly by whatsoever combination, persuasion or terror to be divided and withdrawn from this blessed union and conjunction, whether to make defection to the contrary party or to give ourselves into a detestable indifference or neutrality in the cause of God, good of the kingdoms and honour of the king, but shall all the days of our lives zealously and constantly continue in that particular matter against all opposition and promote the same according to our power against all hindrances and impediments whatsoever, and what we are not able ourselves to suppress and overcome, we shall reveal and make known, that it may be timely prevented and removed; all which we shall do as in the sight of God. And because both nations are guilty of many sins and provocations against God and his son, Jesus Christ, as is manifest by our present distresses and dangers, the fruits thereof we profess and declare before God and the world our unfeigned desire to be humbled for our own sins and the sins of both nations, especially that we have not as we ought valued the inestimable benefit of the Gospel, that we have not laboured for the purity and power thereof, that we have not endeavoured to receive Christ in our hearts, which are the causes of other transgressions so much abounding amongst us; and our true and unfeigned purpose, desire and endeavour for ourselves and all others under our power and charge, both in public and private, in all duties we owe to God and man to amend our lives, and each one to go before the other in the example of a real reformation that the Lord may turn away his wrath and heavy indignation and establish both the nations in truth and peace. And this covenant we make in presence of the almighty God, the searcher of all hearts, with a true intention to perform the same as we shall answer at that great day when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, most humbly beseeching the Lord to strengthen us by his holy spirit for this end, and to bless our desires and proceedings with such success as may be deliverance and safety to his people and encouragement to other Christian churches groaning under or in danger of the yoke of anti-Christian tyranny, to join in the same or similar association and covenant to the glory of God, the enlargement of the kingdom of Jesus Christ and the peace and tranquillity of Christian states and commonwealth.

The committees of the convention of estates of Scotland and of the general assembly, being appointed to meet with the commissioners of the two houses of the parliament of England upon the papers delivered in by the said commissioners to the convention of estates and to the general assembly upon the [...] of this instant 1643 concerning the desires of both houses for a near and strict union to be entered into by the two kingdoms; and it being declared of the said meetings with what sensible affections the general assembly and convention did receive the desires above-mentioned, and how beneficial it would be for the more firm settlement of the said union that a covenant should be entered into by both nations, and this form thereof being by all the aforesaid persons taken to most serious debate and consideration and agreed to, it was thereupon resolved by them that it should be presented to the general assembly, to the convention of the estates of Scotland and to the two houses of the parliament of England by their respective committees and commissioners, that it might with all speed receive their respective resolutions.

  1. NAS. PA8/1, f.86v-88v. Back