Wandering Willie's Tale Historical Context

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The story begins with an account of Sir Robert Redgauntlet's involvement in actual historical events of the second half of the seventeenth century, including the mid-century civil wars and the persecution of the Covenanters after 1660. The Covenanters were the supporters of the Presbyterian National Covenant of 1638, which had aimed at abolishing bishops in the Church. During the civil wars of the 1640s, the Presbyterians succeeded in removing the bishops. After Charles II regained the throne in 1660, however, the bishops were restored, the Episcopalian opponents of the Presbyterians took over control of the national Church of Scotland, and many Presbyterian ministers lost their positions. Some of these ejected ministers took to preaching at open-air field-meetings, which the government tried to suppress. Open warfare broke out in 1679, resulting in the defeat of the Covenanters and the imposition of punitive measures on Presbyterians, such as...

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This section contains 678 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Wandering Willie's Tale Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Wandering Willie's Tale from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.