History of Leith, Edinburgh

June 26, 2008

Anti-Burgher

The Anti-Burghers were opponents of the Burgher Oath on theological grounds.

In 1733 the first secession from the Church of Scotland resulted in the creation of the “Associate Presbytery”. This church split in 1747 over the issue of the Burgher Oath, which required holders of public offices to affirm approval of the religion “presently professed in this kingdom”. The issue was civil compulsion in religious affairs (which, it can be argued, can be seen partly in the context of a post-Battle of Culloden (1746) panic by the Hanoverian government), but was effectively a forerunner of the arguments over the separation of church and state. Opponents of the Burgher Oath on theological grounds became known as the Anti-Burghers — showing a distinctive independence of conviction and an unwillingness to compromise over sincerely held beliefs. The Burgher and Anti-Burgher factions thus formed rival, independent synods. for more click here

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