Convention of Estates of Scotland
The Convention of Estates of Scotland sat between 16 March 1689 and 5 June 1689 to determine the settlement of the Scottish throne following the invasion of William, Prince of Orange. Whilst comparable to the English Convention of that time it was far more revolutionary and sought to undo most of the Restoration Settlement
Restoration (Scotland)
The Restoration of the monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the government of occupation that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...


Presbyterians through the means of 'rabblings' and other means of intimidation and violence against Episcopalians
Scottish Episcopal Church
The Scottish Episcopal Church is a Christian church in Scotland, consisting of seven dioceses. Since the 17th century, it has had an identity distinct from the presbyterian Church of Scotland....

 ensured that the Convention was dominated by the view of the south west and by Williamite
Williamite refers to the followers of King William III of England who deposed King James II in the Glorious Revolution. William, the Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, replaced James with the support of English Whigs....

s, and was not representative of Scotland as a whole.

The Convention declared the throne vacant but did not accept that King James VII had abdicated. James VII was deemed to have lost the throne by forfaulture, a fedual term similar to forfeit, because of alleged misgovernment. The throne was offered to William and Mary
William and Mary
The phrase William and Mary usually refers to the coregency over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, of King William III & II and Queen Mary II...

, with regal power residing with William II
William III of England
William III & II was a sovereign Prince of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland...

, by reason that William held the throne de facto, by right of conquest. Not all members of the Convention were for replacing James VII with William II and the dubious proceedings of the Convention were challenged by such as John Paterson, Archbishop of Glasgow
John Paterson (archbishop)
John Paterson , the last archbishop of Glasgow, was the youngest son of John Paterson, bishop of Ross. John, after some preliminary studies at Marischal College, University of Aberdeen, was admitted as a student of theology at the University of St Andrews on 13 March 1655, and he is entered as...


The Convention sought the extirpation of episcopacy and the reduction of the Scottish Monarchy from an Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

 to a Limited monarchy as part of the revolutionary constitutional change. The Convention considered Union with England but the Presbyterians were wary of English episcopacy
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 and the matter was deferred.

The Convention drew up two documents, the Claim of Right
Claim of Right Act 1689
The Claim of Right is an Act passed by the Parliament of Scotland in April 1689. It is one of the key documents of Scottish constitutional law.-Background:...

, which listed the alleged misdoings of James VII and indicating what they expected from William II, and the Article of Grievances, which sought to reduce the powers of the monarchy. It is not clear if the offer of the crown to William and Mary was conditional upon acceptances of the Claim of Right and Articles of Grievances. The coronation oath was changed to accept the new position of a Presbyterian Kirk. William was reluctant to consider the Grievances but accepted both documents at his admission to power in Scotland on 11 May 1689.

King William II turned the Convention into a parliament
Parliament of Scotland
The Parliament of Scotland, officially the Estates of Parliament, was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The unicameral parliament of Scotland is first found on record during the early 13th century, with the first meeting for which a primary source survives at...

 on 5 June. King James VII declared all those assembled in the parliament to be rebels. The Established Church
Scottish Episcopal Church
The Scottish Episcopal Church is a Christian church in Scotland, consisting of seven dioceses. Since the 17th century, it has had an identity distinct from the presbyterian Church of Scotland....

 was subsequently overthrown and replaced by the Presbyterian Kirk
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

, likewise the Lords of the Articles was abolished. The first estate was abolished and the barons were divided into two estates. The devisive nature of the Convention and its changes to the Scottish constitution left many dissafffected. A significant number would become Jacobites
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...


Further reading

R. S. Rait, The Parliaments of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1920).

K. M. Brown, R. J. Tanner and A. J. Mann (eds), The History of the Scottish Parliament, volumes 1 and 2 (Edinburgh, 2004-6)
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