SCOT, William (1558-1642), minister of Cupar. An apologetical narration of the state and government of the Kirk of Scotland since the Reformation. [circa 1633]. CONTEMPORARY MANUSCRIPT. Folio (2980x192mm), 88 leaves, paginated as 176 pp, written in brown ink in a small cursive bookhand, mostly 53 lines, margins ruled in brown. Contemporary limp vellum (crinkled and ties lacking).
An important Presbyterian history from 1560 to 1630. Although it seems to have circulated in manuscript, it was not printed until 1846, when it was edited by David Laing for the Wodrow Society in Edinburgh under the above title. The present copy has no title, but is described on the fly-leaf in an 18th-century hand as 'History of the Church of Scotland from the Reformation till the present 1633'. It is also there ascribed to William Scot. Laing in the preface to his edition lists 5 extant manuscripts of the text, but there must have been more, although this is clearly one of the earliest, with only minor differences to the printed version. Scot was very active in the Kirk and argued against the Articles of the Assembly at Perth in 1618. He is said to have shown his history during its composition to Calderwood. As Laing describes it 'The Apologetical Narrative has always been regarded as an authority by Presbyterian writers from the time it was written'.