There were, at the date of the Restoration, about seventy Presbyterian ministers in the north of Ireland, and most of these were from the west of Scotland, and were imbued with the dislike of Episcopacy which distinguished the Covenanting party.
Enacted that all persons invoking an evil spirit or consulting, covenanting with, entertaining, employing, feeding or rewarding any evil spirit should be guilty of felony and suffer death.
In July 1639, after the signature of the treaty of Berwick, Montrose was one of the Covenanting leaders who visited Charles.
At Tippermuir and Aberdeen he routed Covenanting levies; at Inverlochy he crushed the Campbells, at Auldearn, Alford and Kilsyth his victories were obtained over well-led and disciplined armies.
Exemption was obtained from these incidences of feudalism by large payments to the Crown in return for charters covenanting that Malta should for ever be administered under the royal exchequer without the intervention of intermediary feudal lords.
On the decay of Kincardine, the original capital, Stonehaven became the county town in 1600, and suffered heavily during the covenanting troubles, Montrose setting it on fire in 1645.
John Ruskin, the author's grandfather, a handsome lad of twenty, ran away with Catherine Tweddale, daughter of the Covenanting minister and of Catherine Adair, then a beautiful girl of sixteen.
In 1772 the nawab of Oudh made a treaty with the Rohillas, covenanting to expel the Mahrattas in return for a money payment.
On the 20th of August Montrose was the first of the Covenanting army to cross the Tweed; Newcastle was seized, and Charles, unsupported by England, entered on the course of the Long Parliament and the slaying of Strafford.
Montrose arrived a day too late for Marston Moor (2nd of July 1644); Rupert took his contingent; he entered Scotland in disguise, met the ill-armed Irish levies under Colkitto, raised the Gordons and Ogilvies, who supplied his cavalry, raised the fighting Macdonalds, Camerons and Macleans; in six pitched battles he routed Argyll and all the Covenanting warriors of Scotland, and then, deserted by Colkitto and the Gordons, and surprised by Leslie's cavalry withdrawn from England, was defeated at Philiphaugh near Selkirk, while men and women of his Irish contingent were shot or hanged months after the battle.
A strife arose between Hamilton, who wished to disband the Covenanting army, and Argyll, and gradually the struggle was between Hamilton and the sympathizers with the imprisoned king and Argyll at the head of (or under the heels of) the more fanatical preachers and Presbyterians.
Middleton, with Archbishop Sharp, misgoverned the country, established a high court of commission, exiled the fiercest preachers to Holland, whence they worked endless mischief by agitation and a war of pamphlets; irritated the Covenanting shires, Fife and the south-west, by quartering troops on them to exact fines for Nonconformity, and so caused, during a war with Holland, the Pentland Rising (November 1666).
Societies of Cameronians for the maintenance of the Presbyterian form of worship were formed about 1681; their testimony, "The Informatory Vindication," is dated 1687; and they quickly became the most pronounced and active adherents of the covenanting faith.
Handled in such a way in the west of Scotland that an extreme Covenanting spirit arose, nourished on intolerable grievances, and that the nation as a whole decided against the system which had been promoted by such means.
On the other hand, the Covenanting spirit rose higher and higher among the persecuted till the armed risings.
To the west of Kilmany lies Creich, where Alexander Henderson (1583-1646), the Covenanting divine and diplomatist, and John Sage (1652-1711), the non-juring archbishop of Glasgow, were born.