National Records of Scotland

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Robert Wodrow (1679-1734)

Robert Wodrow (1679-1734)

Ecclesiastical historian

Robert Wodrow was educated at Glasgow University. While minister of the small parish of Eastwood, near Glasgow, he devoted much time to writing the 'History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland from the Restoration to the Revolution'. He penned the term 'the killing times' to describe the persecution of the Covenanters after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660. He was one of the first historians to use 'publick records, original papers, and manuscripts of that time' as well as first-hand accounts such as 'the genuine declaration of William Sutherland, hangman at Irvine: wherein his knowledge of the scriptures, his courage, and behaviour toward the persecutors, and their barbarous treatment of him at Air, are plainly set forth'. His book was an attempt to record and denounce the persecution of religious dissenters in Scotland and was referred to, notably during the Disruption of 1843. It was at this time that the Wodrow Society was set up to print his, and other, ecclesiastical works.

Testament of Robert Wodrow

National Records of Scotland, CC9/6/61 pp 253-454

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