Reverend James Guthrie's Ring

Contributed by Smith Museum Stirling Scotland

Reverend James Guthrie's Ring

The Reverend James Guthrie (1612-1661) was one of the most important church ministers in Scotland in the Covenanting era, and his influence in Stirling has lasted in the centuries since his death, by execution on 1 June 1661. He gave his ring to his niece as he ascended the scaffold, and it has passed through the family of six generations of daughters of Church of Scotland ministers. Guthrie was a distinguished scholar who taught theology in the University of St Andrews. He was persuaded to come to Stirling in 1649 as Minister of the Church of the Holy Rude. He was strongly opposed to Episcopal forms of church government and worship, and his sermons were militant, uncompromising and very popular. Disagreements over a document known as the Remonstrance of the Presbyterie of Sterling in 1651 led to the physical division of the Church of the Holy Rude into the East and West Churches, with Mr James preaching in the East. The division was removed only in 1930. Guthrie was an important figure in the ongoing wars within the protestant churches and between church and state. The effects of this are still felt today across the entire religious community.

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