Economic impact of the Reformation

When monasteries were dissolved and cathedrals closed, their property was confiscated. Many people who had been tenants on church land were able to become independent owners. For others, the land passed to the ownership of 'lairds' or landowners.

The acceptance of the Protestant faith can be seen to have had an effect on the conduct of trade with European countries. North Sea trade continued, particularly with the Protestant Dutch. Although business with France progressed, prospective dealings with land under the control of the Spanish in the Low Countries were not an option due to their Catholic ties.

Although there was some unrest during James’ personal reign, the peaceful nature of Scotland at the time enabled trade to flourish, with new markets opening up south of the border when James became King of England.