The Queensferry Paper.
Queensferry Paper was so called because it was discovered in the pocket
of a Covenanter, Henry Hall of Haughshead, when he was seized at South
Queensferry on 4 June 1680. Hall was in the company of Donald Cargill when
they were discovered and an attempt made to arrest them. Cargill made good
his escape but Hall subsequently died from his wounds. The document is
thought to have been a manifesto intended to be taken by Hall to Holland
where dissident Scots could consider a new Presbyterian system for
in Men of the Covenant calls the paper “the most advanced of all
the Covenanting manifestos “. It was a bond strong in its affirmations and
denials; made a solemn confession of faith and frankly disavowed sinful
rulers. It further made a declaration in favour of a republic. The
document was the first formal statement of the dissident group that became
known known as the Cameronians, MacMillanites and Reformed Presbyterians.
A document of some 6,000 words it is much longer and definitive than the
Declaration at Sanquhar which was made shortly after on 22 June 1680.
substance of the document given in Hewisons The Covenanters, ( the
lengthy full text is in Johnson`s Treasury) was :
covenant with and swear acknowledgement of the Trinity and to own the Old
and New Testaments to be the rule of faith.
advance God`s kingdom, free the church from Prelacy and Erastianism, and
remove those who had forfeited authority.
uphold the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, with her standards, polity,
and worship, as an independent government.
overthrow the kingdom of darkness, ie Popery, Prelacy and Erastianism.
discard the royal family and set up a republic.
decline hearing the indulged clergy.
refuse the ministerial function unless duly called and ordained.
defend their worship and liberties, to view assailants as declarers of
war, to destroy those assaulting, and not to injure any `but those that
have injured us`.[i]
fifth article recites the reasons for rejecting rule by a single person
(the monarchy) and declares:
do declare that we shall set up over ourselves, and over what the Lord
shall give us power of, government and governors according to the Word of
God, and especially that Word, Exodus xviii.21:`Moreover, though shalt
provide out of all the people, able men, such as fear God , men of truth,
hating covetousness, and place such over them; to be rulers of thousands,
and rulers of hundred, rulers of fifties , and rulers of tens.` That we
shall no more commit the government of ourselves, and the making of laws
for us, to any one single person, or lineal successor, we not being by
God, as the Jews were, bound to one single family; and this kind of
government by a single person being most liable to inconveniences, and
aptest to degenerate into tyranny, as sad and long experience hath taught