Purge of Episcopalian and Jacobite Staff, 1690

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The 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688 which deposed King James II and VII and re-established Presbyterianism in Scotland led to a nationwide purge of teachers suspected of loyalty to the old regime. On 4 July 1690, the Scottish Parliament passed an act designed to root out Episcopalian and Jacobite sympathizers among the staff of Scottish universities, colleges and schools. It stipulated that:

noe professors, principalls, regents, masters or others beareing office, in any university, colledge or school within this kingdom, be either admitted or allowed to continue in the exercise of their said functions, but such as doe profess and acknowledge and shall subscryve to the Confession of Faith, ratified and approven by this present parliament, and alsoe sweare and subscryve the oath of allegiance to their majesties, and withall shall be found to bee of a pious, loyall and peaceable conversation, and of good and sufficient literature and abilities for their respective imployments, and submitting to the government of the church now settled by law

The Act appointed a group of commissioners to visit each of the Scottish universities and:

to take tryall of the present professors, principalls, regents, masters and others beareing office therein, according to the qualifications and rules abovementioned, and such as shall be found to be erroneous, scandalous, negligent, insufficient or disaffected to their majesties' government, or who shall not subscryve the Confession of Faith, sweare and subscribe the oath of allegiance and submitt to the government of the church now settled by law, to purge out and remove

The visitation committee that examined Edinburgh University on 27 August 1690 ordered the dismissal of:

Alexander Monro would be replaced by Gilbert Rule (c1629-1701), one of his inquisitors on the visitation committee.

Other University Events in 1690


  • Alexander Bower, The History of the University of Edinburgh. 3 vols. Edinburgh, 1817-1830.
  • Sir Alexander Grant, The Story of the University of Edinburgh during its First Three Hundred Years, 2 vols (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1884)