Person NameRenwick; James (1662-1688); preacher, covenanter
Epithetpreacher, covenanter
ActivityJames Renwick (1662-1688), preacher and covenanter, was the son of Andrew Renwick (d 1676) and Elizabeth Corson from Moniaive, Dumfriesshire. He was an only child, several siblings having died in infancy. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh, graduating MA, 1681. In 1681 he became a 'Cameronian' and organised secret meetings. Renwick proclaimed the 'Lanark Declaration', 1682. Renwick then studied theology at Groningen University and was ordained in 1683. He returned to Scotland were he became noted as a field-preacher and was proclaimed a rebel. In 1684 he narrowly escaped capture, and he produced the 'Apologetical Declaration' which was put up round the country.

In 1685 the Scottish parliament passed a statute making any acknowledgment of the covenant an act of treason, and the privy council ordered the death penalty for all who refused to disown this declaration on oath. This led to the second Sanquhar declaration. Renwick did not join in the insurrection of 1685 and thereby alienated a lot of his supporters. James II's Scottish proclamations of indulgence were not accepted by Renwick and his supporters who continued with their field-meetings, which prompted a reward for his capture. Renwick continued to preach and in 1688 was captured in Edinburgh, and despite being offered the opportunity to petition for pardon, he was determined to be martyred and was executed on the 17th Feb, 1688.
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