English Civil War

Bishops' Wars
Signing of the National Covenant in Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh
1639 Jan 1 - 1640

Bishops' Wars

Scotland, UK

The 1639 and 1640 Bishops' Wars were the first of the conflicts known collectively as the 1639 to 1653 Wars of the Three Kingdoms, which took place in Scotland, England and Ireland. Others include the Irish Confederate Wars, the First, Second and Third English Civil Wars, and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.

The wars originated in disputes over governance of the Church of Scotland or kirk that began in the 1580s and came to a head when Charles I attempted to impose uniform practices on the kirk and the Church of England in 1637. These were opposed by most Scots, who supported a Presbyterian church governed by ministers and elders and the 1638 National Covenant pledged to oppose such "innovations". Signatories were known as Covenanters.