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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0886413234

From: Edward Andrews <>
Subject: Re: Malcolm & Mary
Date: Mon, 02 Feb 1998 09:53:54 +0000

John Giacoletti wrote:

> During the reign of Mary Queen of Scots, new types of dances were
> introduced to Scotland by her numerous court followers, noblemen and ladies
> who accompanied her from France. ... As is generally known, the Calvinists
> were making their influence felt at Mary Queen of Scots' Court and
> throughout the country, denouncing dancing and music as sinful. In this
> the famous John Knox and other preachers were the most vehement leaders.
> ... On the other hand, on 3rd December, 1580, King James VI of Scotland,
> paid L100 to William Hudson for his 'extraordinary painstaking in teaching
> us to dance.' >>>>
It is not "generally known that "the Calvinists were .... denouncing
dancing and music as sinful"."
It is one of the repeated statements often made by those whose
knowledge of the subject is virtually nil.
Perhaps John could give us an example of where John Knox (or any other
early reformed preacher, and perhaps he cold name some) denounced
dancing and music.
This is where there is confusion between the situation in Scotland,
and the Puritans in England.
Dancing on the Sabbath was inhibited, that was however to do with
keeping the Sabbath, not dancing. (It was one component of the debate
whether marriage should be allowed on the Sabbath) No where have I
been able to find any documentary evidence that dancing, per se, was
objected to during the time of what we will call Knox's reformation.
i.e. prior to 1572.
In fact there was little objection to dancing for another 60 years.
The earliest enactment of the General Assembly against dancing, which
I can find, was in July 1649, against "Promiscuous Dancing". This was
at a specific time when by the Act of Classes all moderation had been
removed from the Assembly and the most extreme were in control.
Unfortunately it is because of inaccurate statements like those of
John that people have got a completely wrong idea of the early
Reformation in Scotland, and have imputed to it the narrower facets of
English Nonconformity.
Edward Andrews
St Nicholas Buccleuch Parish Church Dalkeith
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