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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0886498242

From: Edward Andrews <>
Subject: Re: Fight Nice
Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 09:30:42 +0000

John Giacoletti wrote:
> In Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1950, there appeared a publication entitled
> I made clear that I was quoting from this text when I wrote:
> >>>>Some notes of cultural and historical interest:
> >>>>Fm. "Highland and Traditional Scottish Dances:"

> One of the list participants seems to take issue with the content of one or
> two of the sentences that were directly quoted:
> "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."
> The participant then confuses the message with the messanger by writing:
> "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...."

I beg your pardon John, at attributing to you anachronistic views of
I must admit I did not notice the citation of the book having been
published in 1950. Doesn't it just demonstrate how Scottish
Historiography has changed in the last 40 years.

However in his reply John demonstrates the same inability to read
carefully, and reaffirmed his lack of historical knowledge.

The passage which I take exception to is

> 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.

John has not found any proof that makes my statement wrong
I said, as he quotes
> " 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."

He says that he has found such documentary evidence. On August 19th,
1574, Janet
> Cadye was brought before the Presbytery of Edinburgh for dancing ...."

Remember I expressly stated the Knoxian reformation. Perhaps John
will tell us when John Knox died?
The extract expressly states the situation at the Court of Mary Queen
of Scots.
Perhaps John will tell us when the court of Mary went out of
He will quickly recognize that events of 1574 are therefore outside
the period which I was was being careful to speak about.
> How soon is soon enough to have had an influence on our ancestor's lives?
> The participant states:

> "To enforce discipline of morals, Calvin instituted a rigid inspection of
> household conduct and organized a consistory, composed of pastors and lay
> persons, with wide powers of compulsion over the community. The dress and
> personal behavior of citizens were prescribed to the minutest detail;
> dancing, card playing, dicing, and other recreations were forbidden."

Given that David danced before the Lord,
2 Samuel 6:14
David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his

and part of the time of joy will be dancing
Jeremiah 31:13
Then maidens will dance and be glad,
young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

It is difficult to see how the Reformers - who argued that unless
something was approved in the Bible it was forbidden, could have
banned dancing per se.
Subsequently to the Knoxian Reformation dancing was banned, in the
same way that subsequent to Calvin his doctrine of election was
The passage stated therefore was merely reiterating a popularly held
view, that early Calvinism was against dancing, and I was pointing out
that this view is ill-conceived
Edward Andrews

St Nicholas Buccleuch Parish Church Dalkeith
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