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Daniel Defoe and the Scottish Church

HOLLY FAITH NELSON AND SHARON ALKER


NOTES

1. For a more detailed account of the anti-Union sentiments espoused by a number of Scottish clergymen, see Macree, “Daniel Defoe, the Church of Scotland, and the Union of 1707” and D.W. Hayton’s introduction to Vol 4: Union with Scotland in the Polemical and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe.

2. Though Defoe was a Presbyterian, it is important to remember, as Macree rightly argues, “that Defoe’s brand of Presbyterianism,” at least in terms of “Church government,” “was not by any means identical with that practiced in the Church of Scotland” (63). Drawing on English Presbyterians, edited by C. G. Bolam et al, N.H. Keeble also writes that “English Presbyterianism was a very different creature from Scottish, in ecclesiology and increasingly in doctrine” (11).

3. The title of a Defovian work that discusses the Church of Scotland can be misleading in that it may suggest a historical focus despite the fact that it dedicates a great deal of space to current events and vice versa.

4. The version of Memoirs of the Church of Scotland published in 1717 is notably different from the one Defoe claimed to have written shortly after the Union. As Keeble notes, the text of Memoirs clearly “underwent at least some revision” between its composition and publication, since the 1717 edition “included references to the 1715 Jacobite uprising” and included an appendix entitled “Of the State of the Church since the Union” (2).

5. This strategy in classical rhetoric, a subject in which Defoe received training, was called anti-categoria (see Gideon O. Burton’s exceptionally useful resource Sylva Rhetoricae, http://rhetoric.byu.edu/, for this and other terms). For recent essays on the rhetorical sophistication of Defoe’s prose, see the first three essays in Positioning Daniel Defoe’s Non-Fiction: Form, Function, Genre, edited by Aino Mäkikalli and Andreas K. E. Mueller.

6, See also Leith Davis, Acts of Union: Scotland and the Literary Negotiation of the British Nation 1707−1830, on the subject of the new kind of ‘objective’ prose style employed by Defoe in the context of Union.

7. Keeble writes that “[t]he popular English image” of the Scots in general at this moment was of “religious fanatics, rebellious subjects and wild, uncivilized Celts” (4). He argues that after 1660, the English often viewed Cameronian resistance to monarchical directives, in particular, as “intransigent barbarism and anarchic unruliness” (4).

8. In his introduction to Volume 4: Union with Scotland in the Polemical and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe, D.W. Hayton identifies which of these Essays were written with an English readership and which with a Scottish readership in mind.

9. Leith Davis and Anne M. McKim highlight the rational discourse employed by Defoe in the service of the Union. While Davis contrasts what she sees as Defoe’s logocentric, iconoclastic, and rational prose style with the iconophilic and excitable style of Lord Belhaven, McKim contrasts Defoe’s style (as set out by Davis) with the “highly emotive and emotional rhetoric” of George Ridpath (43). We have argued elsewhere (“Pamphlet Wars”) and continue to argue in this essay that while Defoe routinely makes use of the discourse of reason (logos) in his rhetorical works on the Union and other subject matter, he also supports rational argumentation with the language of emotion (pathos) and personal character (ethos).

10. Reduplication of such claims (conduplicatio) is a frequent trope in Defoe’s writings on the Church of Scotland. Glynis Ridley has recently proposed that Defoe’s reliance on repetition is characteristic of his argumentative prose, given the influence of his instructor Charles Morton who taught that “potentially contentious material” should be restated “three different times and in three different ways” (7). McKim and Keeble draw attention to the use of this rhetorical figure in Defoe’s History of the Union and Memoirs of the Church of Scotland respectively (McKim 43; Keeble 15−16).

The section in the Act of Security that Defoe cites is as follows: “Therefore Her Majesty with advice and consent of the said Estates of Parliament Doth hereby Establish and Confirm the said true Protestant Religion and the Worship, Discipline and Government of this Church to continue without any alteration to the people of this land in all succeeding generations.” The whole Act is posted on the legislation.gov.uk website: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aosp/1707/6?view=plain

11. For a comparison of features of the rhetorical strategies of Ridpath (among others) and Defoe, see McKim’s “War of Words: Daniel Defoe and the 1707 Union.”

12. For Defoe, these three groups overlap in some measure.

13. Defoe also points to the irony of English High Churchmen accusing the Church of Scotland of persecution for carrying out the very act they committed in deposing Dissenting ministers “who would not take …[certain] Oaths” (Historical Account 283).

14. The synchronic and diachronic, however, always intersect, since the present is always understood in relation to the past and the historical envisioned and re-written in and for the present. As Reinhard Koselleck explains, “The conditions and determinants that, in a temporal gradation of various depths, reach from ‘the past’ into the present intervene in particular events just as agents ‘simultaneously’ act on the basis of their respective outlines of the future…In actu all temporal dimensions are always intertwined” (30).

15. Macree believes that Defoe only came to truly admire the Church of Scotland by 1707 (77); we believe that he had always admired it, despite his criticism of some of its anti-Union leaders and the anti-Union Scots more generally. For a brief overview of Defoe’s opinion of the anti-Union Scots during his fifteen months in Scotland (October 1706−December 1707), see Backscheider, Daniel Defoe: His Life, 251.

We would like to thank our research assistant Brianna Gormly (Whitman College 2013) for assisting with the gathering and synthesizing of materials for this project.


WORKS CITED

Alker, Sharon Ruth, and Holly Faith Nelson. “Pamphlet Wars: Tropological Union in Defoe’s Anglo-Scottish Works.” Positioning Daniel Defoe’s Non-Fiction: Form, Function, Genre. Ed. Aino Mäkikalli and Andreas K.E. Mueller. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011. 39−58. Print.

Alkon, Paul. K. Defoe and Fictional Time. 1979. Rpt. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2010. Print.

Backscheider, Paula. Daniel Defoe: His Life. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins UP, 1989. Print.

Bolam, C.G., et al. The English Presbyterians: From Elizabethan Puritanism to Modern Unitarianism. London: Allen & Unwin, 1968. Print.

Burton, Gideon O. Silva Rhetoricae: The Forest of Rhetoric. Brigham Young U. Web. 12 Dec. 2012.

Davis, Evans R. “The Injured Lady, the Deluded Man, and the Infamous Creature: Swift and the 1707 Act of Union.” Anglo-Irish Identities, 1571-1845. Ed. David A. Valone and Jill Marie Bradbury. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 2008. Print.

Davis, Leith. Acts of Union: Scotland and the Literary Negotiation of the British Nation 1707-1830. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford UP, 1999. Print.

Defoe, Daniel. An Essay At Removing National Prejudices Against a Union with Scotland. Part I (1706). Political and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe. Gen. Ed. W.R. Owens and P.N. Furbank. Vol 4: Union with Scotland. Ed. D.W. Hayton. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2000. 35–61. Print.

———. An Essay, At Removing National Prejudices Against a Union with England. Part III (1706). Political and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe. Gen. Ed. W.R. Owens and P.N. Furbank. Vol 4: Union with Scotland. Ed. D.W. Hayton. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2000. 89–112. Print.

———. A Fourth Essay, At Removing National Prejudices; With some Reply to Mr. H—dges and some other Authors, Who have Printed their Objections against An Union with England (1706). Political and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe. Gen. Ed. W.R. Owens and P.N. Furbank. Vol 4: Union with Scotland. Ed. D.W. Hayton. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2000. 113–144. Print.

———. An Historical Account of the Bitter Sufferings, and Melancholly Circumstances of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. Political and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe. Gen. Ed. W.R. Owens and P.N. Furbank. Vol 4: Union with Scotland. Ed. D.W. Hayton. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2000. 267−302. Print.

———. History of the Union of Great Britain. Edinburgh, 1709. Eighteenth-Century Collections Online. Web. 30 Dec. 2012.

———. Memoirs of the Church of Scotland. London, 1717. Eighteenth-Century Collections Online. Web. 30 Dec. 2012.

———. A Review of the State of the British Nation (1704–1713). Ed. John McVeagh. 9 vols. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2007. Print.

———. The Scot’s Narrative Examin’d. Political and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe. Gen. Ed. W.R. Owens and P.N. Furbank. Vol 4: Union with Scotland. Ed. D.W. Hayton. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2000. 303−360. Print.

———. A Short View of the Present State of the Protestant Religion in Britain. Edinburgh, 1707. Eighteenth-Century Collections Online. Web. 30 Dec. 2012

———. Two Great Questions Considered…Being A Sixth Essay at Removing National Prejudices Against the Union (1707). Political and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe. Gen. Ed. W.R. Owens and P.N. Furbank. Vol 4: Union with Scotland. Ed. D.W. Hayton. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2000. 175–197. Print.

Hayton, D.W. Introduction. Vol 4: Union with Scotland. Ed. D.W. Hayton. Political and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe. Gen. Ed. W.R. Owens and P.N. Furbank. London:Pickering and Chatto, 2000. Print.

Keeble, N.H. Introduction. Vol. 6: Memoirs of the Church of Scotland. Ed. N.H. Keeble. Writings on Travel, Discovery and History by Daniel Defoe. Gen. Ed. W.R. Owens and P.N. Furbank. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2001−2002. Print.

Koselleck, Reinhard. The Practice of Conceptual History: Timing History, Spacing Concepts. Trans. Todd Samuel Presner et al. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2002. Print.

Letellier, Robert Ignatius. The English Novel, 1700−1740: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2002. Print.

Macree, David. “Daniel Defoe, the Church of Scotland, and the Union of 1707.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 7.1 (1973): 62–77. Print.

Mayer, Robert. History and the Early English Novel: Matters of Fact from Bacon to Defoe. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997. Print.

McKim, Anne M. “War of Words: Daniel Defoe and the 1707 Union.” Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies 1 (2008): 29–44. Print.

Novak, Maximillian E. “Defoe’s Political and Religious Journalism.” The Cambridge Companion to Daniel Defoe. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. 25−44. Print.

Owens, W.R. Introduction. Vol 3: Dissent. Political and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe. Ed. W.R. Owens. Writings of Daniel Defoe. Gen. Ed. W.R. Owens and P.N. Furbank. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2000. Print.

Pritchard, Penny. “Voices of Dissent: Rhetorical Strategies in Defoe’s Writing Before 1719.” Positioning Daniel Defoe’s Non-Fiction: Form, Function, Genre. Ed. Aino Mäkikalli and Andreas K.E. Mueller. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011. 17–37. Print.

Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Act 1707. legislation.gov.uk. Web. 30 Dec. 2012.

Richetti, John. The Life of Daniel Defoe: A Critical Biography. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005. Print.

Ridley, Glynis, “A Good Argument: Ciceronian Prescriptions, Pamphlet Literature and The Shortest Way with the Dissenters.” Positioning Daniel Defoe’s Non-Fiction: Form, Function, Genre. Ed. Aino Mäkikalli and Andreas K.E. Mueller. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011. 3–16. Print.

Warner, John M. Joyce’s Grandfathers: Myth and History in Defoe, Smollett, Sterne and Joyce. Athens, GA: Georgia UP, 1993. Print.

Whiteman, Anne. “The Church of England Restored.” From Unity to Uniformity: 1662–1962. Ed. Geoffrey F. Nutall and Owen Chadwick. London: SPCK, 1962. Print
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