Alexander Henderson

Henderson, Alexander, 1583–1646, Scottish churchman often regarded as the greatest figure in the Church of Scotland after John Knox. Henderson became a leading opponent of prelacy and of English domination of the church. In 1638, after the signing of the National Covenant (see Covenanters), he was elected moderator of the general assembly at Glasgow, which deposed the bishops and set up Presbyterianism in spite of royal threats. Henderson met King Charles I to settle the problem and was favorably received. In 1640, he was elected rector of the Univ. of Edinburgh. In 1641 and 1643, he was moderator of the general assembly and presented (1643) a draft of the Solemn League and Covenant. He sat thereafter (1643–46) in the Westminster Assembly. In 1646, he again met Charles for a conference on church government during the course of the king's alliance with the Scottish army. Henderson wrote many speeches and sermons.

See biographies by J. P. Thomson (1912) and R. L. Orr (1919).

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