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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Bishop wars ! ~ conflicts in the name of kind religions !!


The bishop (,) is a piece in the game of chess. Each player begins the game with two bishops. One starts between the king's knight and the king, the other between the queen's knight and the queen. The starting squares are c1 and f1 for White's bishops, and c8 and f8 for Black's bishops.

West Indian Cricketers have become a permanent feature in commentary box – Michael Holding and Ian Bishop are prominent with their accent and views.  Bishop played his last Test in 1998, he has since stayed in the game. “I’ve had some great helpers and mentors along the way,” he said of his journey in commentary. “Michael Holding was really one that opened the door for me. Tony Cozier was a shining example.

A day later after that match only I read the news on paper and was sad ! it was ODI on 21.3.1989, West Indies beat comfortably India.  They made 289/2 and restricted India to 188/8.  Desmond Haynes made an unbeaten 152 and his opening partner Gordon Greenidge scored 80.  For India Kapil Dev made 38 and Ajay Sharma made 30 – Viv Richards took 3 for 41.  The bad news was Krish Srikkanth the dazzling opener was hit on forehand with a snorter and had his bone broken, forcing his return before the Test Series. 

The man, Ian Bishop tall and menacing had made a mark in ODIs but debuted a week later in tests.  Six and a half years later, he was still at it, breaking the jaw of the valiant Robin Smith in the Old Trafford Test of 1995. With his great height, Bishop  was a terrifying proposition, as he ran in and pelted the batsmen with bolts of lightning. They were not just intimidatory bouncers. Ian Bishop had a razor sharp out-swinger delivered like curvilinear thunderbolts. However, the tragedy of his career was that he did not stop with inflicting injury and demolition on the opposition batsmen. He himself broke down, way too regularly and with increasing severity. Bishop called it a day after England’s tour of the West Indies in 1997-98. He finished with 161 wickets from 43 Tests at 24.27, the strike rate which had hovered in the late 40s for most of his career was pushed up to 52.2 by his rather ordinary final stretch. In One Day Internationals, he captured 118 wickets in 84 games at 26.50. 

The Treaty of Ripon was an agreement signed by Charles I, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Scottish Covenanters on 26 Oct 1640, in the aftermath of the Second Bishops' War. The Covenanters were associated with the promotion and development of Presbyterianism as a form of church government, as opposed to Episcopacy, favoured by the crown. The treaty was a major setback for Charles, and its terms were humiliating.  This treaty was a factor leading to the calling of a session of Parliament, which is now known as the Long Parliament; this session was one of the major stepping stones to the outbreak of the First English Civil War.

Alexander Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven (1582 – 1661) was a Scottish soldier in Swedish and Scottish service. Born illegitimate and raised as a foster child, he subsequently advanced to the rank of a Swedish Field Marshal, and in Scotland became Lord General in command of the Army of the Covenanters, privy councillor, captain of Edinburgh Castle, Lord Balgonie and Earl of Leven.  

The Protestant Reformation created a Church of Scotland, or 'kirk', Presbyterian in structure, and Calvinist in doctrine. While 'Presbyterian' and 'Episcopalian' now implies differences in both governance and doctrine, this was not the case in the 17th century. Episcopalian structures were governed by bishops, usually appointed by the monarch, Presbyterian by presbyters, elected by ministers and elders. Arguments over the role of bishops were as much about politics and the power of the monarch as religious practice.

A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian, Anglican, Old Catholic and Independent Catholic churches, as well as the Assyrian Church of the East, bishops claim apostolic succession, a direct historical lineage dating back to the original Twelve Apostles. Within these churches, bishops are seen as those who possess the full priesthood and can ordain clergy, including other bishops.

The 1639 and 1640 Bishops' Wars were the first of the conflicts known collectively as the 1638 to 1651 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.  Their origin stemmed from disputes over governance of the Church of Scotland, popularly known as the kirk, dating back to the 1580s. Royalists generally supported rule by bishops, while most Scots supported a Presbyterian kirk ruled by presbyters. In the 17th century, debates over religious practice and structure were closely linked to different views of power and control; as a result, the conflict led to major changes to the Scottish political system, as well as the kirk.

Matters came to a head in 1637, when Charles I attempted to impose uniform practices on the kirk and the Church of England, changes opposed by the presbyters and English Puritans. The 1638 National Covenant pledged to oppose such “innovations”, and, in December, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland voted to expel bishops from the kirk. This was followed in August 1639 by a series of acts passed by the Parliament of Scotland that amounted to a constitutional revolution.

The Covenanters defeated attempts by Charles to re-impose his authority in 1639 and 1640, and gained control of Scotland, but, to protect that settlement, they sought support from sympathisers in Ulster and England. Since Charles did the same, the result was to destabilize not only Scotland, but England and Ireland also, resulting in The Wars of the Three Kingdoms.

History is replete with wars – many fought on religious lines and yet it was presented that some religions were too kind ! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar



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