Robert Wodrow was educated at Glasgow University.
As minister of the small parish of Eastwood, near Glasgow he devoted much of his time to writing the 'History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland from the Restoration to the Revolution'. He penned the term 'the killing times' to describe the persecution of the Covenanters after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. His work is important, as he is one of the first historians to use 'publick records, original papers, and manuscripts of that time.' It is also full of first hand accounts such as 'the genuine declaration of William Sutherland, hangman at Irvine: wherein his knowledge of the scriptures, his courage, and behaviour toward the persecutors, and their barbarous treatment of him at Air, are plainly set forth'. This was an attempt to record and denounce the persecution of religious dissenters in Scotland.
Wodrow's work was referred to in later times, notably during the Disruption of 1843, when the Church of Scotland seemed to be suffering again. It was at this time that the Wodrow society was set up to print this and other ecclesiastical works.
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