The minutes of the Antrim ministers' meeting, 1654–8

Mark Sweetnam, editor

Hardback €45.00
Catalogue Price: €50.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-329-9
July 2012. 190pp.

‘This volume provides a transcription of the earliest surviving minutes of the meetings of a body of Presbyterian ministers and elders in Ireland … the value of this book lies in its bringing into view the many individuals who would otherwise have escaped the written record … The great majority of the people who appear in these minutes are of Scottish background … The minutes abound in situations of real human interest … The book includes an invaluable index of personal names and a listing of placenames mentioned in the text with their modern equivalents … in bringing to public notice a valuable source for the study of early Presbyterianism in Ireland, the editor is to be congratulated for his painstaking transcription work that will be appreciated by those seeking to find even the faintest trace of their forebears in the mid-seventeenth century', William Roulston, Familia: Ulster Genealogical Review (2013).

‘This is a fine edition of a text used by many previous scholars but only available hitherto to those willing to visit the Gamble Library of Union Theological College, Belfast … it is important as testimony to the pragmatism and energy of a disestablished Church in a profoundly difficult situation … The edition is clean and clear with minimal footnoting but with the marginalia in the original reproduced here as marginalia. Sweetnam offers a digest of all previous work on this source, and adds his own persuasive gloss. It can be recommended', John Morrill, Ecclesiastical History (January 2014).

‘These minutes represent the earliest surviving records of the Presbyterian church in Ireland and come from a time when it enjoyed a degree of tolerance … [the minutes] give unique insight into the Scots-Irish community at this time … Sweetnam provides an introductory essays and glossaries of terms and placenames. Records such as these are the raw material from which history is written, and it is good to read the details of every-day life for once, and to leave the broad generalising aside', Books Ireland (October 2012).

‘[A] fascinating volume … There is a glossary of obsolete or archaic words, along with an explanation of placenames mentioned in the text. Sweetnam has managed to make the every day activities of an Ulster Presbyterian Church come alive and show us a world not unlike our own in many ways', Brendan Scott, Breifne (2013).