These minutes record the business conducted at the regular meetings of the Presbyterian ministers and elders who formed the leadership of the predominantly Ulster-Scots community in Antrim. They provide an unparalleled insight into the concerns and pressures that helped to shape the identity and inform the practice of that community in a precarious and difficult period, as they enjoyed a brief period of toleration under the Cromwellian regime. These minutes are of outstanding historical value, not least because they are among the earliest surviving records of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. In addition, the meetings’ concentration on the details of everyday life provides us with information that cannot easily be reconstructed from other sources. The minutes appear here in print for the first time, with a comprehensive introduction and apparatus.
Mark S. Sweetnam is a research fellow in the School of History at TCD. He has published widely on literature and theology, with a particular focus on the early modern period, and on digital humanities.