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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DISRUPTION, n. With def. art.: the split which took place in the Established Church of Scotland on 18th May, 1843, when some 450 of its 1200 ministers left the Church in protest against its failure to maintain spiritual independence of the civil authorities. In particular, controversy raged round the right of patronage in the appointment of parish ministers. About one third of the members followed suit and these formed themselves into the Free Church of Scotland [q.v.]. The term was used in anticipation of the actual event.Sc. 1843 The Banner (6 May):
The “Witness” Newspaper has made arrangements for giving full reports of the proceeding of the General Assembly — and of both Assemblies, in the event of the Disruption of the Church of Scotland.
Sc. 1843 Candlish Speech (6 Sept.) in Memorials (Wilson 1880) xi. 315:
The Free Church since the Disruption has in a wonderful manner kept herself free from . . . attacks on the existing Establishment.
Sc. 1943 G. D. Henderson Heritage 3:
The Disruption . . . is the crucial episode in a long struggle with the State. This movement reaches its culmination in the recognition by the State in its Acts of 1921 and 1925 of the Church's spiritual freedom and received fulfilment in the Union of 1929.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxvi.:
In the parish of Pyketillim the great event of the Disruption was not seen in any of its grand or striking features.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick iii.:
An' his preachin — haud your tongue! The like o't hasna been heard in Snawdon kirk, no' sin' Pendreigh gaed oot at the Disruption.

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"Disruption n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 May 2024 <>



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