Alexander Henderson Biography and Theology


Who is Alexander Henderson? Information Alexander Henderson biography, life story, works and theology.

Alexander HendersonAlexander Henderson; (c. 1583-1646), Scottish clergyman, who was a leader in developing the Church of Scodand. Henderson was born in Criech, Fifeshire. Graduated from St. Andrews in 1603, he was made professor of rhetoric and philosophy there in 1610. In 1614, Archbishop George Gladstanes forced his acceptance as pastor by the parish of Leuchars. As he was known to favor episcopacy, Henderson was at first very unpopular. Within a short while, however, he adopted Presbyterian views. In 1618 he opposed the Articles of Perth, which were forced on Scotland by James I in an attempt to make its worship conform to that of England.

When, in 1637, Charles I tried to introduce a Prayer Book and canons modeled on those of the Church of England, Henderson was in the forefront of the widespread opposition. The next year he was largely responsible for the final form of the “National Covenant,” the purpose of which was to maintain the “true reformed religion” against what were considered the “superstitious and papistical rites” found in the Prayer Book.

In November 1638 he was moderator of the Glasgow Assembly, which condemned episcopacy and reconstituted the presbyterian organization of the Kirk (church). Soon after, he was transferred to Greyfriars, Edinburgh. Henderson was also involved in the negotiations that ended both of the Bishops’ Wars, in which Scots rebelled against the use of the Prayer Book. He was again moderator of the General Assembly in August 1643, when the famous Solemn League and Covenant was adopted.

Henderson was then sent to England, where he secured the adoption of the Covenant by Parliament and the Westminster Assembly, making it law for both kingdoms. He died at Edinburgh, on Aug. 19, 1646.

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