Vegetable seller Jenny Geddes, attending morning service
in St Giles, the High Kirk of Edinburgh, on 23 July 1637,
is said to have picked up her stool and hurled it at the
minister. That flying furniture led to the Scottish National
Covenant, the English Civil War, the execution of Charles
and the conquest of Scotland by Cromwell.
known as the ‘Princess of the Tron adventurers’,
the street traders whose market place was only a few yards
further down the Royal Mile, was concerned to preserve the
style of worship that had been familiar in her local church.
Charles I had ordered the use of a new form of service,
more like that of the Church of England.
‘Daur ye say mass in my lug?’
or, according to another version, ‘Deil colic the
wame o’ thee’, roared Jenny, as her stool, quickly
followed by others, by Bibles and by anything else the congregation
could lay their hands on, drove the dean of Edinburgh from
the pulpit and church.