Alexander Shields

1660-1700. Scottish Covenanter.* Born at Haughhead on the Scottish Borders, he grew up in a Covenanting atmosphere and was probably familiar with conventicles from boyhood. Educated in Holland and committed to the Covenanting cause, he suffered frequent imprisonments in London, Edinburgh, and on the Bass Rock. After the martyrdom of James Renwick* (1688) he became leader of the Covenanting minority. At the Revolution Settlement he left the Covenanting societies to join the newly reestablished Church of Scotland (Presbyterian). In a short busy life he was successively chaplain to the Cameronian Regiment in Scotland and Flanders, minister in London and St. Andrews, and chaplain to the ill-fated Scots expedition to Darien, where he died. Despite his many activities and travels he wrote A Hind Let Loose, a unique work which expounded a philosophy of the rights of man, social, political, and spiritual, and exposed the folly of the Stuart claim to the Divine Right of Kings.*