The Book of Canons was a book of church laws that king Charles I forced on the Church of Scotland in 1636. These laws were based on the hated Five Articles of Perth. There was no mention of presbyteries, sessions or general assemblies. The book set out excommunication (the highest discipline of the church) as punishment for any who said that the king didn’t have complete power in church matters, that prelacy was unbiblical, or who made church rules without the king’s permission. Ministers had to have a licence from a bishop to preach in other parts of the country. The book also said that ministers weren’t able to make up their own prayers, but had to read prayers from the Book of Common Prayer which was to be published the next year.
J. G. Vos, The Scottish Covenanters (Edinburgh, 1998 ), pp 39-41.
David Stevenson, The Scottish Revolution, 1637-44 (2nd edn, Edinburgh, 2003), pp 45-6.
The Book of Canons (1636): ‘Canons and Constitvtions ecclesiasticall’ in William Laud, Works (7 vols, 1853), v, pp 583-606.