The Great Fire of Glasgow in 1677

•February 27, 2015 • 1 Comment

On the night of November 2 to 3, 1677, a ruinous great fire broke out in Glasgow that burnt out much of the heart of the burgh. What had caused such destruction?

Great Fire Glasgow

The Reverend Law of Easter Kilpatrick parish records that a malicious blacksmith’s apprentice was guilty of the wilful fire raising that sparked the firestorm, but he also thought, as he so often did, that some other mysterious hand or providence was behind it:

‘November 3d, 1677, the fire brake up in Glasgow in the heid of the Salt-mercat, on the right near the cross, which was kyndled by a malicious boy, a smith’s apprentice, who being threttened, or beatt and smittin by his master, in revenge whereof setts his workhouse on fyre in the night tyme, being in the backsides of that fore street, and flyes for it. It was kyndled about one in the morning, and having brunt many in the backsyd, it breaks forth in the fore streets about three of the morning; and then it fyres the street over against it, and in a very short tyme burned down to more than the mids of the Salt-mercat, on both sydes, fore and back houses were all consumed. It did burn also on that syd to the Tron church, and two or three tenaments down on the heid of the Gallowgate. The heat was so great that it fyred the horologe of the tolbooth, (there being some prisoners in it at that tyme, amongst whom the Laird of Carsland [the father of Daniel Ker of Kersland, one of the Society people,] was one, the people brake open the tolbooth doors, and sett them free); the people made it all their work to gett out their goods out of the houses; and there was little done to save houses till ten of the cloke, for it burnt till two hours afternoon. It was a great conflagration, and nothing inferior to that which was in the yeir 1652. The wind changed several tymes. Great was the cry of the poor people, and lamentable to see their confusion.

It was remarkable that a little before that tyme, there was seen a great fyre pass throw these streets in the night tyme, and strange voices heard in some parts of the city.’ (Law, Memorialls, 135.)

What was the ‘great fyre’ passing through the streets beforehand? To whom did the ‘strange voices’ belong? Law did not reveal either what, or whom, he thought lay behind the strange reports he had probably heard from Glasgow, but his tone certainly suggests some kind of malign cause. What malignant force others believed had caused the firestorm probably fuelled the rumour mill on Glasgow’s streets. Those rumours often reflected the fears of the population is uncertain political times and could be politically explosive. After the Great Fire of London in 1666, Catholics were said to have deliberately burned down the city. Blaming secret Catholic plots for disasters or mysterious events was the classic scapegoat of late seventeenth-century Britain. Witches, too, were often said to lie behind allegedly malign events, but usually the malice of witches was connected to more personal afflictions like damage to food stuffs, misfortune, illnesses or unexplained deaths.

On 10 November, the town council met, probably amid speculation as to the cause of the fire, to pass resolutions on how to deal with its aftermath. Most of their resolutions were pragmatic. Care was taken that ‘what persones wrought at the fyre’, i.e, fought the fire, were to be given ‘some allowance for their paines’ and ‘to lay doune some fitt way for getting the red of the brunt houssis takin aff the streit’. The council also concluded that ‘a contributioune’ should be ‘collected throw the toune for helping of these who susteined los throw the lait fyre’, sent the provost to Edinburgh to seek assistance and offered to feu ‘the landis of Provand to any persone who hes a mynd to buy the same, …[for] helping the poor people who hes susteined los by the fyre.’

Cynical observers of the dealings of Glasgow’s council may note that the latter, apparently generous, gift of the feu money was also to be used to pay the town’s debts, and that the paying the debts, which doubtless were owed to prominent members of the council, was listed before paying the ‘poor people’. It is not clear if the feu money was forthcoming. Nearly a year later, on 5 October, 1678, John Hamilton, the tenant of the lands of Provan, was ejected:

‘The said magistratis and councell, considering the irregular carriadge of John Hammiltoune, their tennent in Provand, throw his keeping of conventickles, and how the secret counsell is insensed against the toune for sufferring him to doe the samyne, for preventing therfor the danger the toune may sustine, they heirby ordaine John Barnes, their baillie of Provand, to eject and cast the said John Hammiltoune out of the said landis, and to secure his guidis and plenishing, ay and quhill the toune be satisfeit of the rent, and that he bring in the keyes of the tounes hous till the samyne be disposed wpon, and for this effect appoyntis the said John Barnes to tak with him such persones as he thinkis fitt.’

However, back in the immediate aftermath of the fire, the baillies of the town were appointed to ‘tak als[o] [a] pairticular a list as they can of the los susteined by the lait fyre’ for the distribution of money.

The Lord’s Wrath
Like the Reverend Law, the town council also saw another hand in the fire than just that of a blacksmith’s apprentice. For them, it was the visitation of God’s wrath on Glasgow:

‘The magistratis and counsell taking to their serious consideratioune the great impovrishment this burgh is reduced to throw the sad and lamentable wo occasioned by fyre on the secund of November last, that God in his justice heath suffered this burgh to fall under, and lykwayes the most pairt of the said burgh being eyewitnessis twyse to His just punishment, for our iniquities, by this rod which we pray Him to mak ws sensible off, that we may turne from the evill of our wayes to Himselfe, that so His wraith may be averted and we preserved from the lyk in tyme to come;’

God’s wrath was viewed as a justified chastisement for iniquities. It was not the malign force that Law’s account hints at. It was also less socially explosive. Rather than people seeking out imaginary scapegoats and turning on others, the council aimed to atone for the iniquities of Glaswegians.

One iniquity which had to go was building in timber, when it pleased God to put those who had suffered fire damage ‘in ane capacitie and resolutioune to build de novo [i.e., anew], or repair their ruinous houssis’:

‘and becaus such things ar mor incident to burghs and incorporatiounes, by reasone of their joyning housses to housses, and on being inflamed is reddie to inflame ane uther, especiallie being contiguously joyned and reared wp of timber and daill boardis, without so much as their windskew of stone, therfor they out of their dewtie to sie to the preservatioune of their burgh and citie, doe statut and ordaine that quhen it sall pleas God to put any of their nighbouris in ane capacitie and resolutioune to build de novo, or repair their ruinous houssis, not only for their probable securitie but als for decoring the said burgh, that each persone building de novo on the hie streit, or repairing, sall be obleidged and is heirby obleist to doe it by stone work, from heid to foot, bak and foir, without ony timber or daill except in the insett therof, quhilk is understood to be partitions, doors, windowes, presses and such lyk, and this to be done or engadged to befor they be suffered to enter to building;’

Besides building regulations, rules were also introduced to maintain order by preventing disputes arising between the owners of the damaged or destroyed buildings and those whose livelihoods depended on the shops or booths below them.

‘and seing that severall heritouris at present ar not in a capacitie to build, and manye utheris having under boothes and no intrest in the houssis covering them, they being at present ather not fitting to build or unwilling, or may be belonging to minoris, by which they have their chops uncovered, repairing to the magistratis for libertie of covering themselfes the best way they can for present till it sall please God to capacitat the owners to doe the samyne; which desyre the said magistratis and counsell thought bot just; therfor they thought fitt to licence the same to be done be the grund heritouris, they alwayes enacting themselfes to uncover the same againe quhen it sall pleas the super heritour to build, and not to come no further out with the upper structur nor the foir face of the under chops, and to build the samyne with stone, except the toune counsell licence them, quhich they will tak into their consideratioune how far they may without spoyling the broadnes of the streit, they alwayes repairing it with stone in the foir wark by arched pillaris, and how many as the toune counsell, by the advice of architectouris, sall think most convenient, and the magistratis with the deane of gild for the tyme ar to sie the persones presently covering themselfes enacted to uncover their houssis at the rebuilding, and to keep themselfes within the above wryttin limitis excepting as aforsaid, under the penaltie of fourtie pundis starling each under heritour, and if they be full heritouris to rebuild the samyne according to the act of counsell within the time appoynted by act of parliament.’

With the emphasis firmly on economic concerns, rebuilding and addressing fears over owners exploiting the situation, the potential for seeking out scapegoats on the streets was averted. (Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Glasgow, III, for the years 1677-1678.)

For more on Glasgow in the 1680s, see here.

For more on Strange Wonders and Portents, see here.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please link to this post on Facebook or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

The ‘Most Violent Frost’ of 1676

•February 25, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Winter Crows

The Reverend Law of Easter Kilpatrick parish near Dumbarton liked mysterious portents and events. Under 1676, he records the ‘most violent frost’ anyone could remember in Scotland:

‘In the year 1676, the 17th, 18th dayes of December, there was a most violent frost both before and behind them; but these so violent, as the most aged never remembred the lyke. The birds fell down fra the air dead; the ravens died; the ratts in numbers found deid; all liquors friezed; the strongest aile, the urine in the chamber-potts, yea, the distilled waters of apothecars in warm rooms friezed in wholl, and the glasses broke.’ (Law, Memorialls, 107.)

For other wonders of the 1680s, see here.

The Scottish Army Camped at Kirkhill by Broxburn in 1679

•February 25, 2015 • 2 Comments

On Tuesday 17 June, 1679, the Scottish Army was encamped at the park of Kirkhill near Broxburn as it prepared to advance into the West to face the Covenanters in battle…They would broadly advance along the line of the present day M8…



The park of Kirkhill, lay around Kirkhill House in Uphall parish. It was the property of Lord Cardross, a moderate presbyterian.

Map of Kirkhill

Two letters from the Earl of Linlithgow, one of the government commanders, tell their story.

‘Kirkhill-park, [Tuesday] June 17th, 1679.

My lord,
I am come to the place of our liggering this night in the park of Kirkhill. Most of the regiments and troops with the artillery and ammunition are not yet come up. Since my coming here, I did send out a small party of horse and dragoons towards Monkland [in Lanarkshire], who has discovered a party of the rebels near West-Calder, they are about an hundred horse. So soon as all our horse and dragoons are come up, I intend to send a stronger party out to engage them. The gross of their body is lying about the Haggs, from whence, as I am informed, they send parties over all the country.’ (Wodrow, History, III, 99n.)



The Covenanters’ Army was camped for a few days about Old Monkland Kirk, Shawhead Muir and the Haggs, all of which lie in Old Monkland parish, Lanarkshire. Robert Hamilton, their commander, was based at the Haggs. Today, the house at Haggs, or Rosehall/Douglas Supply as it was later known, has been demolished and the area is known as The Wilderness/Mill Bank. The house was described in c.1700:

‘Nixt upon the same [North Calder] water, stands the house of Rosehall, formerly called Haggs. This stands upon the north side of the water, within the paroch of Old Monkland, about a large quarter of a mile S. B. from the kirk, and much about two miles N. W. from the kirk of Bothwell. It is a very handsome house, with a prodigious planting and parks. It now belongs to Sir James Hamilton of Rosehall.’

Map of Haggs

Linlithgow goes on to mention that a substantial body of the militia, which was largely drawn from the eastern shires, was in a perilous condition several miles to the north west at Linlithgow:

‘Most of the heritors of the several [eastern] shires are at Linlithgow, with whom I have sent a company of dragoons to keep guard with them. My lord, it is very sad to have so many militia regiments here, and hardly one bit of bread to eat, which, if not remedied by your lordship, I leave you to judge of the event. I hope all of us here will do our duty in our stations, but men must eat.
What rout[e to the West] is to be taken to-morrow must be according to our intelligence this night. But for the present I can say no more, but that I am,
My lord,
Your lordship’s most humble servant,
Linlithgow.’ (Wodrow, History, III, 99n.)

Kirkhill House

Kirkhill House © Anne Burgess and licensed for reuse.

On the following day, Linlithgow sent a second report:

‘Kirkhill-park, [Wednesday] June 18th, 1679

My lord,
I received your lordship’s of yesterday’s date: and for to give your lordship an account of the state of our affairs, and numbers of the militia regiments; we have here the regiments of East Lothian, the Merse, that Perthshire regiment commanded by the marquis of Athole, the other was at Linlithgow last night, and will join us this morning; the two Fife regiments, the regiment of Angus, I believe, will join us in our march this day, and the militia regiment of the town of Edinburgh; these of them that are here having joined us late the last night, and the others not being yet come up, makes me incapable of giving your lordship an exact account of their numbers, but as near as I can conjecture, the eight militia regiments that we have, will make up about five thousand men. The heritors of the several shires are not yet come up, except those that came from the east with us, who are lying in the little towns most adjacent to this place. These that came from Stirling are lying at Linlithgow and Falkirk. So soon as we are all joined, I shall not fail to give your lordship a more exact account of our numbers, both horse and foot.’ (Wodrow, History, III, 100n.)

Just four days before the battle of Bothwell Bridge took place, the King’s forces were scattered across Linlithgowshire and eastern Stirlingshire.

From his previous letter, it is clear that the Earl of Linlithgow had considerable concerns over feeding his expanding force. As they advanced into the hostile western shires, where sources of food would become harder to obtain, that logistical problem could have proved catastrophic for them in a drawn out campaign. Bringing their enemy to a decisive battle was a priority for the government force. To achieve that required good intelligence about where the enemy were located and their strength.

‘We are to join at Blackburn, and from thence we will take our measures according to our intelligence.’ (Wodrow, History, III, 100n.)

From Kirkhill, the different elements of the King’s forces were to rendezvous to the west at Blackburn.

Map of Blackburn

‘It is impossible to know the number of the rebels, until we force them to draw together, they being now dispersed over the country. All the account we have of them is, that their body is lying about the Haggs. I am just now despatching some intelligent persons to go in to the places where they are, for intelligence. Yesterday I gave your lordship an account of a party of the rebels of about an hundred horse, that we saw, upon the left hand, in our march. I commanded out a party of horse and dragoons to go to them, but before they came within any distance of them, they run for it. This is all the account I can give for the present I am, My lord,
Your lordship’s most humble servant,
Linlithgow.’ (Wodrow, History, III, 100n.)

It appears that the government army rendezvoused at Blackburn on the following morning, moved forward and encamped east of Kirk O’s Shotts.

Map of East of Kirk O Shotts

The enemy party spotted by Linlithgow’s men on 17 Jane may have been the same party that alarmed the Covenanters on the morning of Thursday 19 June. A brief skirmish took place close to the government camp beside Kirk O’ Shotts on the Thursday night.

For the Covenanters of Broxburn and Uphall parish, see here.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please link to this post on Facebook or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

The Execution of An Atheist: “Jock of Broad Scotland”

•February 24, 2015 • 1 Comment

World Turned Upsidedown

A seventeenth-century newspaper, Mercurius Politicus, reports in the number for June 26-July 3, 1656, the following account of one of the cases that had come before the Cromwellian Protectorate’s judges, Judge Smith and Judge Lawrence, in their Dumfriesshire circuit of the previous May:—

“Alexander Agnew, commonly called Jock of Broad Scotland,” [apparently an itinerant beggar, or Edie Ochiltree, of Dumfriesshire] was tried on this indictment.—First, the said Alexander, being desired to go to church, answered ‘Hang God: God was hanged long since; what had he to do with God? he had nothing to do with God’.
Secondly, He answered he was nothing in God’s common; God gave him nothing, and he was no more obliged to God than to the Devil; and God was very greedy.
Thirdly, When he was desired to seek anything in God’s name, he said he would never seek anything for God’s sake, and that it was neither God nor the Devil that gave the fruits of the land: the wives of the country gave him his meat.
Fourthly, Being asked how many persons were in the Godhead, answered there was only one person in the Godhead, who made all; but, for Christ, he was not God, because he was made, and came into the world after it was made, and died as other men, being nothing but a mere man.
Sixthly, He declared that he knew not whether God or the Devil had the greater power; but he thought the Devil had the greatest; and ‘When I die,’ said he, ‘let God and the Devil strive for my soul, and let him that is strongest take it.’
Seventhly, He denied there was a Holy Ghost, or knew there was a Spirit, and denied he was a sinner or needed mercy.
Eighthly, He denied he was a sinner, and [said] that he scorned to seek God’s mercy.
Ninthly, He ordinarily mocked all exercise of God’s worship and convocation in His name, in derision saying ‘Pray you to your God, and I will pray to mine when I think time.’And, when he was desired by some to give thanks for his meat, he said, ‘Take a sackful of prayers to the mill, and shill them, and grind them, and take your breakfast off them.’ To others he said, ‘I will give you a twopence, and [if ye] pray until a boll of meal and one stone of butter fall down from heaven through the house-rigging to you.’ To others, when bread and cheese was given him, and was laid on the ground by him, he said, ‘If I leave this, I will [shall] long cry to God before he give it me again.’ To others he said, ‘Take a bannock, and break it in two, and lay down one half thereof, and ye will long-pray to God before he put the other half to it again.’
Tenthly, Being posed whether or not he knew God or Christ, he answered he had never had any profession, nor never would–he had never had any religion, nor never would: also that there was no God nor Christ, and that he never received anything from God, but from Nature, which he said ever reigned and ever would, and that to speak of Gods and their persons was an idle thing, and that he would never name such names, for he had shaken his cap of such things long since. And he denied that a man has a soul, or that there is a Heaven or a Hell, or that the Scriptures are the Word of God. Concerning Christ, he said that he heard of such, a man; but, for the second person of the Trinity, he had been the second person of the Trinity if the ministers had not put him in prison, and that he was no more obliged to God nor the Devil.— And these aforesaid blasphemies are not rarely or seldom uttered by him, but frequently and ordinarily in several places where he resorted, to the entangling, deluding, and seducing of the common people. Through the committing of which blasphemies, he hath contravened the tenor of the laws and acts of Parliament, and incurred the pain of death mentioned therein; which ought to be inflicted upon him with all rigour, in manner specified in the indictment.—Which indictment being put to the knowledge of an assize, the said Alexander Agnew, called Jock of Broad Scotland, was by the said assize, all in one voice, by the mouth of William Carlyle, late bailie of Dumfries, their chancellor, found guilty of the said crimes of blasphemy mentioned in his indictment; for which the commissioners ordained him, upon Wednesday, 21 May, 1656, betwixt two and four hours in the afternoon, to be taken to the ordinary place of execution for the Burgh of Dumfries, and there to be hanged on a gibbet while [till] he be dead, and all his moveable goods to be escheat.’ (Masson, Life of John Milton, V, 92-4.)

The execution of Alexander Agnew allegedly led to the Devil of Glenluce appearing in Galloway.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please link to this post on Facebook or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

The Devil of Glenluce: Satan’s Invisible World Discovered

•February 23, 2015 • 8 Comments

In 1655 to 1656, the Glenluce Devil is alleged to have terrorised the household of Gilbert Campbell, a Galloway weaver…

Did the Devil lead them all in a merry dance? Was it caused by spiralling hysteria? Or did the Campbell children lie behind it all?

Devils Witches Dance
The story appears to have been well known in Galloway. Three years after the strange events in Glenluce, Alexander Peden became the minister of the neighbouring parish of New Luce. Several stories about Peden record his encounter with the Devil, either in a cave, or entering a room, and his confrontation with a witch in Alloway

The Glenluce story was first recorded in 1672 by George Sinclair, a minister, mathematician and inventor of a diving bell used off Mull. However, it reached a wider audience in his later and more popular work, Satan’s Invisible World Discovered, which was published in 1685. A similar story of the Devil attacking people was also recorded in Glasgow in 1684.

Diving Bell

The family at the centre of the story were those of Gilbert Campbell, a weaver, and his wife Grissel Wyllie. Their son, Thomas, aka Tom, was much troubled by the Devil, as was their daughter, Jennet and an further unnamed daugther. Another son, probably John, was a student of philosophy at the University of Glasgow, and two others, Robert, later a blacksmith, and Hugh, later a lawyer, are also mentioned.

The minister of Glenluce parish involved in driving the Devil from their home was John Scott (d.1655).

At a certain point in the narrative, the minister appears with his wife, Katherine Simson, in the company of Mr Robert Hay, a gentlewoman called Mistress Douglas, Alexander Baillie of Dunragit and James Baillie of Carphin.

Baillie of Dunragit probably lived in the old tower incorproated in Dunragit House in Old/ Glenluce parish.

Map of Dunragit

‘Carphin’ is possibly ‘Corfin’, aka, ‘Colphin’, now Colfin in Portpatrick parish. A tower house formerly stood there. Corfin lies a few miles west of Dunragit.

Map of Colfin

Garplin Freugh

However, it is perhaps more likely that ‘Carphin’ is ‘Garplin’, which lay just over a mile to the south-west beside Freuch/Freugh. ‘Carphin’ was later used as site of the field preaching in the 1670s. Freugh was later the home of Patrick MacDougall of Freugh, a forfeited laird.

Map of former site of Garplin

The story in Satan’s Invisible World Discovered is as follows:

The Devil of Glenluce enlarged with several Remarkable Additions from an Eye and Ear witness, a Person of undoubted Honesty.

This is that famous and notable Story of the Devil of Glenluce, which I published in my Hydrostaticks, anno 1672, and which since hath been transcribed word by word by a Learned Pen, and Published in the late Book Intitutled Saducismus Triumphatus, whom nothing but the truth thereof, and usefulness for refuting Atheism could have perswaded to transcribe.

The Subject matter then of this Story, is a true and short account, of the Troubles, wherewith the Family of one Gilbert Campbell, by profession a Weaver in the old Parish of Glenluce in Galloway, was exercised. I have adventured to publish it De Novo in this Book, first because it was but hudled up among purposes of another nature. But now I have reduced it, to it’s own proper Place. Next, because this Story is more full, being enlarged with new Additions, which were not in the former, and ends not so abruptly, as the other did.

It happened (says my Informer, Gilbert Campbels Son who was then a student of Philosophy in the Colledge of Glasgow,) that after one Alexander Agnew, a bold and sturdy Beggar, who afterwards was hanged at Drumfries for Blasphemy had threatened hurt to the Familie, because he had not gotten such an Almes, as he required, the said Gilbert Campbel was often times hindered in the exercise of his calling and yet could not know by what means this was done. This Agnew, among many blasphemous expressions had this one, when he was interrogate by the Judges, whether or not, he thought there was a God, he answered, he knew no God, but Salt, Meal, and Water.

When, the Stirs began first, there was a Whistling heard both within and without the House. And Jennet Campbell [the weaver’s daughter] going one day to the Well, to bring home some Water, was conveyed, with a shril whistling about her ears, which made her say, I would fain hear thee speake, as well as Whistle. Hereupon it said, after a threatening manner, I’le cast thee Iennet into the Well. The voice was most exactlie like the Damsels voice, and did resemble it to the life. The Gentle-womans that heard this and was a witness, thought the voice was very near to her own ears, and said the Whistling was such, as Children use to make, with their smal slender Glass Whistles.

About the middle of November, the Foul Fiend came on with new and extraordinary Assaults, by throwing of Stones in at the Doors, and Windows, and down the Chimney-head, which were of great quantity, and thrown with force, yet by Gods Providence, there was not one Person in the Family that was hurt. This did necessitate Gilbert Campbel, to reveale that to the Minister of the Parish, [John Scott.] and to some other Neighbours and Friends, which hitherto he had suffered secretly.

Notwithstanding of this, his trouble was enlarged; for not long after, he found often-times his Warp and Threeds cut, as with a pair of Sizzers, and not only so, but their Apparel were cut after the same manner, even while they were wearing them, their Coats, Bonnets, Hose, Shoes, but could not discern how, or by what mean. Only it pleased God to preserve their persons, that the least harm was not done. Yet, in the night time, they had not liberty to sleep, something coming and pulling their bedcloaths, and Linnings off them, and leaving their Bodies naked. Next, their Chests and Trunks were opened, and all things in them strawed here and there. Likewise the parts of their Working-Instruments, which had escaped were carried away, and hid in holes and bores of the house, where hardly they could be found again. Nay, what ever piece of Cloath, or Household-stuff was in any part of the house, it was carried away, and so cut and abused, that the Good-man was necessitate in all haste and speed, to remove and transport the rest to a Neighbours house, and he himself compelled to quite the Exercise of his Calling, whereby he only maintained his Family. Yet he resolved to remain in his house for a season; during which time, some persons about, not very Judicious, counselled him to send his Children out of the Family, here and there, to try whom the trouble did most follow, assuring him, that this trouble was not against the whole Family, but against some one person or other in it, whom he too willingly obeyed. Yet, for the space of four or five dayes, there were no remarkable assaults, as before.

The Minister [John Scott] hearing thereof, shewed him the evil of such a course, and assured him, that if he repented not, and called back his Children he might not expect, that his trouble would end in a right way. The Children that were nigh by being brought home, no trouble followed, till one of his Sons called Thomas that was farest off came home. Then did the Devil begin a fresh for upon the Lords day following in the afternoon, the House was set on Fire, but by the help of some Neighbours going home from Sermon; the Fire was put out, and the house saved, not much loss being done. And Munday after being spent in Private prayer, and fasting, the house was again set on Fire upon the Tuesday about nine a clock in the morning, yet by the speedy help of Neighbors it was saved, litle skaith being done.

The Weaver being thus vexed, and wearied both day and night, went to the Minister of the Parish, an Honest and Godly man desiring him, to let his Son Thomas abide with him for a time, who condescended, but withal assured him that he would find himself deceived, and so it came to pass, for notwithstanding that the Lad was without the Family, yet were they that remained in it, sore troubled both in the day time, and night season, so that they were forced to wake till Mid-night, and sometimes all the night over, during which time, the persons within the Family suffered many losses, as the cutting of their Cloaths, the throwing of Piets, the pulling down of Turff and Feal from the Roof, and Walls of the house, and the stealling of their Cloaths, and the Pricking of their Flesh, and Skin with Pins.

Some Ministers about having conveened at the place, for a solemn Humiliation, perswaded Gilbert Campbel to call back his Son Thomas, Notwithstanding of whatsoever hazard might follow. The Boy returning home, affirmed that he heard a voice speak to him, forbidding him to enter within the House, or in any other place where his Fathers calling was exercised. Yet he entered, but was sore abused, till he was forced to return to the Ministers house again.

Upon Munday the 12 of February, the rest of the Family began to hear a voice speak to them, but could not well know from whence it came. Yet from Evening till Mid-night too much vain discourse was kept up with Satan, and many idle and impertinent questions proposed, without that due fear of God, that should have been upon their Spirits under so rare and extraordinary a Trial. They came that length in familiar discourse, with the Foul-Thief, that they were no more afrayed to keep up the Clash with him, than to speak to one another. In this they pleased him well, for he desired no better, than to have Sacrifices offered to him.

The Minister hearing of this, went to the house upon the Tuesday, being accompanied with some Gentlemen, one James Bailie of Carphin, Alexander Bailie of Dunraged, Mr. Robert Hay, and a Gentlewoman called Mistris Douglas, whom the Ministers Wife[, Katherine Simson,] did accompanie.

At their first in-coming the Devil says, Quum Literarum, is good Latine. These are the first words, of the Latine Rudiments, which Schollars are taught, when they go to the Grammar School. He crys again a Dog.
The Minister thinking that he had spoken it to him, said, he took it not ill to be reviled by Satan, since his Master had troden that path before him.
Answered Satan, it was not you, Sir, I spoke it to, I meant by the Dog there, for there was a Dog standing behind backs.
This passing, they all went to Prayer, which being ended, they heard a voice speaking out of the ground, from under a Bed, in the proper Countrey Dialect, which he did counterfeit exactly, saying, Would you know the Witches of Glenluce? I will tell you them; and so related four or five Persons names that went under a bad report.
The Weaver informed the Company, that one of them was dead long ago.
The Devil answered, and said, It is true, she is dead long ago, but her Spirit is living with us in the World.
The Minister replied saying (though it was not convenient to speak to such an excommunicat and intercommuned person) the Lord rebuke thee, Satan, and put thee to silence; we are not to receive Information from thee, whatsoever fame any person goes under; Thou are seeking but to seduce this Family, for Satans kingdom is not divided against it self. After which all went to Prayer again, which being ended (for during the time of Prayer no noise or trouble was made, except once, that a loud fearful youel was heard at a distance).
The Devil with many threatnings boasted and terrified the Lad Tom, who had come back that day with the Minister, that if he did not depart out of the house, he would set all on fire.
The Minister answered, and said, the Lord will preserve the house, and the Lad too, seeing he is one of the Family, and hath Gods Warrant to tarry in it.
The Fiend answered, he shall not get liberty to tarry; he was once put out already, and shal not abide here, though I should pursue him to the end of the world.
The Minister replied, the Lord will stop thy malice against him.
And then they all went to prayer again, which being ended, the Devil said, give me a Spade and a Shovel, and depart from the house for seven days, and I will make a Grave, and ly down in it, and shall trouble you no more.
The good man answered, not so much as a Straw shal be given thee, through Gods assistance, even though that would do it.
The Minister also added God shal remove thee in due time.
The Spirit answered, I will not remove for you, I have my Commission from Christ to tarry and vex this Family.
The Minister answered, a Permission thou hast indeed, but God will stop it in due time.
The Devil replied, I have Sir, a Commission, which perhaps will last longer than your own. The Minster died in the year 1655 in December.
The Devil had told them, that lie had given his commission to Tom to keep.
The Company enquired at the Lad, who said, there was something put into his pocket, but it did not tarry.

After this, the Minister and the Gentlemen arose, and went to the place, whence the voice seemed to come, to try if they could see, or find any thing. After diligent search, nothing being found, the Gentlemen began to say, We think this voice speaks out of the children, for some of them were in their beds.
The Foul Spirit answered, you lie, God shall judge you for your lying, and I and my father will come and fetch you to Hell with Warlock Thieves: and so the Devil discharged the Gentlemen to speak any thing, saying, Let him speak that hath a Commission (meaning the Minister) for he is the servant of God.
The Gentlemen returning back with the Minister, sat down near the place, whence the voice seemed to come, and he opening his mouth, spake to them, after this manner, The Lord will rebuke this Spirit in his own time, and cast it out.
The Devil answering, said, It is written in the 9th. of Mark, the Disciples could not cast him out.
The Minister replyed, What the Disciples could not do, yet the Lord having hightned the Parents Faith, for his own glory did cast him out, and so shall he thee.
The Devil replied, It is written in the 4th. of Luke, and he departed and left him for a season.
The Minister said, The Lord in the dayes of his Humiliation, not only got the victory over Satan, in that assault in the wilderness, but when he came again, his success was no better, for it is written, John 14. Behold, the Prince of this World cometh, and hath nothing in me, and being now in glory, he will fulfil his promise, and God shal bruise Satan under your feet shortly, Rom. 16.
The Devil answered, It is written, Matth. 25. There were ten Virgins, five wise, & five foolish; and the Bridegroom came, the foolish Virgins had no oyl in their lamps, and went unto the wise to seek Oyl, and the wise said, go and buy for your selves; and while they went, the Bridegroom came, and entered in, and the door was shut, and the foolish Virgins were sent to Hells fire.
The Minister answered, The Lord knows the sincerity of his servants, and though there be sin and folly in us here, yet there is a fountain opened to the house of David for sin and for uncleanness, when he hath washen us, and pardoned our sins, for his Names sake, he will cast the unclean Spirit out of the land.
The Devil answered, and said, Sir you should have cited for that place of Scripture, the 13 chap, of Zech. and so he began at the first verse and repeated several verses, and concluded with these words, In that day I will cause the Prophet, and the unclean Spirit, pass out of the land, but afterwards it is written, I will smite the Shepherd, and the Sheep shal be scattered.
The Minister answered, and said, well are we that our blessed Shepherd was smitten, and thereby, hath bruised thy head, and albeit in the hour of his sufferings, his Disciples forsook him Malta. 26. Yet now having ascended on high he sits in glory, and is preserving, gathering in, and turning his hand upon his little ones, and will save his poor ones in this Family from thy malice.
The Minister returning back a little, and standing upon the Floor, the Devil said, I knew not these Scriptures, till my Father taught me them.
Then the Minister conjured him to tell whence he was.
The Foul-Fiend replyed, that he was an evil Spirit, come from the bottomless Pit of Hell, to vex this house, and that Satan was his Father, and presently there appeared a naked hand, and an arm from the Elbow down, beating upon the Floor till the home did shake again, and also he uttered a most fearful and loud cry saying, come up Father come up, I will send my Father among you, See there he is behind your backs.
The Minister said I saw indeed an hand, and an arm, when the stroak was given, and heard.
The Devil said to him, Say you that? It was not my hand it was my Fathers: my hand is more black in the loof.
O said Gilbert Campbel, that I might see thee, as well as I hear thee!
Would you see me, says the Foul-Thief; Put out the Candle, and I shal come butt the house among you like fire balls. I shall let you see me indeed.
Alexander Bailie of Dunraget says to the Minister, let us go ben, and see if there be any hand to be seen.
The Devil answered, No, let him come ben alone; he is a good honest man, his single word may be believed. About this time the Devil abused Mr. Robert Hay a very honest Gentleman very ill with his Tongue, calling him Witch and Warlock. A little after the Devil cryes (It seems out of purpose and in a purpose) a Witch, a Witch, Ther’s a Witch sitting upon the Ruist, take her away: he meant a Hen sitting upon the balk of the House.

These things being Past, all went to Prayer during which time he was silent. Prayer being ended, the Devil answered and said, If the Goodmans Sons prayers at the Colledge of Glasgow, did not prevail with God: my father and I had wrought a mischief here ere now.
To which Alexander Bailie of Dunraged replied, well, well, I see you confess there is a God, and that prayer prevails with him, and therefore we must pray to God and commit the event to him.
To whom the Devil replied, yea Sir, you speak of prayer with your broad lipped Hat, (for the Gentleman had lately gotten a Hat in the fashion with broad lipps) I’le bring a pair of Shears from my Father, which shal clip the lipps of it a little. Whereupon he presently imagined, that he heard and felt a pair of Shears, going round about his Hat, which caused him lift it, to see if the Foul-Thief had medled with it.

During this time, several things but of less moment passed, as that he would have Tom a Merchant, Bob a Smith, John a Minister, and Hue a Lawier, all which in some measure came to pass.

As to Jennet the Goodmans Daughter he cryes to her, Jennet Campbel, Jennet Campbel, wilt thou cast me thy Belt.
Quoth she, what a widdy would thou do with my Belt? I would fain (says he) fasten niy loose bones closs together with it.

A younger Daughter sitting busking her Puppies, as young Girls use to do, being threatned by the Fiend, that he would ding out her hams, that is brain her, answered without being concerned, no if God be to the fore, and so fell to her work again.

The Good Wife of the house paving brought out some bread was breaking it, to give every one of the Company a Piece. Cryes he, Grissel Wyllie, Grissel Wyllie; give me a peice of that hard bread (for so they call their Oat Cakes) I have gotten nothing this day, but a bit from Marrit, that is as they speak in that Countrey Margaret.
The Minister said, beware of that, for it is a sacrificing to the Devil. The Girle [Margaret] was called for, and asked if she gave him any hard bread, no says she, but when I was eating my due piece this morning, something came and clicked it out of my hand.

The Evening being now far spent, it was thought fit, that every one should withdraw to his own home. Then did the Devil cry out fearfully, let not the Minister (goe home, I shall burn the house if he go, and many other ways did he threaten. After the Minister had gone foorth: Gilbert Campbel was very instant with him to tarry, whereupon he returned, all the rest going home. When he came into the house, the Devil gave a great gaff of laughter: you have now Sir done my bidding.
Not thine, answered the other, but in obedience to God, have I returned to bear this man companie whom thou doest afflict. Then did the Minister call upon God, and when prayer was ended, he discharged the Weaver, and all the Persons of the Familie, to speak a word to the Devil, and when it spake, that they should only kneel down, and speak to God.
The Devil then roared mightily, and cryed out, What? Will ye not speake to me, I shall strike the bairns, and do all manner of mischief. But after that time no answer was made to it, and so for a long time no speech was heard. Several times hath he beat the Children in their Beds, and the claps of his loof upon their Buttocks would have been heard but without any trouble to them.

While the Minister and Gentle-men were standing at the Door readie to go home, the Ministers Wife, [Katherin Simson,] and the Good- Wife[, Grissel Wyllie,] were within. Then cryed Satan, Grissel put out the Candle. Sayes she to the Ministers Wife, shall I do it?
No says the other, for then you shal obey the Devil.
Upon this he cryes again with a louder shout, Put out the Candle. The Candle still burns. The third time he cries Put out the Candle, and no obedience being given to him, he did so often reiterate these words, and magnify his voice, that it was astonishment to hear him, which made them stop their ears they thinking the sound was just at their ears. At last the Candle was put out. Now says he I’le trouble you no more this Night.

I must insert here, what I heard from one of the Ministers of that Presbytrie, who with the rest were appointed to meet at the Weavers house, for prayer, and other exercises of that kind. When the day came, five only met. But before they went in, they stood a while in the Croft, which layes round about the house, consulting what to do. They resolved upon two things, first there should be no words of Conjuration used, as commanding him in the Name of God to tell whence he was, or to depart from the Familie, for which they thought they had no call from God. Secondly, that when the Devil spake, none should answer him, but hold on in their worshipping of God, and the duties they were called to. When all of them had prayed by turns, and three of them had spoken a word or two from the Scripture, they prayed again, and then ended, without any disturbance. When that Brother who informed me had gone out, one Hue Nisbit, one of the company, came running after him, desiring him to come back, for he had begun to whistle. No, sayes the other, I tarried as long as God called me, but go in again I will not.

After this, the said Gilbert suffered much loss, and had many sad nights, not two nights in one week free, and thus it continued till April; from April till July, he had some Respite and ease, but after, he was molested with new assaults; and even their Victuals were so abused, that the Family was in hazard of starving, and that which they eat gave them not their ordinary satisfaction, they were wont to find.

In this sore and sad affliction Gilbert Campbel resolved to make his Addresses to the Synod of Presbyters, for Advice and Counsel what to do; which was appointed to conveen in October 1655. namely, whether to forsake the house or not? The Synod by their Committy appointed to meet at Glenluce in February 1656. thought fit that a solemn Humiliation should be kept through all the Bounds of the Synod; and among other causes, to request God in behalf of that afflicted Family; which being done carefully, the event was, that his troubles grew less till April, and from April to August, he was altogether free. About which time the Devil began with new assaults, and taking the ready Meat that was in the house, did sometimes hide it in holes by the door-posts; and at other times did hide it under the Beds, and sometimes among the Bedcloaths, and under the Linnings, and at last, did carry it quite away, till nothing was left there, save Bread and Water. This minds me of a small passage, as a proof of what is said. The Good-wife one Morning making Pottage for the Childrens Break-fast, had the Treeplate wherein the meal lay, snatched from her quickly. Well says she, let me have the plate again. Whereupon it came flying at her,without any skaith done. ‘Tis like, if she had sought the meale too, she might have got it; such is his civility when he is entreated. A small homage will please him ere he want all. After this he exercised his malice and cruelty against all persons in the Family, in wearying them in the Nighttime, by stirring and moving thorow the house, so that they had no rest for Noise, which continued all the Moneth of August after this manner. After which time the Devil grew yet worse, by roaring, and terrifying them by casting of Stones, by striking them with staves on their Beds in the Night time. And upon the 18. of September [1656] about Midnight he cryed out with a loud voice, I shall burn the house. And about 3. or 4. Nights after, he set one of the Beds on fire, which was soon put out, without any prejudice, except the Bed it self.

Thus I have written a short and true account of all the Material Passages which occurred. To write every particular, especially of lesser Moment, would fill a large Volum[e]. The Goodman lived several years after this, in the same house: and it seems, that by some conjuration or other, the Devil suffered himself to be put away, and gave the Weaver a peaceable habitation. This Weaver has been a very Odd man, that endured so long these marvellous disturbances.’ (Sinclair, Satan’s Invisible World Discovered, 75-94.)

Deil's Well, Campbell;s Croft, Ghaist Hall Glenluce

A Traditional Site?

I’d like to thank David Baird, below, for his comment that pointed to the placenames around Campbell’s Croft. The ‘croft’ may be of more recent in origin, but there a strange conjunction in the placenames in the east of Old Luce /Glenluce parish. Next to Campbell’s Croft lies the De’il’s Well and Ghaist Hall. In the story, young Janet Campbell, aka. Jennet, was threatened by the Devil by the well:

‘Jennet Campbell going one day to the Well, to bring home some Water, was conveyed, with a shril whistling about her ears, which made her say, I would fain hear thee speake, as well as Whistle. Hereupon it said, after a threatening manner, I’le cast thee Iennet into the Well.’

The well on the map, above, lay about a third of the way (left to right) along the southern field boundary.

Map of De’il’s Well

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The Forfeited: Eleven Ayrshire Men Forfeited for Rebellion in June, 1683

•February 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Eleven Ayrshire heritors were forfeited for their part in the Bothwell Rising of 1679 at the circuit court held at Ayr in June, 1683. Nearly all were forfeited in absentia.



Wodrow records their forfeiture:

‘June 22d, [1683,] the following persons were indicted, as above, of being in arms with the rebels at Bothwell; Mr Matthew Campbell of Watershaugh, Robert Lockhart of Bankhead, James Brown son to James Brown portioner in Newmills, John Paterson in Dandillan, Adam Reid portioner in Mauchlin, John Wilson portioner in Lindsay hill, John Crawford of Torshaw, Andrew Brown of Duncanzeamer, Mr John Halbert, Colonel John Burns, and James Macneilly of Auchnairn. All of them were absent, but [Lockhart of] Bankhead and Andrew Brown. Witnesses are led against the absent One depones, he saw Mr Matthew Campbell in Glasgow, when the rebels were there, with his sword about him; another depones, he heard him demand corn in June, 1679, for Eaitloch’s troop, and that he saw him at Strathaven, on the Friday before the defeat, with two ministers, Mr Samuel Arnot and Mr Robert (it should probably be Hugh) Archibald. Another saw him in company with two persons, who were going that day toward Hamilton. Three witnesses depone, they saw Mr John Halbert riding with above twenty of the rebels; and one of them, that he saw him take out a roll from his pocket, and call over their names, some days before Bothwell; and three or four swear, that they saw Colonel Burns and James Macneilly riding with the rebels in several places, with walking small swords about them. I do not observe probation against the rest that amounts to any thing.

Robert Lockhart of Bankhead confesseth he was in the rebellion, begs mercy, and offers to take the test, and petitions the lords may recommend him to the king for a remission. Andrew Brown confesseth the same, and offers to renounce his heritage. The assize bring all in guilty of treason and rebellion. The lords continue pronouncing sentence against the two confessors, till the 2d of August, and commit them to [John Graham of] Claverhouse, and require him to present them that day.

They sentence the rest to be executed and demeaned as traitors when apprehended, as in common form.

August 2d, the lords, considering the verdict of the assize on Robert Lockhart of Bankhead, and Andrew Brown, at Ayr circuit, June 22d, sentence them to be beheaded at the cross of Edinburgh, August 9, but I suppose remissions were got down before that time.’ (Wodrow, History, III, 490.)

1. Colonel John Burns
From an unidentified location in Ayrshire.

2. James Brown, son of James Brown, portioner in Newmilns, Loudoun parish.

Map of Newmilns

3. Robert Lockhart of Bankhead, Loudoun parish.

Map of Bankhead              Aerial View of Bankhead

4. Mr Matthew Campbell of Waterhaughs, Galston parish.

Map of Waterhaughs               Aerial View of Waterhaughs


Daldilling © Bob Forrest and licensed for reuse.

5. John Paterson in Daldilling, Sorn parish.

Map of Daldilling                  Street View of Daldilling

6. John Wilson, younger, portioner of Lindsayshill, Sorn parish.

Lindsayshill has vanished, but lay north-east of Meikle Heateth and south-est of Bogend in Sorn parish. The outline of it can still be seen on the aerial view.

Map of Lindsayshill                     Aerial View of Lindsayshill

7. Adam Reid, portioner in Mauchline, Mauchline parish.

Map of Mauchline


Tarshaw © wfmillar and licensed for reuse.

8. John Crawford of Tarshaw, Tarbolton parish.

Map of Tarshaw                  Street View of Tarshaw



9. Andrew Brown of Duncanziemere, Auchinleck parish.
Today, a large open cast mine lies near Duncanziemere.

Map of Duncanziemere                  Aerial View of Duncanziemere


Auchincross © Gordon Brown and licensed for reuse.

10. Mr John Halbert, Cumnock parish.
Robert Guthrie identifies Halbert as a minister at North Berwick and kinsman of George Halbert in Auchincross, New Cumnock parish.

Map of Auchincross                Aerial View of Auchincross

Street View of Auchincross

11. James MacNeilly of Auchairne, Ballantrae parish, Carrick.

Map of Auchairne        Aerial View of Auchairne

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The Forfeited: Five Lanarkshire Men Forfeited at Glasgow in 1683

•February 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Near the beginning of his journal, John Erskine of Carnock records five forfeitures of Lanarkshire men in absentia at the circuit court held in Glasgow in June, 1683:..


‘13th. [June]— James Hamilton of Parkhead, Robert Russel [, portioner of Windyedge], James [or John] Russel [,portioner of Eastfield], and Gawin Paterson in Bothwell[shields], being absent, the assize was set upon them.’ (Erskine, Journal, 4.)

‘14th. [June] — James Hamilton of Parkhead, Robert Russel, portioner of Windyedge, were forfeit in absence as being at Bothwell according to their lybels. It was said for some of them that they had no arms; but the King’s advocate said that was debate before, and found that a man without arms was as guilty as one with them, because it imported greater forwardness.’ (Erskine, Journal, 5.)

A fifth forfeiture in absentia, of Hamilton of Raith (see picture above), took place on 16 June:

‘A great number of country people were called this day, and many about Hamilton and Glasgow refused the Test, of whom about forty were committed to prison; yet some took the Test. Mr. Th[omas]. Hamilton of Raith was forfault in absence for being at Bothwell, Ja[mes]. Maxwell of Williamwood, and Jo[hn]. Maxwell of Bogtown [both in Cathcart parish], were forfault on Thursday for Bodwell, and in absence. The Lords sat till ten o’clock at night, and presently after they arose they got a treat from the town.’ (Erskine, Journal, 6.)

Wodrow, too, recorded their forfeiture:

‘[At] the circuit at Glasgow,[… there were] only two processes recorded at this place. The first is June 13th, and the lords present are, Perth justice-general, and Maitland justice-clerk, with the lords Collington, Castlehill, and Forret.
That day appear in the pannel, John Russel portioner in Eastfield in Monkland, Gavin Paterton feuar in Bothwell-shiels, Robert Russel of Windy-edge, Mr Thomas Hamilton of Raith, James Hamilton of Parkhead. The second and third of these had been before the justiciary formerly, and how they came now to be again pannelled I know not. Their indictment runs very short, that they had been in arms with the rebels at Bothwell. Their indictment is found relevant, and the probation is remitted to an assize.
The depositions of witnesses appear very lame.
One depones, he saw John Russel at Meadows, and at Hamilton-muir, with a horse, sword, and pistols. Another depones, he saw him at Shawhead-muir, some days before.
Two witnesses depone, they saw Mr Thomas Hamilton and James Hamilton at Shawhead-muir, but without arms.
One depones against Robert Russel [of Windyedge], that he saw him at Drumclog, and another that he saw him at Hamilton-muir.
Aud the same as to Gavin Paterson, one saw him at one place, and another depones he saw him elsewhere; and, as far as I could remark, there are not two witnesses ad idem, as to any but Raith and Parkhead, and both declare they had no arms; and these gentlemen’s houses were near by [the battlefield], Raith’s within a quarter of a mile of Bothwell-bridge.
The assize bring them in guilty of the crimes libelled. The lords forfeit them, and appoint them to be demeaned and executed as traitors, when the justiciary or council shall think fit. This is another instance of the justice of this period, a sentence of death passed upon two gentlemen, for being in the company of the west-country army, when just lying about their houses’. (Wodrow, History, III, 485.)



The five forfeited men were:

1. James Hamilton of Parkhead, Bothwell parish.
Parkhead appears on the published fugitive roll of May, 1684, as forfeited under Bothwell parish. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 193.)
Parkhead lay near Bellshill and Raith. Today, it has been obliterated by Bellshill.

Map of Parkhead

2. Mr Thomas Hamilton of Raith, Bothwell parish.
Raith has been obliterated by the construction of the M74.

Map of Raith

Wodrow records Raith’s pardon in 1684:

‘The next gentleman I meet with before the council, is Mr Thomas Hamilton of Raith. His process last year [in 1683] was very ill grounded and iniquitous, and the council are so sensible of this, that they interpose for a remission. February 1st, the council write the following letter, aud send his petition inclosed to the secretary.

“Right Honourable,
The inclosed petition from Mr Thomas Hamilton, forfeited by the sentence of the justice-court, for his accession to the late rebellion, being addressed to his majesty’s privy council, they, in consideration of several favourable circumstances in his case, and of his loyalty, have thought fit to recommend to his majesty, for a pardon as to his life only, and that to be expede the several offices gratis, because of his great poverty.
Aberdeen, Cancel[lor].”

The humble petition of Mr Thomas Hamilton, prisoner, second lawful son to Mr John Hamilton of Raith, Advocate,

That whereas your petitioner, by sentence of the lords of his majesty’s justiciary, in justice-air holden at Glasgow June last, was forfeited in life and fortune, for his being alleged present at the rebellion 1679, and for being art and part thereof, and for reset and converse with those rebels: and true it is, that the petitioner’s mother’s dwellingplace and residence, when he was attending her in her old age, is nearly sited unto Bothwell-bridge; and that the said rebels did ligger and camp in and about the said house, during the time they continued in arms; and that your petitioner was never seen actually in arms, as is evident by the probation adduced against him, and that his being present with them, harbouring and resetting them, did rather proceed out of the vicinity of his mother’s residence to their camp and ligger, and out of youthful inexperience, ignorance, mistake, and error, than out of any disloyalty, disaffection, or evil principles towards his majesty’s person and government, which he ever accounted his duty to maintain; and for his saying he was forced, and his owning the king in some of the rebels’ hearing, he was in hazard of being murdered by some of them, as was certified by the minister of the parish to his majesty’s advocate: and that your petitioner is sensible of, and most sorry for his said guilt, ignorance, or error, and mistake; and as heretofore he never carried arms against his majesty or his authority, so he is willing to engage for the future, that he shall never take up or bear arms against his majesty, or his heirs, or lawful successors; as also it is known, that the constant duty, sufferings, loyalty, and affection of the said umquhile John Hamilton, advocate, father to your petitioner, in the late rebellious times [of the 1640s and 1650s], towards his majesty, and his dearest father of blessed memory, and toward their government and service, were very great: may it therefore please your lordships, to take your petitioner’s case to your consideration, and recommend him to his sacred majesty, for a remission as to his life, and your lordships’ petitioner shall ever pray, &c.
Tho[mas]. Hamilton.”

This good man got a remission, but when his father had been a sufferer for the king and his father, and himself evidently loyal, as the council themselves bear witness, and was not in arms, but only with the west country army when encamped about his mother’s house, it was a new instance of the unparalleled severity of this period, that his estate and moveables were forfeited.’ (Wodrow, History, IV, 41-2.)

Although the council recognised that Hamilton’s sentence was unjust, his name appears on the published fugitive roll of May, 1684, as forfeited under Bothwell parish. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 193.)

Hamilton’s forfeiture was reversed in 1690.

3. John Russell, portioner of Eastfield, New Monkland parish.
‘Russel, portioner of Eastfield’ appears on the published fugitive roll of May, 1684, as forfeited under New Monkland parish. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 200.)

Map of Eastfield

4. Robert Russell, portioner of Windyedge, Shotts parish.
‘Robert Russel, portioner of Windyedge’, appears on the published fugitive roll of May, 1684, under Shotts parish. Two other fugitives, John Brownlie and William Calderhead, are also listed under Windyedge. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 201.)

Windyedge appears as a ruined farmstead on the Canmore website.

Map of Windyedge

5. Gavin Paterson, feuar in Bothwellshields, Shotts parish.
‘Gavin Paterson, in Bothwellshiels’ appears on the published fugitive roll of May, 1684, under Shotts parish. Three other fugitives, John Paterson, James Miller and John Gilkerson are also listed under Bothwellshields. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 201.)

Bothwellshields appears as a farmstead on the Canmore website.

Map of Bothwellshields

All of the forfeitures listed above, and many others, were reversed by Act of Parliament in 1690.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please link to this post on Facebook or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine