The Covenanters of the Enterkin Pass Attack of 1684 #History #Scotland

•November 4, 2018 • Leave a Comment

geograph-4300800-by-Alan-ODowd

The rescue of Covenanters at Enterkin Pass was an attack on a small party of John Graham of Claverhouse’s troop of Horse escorting prisoners from Dumfries to Edinburgh. It took place at the end of July, 1684, and up to three soldiers were killed.

Daniel Defoe left two accounts of the daring attack. One published in 1717 and the other in his Tour of Great Britain.

Claverhouse was not present, but he took immediate action to discover those who were responsible for the attack. He captured six of the rescuers in Closeburn parish on 9 August. He would go on to capture and kill three more at Auchencloy in December.

Who were the Covenanters involved in the Enterkin Attack?
The list below is based on the work of Ford and Hewison to identify the attackers.

1. Andrew Clark, sometime of Leadhills in Crawford parish, Lanarkshire.
He was captured by Claverhouse on 9 August, 1684, and executed in Edinburgh on 15 August.

Map of Leadhills

2. James Todd, merchant in Crawford parish, Lanarkshire.
He was probably the fugitive ‘James Tod, merchant chapman, now in Lanark’, Crawford parish, Lanarkshire.

3. Gilbert Watson in Glengonnar, Crawford parish, Lanarkshire.
He was probably the fugitive ‘Gilbert Watson, sometime in Ormingill [i.e., Normangill]’, Crawford parish, Lanarkshire. Watson became an intelligencer, or spy, for government forces after the Enterkin Rescue. (Hewison, Covenanters, II, 432.)

In particular, Watson was responsible for betraying the five Covenanters killed at Ingleston, Glencairn parish, in April, 1685, which possibly included his fellow Enterkin rescuer, 12, Robert Grierson. (See No. 12,)

Map of Glengonnar

4. John Glencorse in Coshogle, Durisdeer parish, Nithsdale.
He was possibly the fugitive ‘John Glencorse, in Carshogil [ie., Coshogle]’, in Durisdeer parish, Dumfriesshire.

Map of Coshogle

5. Thomas Hunter in Breconside, Durisdeer parish, Nithsdale.
He was the fugitive ‘Thomas Hunter, in Brackenside [i.e., Breconside, Durisdeer parish, wanted for] reset and converse’, Dumfriesshire.

Map of Breconside

6. Adam Harkness in Mitchellslacks, Closeburn parish, Nithsdale.

Map of Mitchellslacks

7. Thomas Harkness, in Mitchellslacks, Closeburn parish, Nithsdale.
He was captured after the Enterkin Rescue, probably by Claverhouse on 9 August, and taken to Dumfries, but he escaped. He allegedly hid at Crichope Linn.

8. James Harkness in Locherben, Closeburn parish, Nithsdale.
He was the fugitive ‘James Harkness, in Locherbain [i.e., Locherben in Closeburn parish], Dumfriesshire. He was captured by Claverhouse in Closeburn on 9 August, 1684. However, he quickly escaped, probably from Dumfries Tolbooth.

Map of Locherben

9. Thomas Harkness, junior, in Locherben, Closeburn parish, Nithsdale.
He was the fugitive ‘Thomas Harkness, in Locherbains [i.e., Locherben in Closeburn parish], Dumfriesshire. He was captured by Claverhouse in Closeburn parish on 9 August, 1684, and executed in Edinburgh on 15 August.

10. Robert Clark ‘in Kirkop’, Crawford parish?
‘Kirkop’ is possibly Kirkhope in Crawford parish, Lanarkshire.
Thomas Harkness, junior, who was executed in Edinburgh, was married to Agnes Menzies at “Kirkhop” in c.1677. After his death, Agnes married John Harkness “of Kirkhop”. The farm at Kirkhope was also known as “Kirkop” and was on lands held by the Duke of Queensberry.

Map of Kirkhope

11. Thomas Wood in Kirkmichael parish, Dumfriesshire.
He was captured by Claverhouse on 9 August, 1684. Badly wounded when taken, he was executed in Edinburgh later than the others on 9 December.

12. Robert Grier[son?], chapman, sometimes in Dumfries.
Ford lists a ‘Robert Grier, chapman’ as one of the Enterkin Rescuers. He was the fugitive ‘Robert Grier, chapman, sometime in Dumfries’. (Ford, ‘Enterkin’, 137.)

However, Hewison mentions that ‘John Grier, chapman from Glencairn [parish]’ was one of the rescuers and that Robert Grierson was killed at Ingleston. (Hewison, Covenanters, II, 432 and 432n.)

13. Ninian Steel in Glengar, Penpont parish, Nithsdale
He was the fugitive ‘Ninian Steel, in Glengar’ in the parish of Penpont, Dumfriesshire.
https://drmarkjardine.wordpress.com/category/by-name/ninian-steel-glengar/

Map of Glengar

14. Thomas Hunter in Woodend, Penpont parish, Nithsdale.
He was the fugitive ‘Thomas Hunter, younger in Wood-end’ [i.e., Woodend in Penpont parish], Dumfriesshire.

Map of Woodend

15. Samuel McEwen in Glencairn parish, Nithsdale.
He was captured by Claverhouse on 9 August, 1684, and executed in Edinburgh on 15 August.

Jedburgh Ingliston

16. James Corsan in Jarbruck, Glencairn parish, Nithsdale.
He was the fugitive ‘James Corsan, in Jedburgh’, Dumfriesshire.

Jedburgh is now known as Jarbruck. It lies by Ingleston where five Covenanters were shot in the Killing Times.

17. William Corsan in Jarbruck, Glencairn parish, Dumfriesshire.
He was the fugitive ‘William Corsan, in Jedburgh’.

Map of Jedburgh/Jarbruck

18. William Herries in Kirkcudbright, Glencairn parish, Nithsdale.

Map of Kirkcudbright in Glencairn parish

19. Robert Lauchlison in Nithsdale.
Ford listed him as one of the Enterkin Rescuers. He was probably the fugitive, ‘Robert Lauchlison, in Burnside’ [in Dunscore parish], in Dumfriesshire. The printed register of the privy council lists Robert Lauchlison as a fugitive in Dunscore parish, but he allegedly did not know of anyone at Enterkin when he submitted in November, 1684.

Map of Burnside in Dunscore parish

20. Robert Stewart in Manquhill, Dalry parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
He was killed by Claverhouse at Auchencloy in December, 1684.

Map of Manquhill

21. James MacMichael in Old Clachan of Dalry, Dalry parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
He was killed by Claverhouse at Auchencloy in December, 1684.

Old Clachan is St John’s Town of Dalry.

Map of Old Clachan/St John’s Town of Dalry

22. William Hunter in Old Clachan, Dalry parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
He was captured by Claverhouse at Auchencloy and executed at Kirkcudbright in December, 1684.

23. Daniel McMichael in Lorg aka. Lorgfoot, Dalry parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
The brother of James McMichael. He was also possibly involved in the Enterkin Rescue. According to a witness, the wife of John Hoatson of Nether Dalveen gave winding sheets to ‘the killed prisoners’ at Enterkin. Daniel McMichael was summarily executed at Nether Dalveen six months after the rescue.

Map of Lorg

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

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Nithsdale Martyrs’ Monument: A Guide to the Covenanters #History #Scotland

•October 28, 2018 • Leave a Comment

geograph-672785-by-Chris-Newman

Who are the 57 Covenanters listed on the Nithsdale Martyrs’ Cross in Dalgarnock graveyard? Where did they come from and what happened to them?

The monument erected in 1928 lies in Dalgarnock graveyard between Thornhill and Closeburn, not far off the A76 in Dumfriesshire.

Map of Dalgarnock graveyard

The grave of the militant Covenanter James Harkness in Locherben (d.1723) can also be found in the same burial ground.

The names on Nithsdale Martyrs’ Cross are:

1. George Allan, Martyr of Tradition at Allan’s Cairn, 1685.

2. James Bennoch. Summary execution at Ingleston, Glencairn parish, April, 1685.

3. William Brown, Martyr of Tradition. Sanquhar parish, 1685.

4. James Carsan, Dumfries. Died banished to New Jersey, 1685.

5. James Colvin, i.e., James Colville, Glencairn parish. Drowned Orkney, December, 1679.

6. George Corson, Martyr of Tradition. Sanquhar parish, 1685.

7. Thomas Dinwiddie, Died Battle of Bothwell Bridge, June, 1679.

8. Robert Edgar. Summary execution at Ingleston, Glencairn parish, April, 1685.

9. Andrew Ferguson, Glencairn parish. Died in prison in Glasgow, 1685.

10. Elizabeth H. Ferguson, aka., Elizabeth Hunter, Lady Caitloch, wife of William Ferguson of Caitloch, Glencairn parish. She died in exile in Holland, 1685.

11. John Ferguson, Glencairn parish. Drowned Orkney, December, 1679.

12. Robert Ferguson. Died Battle of Bothwell Bridge, June, 1679.

13. Robert Ferguson. Killed at Auchencloy in Girthon parish, December, 1684.

14. M[rs]. James Forsyth, Lochmaben parsh. Died in prison in Dunnottar Castle 1685.

15. John Gibson, younger of Ingleston, Glencairn parish. Summary execution at Ingleston, April, 1685.

16. James Glover, Tinwald parish. Died imprisoned in Edinburgh, 1685.

17. Edward Gordon. Captured at Lochenkit. Hanged at Hallhill, Irongray parish, March, 1685.

18. Margaret Gracie, Martyr of Tradition. Allan’s Cairn, 1685.

19. Robert Grierson. Summary execution at Ingleston, Glencairn parish, April, 1685.

20. William Grierson. Perhaps of Lochwharre. He was badly wounded in the Enterkin Rescue in 1684 and recaptured. It is possible that it may be an error for John Grierson in Holywood parish, who was executed at Dumfries, January, 1667.

21. John Hair, Martyr of Tradition. Sanquhar parish, 1685.

22. Thomas Harkness, Closeburn parish. Executed in Edinburgh, August, 1684.

23. William Heron, Killed at Lochenkit, 1685.

24. Andrew Hunter, Dumfries. Died in prison in Dumfries, 1685.

25. Elizabeth Hunter. Perhaps a duplicate of no.10. Possibly Elizabeth Glendonning, who is curiously missing from the list. She died in prison in 1685.

26. William Hunter. Captured at Auchencloy. Summary execution at Kirkcudbright, December, 1684.

27. John Johnstone. Died at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge, June, 1679.

28. John Kennedy [i.e., James Kennedy], Closeburn parish. Drowned Orkney, December, 1679.

29. James Kirko. Summary execution at Sands of Dumfries, May, 1685.

30. John MacCall, Died at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge, June, 1679.

31. Alexander MacCubine. Captured at Lochenkit. Hanged at Hallhill, Irongray parish, March, 1685.

32. Samuel MacEwen, Glencairn parish. Executed in Edinburgh, August, 1684.

33. Thomas MacGirr. Died at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge, June, 1679.

34. David MacKervail, Glencairn parish. Drowned Orkney, December, 1679.

35. John MacClamroes, Died at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge, June, 1679.

36. Andrew MacLellan, Dumfries. Died when banished on Pitlochie’s ship, 1685.

37. Daniel MacMichael, Dalry parish. Summary execution at Dalveen in Durisdeer parish, January, 1685

38. James MacMichael, Dalry parish. Killed at Auchencloy in Girthon parish, December, 1684.

39. Robert Milligan, Glencairn parish. Drowned at Orkney, December, 1679.

40. Thomas Milligan, Closeburn parish. Drowned at Orkney, December, 1679.

41. Robert Mitchell. Summary execution at Ingleston, Glencairn parish, April, 1685.

42. Robert Morris, Martyr of Tradition. Sanquhar parish, 1685.

43. John Muirhead, Dumfries. Died in prison in Leith, 1685.

44. James Muncie, Dumfries. Died in prison in Edinburgh, 1685.

45. John Mundell. Died in prison in Edinburgh, 1685.

46. Rev. James Renwick, Glencairn parish. Executed in Edinburgh, February, 1688.

47. John Renwick, Dumfries. Died when banished in Pitlochie’s ship, 1685.

48. James Robson. Died at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge, June, 1679.

49. Thomas Rosper, Glencairn parish. Drowned Orkney, December, 1679.

50. Robert Sitlington. Died at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge, June, 1679.

51. Thomas Sitlington, i.e., James Sittingtoun, Died when banished on Pitlochie’s ship, 1685.

52. James Smith, Died at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge, June, 1679.

53. “Rev. Robert Smith”, who was not a minister. Taken at Auchencloy and executed at Kirkcudbright, December, 1684.

54. William Smith, Glencairn parish. Summary execution near Moniaive, March, 1685.

55. John Stot, Dumfries. Died imprisoned in Dunnottar, 1685.

56. William Welsh, Kirkpatrick-Irongray parish, Executed at Dumfries, January, 1667.

57. Andrew Wallat, Irongray parish. Drowned Orkney, December, 1679.

 

Watersaugh’s Secret Mission on the Eve of the Battle of Bothwell Bridge in 1679 #History #Scotland

•October 21, 2018 • Leave a Comment

On the eve of the battle of Bothwell Bridge, a secret agent named John Miller sneaked out of the camp of the King’s army on his hands and knees. His plan was to cross the Clyde and enemy lines to rendezvous with leaders of the rebel Covenanters who were then in arms. Battle was only hours away. His mission? To persuade the rebels to lay down their arms and get beneficial terms for their surrender. Did he succeed? …

John Miller was the laird of Watersaugh in Shotts parish, Lanarkshire. Today, Watersaugh is an over-grown ruin near Coltness in Wishaw, Lanarkshire.

Map of Watersaugh

What was at stake?
Miller of Watersaugh did not embark on the mission off his own back. He had been selected for the task. Here we get into the optics of Watersaugh’s secret mission. At the moment that Watersaugh was sent on his mission, James Scott, the Duke of Monmouth and Buccleuch, the great Whig/Protestant hope to avoid a future Catholic King James VII in the Exclusion Crisis, had recently arrived to take charge of the King’s army. Monmouth needed moderate-presbyterian support in Scotland to boost his position across Britain, but he was in charge of an army sent to crush the presbyterian Covenanters. It was a tricky political dilemma for him and some of the gentry with him. Many of the moderate-presbyterian gentry sympathised with the rebels, but feared that the militants who had started the rising were making unrealistic and politically radical demands which threatened royal authority. When push came to shove, most of the moderate-presbyterian gentry found that they could not support the militant-led rising. Some sat on their hands, or privately assisted the rebels, and others, perhaps with a degree of reluctance, joined the King’s forces as loyal subjects.

At the same time, the leaders of the Presbyterian rising at Bothwell were divided. Militants like Donald Cargill and Robert Hamilton had initiated the rebellion and won victories in early June at Drumclog and Glasgow. For them, that was confirmation that God favoured their cause. However, their early successes triggered a wider presbyterian rising across the South West, with the result that less militant-figures came into the Covenanters’ camp and swung the balance of power in the council of war in a moderate direction. By the eve of battle, the Covenanter Army was divided and locked in a potentially irreconcilable dispute between moderates and militants.

On 20 June, the less-militant faction had finally gained control of the Covenanters’ council of war, after the Galloway lairds had arrived. It may have been at that point, although we have no direct evidence for it, in which feelers were sent out to moderate-presbyterian gentry with Monmouth that a negotiated resolution to the conflict was possible. What is clear is that some of the gentry with Monmouth decided to reach out to the rebels.

At that moment, there was a lot at stake for the wider Presbyterian movement. Defeat in battle would be a crushing blow to the Presbyterian cause in Scotland, define them as disloyal rebels and lead to the fragmentation of the movement. However, a Covenanter victory, or even just them holding off Monmouth’s army in stand off at the bridge, also carried risks for the moderates, as it would boost the militant’s cause and only reinforce their demands. From the point of view of the moderate-presbyterian gentry, avoiding a battle and ending the rebellion on favourable terms was the best possible outcome.

Watersaugh’s mission also took place against the backdrop of closing armies. As the Covenanters settled into their camp at Hamilton Muir, the King’s army was moving west towards them. On 17 June, elements of the latter were assembling near Broxburn, and on 19 June, a brief skirmish was fought near their camp at Kirk O’ Shotts. Two days later, on 21 June, the King’s army struck camp and approached the north side of the Clyde to within a few miles of the Covenanters on Hamilton Muir. Battle was close.

It was in that moment, that Watersaugh was sent to the Covenanters with an offer.

Why was Watersaugh selected?
Choosing the right agent to deliver their message was essential. If the messenger was to get a hearing, he had to be acceptable to both factions in the Covenanters’ council of war. The militants were not likely to countenance any “malignant” who was in the King’s Army arrayed against them.

The advantages that John Miller of Watersaugh offered was that he was a moderate presbyterian who is said to have been married to one of Donald Cargill’s sisters. Cargill was probably familiar with his sister’s household. He had lived in Lanarkshire from the mid 1650s until he retired to his native Perthshire after the Restoration. From the late 1670s, when to took up field preaching in the area around Glasgow, he may well have stayed there and at some point, probably after the Bothwell Rising, he is said to have escaped soldiers searching the house.

As kin of the leading militant minister among the Covenanters, his safety was pretty much guaranteed and he was likely to get at least a hearing from Cargill and his followers.

The Mission
Watersaugh was with Monmouth’s army when he was approached by George Melville, Lord Melville, and William Hamilton of Wishaw. The laird of Wishaw was Watersaugh’s closest neighbour and lived directly across the South Calder Water from him. Wishaw’s presence probably both reassured and helped to persuade Watersaugh to accept the mission. He was probably identified as an ideal candidate by the laird of Wishaw acting on behalf of Lord Melville.

How far the idea for the mission when up the chain of command is not clear. It probably  reached up to Monmouth, the commander of the King’s army, and may have ultimately reached up the king, Charles II. Over a decade later, Wishaw claimed that Lord Melville had said that ‘Monmouth allowed him to do it’. Another witness at the time, George MacKenzie, Viscount of Tarbat, also stated that Charles II had authorised Monmouth to ‘employ fit persons to deal with the rebels’ and ‘that both the king and the duke did at several times tell the witness that they had desired my Lord Melville to use his endeavours for that effect.’ (RPS, A1690/4/14.)

What is clear is that Watersaugh did not see himself as the King’s agent. He only knew for certain that Lord Melville and Wishaw were behind the mission.

According to Watersaugh, his mission was expressly directed to make contact with Mr John Welsh, the minister who headed the less-militant faction that had recently taken over the Covenanter’s council of war.

Melville desired him to ‘go to the rebels’ army, to Mr John Welsh and Mr David Home and tell them from him that they might send a petition to [the] duke of Monmouth, and, providing they sent it orderly with trumpet or drum, assured them it would be received, and that they might expect good conditions.’ Wishaw encouraged him to ‘do as my Lord Melville had directed him.’

Watersaugh was to deliver targeted messages to Welsh. Melville urged him to ‘tell Mr John Welsh that the king’s army was decamping and that none knew where they were going except the duke of Monmouth.’ That provided Welsh and the Covenanters with vital intelligence that the King’s army was about to strike, but it did not tell them where the blow would land. It was a risky gesture of goodwill, but it also piled on the pressure to act now to avoid a battle. Melville also tried to persuade Welsh and others to see the political dangers a battle would bring: ‘If he were at Mr John Welsh he would sit down on his knees and beg them to lay down their arms and render themselves in the king’s mercy, for he hoped they would get good conditions’, but ‘if they will not follow advice’ and the Covenanters are ‘broken’ in battle ‘it will ruin the presbyterian interest.’

His Journey Begins
Watersaugh asked Melville ‘how he should get off the king’s army’ and was bid to ‘wait on and we shall find a way for you to get off’. In practice that apparently meant that he and Hamilton of Wishaw crawled on their hands and knees for a quarter of a mile from the camp to await the army’s departure or dusk. Both of them then journeyed for three miles together, before Wishaw parted from him and went ‘by Coltness, to his own house’.

Coltness was the home of Thomas Steuart of Coltness, a moderate presbyterian and a neighbour of both Wishaw and Watersaugh. The house at Coltness belonged to his father, but Thomas Steuart and his family inhabited it from 1679.

That appears indicate that the laird of Wishaw crossed the South Calder Water somewhere to the north of Coltness and that Watersaugh followed a different route ‘towards Hamilton’, perhaps via his house, from their parting point. At some point, Watersaugh obtained a horse, possibly from his own house, as he was later recorded as ‘riding’ towards the Covenanters guarding the ford of Dalzell. (RPS, A1685/4/22.; A1685/4/23.)

At Dalzell Ford
Here, Robert Fleming of Auchenfin, the forfeited laird in Kilbride parish, takes up the story.

Map of Auchenfin

According to Fleming of Auchenfin:

‘[He and other rebels were] guarding Dalzell ford on Saturday night [21 June, and that] between 10 o’clock and 11 o’clock there came a man to them from the king’s army named John Miller of Watershaugh, and that when he was challenged he said he had come with letters from the Lord Melville to Mr John Welsh and Mr David Home … [and] that the king’s army was under march and was within four miles of them.’

It is not clear precisely where the Dalzell ford was located on the Clyde, but it was probably close to Dalzell House and certainly crossed the Clyde at Dalziel parish.

How Watersaugh knew that the King’s army was ‘within four miles’ is not known, as he presumably took a different route from the army to the Clyde. Watersaugh’s estimate may not have been far off. After the King’s army left their camp just to the east of Kirk O’Shotts, the road system dictated that they had three potential crossing points close to the Covenanters’ camp on Hamilton Muir. One was the dry-shod crossing at Bothwell Bridge to the north of Hamilton, which they would have to force. The second was the ferry across the Clyde directly to Hamilton, which was not a realistic military option as the river was too deep. The third was to cross the Clyde at a ford to the south of Hamilton, i.e., at the Dalzell ford or further upstream at Carbarns. From Auchenfin’s testimony, it is clear that the Dalzell ford was guarded by a small party of forty to fifty Covenanters. It appears that the Covenanters saw the Dalzell ford as a potential crossing point, but did not see it as vital to hold against an assault. We do not know which route Monmouth took, but his army probably headed directly for where they appeared a few hours later at Bothwell Bridge.

Auchenfin sent John Lockhart of Barr and Alexander Lockhart with Watersaugh to Welsh, which he later stated ‘he would not have allowed upon any words of his if he had not seen the letters in his hands.’ (RPS, A1685/4/24.)

We know from an earlier incident in the rising after 13 June that Auchenfin was a trusted agent of John Welsh, as it was he who quickly had the Hamilton Declaration printed, much to the annoyance of the militant Covenanters in the camp. Was this a set up? Or was it a stroke of good luck that Watersaugh encountered Welsh’s trusted agent?

One of the men Auchenfin sent with Watersaugh, was John Lockhart of Barr, who came from Galston parish, Ayrshire. His tower still stands.

Map of Barr, Galston

He takes up the story:
‘Aged 45 years or thereby’ and ‘married’, Lockhart of Barr testified that ‘about 12 o’clock at night or 1 o’clock in the morning, John Miller of Watershaugh came riding to Dalzell ford, and being challenged by the sentries, told Robert Fleming of Auchenfin, in presence of the party that were guarding that ford (who were about 40 or 50), that he was sent by the Lord Melville with an express commission and letters to Mr John Welsh and Mr David Home, to be communicated to the rest of their associates.’

Watersaugh told Barr that ‘he had to creep upon his hands and sit near a quarter of a mile from the king’s camp, fearing he might be apprehended with the said letters and commission by any of his majesty’s forces, and that he said the Lord Melville could trust none but him with these letters.’

When they reached Hamilton, Barr states that he saw Watersaugh ‘show the back of his letters first to Robert Hamilton and then to Mr John King, who carried John Miller with his letters and commission to Mr John Welsh and Mr David Home who were then lying in Mistress Naismith’s house in Hamilton.’

That is an quite a moment. Robert Hamilton, the militant commander of the Covenanters, let the letters pass, presumably knowing they were addressed to John Welsh.

Watersaugh recorded that Auchenfin ‘sent two horsemen of the rebels with him towards the muir of Hamilton where a Mr John King met them and carried the declarant to Mr Naismith’s house in Hamilton, where Mr John Welsh and Mr David Home were in a room alone, to which three he delivered his commission;’

Afterwards the three ministers brought him ‘to the top of the muir’ where there were 10 or 12 rebel officers were convened to repeat his commission from Lord Melville that they should petition Monmouth to get good terms. There Watersaugh ‘heard Mr David Home say to the rest that he would take his life in his hand and venture over to the king’s army if they would send two officers or two gentlemen with him.’

Barr, himself, did not see or hear what was in the letters, as David Home and Patrick Murdoch, laird of Cumloden [in Galloway] ‘would not suffer Mr John Welsh to tell the same to him.’

However, Barr was clear that Watersaugh had brought them vital intelligence that ‘the king’s army were about 16,000 men and were decamped and under march and within two miles of the rebels’, and that if he had not brought that intelligence they would have ‘surprised the rebels and got all of them, as it were, in a whole net.’ (RPS, A1685/4/22.; A1685/4/25.)

James Ure of Shargarton’s account of the rising provides corroboration for Barr’s claim:

‘We were not well settled when there came a post to Mr. Welsh [from Watersaugh], showing that the enemy was marching towards us. We were not concerned with an enemy, as if there had not been one within 1000 miles of us. There were none went through the army to see if we wanted powder or ball. I do really think there were few or none that had both powder and ball in all the army to shoot twice. […] And we went presently to the moor and stood to our arms all night, and a little before day we saw the enemy kindling their matches a great way off.’ (McCrie (ed.), Memoirs of Mr William Veitch, 474.)

A Back-Up Mission
After Watersaugh left the rebel meeting, ‘he espied one Thomas Steel, tenant to [Thomas] Stewart of Coltness, at a little distance from the said meeting’.

Steel informed him that ‘William Hamilton of Wishaw had come the last night to his master’s house of Coltness, and that they had sent him to see what was become’ of Watersaugh. However, Steel had also ‘spoken with Mr John Welsh’, about which Watersaugh ‘was glad’ because he ‘would believe [Watersaugh] the better’ regarding the veracity of his mission.

Steel wished to remain to ‘be content to see what these people would do’, but at Watersaugh’s desire, Steel returned with him, presumably so both of them could inform Wishaw and Coltness they had delivered their letters and met with apparent success. (RPS, A1685/4/22.)

The Outcome
A couple of hours later, after 3 am, Ure of Shargarton was involved in the first skirmish of the battle at Bothwell Bridge. In the midst of it:

‘Robert Hamilton and Mr. Hume came to us, and several others. They sent over a drummer with a petition; so there was a cessation for near one hour. The mean while the enemy came hard to the bridge-end and spoke to us and we to them. They desired us to come over and they would not harm us, and called for Mr. [Robert] Hamilton to speak with him; so Mr. David Hume went over, and another gentleman with him, and spoke with the duke [of Monmouth], and desired his Grace if he would prevent the effusion of blood. He told them, their petition should have been more humbly worded, and said, lay down our arms and come in his mercy, and we should be favourably dealt with: so he returned and told us.

When Robert Hamilton heard it, he laughed at it, and said, “and hang next.” So we sent over word, we would not lay down our arms. …’ (McCrie (ed.), Memoirs of Mr William Veitch, 476-7.)

The Price

John Miller of Watersaugh would pay a price for the secrecy of his mission. The authorities would imprison him for conversing with the rebels at Bothwell.

Thomas Steuart of Coltness was forfeited for assisting the Bothwell rebels and prebsterian fugitives in 1685.

George Melville, Lord Melville, was forfeited by Parliament on 13 June, 1685. His forfeiture was in part due to the secret mission to the Covenanters:

‘upon 21 June [1679], the night before the rebels were defeated at Bothwell Bridge, the said Lord Melville did send and dispatch John Miller of Watershaugh from his majesty’s camp to Mr John Veitch [an error for Mr John Welsh] and others, the ringleaders and commanders of the said rebels, with letters and written commissions, at least verbal orders, giving them an account of the strength and number of his majesty’s forces, and of their motion and resolutions, … which commissioner of his accordingly arrived in their camp and delivered the said letters and commissions to the said Mr John Veitch [i.e., John Welsh] and others, the ringleaders of the said rebellion, and received such returns as the said rebels thought fit to send to him.’ (RPS, A1685/4/30.)

After the Revolution, there was a move to reduce the forfeiture of Lord Melville in Parliament. (RPS, A1690/4/14.)

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Photo of Watersaugh reproduced by the very kind permission of @grahambuttis

The Covenanter Donald Cargill’s Narrow Escape at Watersaugh near Wishaw #History #Scotland

•October 17, 2018 • 1 Comment

Watersaugh c1750

Near Wishaw is a ruined house where the Covenanter Donald Cargill is said to have escaped. Between mid 1679 and mid 1681, Cargill was probably the “Most-Wanted” fugitive in Scotland. Not only had he begun a rebellion against King Charles II in 1679, he had also done the unthinkable in 1680 and excommunicated the King and leading members of his regime close to the Wallace Oak at Torwood in Stirlingshire.

Cargill is famed for his narrow escapes from his pursuers, particularly at an inn at South Queensferry and at the Muttonhole near Edinburgh, before he was captured and executed in July, 1681.

However, according to later local tradition, Donald Cargill also escaped from his sister’s house at Watersaugh near Wishaw. Watersaugh, aka. Watershaugh, lies in Shotts parish, Lanarkshire. Today, what is left of Watersaugh is an over-grown ruin on the banks of the South Calder Water near Coltness, Wishaw.

Map of Watersaugh

According to the Reverend Peter Brown’s Historical Sketches of the Parish of Cambusnethan (1859), Cargill had many connections to the locality:

‘[Cargill] had rather an interesting connection with the parish of Cambusnethan, frequently visited it, preached in it, and found refuge in it. Darngavel, and Benty-rig [perhaps] near Stanebent, are two of the places in Cambusnethan which Mr. Cargill frequently visited, and at which he preached. It was during his last visit to Darngavel [in March, 1681] that he had an interview with the leaders of a sect which had been originated at Borrowstounness, who, after the name of their principal leader, were called “Gibbites.” […] Reference has already been repeatedly made [earlier in this work] to John Miller, in Watersaugh, who built Cambusnethan kirk in the year 1650, and who suffered a long imprisonment for alleged correspondence with rebels. Mrs. Miller, the worthy spouse of the occupant of Watersaugh, was the sister of Donald Cargill, and Watersaugh thus became one of the haunts and hiding-places of Cargill.’ (Brown, Historical Sketches of the Parish of Cambusnethan, 146.)

In fact, John Miller of Watersaugh had served in the King’s army that crushed the Covenanters at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge on 22 June, 1679. The fact that he served in the King’s army almost certainly indicates that Miller of Watersaugh was a moderate-presbyterian gentleman who did not share his brother-in-law’s militant beliefs. On the eve of the battle, the laird of Watersaugh went on a secret mission to the rebel camp to persuade them to lay down their arms in return for good terms of surrender. The secrecy surrounding his mission to the Covenanters would get him into considerable trouble over the next few years.

‘John Miller of Wattershaugh’ was later recorded in a libel along with many other Lanarkshire heritors who were forfeited for treason and rebellion in March, 1681. Curiously, Miller ‘of Watershaugh’ and a handful of others – including John Gray, son to James Gray elder in Chryston, who was dead and John Spreul, who was already imprisoned for plotting to blow up the Duke of York – were not forfeited with the others. (ST, XI, 253, 265.)

However, two years later in May 1683, Watersaugh was imprisoned in the Canongate Tolbooth and interrogated for his correspondence with rebels at Bothwell. On 2 January, 1684, he petitioned the privy council for his release. According to Wodrow:

‘January 3d [1684], John Millar of Watershaugh petitions the council, that he hath been in prison these nine months for alleged correspondence with rebels at Bothwell, and no proof brought against him, craving to be liberate. The council order him to be liberate from the Canongate tolbooth, upon his giving bond and caution, under the penalty of five thousand pounds sterling, that he shall answer to any crime laid to his charge, upon six days’ citation at his house; and that in the meantime he shall live orderly and frequent ordinances at his own parish-church. I have no more concerning this gentleman; but five thousand pounds sterling was a most exorbitant sum, upon mere suspicion of correspondence.’ (Wodrow, History, IV, 41.)

Cargill’s Escape
The Reverend Brown recorded Cargill’s escape at Watersaugh as follows:

‘The late Mr. James Paterson, who long tenanted Watersaugh, and died there, was thoroughly conversant with the antiquities of the parish, and to him the author was much indebted for the information which he obtained regarding Mr. Cargill, and other incidents recorded in this volume.

On one occasion, when Mr. Cargill was under hiding in Watersaugh, his enemies got notice, of it, and were in the court, before the door, before any of the inmates were aware of the danger in which the servant of God was thus placed. From the under-flat of this old mansion there is a door-way leading to the river, which flows past it at the distance of only a few yards. From this doorway Cargill managed to escape; and, dashing through the river, found refuge in the adjoining woods, till his pursuers, finding they had lost their prey, had withdrawn.

The old house of Watersaugh has many interesting historical and local associations, but, on passing it, the association ever uppermost in the writer’s mind is, that under its hospitable roof Cargill often found shelter and repose, and that from the low door-way, facing the river, he escaped on the occasion referred to.’ (Brown, Historical Sketches of the Parish of Cambusnethan, 147-8.)

Today, Watersaugh is a ruin. From Brown’s description, it appears that the “old mansion” was almost certainly a stone building and relatively close to the river. It was, apparently, part of a set of buildings around a court/courtyard of some sort. The description of an “under-flat” means that a floor or storey of the old mansion lay below the level of the main floor of the house. If anything survives of the old mansion, it may be the under flat, as that was the lowest storey of the building. The under flat was close to the river, as doorway from it led to the South Calder Water, which flowed past it ‘at the distance of only a few yards’.

It was through that doorway that Cargill is said to have escaped, dashed across the river and hid in the woods opposite Watersaugh.

For more on the Covenanters of Cambusnethan parish, see here.

For more on Donald Cargill, see here.

For James Stewart, a Covenanter martyr from Coltness, see here.

I am extremely grateful to @grahambuttis for renewing my interest in this site and making me look again at the Covenanter story connected with it. If it was not for people like him and others exploring and revealing local historical sites, all this would be lost.

Photos of Watersaugh reproduced by the very kind permission of @grahambuttis

A Great Hail as Big as Golf Balls, Eggs and Pistol Bullets in 1716 #History #Scotland

•October 14, 2018 • 1 Comment

Great Hail

‘In May, this year [1719], we had a very great thunder at Edinburgh, which puts me in mind that May 1716, if I remember, much about this same time, ther was a very extraordinary hail shour in the parish of the Mearns. At Eastwood it was as bigg as beans; at Over Pollock it was as bigg as pistol bullets; [but] Mr Hunter assures me, in the upper part of the parish, about Flock Brigg, it was fully as bigg as eggs and golph-balls: That some people wer almost killed with it, and wer oblidged to cover themselves with turf, otherwise they had been killed.’ (Wodrow, Analecta, II, 334-5.)

Wodrow’s story of the “golph-balls” is one of the oldest mentions of golf in Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

geograph-240685-by-Iain-Thompson

Flock Brigg, i.e., Floak Bridge, lies on the old road from Glasgow to Kilmarnock. It is close to the modern A77, Lochgoin and Whitelee Windfarm.

Map of Floak Bridge

Street View of Floak Bridge

A similar use of turfs as a defence mechanism against ‘great haill’ had been adopted near Dumbarton in 1676.

For other strange wonders in Scotland, see here.

Image: nssl0001, National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) Collection – http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/htmls/nssl0001.htm (visited 2009-02-12; former: http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/nssl/nssl0001.htm)

The Great Land Flood of 1712 #History #Scotland

•September 24, 2018 • Leave a Comment

geograph-672312-by-Calum-McRoberts

In late September, 1712, extremely heavy rains brought the worst flooding in living memory between Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Reverend Robert Wodrow wrote about them in his Analecta:

‘The 24 of this moneth, the Commission sate [in Edinburgh]. I had occasion partly to observe, and partly to hear of the greatest landflood that has been for ane age in Scotland, or in the memory of man at least. Ther was scarce any travailing from the West to Edinburgh. Instead of nine or ten miles, I had upwards of twenty, and that with the greatest hazard, to ride. I sau the greatest destruction of victuall that I belive ever has been in the memory of man. Many thousands of bolls I sau flotting and cast out in Cramond or Kirkliston watter [i.e., the River Almond]; and the like I hear of Forth and Clyde.

The farther west, the rain has been the greater, because it came from the south-west. The state of Glasgou was very strange. The water came up to the well in the Saltmerkat; a boat sailed throu the Brigate, and brought out some persons. Other particulars, ride the Edinburgh Courant. Many bridges wer carryed doun, and the bridge of Glasgou in great hazard; it being, as they say, cracked in one place, and the watter at the tope of the highest boues. Many persons and beasts are lost.’ (Wodrow, Analecta, II, 90.)

The week before, the Galloping Fever had struck Glasgow and Wodrow hanged his dog.

The British Army of the Killing Times in the Winter of 1685 #History #Scotland

•September 23, 2018 • 1 Comment

 

On 10 December, 1685, General William Drummond wrote a memorial of the winter quarters appointed for the King’s Scottish Army, aka., the British Army, until further orders.

The modern regiments descended from these regiments are @scots_guards, @2_SCOTS
and @SCOTS_DG

‘The winter quarters appointed for his majesties forces till furder ordor:
The Kings troop of guards, consisting of four squadrons, att the Canongate, Dalkeith, Musselburgh, Christorphin and the next adjacent places.
The regiment of horse consisting of sex troops.
The collonell at Jedburgh in Tiviotdale.
The leivetenent collonells at Drumfreis in Nithsdale.
The majors at Glasgow in Clidsdale.
The Earle of Balcarres at Calder and Bathgate, by turns, in West Louthian.
The Earl of Airlies at Mauchline, Newmilnes, Mayboll annd Kilmarnock, by turnes in Aire-shire.
Lord William Douglas at the toun of Kirkcudbright.
The regiment of dragoons consisting of sex troops.
The collonells troop at Drumfreis in Nithsdale.
The leivetenent collonells at Lanerk in Clidsdale.
Captain Strauchans troop at Newtoun in Galloway in the stewartrie.
George Winrhames troop at Wigtoun in Galloway.
Sir Adam Blaires at Cumnock in Aire-shire
Captain Livingstons at Straven in Clidsdale.
The Kings regiment of guards consisting of fourteen companies. Nyn in and about Edinburgh; four at Glasgow; one at Stirling.
The Earle of Mars’ regiment tuelve companies. Sex at Aire; three at Glasgow; tuo at Stirline; one at Invernes.’ (RPCS, XI, 256.)

We can clarify that information and resolve which officers were involved in greater detail, as follows:

King’s Regiment of Horse (Six troops):

1. Colonel John Graham of Claverhouse’s troop of horse at Jedburgh, Teviotdale.
Captain-Lieutenant Andrew Bruce of Earlshall.
Cornet David Graham.

2. Lieutenant-colonel James Douglas, Earl of Drumlanrig’s troop of horse at Dumfries, Nithsdale.
Lieutenant Francis Crichton.
Cornet John Naismith.

3. Major Lord William Ross’s troop of horse at Glasgow, Lanarkshire.
Lieutenant [Sir] Mark Carse.
Cornet not known. (Sir Adam Blair, younger of Carberry, was the cornet of this troop until he was shot in the neck at the Battle of Muirdykes on 18 June, 1685. He was promoted to a captaincy in the dragoons on 6 November.)

4. Captain Colin Lindsay, Earl of Balcarres’s troop of horse by turns at Calder and Bathgate, Linlithgowshire.
Lieutenant David Bruce.
Cornet James Fletcher.

5. Captain James Ogilvy, Earl of Airlie’s troop of horse by turns at Mauchline, Newmilns, Maybole and Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.
Lieutenant William Graham of Balquhaple.
Cornet Sir William Keith.

6. Lord William Douglas’s troop of horse at Kirkcudbright, Kirkcudbrightshire.
Lieutenant James Stewart.
Cornet William Douglas.

The several officers in the dragoons were promoted or brought into the regiment to make up for losses in their ranks. Broadly those changes took place in mid 1685.

His Majesty’s Regiment of Dragoons (Six troops):

1. Colonel Lord Charles Murray’s troop of dragoons at Dumfries, Nithsdale.
Captain-lieutenant Alexander Bruce of Broomhall. (See lieutenant below)
Cornet John Baillie.

Formerly the troop of General Dalyell. Pre November, 1685:
General Thomas Dalyell. (died August, 1685.)
Captain-lieutenant Thomas Winram. (Resigned October, 1685.)
Cornet John Baillie.

2. Lieutenant-colonel John Wedderburn of Gosford’s troop of dragoons at Lanark, Lanarkshire.
Lieutenant James Murray.
Cornet James Murray.

Pre November, 1685:
Major John Wedderburn of Gosford. (See above.)
Lieutenant James Murray.
Cornet James Dundas. (Had arm shot off at Muirdykes, 18 June, 1685.)

3. Captain William Livingstone of Kilsyth’s troop of dragoons at Strathaven, Lanarkshire.
Lieutenant James Dundas. (see cornet above.)
Cornet James Innes.

Formerly Lord Charles Murray’s troop before 6 November, 1685. Pre November, 1685:
Captain Lord Charles Murray. (See above.)
Lieutenant Alexander Bruce of Broomhall. (See above. Previously a captain in Scots Brigade abroad.)
Cornet James Innes.

4. Captain John Strachan’s troop of dragoons at Newtown of Galloway in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright.
Lieutenant John Livingston.
Cornet Henry Drummond.

5. Captain Sir Adam Blair, younger of Carberry’s troop of dragoons at Cumnock, Ayrshire.
Lieutenant John Crichton.
Cornet John Whiteford.

Formerly Captain William Cleland’s troop before he was killed at Muirdykes on 18 June, 1685. Blair, formerly of Lord Ross’s Horse, was shot in the neck at Muirdykes. Pre November, 1685:
Captain William Cleland (Died at Muirdykes, 18 June, 1685.)
Lieutenant John Crichton.
Cornet John Whiteford.

6. Captain ‘Major’ George Winram’s troop of dragoons at Wigtown, Galloway. (George Winram had previously been a major.)
Lieutenant Lewis Lauder.
Cornet David Garioch.

Formerly Captain John Inglis’ troop in Ayrshire before early May, 1685. Pre 3 May, 1685:
Captain John Inglis. (A commission was award to Winram on 30 March, but Inglis remained in post until the attack on Newmilns in late April. See Dalton, Scots Army, 22, note 3.)
Lieutenant Lewis Lauder.
Cornet Peter Inglis. (Followed his father out of the regiment.)

if you want to know which modern regiments of the British Army were involved in the Killing Times, see here.

In the winter of 1685, the units were distributed around the country as follows:

Edinburgh
Nine companies of the King’s Regiment of Footguards in and about Edinburgh.
Four squadrons of the King’s Troop of Lifeguards at the Canongate, Dalkeith, Musselburgh, Corstorphine and adjacent places.

Linlithgowshire
Earl of Balcarres’s troop of horse by turns at Calder and Bathgate, Linlithgowshire.

Glasgow
Major Lord William Ross’s troop of horse at Glasgow, Lanarkshire.
Four companies of the King’s Regiment of Footguards at Glasgow.
Three companies of Mar’s Regiment of Foot at Glasgow.

Lanark
Lieutenant-colonel John Wedderburn of Gosford’s troop of dragoons at Lanark, Lanarkshire.

Strathaven
Captain William Livingstone’s troop of dragoons at Strathaven, Lanarkshire. (Formerly Lord Charles Murray’s troop before 6 November, 1685.)

Ayr
Six companies of Mar’s Regiment of Foot at Ayr.

Ayrshire
Earl of Airlie’s troop of horse by turns at Mauchline, Newmilns, Maybole and Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.
Captain Sir Adam Blair, younger of Carberry’s troop of dragoons at Cumnock, Ayrshire.

Wigtown
Captain ‘Major’ George Winram’s troop of dragoons at Wigtown, Galloway. (Formerly Captain John Inglis’ troop in Ayrshire before early May, 1685.)

Newtown of Galloway
Captain John Strachan’s troop of dragoons at Newtown of Galloway in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright.

Kirkcudbright
Lord William Douglas’s troop of horse at Kirkcudbright, Kirkcudbrightshire.

Dumfries
Lieutenant-colonel James Douglas, Earl of Drumlanrig’s troop of horse at Dumfries, Nithsdale.
Colonel Lord Charles Murray’s troop of dragoons at Dumfries, Nithsdale. (Formerly the troop of General Dalyell.)

Jedburgh
Colonel John Graham of Claverhouse’s troop of horse at Jedburgh, Teviotdale.

Stirling
One company of the King’s Regiment of Footguards at Stirling.
Two companies of Mar’s Regiment of Foot at Stirling.

Inverness
One company of Mar’s Regiment of Foot at Inverness.