The Pentland Rising of 1666: Executed in Dumfries on 2 January, 1667 #History #Scotland

•January 2, 2019 • 2 Comments

geograph-937457-by-Lairich-Rig

Two days after the executions in Irvine, two more Covenanters were hanged and beheaded in Dumfries for their part in the Pentland Rising of November, 1666. Their heads were exhibited at the mercat cross of Dumfries and were said to have been spiked on the bridge port. (Hewison, Covenanters, II, 210, 210n.)

Two executed at Dumfries, 2 January, 1667.

35. John Grier[son] in Fourmerkland, Holywood parish, Nithsdale, Dumfriesshire.
No martyrs’ testimony has survived. Fourmerkland lies in Holywood parish near Dumfries in Nithsdale.

Map of Fourmerkland Tower

36. William Welsh in Kirkpatrick parish/Kilpatrick parish.
He was probably Kirkpatrick-Irongray parish (kirkcudbrightshire) rather than Kirkpatrick-Juxta parish (Annandale). A number of fugitives named Welsh came from Irongray parish. No martyrs’ testimony has survived.

Their gravestones were erected between 1702 to 1714 and are located in St Michael’s Churchyard in Dumfries. A later monument lies close to the graves.

Both Covenanters also appear on the Nithsdale Martyrs Monument.

The Dumfries martyrs were the last of 36 Covenanters executed for the Pentland Rising of 1666. To see the first ten executed and find out what happened to their heads, see the first post here.

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The Pentland Rising of 1666: Executed at Irvine on 31 December #History #Scotland

•December 31, 2018 • 3 Comments

Irvine Mercat Cross

Four days after he had executed seven of his rebel comrades at Ayr, Cornelius Anderson hanged and beheaded two more Covenanters in Irvine, probably at the mercat cross, on 31 December, 1666.

33. James Blackwood, servant to John Brown in Fenwick parish, Ayrshire.
No martyrs’ testimony has survived.

34. John MacCoul, son to John MacCoul in Carsphairn parish, Kircudbrightshire.
No martyrs’ testimony has survived.

As at other execution sites, they were probably executed in the burgh and their heads displayed nearby at Irvine’s mercat cross before they were spiked, probably on a burgh gate, for public display.

The mercat cross lay where the Kirkgate met the High Street and just before the town council building (now demolished) in the middle of the High Street.

A gravestone was erected to them in Irvine between 1702 and 1714, and was recorded in the first edition of Cloud of Witnesses. Today, it can be found at Irvine Old Parish Church.

After the Irvine executions, two more Covenanters were hanged and beheaded in Dumfries on 2 January

 

The Pentland Rising of 1666: Executed at Ayr on 27 December #History #Scotland

•December 27, 2018 • 2 Comments

Five days after six were executed in Edinburgh for the Pentland Rising, seven Covenanters were hanged and beheaded in Ayr. All of those who were executed were from Galloway. At around the same time, General Tam Dalyell shot David Finlay at Newmilns.

Seven* were executed at Ayr on 27 December, 1666
A gravestone was erected to them in the Auld Kirk of Ayr churchyard between 1702 and 1714, and replaced in 1814 and renewed more recently. It was recorded in the first edition of Cloud of Witnesses in 1714.

*Cornelius Anderson, tailor in Ayr, was forfeited, but he was not executed. After the Ayr hangman ran away and the Irvine hangman refused to conduct the executions, Anderson had to execute his comrades at both Ayr and Irvine. (Hewison, Covenanters, II, 210-11.)

For an account of how the prisoners were dealt with at Ayr, see the letter from the Earl of Rothes in the Lauderdale Papers, I, 266-8.

25. John Graham, servant to John Gordon of Midtown [in Old Clachan of Dalry], Dalry parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
No martyrs’ testimony has survived.

26. James Smith in Old Clachan of Dalry, Dalry parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
No martyrs’ testimony has survived.

27. John Short in Dalry parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
No martyrs’ testimony has survived.

28. Alexander MacMillan (or MacCulloch) in Carsphairn parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
No martyrs’ testimony has survived. Hewison named him as MacCulloch, but the rescinding of his forfeiture (1690) and his gravestone (1702 to 1714) name him as MacMillan.

29. James MacMillan ‘in Marduchat’, Carsphairn parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
Said to be ‘in Marduchat’, i.e., in Muirdrockwood. No martyrs’ testimony has survived.

Map of Muirdrockwood

Muirdrochwood was the home of Robert Cannon of Mardrogat.

He received particular criticism for betraying Cameronians after 1679 in a set of papers from Carsphairn parish, many of which came from individuals in the parish named MacMillan. I am very grateful to Dr Louise Yeoman for sending me a copy of a paper she gave which contains intriguing information on the Ayr executions in 1666 from those potentially Cameronian papers collected in Carsphairn parish in c.1689:

“Agnes Bannoch wrote her account on the back of a letter from a young man called John Macmillan to his mother. As the young man seemed to be intending a career as a minister, it made me wonder if the letter was from the John Macmillan of Balmaghie – and if she was his mother but I have no proof of this. Her account of her sufferings tell how she had sustained oppression since the 66 year – i.e., after Rullion Green. She was later forced to leave her house in the winter time and to wander ‘with my child in my airm’, which if it was John Macmillan of Balmaghie explains a lot. She writes of how after the death of my husband she had to pay ‘ten merks to Sergeant Colloch which loss was nothing to the losse of my husband which was taken by [Captain?] William Kennedie… out of his bed which was taken to Ayr and execute’.”

What is clear is that Agnes Bannoch, or Bennoch, was married to a MacMillan prior to his execution in 1666. The only two Covenanters from Carsphairn parish who were executed at Ayr were Alexander MacMillan (or MacCulloch) and James MacMillan in Muirdrochwood. A John MacCoul from Carsphairn parish was also tried at Ayr with the MacMillans, but he was hanged and beheaded in Irvine. No other Covenanters from Kirkcudbrightshire were executed in Ayr. It is clear that Agnes Bennoch was married to one of the two executed MacMillans from Carsphairn parish.

Bannoch, or Bennoch, was a very rare surname in Galloway and Dumfriesshire. A James Bennoch was killed at Ingleston in Glencairn parish in April 1685.

As her husband was forfeited, all his (and thus her) property was confiscated. She would have been cast out of her home and in desperate straits. Where Agnes Bennoch went to after she was cast out of her home is not known, but she possibly went to kin who were prepared to take her and her young child in during the dearth of winter.

The famous John McMillan is supposed to have been born in c.1669. If he was her son, and it is an if, then he may have been born in 1667 after his father’s death. He also had a brother. ‘a plain countryman’ according to Wodrow’s vivid description, who could, perhaps, be Bennoch’s ‘child in my airm’. (Wodrow, Analecta, I, 290.)

Where John McMillan was born and/or brought up in Kirkcudbrightshire is a matter of considerable debate.

The author of A Cameronian Apostle presented credible evidence he was ‘born, and lived as separatist [i.e., one of the militant Society people]’ in Kells parish, the neighbouring parish to Carsphairn and easily accessible from it, and was known to the minister of Kells parish from 1692. (A Cameronian Apostle, 13-14.)

Later tradition claims he was born at Barncauchlaw, now Barncaughla, in Minnigaff parish in c.1669. His name does not appear on the parish list of 1684 when he may have been about fifteen (or seventeen) under what appears to be the same location, i.e., “Barncable” by Glenamour. (Parish Lists of Wigtownshire and Minnigaff, 41.)

In c.1689, Agnes Bannoch was back in Carsphairn parish, at which time her child/children by the executed MacMillan would have been an adults in their early twenties and making their own way in the world.

30. George MacCartney in Blairkennie/ Blairkenny/ Blaikit, Urr parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
No martyrs’ testimony has survived. His close kin George MacCartney of Blaikit was later forfeited.

Map of Blaikit

31. James Muirhead in Irongray parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
No martyrs’ testimony has survived.

Unfortunately for Cornelius Anderson, his grim task of executing his fellow Covenanters was not finished. He had hangings and beheading to conduct in Irvine …

32. David Finlay was shot ‘at Belmoynock’ near Newmilns, Loudoun parish, in December, 1666.
No grave is known. General Thomas Dalyell, who is said to have killed Finlay, was at Kilmarnock on 27 December, the day of the executions in Ayr, which is near Newmilns. Dalyell’s letter testifies to his hostility to the local population. (Lauderdale Papers, I, 266.)

 

Where was ‘The Deer Slunk’ where the Wild Sweet Singers Hid in 1681? #History #Scotland

•December 25, 2018 • 1 Comment

Darmead Monument Jon Morrice

As it is Christmas Day, let’s find a ditch in the midst of a Scottish moor near Shotts where the militant, radical and mainly-female Sweet Singers lay hidden … It is a bit of mystery. Where was it?

On the morning of 24 April, 1681, the Sweet Singers lay in a mysterious location known as ‘the Deer-slunk’:

‘That Sabbath Morning [24 April], John Gibb, David Jamie, Walter Ker, John Young, and Twenty six Women, were lying in the Dear-slunk, in Midst of a great flow Moss betwixt Clydsdale and Lothian, about a Mile distant [from Donald Cargill’s preaching].’ (Walker, BP, II, 17-18.)

Where was the Deer Slunk?
On 24 April, 1681, the militant Covenanter and field preacher, Donald Cargill, preached at Darmead. We know where the site of the field preaching was, as a monument stands there.

Map of Darmead

We know that the Sweet Singers were ‘in the Dear-slunk, in Midst of a great flow Moss betwixt Clydsdale and Lothian, about a Mile distant [from Darmead]’.

However, the Deer Slunk does not appear on any maps under that name. What does the name mean?

According to the Scots Dictionary, a ‘slunk’ is broadly defined as ‘a wet and muddy hollow, a soft, deep, wet rut in a road, a ditch, mire, slough’.

The Deer Slunk was clearly a “muddy hollow” or “ditch” where deer gathered in somewhere ‘in Midst of a great flow Moss betwixt Clydsdale and Lothian, i.e., on Darmead Muir.

We know that the Deer Slunk lay ‘about a Mile distant’ from the preaching site at Darmead.

If we look at modern maps, only one feature like that stands out on the Craig Burn, which is about a mile from the Darmead site.

Deer Slunk

It lies not far off the Climpy to Headlesscross road at the western tip of West Calder parish in Ednburghshire (i.e., just in the Lothians.)

Map of the Deer Slunk

Does that look like the Deer Slunk? Yes it does!

From the Deer Slunk, the Sweet Singers went armed to meet with Cargill. There would be fallout.

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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

Image of the Darmead Monument Copyright Jon Morrice

The Pentland Rising of 1666: Executed in Edinburgh on 22 December #History #Scotland

•December 22, 2018 • 1 Comment

Edinburgh Mercat Cross

Three days after four Covenanters were executed in Glasgow for the Pentland Rising of 1666, six more were hanged in Edinburgh.

Six were executed in Edinburgh on 22 December, 1666:

19. Mr Hugh MacKail. a minister.
He left behind an individual martyrs’ testimony.

20. Umphrey Colquhoun.
It is not known where he was from. He left behind an individual testimony.

21. Mungo Kaip/ Kippie/ Keppie in Evandale parish, Lanarkshire.
No martyrs’ testimony has survived.

22. Ralph Shields, an Englishman and clothier in Ayr, Ayrshire.
He left behind an individual testimony.

23. John Wodrow, merchant in Glasgow, Lanarkshire.
He left a letter to his wife and a copy of his last speech on the gallows.

24. John Wilson in Kilmaurs parish, Ayrshire.
He left behind an individual testimony.

After the Edinburgh executions, seven Pentland rebels from Galloway were hanged in Ayr

 

The Pentland Rising of 1666: Executed in Glasgow on 19 December #History #Scotland

•December 19, 2018 • 2 Comments

Glasgow Covenanters Cathedral.jpg large

Five days of four were executed in Edinburgh for their roll in the Pentland Rising of 1666, four were executed in Glasgow.

Four were executed at Glasgow on 19 December, 1666.
All four had a gravestone erected to them in the churchyard of Glasgow Cathedral between 1702 and 1714, which was recorded in the first edition of Cloud of Witnesses in 1714. Today, the repaired monument marks their deaths on the way to the crypt of Glasgow Cathedral where Donald Cargill used to preach. Like nearly all those executed outside of Edinburgh, they did not leave behind a martyrs’ testimony.

15. Robert Bunten in Fenwick parish, Ayrshire.
It is not known where Buntin/Buntine was from in Fenwick parish. However the parish register recorded that a ‘William Buntin in midell rotens was buried’ at Fenwick church in 1663 and that on about 26 March, 1674, ‘ane chyld of (Ro[ber]t?) Buntine in haghous’ was buried.

Map of former site of Haghouse

16. Matthew Paton, shoemaker in Newmilns, Loudoun parish, Ayrshire.

Map of Newmilns

17. John Hart, in Westquarter of Glassford parish, Lanarkshire.
Westquarter is old name for the modern village of Glassford.

Map of Westquarter/Glassford

18. Robert Scott in ‘Shavock’, Dalserf parish, Lanarkshire.
‘Shavock’ does not appear on historical maps of Dalserf parish, but it may be an error for Laverock, i.e. Laverock Hall, now Larkhall.

Map of Larkhall

Three days after the Glasgow executions, six more Covenanters were hanged in Edinburgh…

 

The Pentland Rising of 1666: Executed in Edinburgh on 14 December #History #Scotland

•December 14, 2018 • 2 Comments

Gallows Edinburgh

A week after ten men were executed in Edinburgh for their part in the Pentland Rising of 1666, four more Covenanters were hanged in Edinburgh.

Four* Executed in Edinburgh on 14 December, 1666.
There is no gravestone for them, beyond the collective monument in Greyfriars’ churchyard, Edinburgh.

* John Lindsay in Edinburgh was forfeited, but he was not executed.

11. John Neilson of Corsock, Parton parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
The laird of Corsock left behind an individual martyrs’ testimony. His son, ‘[John/Robert] Neilson, younger of Corsack’ is listed on the published Fugitive Roll of 1684. John Neilson of Corsock lived in the tower at Upper Corsock, rather than the present Corsock estate.

Map of Upper Corsock

14. John Gordon in Irongray parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
No martyrs’ testimony has survived.

12. Mr Alexander Robertson, probably the son of a minister who died in 1639.
Robertson left behind a martyrs’ testimony.

13. George Crawford in New/Old Cumnock parish, Ayrshire.
Crawford left behind a martyrs’ testimony.

Five days later, four Pentland rebels were executed in Glasgow