Cameron’s Preaching at the Gass Water

Waterfall on the Gass Water © Chris Wimbush and licensed for reuse.

The Covenanter Richard Cameron ‘preached at the Grass-Water, near Cumnock, upon the Fourth Day of July, 18 Days before his Death’. (Walker, BP, I, 200.)

Map of Gass Water

The preaching took place on Sunday 4 July 1680. Cameron was killed in the skirmish at Airds Moss on the 22 July.

Patrick Walker’s ‘Grass-Water’ is the Gass Water in Auchinleck parish, Ayrshire. The valley in the hills that the Gass runs through is both remote and deserted. Where Cameron preached on the Gass Water is not known, but he presumably preached a considerable way up the valley to reduce the chances of discovery, especially after the proclamation against him of 30 June that offered 5,000 merks for him ‘dead or alive’.

To the north of the Gass valley lies Upper Wellwood in Muirkirk parish and to the south is Dalblair in the valley of the Glenmuirshaw Water.

Welwood was the home of the Campbells of Welwood, who escaped from the Canongate Tolbooth and were pursued as fugitives in 1684 and 1685.

Map of Upper Welwood

Dalblair was the paternal home of one Cameron’s follower, Thomas Campbell, the ‘son of —– Campbell in Dalblair’, who was present at Sanquhar Declaration. (A Proclamation Declaring Mr Richard Cameron, and others Traitors, &c. 30 June, 1680.)

Map of Dalblair

Cairn on Panbreck Hill © Chris Wimbush and licensed for reuse.

To the east of the Head of the Gass Water lie several sites associated with the Society people, including Panbreck, Auchtitench, Friarminnan and Hynd’s Bottom.

Panbreck was the site of the United Societies’ thirteenth convention on 20 March 1684. (Shields, FCD, 113-4, 129-33.)

From Auchtitench Hill © Chris Wimbush and licensed for reuse.

In July 1680, Auchtitench was the former home of ‘John Crichtoun, son of Robert Crichtoun in Auchtitench’, who was present at the proclamation of the Sanquhar Declaration. (A Proclamation Declaring Mr Richard Cameron, and others Traitors, &c. 30 June, 1680.)

Map of Auchtitench

Friarminnan was where Peden may have met Cargill in 1681 and was the site of three United Societies’ conventions.

Map of Friarminnan

Hynd’s Bottom was the site of one of Cameron’s field preachings, probably on 11 July 1680.

Map of Hynd’s Bottom

The Gass Water © Chris Wimbush and licensed for reuse.

Cameron’s preaching at the Gass Water
Walker only described Cameron’s preface from the preaching:

‘In his Preface he said, There are three or four Things that I have to tell you this Day, which I must not omit, because I will be but a Breakfast or Four Hours to the Enemies some Day shortly, and my Work will be finished and my Time both;

and the First is this, As for that unhappy Man, Charles the II. who is now upon the Throne of Britain, after him there shall not be a crowned King in Scotland of the Name of Stewart.

Secondly, There shall not be an old Covenanter’s Head above the Ground, that swore these Covenants with uplifted Hands, ere ye get a right Reformation in Scotland.

Thirdly, A Man may ride a Summer-day in Galloway, the Shire of Air and Clidsdale, and not see a reeking House, nor hear a Cock crow; and several other Shires shall be little better, ere ye get a right and thorow Reformation in Scotland.

Fourthly, The Rod that the Lord will make Use of, shall be the French and other Foreigners, together with a wicked Party in this Land joining with them: But, ye that stand to the Testimony in that Day, be not discouraged with the Fewness of your Number; for when Christ comes to raise up his Work in Scotland, he will not want Men enough to work for him: Yea, he may chap upon the greatest Man in Scotland, and he may be a great Malignant, and say, Sir, let alone this Babel-building of yours, for I have another Piece of Work to put in your Hand; and he will gar him work for him, whether he will or not. It may be, he’ll convert the Man, and give him his Soul for a Prey. And there are some of you that are hearing me, may live for Age to see these Things accomplished; and, after these Defections and Judgments are over, ye may see the Nettles grow out of the Bed-chambers of Noblemen and Gentlemen, and their Names, Memorials, and Posterity to perish from the Earth’. (Walker, BP, I, 200-1.)

Cameron repeated his view that the unhappy Stewarts would be swept from the throne at his preaching at Hynd’s Bottom on 11 July. (Walker, BP, II, 99.)

Cargill expressed similar views at Craigmad on 1 August, 1680.

Cameron’s fear of French involvement in a devastating persecution in Scotland was shared by Donald Cargill at Benty Rig in 1681 and Alexander Peden in 1685 and again in Peden’s last sermon. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, I, 211-12.)

After he preached at the Gass Water, Cameron’s next field preaching was in Carluke parish on Thursday 8 July.

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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

~ by drmarkjardine on July 22, 2011.

7 Responses to “Cameron’s Preaching at the Gass Water”

  1. […] along the River Nith and lay beside the hills in which Hynd’s Bottom in located. On 4 July, Cameron preached on the Gass Water in the hills to the north-east of Airlie’s […]

  2. […] preaching took place a week after Cameron preached at by the Gass Water and a few days after his Thursday evening sermon in Carluke parish. It was Cameron’s last […]

  3. […] Sunday 4 July, Cameron had preached at the Gass Water in Ayrshire. However, the next day, Captain Strachan reported intelligence that Cameron and ‘13 […]

  4. […] Declaration on 22 June, 1680. That attack had continued in Richard Cameron’s preachings at the Gass Water, Carluke and Hynd’s Bottom and at Cargill’s preaching at […]

  5. […] appear to preached in the areas where the oath enforced. Instead, he preached in the parishes of Auchinleck (4 July), Carluke (8 July) and Crawfordjohn (11 […]

  6. […] band. He ignored Walker’s setting of the ‘Beginning of the Year 1680’ and placed it before Cameron’s Gass Water preaching of 4 July, which was said to be held ‘near Cumnock’, but was actually held in Auchineck parish. The two […]

  7. […] The Dating of Swine Knowe Grant also places the preaching at Swine Knowe ‘on the Lord’s day after the publication of the Sanquhar Declaration’. The declaration was on Tuesday 22 June, placing the Swine Knowe preaching on Sunday 27 June, a week before the Gass Water preaching on 4 July. […]

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