James Renwick and the Preaching Stone in Nithsdale

At some point, probably between 1684 and 1687, James Renwick held at least one field conventicle at the Preaching Stone, which lies on the boundary between the parishes of Keir and Glencairn in Nithsdale, Dumfriesshire.

Map of the Preaching Stone

The Preaching Stone © Walter Baxter and licensed for reuse.

According to the entry for Keir parish in the New Statistical Account (1841):
‘A stone, with the initials of James Renwick, on the ridge of Keir hill, above Staigholes, commemorates the place where he used to preach during the times of persecution’ (NSA, IV, 467.)

According to the Canmore database: ‘The Preaching Stone (name not confirmed) is an angular granite stone measuring 0.8m by 0.7m and 0.4m high inscribed ‘James Renwick’.
Visited by OS (TRG) 19 July 1977.’

The stone is also inscribed ‘Heb: XI, 33-38’, a biblical reference which evokes the persecution of Renwick and the Society people. Heb. 11.33-38. is as follows:

‘Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.’

Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved.

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~ by drmarkjardine on May 11, 2012.

2 Responses to “James Renwick and the Preaching Stone in Nithsdale”

  1. […] candidate for the location. If the conventicle was held near Craigdarroch, then Stevenson may have heard Renwick at the Peaching Stone, which sits on the boundary between of the parishes of Keir and […]

  2. […] or a cairn of stones. For examples see, Dempster’s Stone, McWhann’s Stone, Smith’s Stone, the Preaching Stone and the Martyr’s […]

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