Notorious ‘Persecutors and Oppressors’ in the Restoration Scottish Army by Fines and Other Extractions

In 1690, Alexander Shields listed the officers of the Scottish Army that the Societies viewed as the greatest oppressors of the people through fines, forfeitures and expropriation of property between 1679 and 1685. Shields generally listed the officers by rank and occasionally by unit. I have reordered the list by shire and regiment to indicate which officers and units operated each shire.

If you click on the officer’s name, it should take you to a list of posts about related killings and other mentions of the officer on this website.

aka. Colonel James Douglas

Galloway, i.e., Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire.
Colonel James Douglas of His Majesty’s Regiment of Foot Guards ‘exacted above 2000 Pounds Scots Money, in Galloway, Nithsdale, Shire of Aire, and other Places’.

Colonel John Graham of Claverhouse, of His Majesty’s Regiment of Horse, ‘with his brother’ David Graham and subaltern Officers in Galloway, Nithsdale, and Anandale, exacted by Fines and otherwise, above 13500 pounds Scots money.’

Captain James Ogilvy, earl of Airlie, of His Majesty’s Regiment of Horse, ‘and his Troup, in the same Shire [of Galloway].’

Captain Colin Lindsay, earl of Balcarres, His Majesty’s Regiment of Horse, ‘a great Oppressor in Galloway, besides all the Roberries he committed in Fife.’

Captain John Inglis of His Majesty’s Regiment of Dragoons ‘with his Troup, did dispossess many Families and got much spoil in Galloway, shire of Air, and Clidsdale.’

Captain John Strachan of His Majesty’s Regiment of Dragoons, ‘with his Troup, oppressed and spoiled much in Galloway, &c other places.’

Lieutenant John Livingstone in Captain Strachan’s Troop of His Majesty’s Regiment of Dragoons ‘a most violent Persecuter and Exacter’ [in Galloway].

Lieutenant Thomas Winram ‘in Galloway, a very vigilant Persecuter and Spoyler’. Winram was a lieutenant in Captain Francis Stuart’s company of dragoons in 1681 and returned to serve as captain-lieutenant in His Majesty’s Regiment of Dragoons by March 1685.

Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Buchan of Mar’s Regiment of Foot was ‘a most violent persecuter, in Galloway and Shire of Air, by Robberies took from the People upwards of 4000 pounds Scots.’

Captain Thomas Douglas of Mar’s Regiment of Foot ‘in Galloway, committed much outrage and spoil.’

Lieutenant William Burnett of Barnes in Captain Thomas Douglas’ company of Mar’s Regiment of Foot ‘also in the same Shire [of Galloway] took much Spoyl.’

The Earl of Linlithgow

The Earl of L[inl]ithgow ‘and his Souldiers, spoiled much in Galloway.’ Linlithgow was Colonel of His Majesty’s Regiment of Foot Guard until 13 June, 1684.

Major William Cockburn of the Lifeguards was ‘a great oppressor in Galloway’, almost certainly prior to his retirement in 1681. Cockburn was sent to Galloway in 1668.

Dumfriesshire, including Nithsdale and Annandale.
Colonel James Douglas of His Majesty’s Regiment of Foot Guards ‘exacted above 2000 Pounds Scots Money, in Galloway, Nithsdale, Shire of Aire, and other Places’.

Claverhouse

Colonel John Graham of Claverhouse, of His Majesty’s Regiment of Horse, … and subaltern Officers in Galloway, Nithsdale, and Anandale, exacted by Fines and otherwise, above 13500 pounds Scots money.’

Lieutenant ‘Captain’ Alexander Bruce of His Majesty’s Regiment of Dragoons ‘in Nithsdale.’

Captain John Dalziel of Mar’s Regiment of Foot ‘harassed much in Annandale.’

Lt-Gen. Drummond

Ayrshire, including Carrick.
Lieutenant-General William Drummond ‘besides the Forfaultries of Gentlemen, did also exact moneys of the poor in the Shire of Air.’

Colonel James Douglas of His Majesty’s Regiment of Foot Guards ‘exacted above 2000 Pounds Scots Money, in Galloway, Nithsdale, Shire of Aire, and other Places’.

Captain John Inglis of His Majesty’s Regiment of Dragoons ‘with his Troup, did dispossess many Families and got much spoil in Galloway, shire of Air, and Clidsdale.’

Lieutenant Lewis Lauder in Captain Inglis’ troop of His Majesty’s Regiment of Dragoons was ‘in the Shire of Air, a most outragious Persecuter and Oppressor.’

Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Buchan of Mar’s Regiment of Foot was ‘a most violent persecuter, in Galloway and Shire of Air, by Robberies took from the People upwards of 4000 pounds Scots.’

Major Andrew White of Mar’s Regiment of Foot ‘in Clidesdale and shire of Air, exacted by Fines and otherwise, above 2500. P[ounds]: Scots.’ White left the company and became Lieutenant-governor of Edinburgh Castle in 1682.

Lanarkshire (aka. Clydesdale).
Major John Balfour of Mar’s Regiment of Foot ‘a great persecuter and Oppressor in Clidesdale.’

Captain John Inglis of His Majesty’s Regiment of Dragoons ‘with his Troup, did dispossess many Families and got much spoil in Galloway, shire of Air, and Clidsdale.’

Captain Adam Urquhart, Laird of Meldrum, of His Majesty’s Regiment of Horse, in Clydesdale ‘in several Inroads uplifted from poor Families upwards of 2300 Pounds

James Irvine of Bonshaw ‘a Borderer, a Highway Man, afterwards an Officer of Dragoons, robbed much from the poor People in Clidsdale.’

Duncan Grant ‘a Creple with a Tree Leg, a very outragious Persecuter, exacted in Clidsdale from poor People, above 1500 pounds.’

Major Andrew White of Mar’s Regiment of Foot ‘in Clidesdale and shire of Air, exacted by Fines and otherwise, above 2500. P[ounds]: Scots.’ White left his company and became Lieutenant-governor of Edinburgh Castle in 1682.

Borders, including Merse, Teviotdale and Tweeddale.
Captain Adam Urquhart, Laird of Meldrum, of His Majesty’s Regiment of Horse, exacted ‘vast summes’ in Merse and Teviotdale; with James Hume, Earl of Hume (d.1687), Harry Ker of Graden, John Riddell of Haining and George Pringle of Blindlee (d.1684); and in Tweeddale, with the Cornet James Naismith of Posso of His Majesty’s Regiment of Horse, ‘all great Persecuters’.

Fife
Captain Colin Lindsay, earl of Balcarres, of His Majesty’s Regiment of Horse, ‘a great Oppressor in Galloway, besides all the Roberries he committed in Fife.’

Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved.

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~ by drmarkjardine on May 24, 2012.

3 Responses to “Notorious ‘Persecutors and Oppressors’ in the Restoration Scottish Army by Fines and Other Extractions”

  1. Clearly the sum of ‘fines and otherwise’ “extracted” would initially seem large. Although it should be borne in mind that we are talking Merks (Scottish Pounds) which were worth 1/12 of an English Pound from 1600 onwards. From that we can see that Claverhouse – even as Sheriff of Wigtown and Bailie of the Regality of Tongland Sheriff-Depute of Dumfries Annandale and Kirkcudbright – “extracted” only 1125 English Pounds in a 6 year period. To put this in context, one years pay for the Earl of Plymouth’s Cavalry Regiment (raised in 1685) was about 550 English Pounds. If one studies his letters, Claverhouse often argues in favour of fining rich landowners not their poor tenants. He achieved this most notably when he caused the odious John Dalrymple, Master of Stair to be fined heavily in 1683.

    Finally, to ‘polish the muddy lense’ through which Shields would have us peer, Claverhouse levied most – if not all – of these ‘fines and otherwise’ in his Judicial role. Not – as might be implied through the linking his military rank to this assertion – as a soldier! One must also ask the question where Shields gets his figures from?

    • Hi David,

      I agree that the sums involved are not that large, but it depends on who was fined. The loss of property was more important than the fines.

      I suspect Shields may have got his information through the Society people. There is an interesting collection of papers from Carsphairn parish in the Wodrow collection, where individual farmers put forward their “sufferings” in accounting form. That collection may come from the Societies attempt to collect accounts of sufferings in 1687.

      It is pretty clear that the fines and confiscations were conducted in accordance with the law.

      To be honest, I am really using this post as a way of accumulating information about which officers and units were involved in the repression of the Society people. I am trying to place those officers and units in space and time to establish where they operated and when they were in an area to find out which units were deployed against the Society people and whether they were mobile forces or local garrison units.

      The “sufferings” tradition was interested in individuals, thus the prominence of Claverhouse, but other officers and units were more heavily involved. The Foot Guards of Colonel James Douglas, later a ‘good Revolution man’ at the Boyne, were more often involved in repession than Claverhouse’s Horse. The Dragoons were also used more often that the Horse. Hopefully, over time, a more accurate picture of the Killing Times will appear to challenge the myth of ‘Bloody Clavers’ and highlight the selective memory of tradition.

      Of the 86 people killed by government forces in the Killing Times (excluding 16 martyrs known only from tradition), Claverhouse is only said to be either responsible for, or partly responsible for ten deaths,

      Four at Auchencloy and possibly two hangings at Kirkcudbright in December, 1684.

      The shooting of John Brown of Priesthill on 1 May, 1685, and the capture of John Bruning (later executed at Mauchline on 6 May)

      Reluctantly shooting Andrew Hislop on 11-12 May, 1685.

      Possibly ‘authorising’ his troops to kill Matthew McIlwraith, probably in June or July, 1685.

      That is not a large number when compared to the total of eighteen martyrs connected to Colonel James Douglas. He was either directly involved in or partially responsible for:

      Six at Caldons and Adam Macquhan (New Galloway)

      Shooting Thomas Richard (Cumnock), John Hunter (Corehead) and five others at Lower Ingliston.

      Perhaps capturing Bryce and Gillies who were later executed at Mauchline.

      The two women drowned at Wigtown.

      Why isn’t it ‘Bloody Douglas’, rather than ‘Bloody Clavers’?…

  2. […] captured Thomas Jackson. However, his search of Glasgow was not typical of his area of operations. According to Alexander Shields, Buchan was ‘a most violent persecuter, in Galloway and Shire of Air, by Robberies took from the […]

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