A Covenanter and His Hideout: John Paterson and the Tod Fauld

There are many remarkable stories of the Covenanter called John Paterson of Pennyvenie, but are any of them true? Paterson is briefly mentioned in the historical sources, however, most of the stories about him come from later traditions of the Covenanters published in the 1840s.

Paterson was a tenant farmer Pennyvenie in Dalmellington parish, Ayrshire. The farm has vanished, but lay near the opencast mines now in the area. The moder Pennyvenie farm lies close to it.

Map of Pennyvenie             Street View of Pennyvenie

Pennyvenie © Mary and Angus Hogg and licensed for reuse.

The stories of Paterson collected by Simpson are as follows:

‘John Paterson of Penyvenie was born in the year 1650—ten years prior to the Restoration. When he grew up, he embraced the principles of the persecuted people, and followed their preachers in moors and mosses, at the risk of his life. The farm which he rented belonged to Logan of Camlarg, a man who, like the most of the landed proprietors of the period, in order to save his estate, fell in with the ruling party, and submitted to their measures.’ (Simpson, Traditions, 142.)

The Camlarg estate was not purchased by the Logan family until 1741. (Paterson, History of Ayr and Wigton, I, 382.)

Camlarg lay to the south-west of Pennyvenie.

Map of Camlarg

In 1685, the laird was John Crauford of Camlarg. (Paterson, History of Ayr and Wigton, I, 381-2.)

The laird warned Paterson about attending field preachings, but Paterson’s wife was allegedly supportive of maintaining the Covenanted cause regardless of cost. Soon after Paterson escaped from soldiers through a small opening he had cut in the wall of his house. (Simpson, Traditions, 142-3.)

Sheepfolds on the Fingland Burn © david johnston and licensed for reuse.

Paterson at the Fingland Preaching
‘Some time after this, our worthy attended a conventicle at a place called Fingland, near the source of the Water of Ken; but the meeting having been apprised of the approach of a company of Highland soldiers, broke up, and Paterson pursued his way homeward.’ (Simpson, Traditions, 143.)

Highland forces were in the South West in 1678 and between May and July, 1685.

Fingland lay across the parish and shire boundary from Dalmellington in Carsphairn parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.

Map of Fingland

A tradition about Andrew Forsyth also mentions Fingland as a field preaching site.

Meikle Hill (left) © Chris Wimbush and licensed for reuse.

‘As he was proceeding onward, he observed two dragoons on horseback following him; but the ground being very soft and boggy, they made no speed, while he, being on foot, made his way lightly through the moss. It was his intention to conceal himself in some deep hag among the shaggy heath, till his pursuers had passed by. Accordingly, having passed the summit of what is called the “Meikle Hill,” he found a mossy furrow, into which he leapt, and lay close in the bottom.’ (Simpson, Traditions, 143.)

Map of Meikle Hill

‘The troopers, however, had dogs with them, which they put on the scent, and directed them after him. The animals advanced over the broken surface of the morass, exactly in the line of his hiding-place: he heard them approaching, and expected every moment that they would present themselves on the edge of the trench above him; but just when they were about to spring forward to the place where he lay, a fox jumped from his lair, in their very face, and bounded down the hill. The hunt commenced; the joyous dogs left their former scent, and stretched themselves out at their full speed after the fugitive reynard!’ (Simpson, Traditions, 143-4.)

Foxes, dogs and hunters are recurring features in the traditions about Paterson.

‘The soldiers, like the dogs, oblivious of the principal object of their pursuit, followed in the chase, and passed Paterson in the moss, a few yards distant from the place where he lay. Hearing the hubbub, and not knowing what was the matter, he raised himself from his smeary couch;, and peering cautiously over the edge of the deep hag, he observed the fox, the dogs, and the soldiers, in full race adown the heathy slope, leaving him far behind in comfortable seclusion. From the place where he had ensconced himself [on Meikle Hill], he had a full view of the whole track to the door of his own house [at Pennyvenie]. He observed the movement of the party in the line of their route, till they reached the house, at which they stopped for a short time, and then moved off in the direction of Dalmellington. He then cautiously left the height, and came home unobserved.

Next day Logan [of Camlarg] sent for him, and informed him that he was publicly denounced as to rebel, and that a reward was offered for his apprehension; and that now he might consult his safety in the best way he could.’ (Simpson, Traditions, 144.)

Paterson does not appear on the Fugitive Roll of May, 1684. In early June or July, 1685, fifteen horsemen were quartered at Pennyvenie. It is not clear if Paterson was resident on the farm at that time. The implication of the narrative of events in Simpson’s tradition is that Paterson went into hiding in either late 1684, or early 1685.

Benbeoch Craigs © Mark Klimek and licensed for reuse.

Paterson Discovers the Tod Fauld
‘Matters having come to this pass, Paterson resolved to leave his house, and to take up his residence in Benbeoch Craigs [above Pennyvenie]—a place well adapted for concealment. From this situation he descended, as frequently as he found it consistent with his safety, to visit his household.’ (Simpson, Traditions, 144.)

Like many fugitives, Paterson is said to have hidden close to his home.

‘One day, as he was preparing to go to his house, and had just left his retreat, he observed a company of dragoons approaching. He instantly retraced his steps, but was noticed by the troopers, who, seeing him hastily ascend the hill, as if wishing to avoid their observation, concluded that he was either the man they were seeking, or some other equally obnoxious; and accordingly they rode after him. As he was climbing over the stone-dyke which stood a few hundred yards from the bottom of the crags, he turned round to see what progress the horsemen were making, and perceiving the speed with which they advanced, he sprang from the wall, and ran to seek his hiding-place. In this place there are large masses of coarse granite, torn from the hill in the vicinity, and tossed to a considerable distance from the parent mountain, obviously by some powerful convulsion of nature. As Paterson in his haste was passing the base of one of these granite heaps, he fell, and tumbled into a deep and dark cavity underneath the rocky pile. Here he found a seclusion altogether unexpected, and much preferable to his usual hiding-place. When he fell into the cavern, he lay in utter astonishment at the incident; and, being partly stunned, could scarcely persuade himself that it was not a dream. As he lay in darkness and silence, he imagined he heard the party, who were in search of him, talking and moving from place to place among the stones. In reflecting on the occurrence, he could not fail to perceive the special hand of Providence, in thus, suddenly and unexpectedly, covering him from the view of those who came to seek his life, and who, if they had found him, would, without ceremony, have shot him on the spot. … he did not leave it till next day, when his anxious wife came to seek him, not knowing what had befallen him. John crept from the cavern, and met her in a transport of joy, and recounted his providential deliverance, and the outlettings of divine goodness to his soul; and then the husband and the wife knelt down on the grass and prayed, and gave thanks to the God of their life. The incident at the granite rock was cherished in this good man’s memory till his dying day, not simply on account of the temporal safety it afforded him, but more especially on account of that full assurance of his salvation which, during that night, it is said he attained, and of which he made frequent mention on his death-bed.’ (Simpson, Traditions, 144-5.)

benboch craig fox park benbain

The hideout under the boulder was known as the Tod Fauld.(i.e, “fox fold or pen”). The name also certainly refers to the area of the fox park on Benbeoch. A fox park was where foxes were kept in preparation for a hunt.

Map of fox park on Benbeoch         Aerial View of fox park on Benbeoch

If the Tod Fauld existed, it probably lay in the boulders of the fox park.

Paterson allegedly made the hideout large enough to hold several people:

‘Paterson was in raptures with his new hiding-place, …; and he began instantly to arrange the interior, which he found capacious enough to contain several persons at a time, that he might render it a fit habitation for himself, and for any other wanderer who might happen to sojourn with him. It would be easy to make such a place very comfortable, by removing the loose stones, and spreading the earthy floor of the cavity with dry straw, or with soft and scented hay …. The entrance to this retreat he contrived so to form that no stranger could easily find it; and thus the place was rendered so secure as to become a very eligible asylum in the time of danger. To this place he conducted the refugees that fell in his way, and it was here that he lodged Hugh Hutchison [in Dalgig]…. Though none knew of his particular hiding place, but friends, the people in the neighbourhood, by whom he was greatly respected, were ready to give warning to his family when danger appeared. Among others, the farmer who lived on the side of the valley opposite to Penyvenie, agreed to give notice by crying across the ravine the common watchword, “The nowt’s i’ the corn [i.e., ‘the nolts (cattle) in the corn’];”and by this means he escaped on several occasions the vigilance of his enemies.’ (Simpson, Traditions, 145.)

Several stories connected to Paterson link him to James Renwick and the Society people.

Irelandton © ian shiell and licensed for reuse.

Paterson at Irelandton, before 21 February, 1685
‘Some time after this he was in Galloway, at a place called Irelington, attending a conventicle kept there by Mr [James] Renwick.’ (Simpson, Traditions, 146.)

Irelandton lies in Twynholm parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.

Map of Irelandton            Aerial View of Irelandton

The historical evidence records that James Renwick preached in Kirkcudbrightshire at Clay Hills in January, 1684, and at the Garpel Burn in September and Garcrogo in October.

‘The meeting was held in the night season, under the serene shining of the bright moon, —the night being preferred to the day to avoid discovery. As the company were listening to the preacher, from whose lips the words of eternal life distilled like the refreshing dew on the grass of the field, a sound was heard in the distance, and anon there appeared a huntsman’s dog in full chase, but without any apparent object of pursuit. The fleet and hilarious animal bounded several times round the outskirts of the assembly, and then darted in among the crowd. The circumstance attracted the notice of the congregation, and the preacher paused for a moment, and expressed his fears of approaching danger, especially as the dog seemed to have come from a distance, and not to be known to any person present. When they were beginning to deliberate on the propriety of separating, the warder, who had been stationed in the distance to give warning in case of the approach of the enemy, came running in breathless haste, to announce the appearance of a company of Highland soldiers, who were cautiously advancing in the direction of the conventicle.’ (Simpson, Traditions, 146.)

The Highlanders did not enter the South-West of Scotland until May, 1685, i.e., over two months after the killings at Kirkconnell Moor.

‘In an instant the meeting was dispersed; for it was now obvious that their gathering was known to the enemy. Paterson, with five of his acquaintances, David Halliday, John Bell, Robert Lennox, Andrew Roberts, and James Clymont, took refuge in a barn in Irelington, and hid themselves in the midst of a quantity of wool that was piled up in a corner of the building, and by this means escaped detection.’ (Simpson, Traditions, 146.)

David Halliday, John Bell, Robert Lennox, Andrew McRoberts and James Clement were shot at Kirkconnell Moor in Tongland parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, on 21 February, 1685.

Kilmein Hill © david johnston and licensed for reuse.

Paterson and Renwick’s Field Preaching at Kilmein
‘The danger consequent on his attendance on conventicles did not deter him from meeting with the worshippers in the fields, or in the mosses, whenever an opportunity offered. He again attended a meeting near Little Mill, which gave serious offence to the lairds of Carse [i.e., Alexander Crawfurd of Kerse] and Keir [William Schaw of Keirs], who complained of him to Logan [possibly John Crauford of Camlarg], who sent for him, and remonstrated with him on the assumed impropriety of his conduct, but without effect.’ (Simpson, Traditions, 147; Paterson, History of Ayr and Wigton, I, 404; II, 481.)

Map of Little Mill

The Little Mill field preaching may have been James Renwick’s preaching at Kilmein/near the Water of Coyle, in Dalmellington parish, in the summer of 1685.

Map of Kilmein

The Little Mill/Kilmein preaching may have taken place immediately before the killings at Carsgailoch.

Simpson also tells a tale of an attempted reconciliation with Logan after Paterson attended the preaching. (Simpson, Traditions, 147-9.)

Paterson, the Carsgailoch Killings and the Tod Fauld
According to Simpson, Joseph Wilson, John Jamieson, Alexander Jamieson and John Umphrey had ‘sought retreat in a place called Tod Fauld, below Benbeoch Craig’. After laying there for ‘some time’, they moved to Carsgailoch when were informed John Paterson in Pennyvenie that ‘a reward was offered by their apprehension’. (Simpson, Traditions, 129.)

Wilson, Umphrey and John Jamieson were killed at Carsgailoch Hill in the summer of 1685.

Hugh Hutchison in Dalgig and the Tod Fauld
According to Simpson’s tradition, the following events took place in ‘June’, probably in 1685, i.e., probably before the fifteen horsemen were quartered at Pennyvenie in late June/early July.

After Hugh Hutchison in Dalgig witnessed the killings at Carsgailoch and was pursued by dragoons, he is also supposed to have shared the Tod Fauld with John Paterson in Pennyvenie. (Simpson, Traditions, 129-33.)

Dalgig lay to the east of Pennyvenie in the neighbouring parish of Cumnock.

Map of Dalgig                       Street View of Dalgig

The farm is associated with the alleged killing of Marion Cameron.

According to Simpson, Paterson and Hutchison often left their hiding place at the Tod Fauld:

‘From their place of concealment our two worthies descended, as frequently and regularly as circumstances permitted, to the farm-house, by turns, to their meals. One morning, when Paterson had stolen cautiously from his retreat to go to his house to breakfast, leaving his companion in the hiding-place till his return, a circumstance occurred which wellnigh proved fatal to them both. It had been agreed on between Paterson and his friends, that when danger was apprehended, they should cry in his hearing, “The nowt’s i’ the corn.” This watchword was unknown to Hutchison. It happened, on the morning alluded to, when Paterson was in his house at breakfast, that an individual at some distance, who saw three dragoons approaching, hastened to the lurkingplace to give the preconcerted warning, not knowing that Paterson was at the moment in the cottage. Hutchison heard the cry, and not being aware that the words implied a sense different from their literal import, sprang from his concealment to drive the cattle from the corn-field. He no sooner issued into the open field than he discovered his mistake, for he saw three troopers marching with all speed towards the dwelling-house. He ran forward, with the intention, no doubt, of giving warning to his friend within, but durst not enter, as the party was close at hand; and going past the end of the house, which intercepted him from the view of the horsemen, he plunged into the heart of a large willow bush, and there secreted himself.

Meanwhile the soldiers drew near, and John Paterson, who was at breakfast, observed their approach. He instantly rose from the table, and grasping his trusty sword, presented himself in the attitude of self-defence at the door. His affectionate wife, whom solicitude for her husband’s welfare prompted to expose herself to danger, followed close at his back. The soldiers, in order to overpower their victim, made a simultaneous onset; but Paterson with undaunted breast and powerful arm, brandished his glittering glaive above his head, and dealt his blows so lustily that he disabled two of his opponents, and laid them stunned, but not dead, at his feet.

The third, a stalwart dragoon, yet unscathed, approached the valiant Covenanter, who so bravely maintained his position before the door, with a view to cut him down, and the more easily, as he was already exhausted by the stiffness of the conflict; but his wife, who, like a guardian angel, was hovering near him, hastily untied her apron, and flung it over the soldier’s sword-arm, by means of which the weapon was entangled, so that Paterson made his escape without injury to himself. It was sometime before matters were adjusted on the battle-ground, and before the prostrate soldiers recovered themselves, and by this time the fugitive was beyond their reach.

Meanwhile Hutchison was ensconced in the bush, to which the soldiers as they retired approached, and went round it beating it with their swords, as if they expected to start the timid hare from its lair in the interior, or to rouse from their nests the domestic fowls, which in their raids among the peasantry they sometimes did not scruple to destroy or carry off. Hutchison lay trembling and perspiring, expecting every moment to be dragged from his retreat, and murdered by the infuriated soldiers on the spot. No incident, however, occurred; they left the place, and Hutchison remained undiscovered.

When they were gone, and no further danger was apprehended, Paterson left his hiding-place, and returned with a throbbing heart to inquire after the state of his household; and having satisfied himself on this point, his next care was to search for Hutchison, whom he found in the heart of the bush. In this seclusion Hutchison chose to remain the whole day, and it was not till evening began to close in that he would consent to leave the covert. This caution, on the part of Hutchison, was not without its reason, for the troopers sometimes returned when least expected.

It was his intention now to return to Daljig in the evening, considering that his danger with Paterson appeared to be as great as it could be at home. At the earnest entreaty of his friends, however, he remained with them during that night; and on the morrow, as no apprehensions of the speedy return of their enemies were entertained, he agreed to assist his friend in the operations of haymaking. With buoyant spirits, while they inhaled the balmy breath of June, and with arms strong for labour, each with his scythe cleared with ample sweep the space around him, leaving the dewy grass mixed with its “fresh meadow blooms,” in long files or suaithes of sweetly scented hay behind them. Shortly after high noon, Hutchison had retired to the house to dinner, while Paterson, in case of danger, kept his place in the meadow, mowing down the soft grass close by the side of a field of tall standing corn that waved on the margin of a purling brook, at whose limpid waters the haymakers frequently slaked their thirst.

In these circumstances the startling and warning cry was again heard—a clear, shrill voice proceeded from a distance —“The nowt’s i’ the corn.” Paterson rested for a moment on the staff of his scythe, and then darted into the heart of the growing corn, and hid himself in a deep furrow. The dragoons crossed the streamlet exactly at the place where the mowers had been employed, and perceiving the newly cut grass, and the scythes lying on the ground, they concluded that those of whom they were in quest were somewhere in the vicinity, and instantly proceeded to the search. The horsemen were accompanied with a few dogs, which they directed into the corn-field, for the purpose of making a discovery, if perchance any fugitive might be lurking there. The dogs, at the bidding of their masters, leapt into the corn and traversed the field in all directions, as if fully aware of the design of the errand on which they were sent, and seemed to seek by their scent as keenly for men, as, in other circumstances, they would have done for game. Paterson heard the rustling of the animals, as they ran hither and thither among the tall and yielding stalks of corn near his hidingplace. Doubtless this good man prayed as he lay on the lowly ground, and besought the Lord to hide him, as in the hollow of his hand, from the fierce rage of his foes. And his prayer was heard; for though the dogs came close to him, and smelt his clothes, going round and round him, yet not one of them offered to bark, nor to give the least signal of a discovery, and they retired from the spot as quietly as if they had found nothing. […]

When the dogs had issued from the corn field, without having announced, by their barking, the presence of the individuals sought for, the troopers concluded that no person was there. Meanwhile Hutchison had taken refuge in his former retreat—the heart of the willow bush [at Pennyvenie]—where he remained without discovery till the soldiers left the place. […]

Hugh Hutchison Heads Home

This second attack by the soldiers, following the first so hastily, determined Hutchison instantly to abandon the place and return to Daljig. Accordingly next day he took leave of his kind friends, and proceeded to his home. On his way, however, danger beset him still, for in his lonely track he was encountered by a party of Highland soldiers, who happened to be passing that way. As nobody escaped the notice of these marauders, whether on the moor or on the highway, they instantly stopped, and put to him their usual series of interrogatives, with the answers to which they seemed to be satisfied; and they allowed him to pass on.’ (Simpson, Traditions, 137-40.)

The Highlanders had entered the West at the beginning of May, 1685, and possibly remained in the area until July.


Both men survived the Killing Times.

Hugh Hutchison died ‘many years after this, and was farmer of a place called Farthing Reoch [Fardenreoch?]’. (Simpson, Traditions, 141.)

John Paterson in Pennyvenie ‘died so lately as the year 1740, at the great age of ninety, having long outlived the dreary period of persecution. His head was laid in an honoured grave, and his memory is still cherished in the locality where he lived.’ (Simpson, Traditions, 148.)

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~ by drmarkjardine on August 3, 2012.

12 Responses to “A Covenanter and His Hideout: John Paterson and the Tod Fauld”

  1. […] shot by the same party of “dragoons” that conducted the summary executions at Carsgailoch and pursued Hugh Hutchison of Dalgig in the summer of […]

  2. I’m interested in the killings at Carsgailoch in the summer of 1685.

    Firstly, there are two different descriptions of the soldiers who did the hunting and killing. They’re described either as ‘dragoons’ (= horsemen) or ‘highlanders’. Could they be one and the same? I’m not conversant with the military history.

    Secondly, I’m particularly interested in the identity of John Humphrey (my namesake). Seems he – and his fellow-covenanters – were hiding out on the moors West of New Cumnock after attending a Conventicle addressed by James Renwick in Carsphairn, Galloway and perhaps also Kilmein, Ayrshire. They had been lying low, apparently aware that they were being hunted; they were not stumbled upon by accident. If they were notorious enough to be on the regime’s “most wanted” list, does this not make it likely that their names were culled from the Fugitive Roll of 5 May 1684? There were three Ayrshire John Humphrey-s listed there – one from Barnwell parish (son of Charles Humphrey in Tarshaw); one from Burnhouse, Galston (ascribed to Tarbolton); and one from Birks, Tarbolton. Seems likely that the Carsgailouch martyr was one of them. My Humphrey ancestors were from the Tarbolton area, which explains my interest.

    • Hi John,

      I’m pretty interested in them too. I will post on the Carsgailoch killings, but I’ve not quite made up my mind on the identity of those killed. You should not have to wait too long, as I have danced around Carsgailoch in other posts.

      I can clear up one issue. ‘Highlanders’ refers to the irregular Highland force which was sent into the west of Scotland for two or three months at the end of April, 1685. Dragoons were a different force as they were part of the Scottish army. The problem with later traditions that were collected over 150 years later is that they are not reliable sources for who did what to whom. Highlanders and dragoons were the bogeymen of tradition. The earliest source is Alexander Shields’ A Short Memorial (1690). He collected information from the Society people. According to Shields, “A Party of Highlanders killed Joseph Wilson, David Dun, Simeon Paterson, and two others [one of whom was John Humphrey/Umphrey], near the Water of Kill [i.e., Water of Coyle], in a Moss in Kile [i.e., Kyle], Anno 1685.” Thirty years later, Wodrow states that ‘dragoons’ killed the three men at Carsgailoch in the summer of 1685. I’d go with Shields over Wodrow.

      The preaching they are said to have attended was almost certainly held by James Renwick. However, the location for it is not clear. Shields would seem to place their deaths near the Water of Coyle/the muir near it, which makes the Kilmein preaching look like a good candidate. However, Wodrow says the preaching was in ‘Galloway’, which is vague but would include Carsphairn, but not Kilmein. The problem is that it is not clear when Renwick preached at Kilmein or Carsphairn. Renwick’s preachings in the Killing Times are generally recorded in later traditions, rather than in the sources of the 1680s. Then again, Shields does not mention a preaching at all in his very brief account. They may have been simply in hiding.

      Are their names on the “most wanted” list, i.e., the Fugitive Roll assembled in mid 1683 at the cicuit courts and published in mid 1684? It generally deals with rebels who were at Bothwell Bridge in 1679 but did not take the bond of peace/resetters etc. However, in late 1684 another set of courts in Ayrshire dealt with nonconformists/general dissent/Bothwell rebels and a further set of courts followed in early 1685 which did the same plus administered the Abjuration oath. All three courts produced fugitives. So, it is, I’m afraid, not clear which court, but I will have a good look in the records.

      The original stone recorded the name as JOHN WMPHRAH, which has been rendered as Humphrey, but there was a fugitive called John Umphray, merchant in Lanark.


  3. Regarding Tod Fauld, there is an excellent representation of it in Armstrong’s Map of Ayrshire http://maps.nls.uk/joins/view/?rsid=74400204&sid=74400205&mid=797&pdesc=Centre%20East%20section#rsid=74400204&sid=74400205&mid=797&pdesc=Centre%20East%20section&zoom=5&lat=2280&lon=2380.5&layers=BT

  4. Carsgailoch Martyrs: John Humphrey – The names Robert Umphra and Janet Umphra appear on ‘The hearths of the Toune and paroch of Ocheltrie’ (1691). If John Humphry the martyr, belonged to the parish of Ochiltree then he may well have been an acquaintance of Margaret Dun (see Martyrs Moss). Walter Humper, from the neighbouring parish of Dalmellington was one of 250 Covenanters being transported to Barbadoes on the ship ‘Crown of London’ when it foundered on the rocks near Deerness, Orkney. Almost 200 Covenanters were drowned, but Walter is recorded as one of the 50 survivors.

    • Food for thought there.

      I suspect that he may not be so local, but was John Umphrey, Umphray, Pumphray or Humphrey, a merchant in Lanark.

      On 8th October 1681, a man of that name was forfeited with others for his part in Bothwell.

      A John Umphray, merchant in Lanark, was declared a fugitive by the Circuit Court at Glasgow on 12th December 1683 and listed on the published Fugitive Roll of 1684.

      The original stone confirms his name was ‘Wmphrey’, i.e., Umphray/Umphrey.

      Is he mistakenly listed as Humphrey on the newer monument erected in 1827 and in other secondary sources? The later sources do tend turn names into “standard” English.

      In 1685 coming from Galloway to Ayrshire, he and his accomplices were over taken at Carsgailoch Hill. Wilson, Jamison and Umphrey confessed to coming from one of Renwick’s field preaching (at Kilmein Hill?) and were shot on the spot.

      Cloud of Witnesses directly connects the events of the deaths of Joseph Wilson and ‘two others’ (Umphrey and Jamison?) to that of Dun and Paterson ‘near the Coyle [Kyle?] Water’.

      John Pumphray in Lanark, had his forfeiture rescinded by act of parliament in 1690. Wodrow, History, IV 489n.

  5. Curiouser and curiouser.

    Is it Wodrow who indicates that “Wilson, Jamison and Umphrey confessed to coming from one of Renwick’s field preaching “? Presumably, since they were apparently shot on the spot, their interrogation did not last long. This version seems to imply that they were tramping home over the moors to avoid detection, and were spotted by soldiers on the lookout for dispersing conventiclers.

    Simpson, on the other hand, suggests that they were specifically being hunted – presumably appearing on one or other of the royalist most wanted sheets . After lying low in the Tod`s Fauld, they moved away when forewarned by Paterson that pursuers were closing in, and were somehow discovered on Carsgailoch Hill. That version suggests that we should look for listed fugitives as a clue to their identity.

    As regards Umphrey, do you have a particular reason for favouring the merchant from Lanark as the likely target rather than the various South Ayrshire Humphreys on the fugitives rolls? Is there corroborating evidence from Lanark? I`m not sure that the precise spelling of the name is significant since Umphra, Humphrey, Wamfray etc were used pretty well interchangeably up until the late 18th century. On the other hand, perhaps it`s significant that his place of residence isn`t mentioned by Simpson, Wodrow etc – If he had been fairly local, maybe the Society witnesses in this part of Ayrshire would have known and mentioned his village or town.

    Do we know where Jamieson and Wilson were from?

  6. […] to tradition, John Paterson in Pennyvenie was one of the Society people and hid the Carsgailoch martyrs at the Tod Fauld on Benbeoch […]

  7. […] Simpson’s tradition of Hugh Hutchison is the only source that mentions that Alexander Jamieson was taken to Cumnock. While there, Hugh Hutchison was, once again, involved in a series of narrow escapes before ending up in hiding at the Tod Fauld in ‘June’, 1685. […]

  8. This was very interesting and I can relate to the area. I have been up to the top of Benbeoch Craig and when I saw the fish shape of Fox Park below, I just had to go down to investigate. I found a way in at the very thick surrounding wall and went in. Never again, partly because I it was difficult to walk through but the hairs stood out on the back of my neck and I was suddenly very spooked and scared and got out as quickly as I could. I just knew that something very bad had happened there.

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