Hugh Smith in Galston, the Attack on Newmilns, and Barbados

A Covenanter called Hugh Smith in Galston parish, Ayrshire, may have taken part in the attack on Newmilns Tower in April, 1685. He was also sentenced to banishment in 1687….

The Ducat Tower at Newmilns attacked in 1685

Smith’s name first appears on a list of ‘unexamined’ prisoners held in Edinburgh of 21 September, 1686, that were ‘given in by’ General William Drummond. (RPCS, XII, 475.)

On 6 to 7 December, 1686, Smith was examined in Edinburgh:
‘Heugh Smith in Galstoun, sent in by the Generall in August last [1686], denyes his being at Bothwelbridge [in 1679], and sayes he cannot give his oppinion if it wes rebellion or not; being interogat if he owns his Majesties authoritie, says he is (sic) nothing to say against him, but refuises possitivlie to own him or pray for him but with his own restrictiones and limitationes; being interogat anent his accession to the braking of the prison, refuises to give his answer theranent upon oath. To be remitted to the Justices.’ (RPCS, XIII, 22.)

Canongate Tolbooth, Edinburgh

Smith was clearly sentenced to banishment by the justices, as on 12 March, 1687, he was listed among prisoners held in the Canongate tolbooth who were to be banished to Barbados: ‘Hugh Smith to be banished’. (RPCS, XIII, 133.)

He also appears on a list of prisoners brought before two archbishops, the Lord Advocate, Justice Clerk and Castlehill on the same day: ‘Edinburgh:—To be transported— …Hew Smith ….—formerlie remitted to the Justices and again remitted to the Council.’ (RPCS, XIII, 134.)

Smith was sentenced to banishment to Barbados, but there is no evidence which confirms that he was banished on Mr Croft’s ship in April, 1687. His name does not appear on any later Societies’ correspondence about the Covenanters banished to Barbados.

He may not have been banished as he may be the Hugh Smith tried on 7 May, 1687. According to Wodrow:

‘May 7th, … Upon the day last named, the lords have another process before them. John Vallange, James Carshill, John M’Aulay, and Hugh Smith, are indicted for corresponding with Mr James Renwick, for traitorous principles, and frequenting conventicles. The advocate restricts the libel to their owning traitorous principles, being present at field conventicles, refusing to own the king’s authority, and to assert his prerogative. The lords give their interlocutor, that the libel infers an arbitrary punishment, which is not the method of former years, and the diet is continued; and I find no more about them.’ (Wodrow, History, IV, 405; ‘Processes and related papers: Process in trial of John Vallance, James Carsehill and Hugh Smith for treason for attending conventicles’, NAS, JC39/100.)

Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved.

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~ by drmarkjardine on August 15, 2012.

2 Responses to “Hugh Smith in Galston, the Attack on Newmilns, and Barbados”

  1. […] John Vallence as having a child baptised at Renwick’s Braehead preaching. He may be the John Vallence who was tried on 7 May, 1687, for frequenting field conventicles and alleged to have corresponded with James […]

  2. […] who was captured in 1686, was sentenced to be banished for attacking Newmilns Tower in 1685, but he appears to have stood trial in 1687 for corresponding with the most wanted man in Scotland, James…. His fate is not known. Two other Covenanters were certainly banished. George White in ‘Beine […]

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