Donald Cargill’s Last Field Preaching of 1680 near Fauldhouse

BenharWest of Fauldhouse © Richard Webb and licensed for reuse.

The interrogation of Archibald Stewart on 16 November is the only source for Donald Cargill’s field preaching near Fauldhouse on Sunday, 7 November, 1680.

According to Stewart:

‘Confesses that upon Sabbath-day was eight days [i.e., 7 November], he was at a Conventicle in the Fields in the Moors above Falkirk, about a mile and a half from Fallas [i.e., Fauldhouse], where were present the two [John] Gib[b]s [seamen from Bo’ness], one John Henderson [servant to Kinkell], and James Russel in Fiffe, Mr. Donald Cargill having Preached, and there were 13 or 14 men in Arms.’ (Anon., A True and Impartial Account Of the Examinations and Confessions Of several Execrable Conspirators Against the King & His Government In Scotland, 9-10.)

The exact location of the field preaching is not specified, but it probably took place to the west of Fauldhouse where a cluster of preaching sites used the Society people can be found. All of the sites to the west are about Stewart’s estimate of one-and-a-half Scots or English miles, i.e., 2.4 to 2.7km, from Fauldhouse. Cargill is known to have preached in that area at Darmead (1680 and 1681), Starryshaw (25 July, 1680) and Falla Hills (late September, 1680). A fourth site in the area, the Peden Stone, is not associated with Cargill and is of uncertain provenance. The site probably lay close to the boundary between Livingston parish in Linlithgowshire and the parishes of Shotts and Cambusnethan in Lanarkshire.

Who Attended the Preaching?
Archibald Stewart, a seaman from Bo’ness, was captured at Muttonhole a few days later and was executed in Edinburgh on 1 December, 1680.

Both John Gibbs were seamen from Bo’ness and had been at Cargill’s preachings at Torwood and Largo Law. Gibb later led a sect known as the Sweet Singers.

John Henderson, a former servant of a Fife laird, was Cargill’s ‘servant and armour-bearer’. He was also present at Cargill’s preaching at Largo Law.

James Russell was one of the assassins of Archbishop Sharp. He, too, was from Fife and had attended Cargill’s preaching at Largo Law. He later led a militant-presbyterian faction which were nicknamed the Russellites.

Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved.

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~ by drmarkjardine on December 17, 2012.

2 Responses to “Donald Cargill’s Last Field Preaching of 1680 near Fauldhouse”

  1. […] Sept), Falla Hills (late Sept), Craigwood (3 Oct?) Largo Law (24 Oct) near Carnwath (31 Oct) and near Fauldhouse (7 […]

  2. […] 31 October, Cargill preached near Carnwath in Lanarkshire and a week later, on 7 November, he preached near Fauldhouse, probably close to the boundary between Linlithgowshire and […]

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