The Polgavin Moor Prisoners and Renwick’s Preaching in Nithsdale in 1686

.WardlawWardlaw © Iain Macaulay and licensed for reuse.

1686 saw Renwick’s field conventicles get bigger and better organised, but not less dangerous to attend…

After Renwick preached Green Cleugh on 18 July, 1686, and in northern England, he returned to Scotland, where he preached at Wardlaw, a hill on the southern skirt of Polgavin Moor in Kirkmahoe parish, Nithsdale, on Sunday 15 August.

Map of Wardlaw            Aerial View of Wardlaw

His sermon was on Hebrews 13.13-14:‘Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.’ The general theme was probably about enduring persecution and the Lord’s eventual triumph.

He preached to around 300 people, of whom around two dozen were armed. Those who were identified as attending the preaching generally came from the surrounding parishes of Dumfries, Closeburn, Kirkmahoe, Tinwald, Torthorwald and Lochmaben.

The Wardlaw preaching took place at night. The sun probably set just before 9pm and Renwick appears not to have begun preaching until at least an hour later. Over a dozen torches were used to light the preaching.

The preaching is usual in having one of the few known references to Renwick using a preaching tent, as one hearer mentioned that James Harkness ‘stood [guard?] at the tent door’. Preaching tents were small, temporary and portable wooden or canvas structures which allowed the minister to be seen by the whole congregation at outdoor preachings. According to one source, the congregation at Wardlaw were urged to sit down, probably to allow everyone to see and hear Renwick preach from the tent. During the sermon, James Corson, who commanded the armed Society people, moved through the congregation.

Lieutenant Stewart’s Letter to General Drummond
The authorities first received intelligence of Renwick’s preaching a week later on the night of 22 August when the Laird of Garnsalloch, or Carnsalloch, and several others sent a letter to Lieutenant James Stewart of the King’s Regiment of Horse at Dumfries.

Map of Carnsalloch

On the 23 August, Lieutenant Stewart wrote to General William Drummond:

‘May it please your Exellencie, last night as your Exellencie may see by the date of the inclosed I goot information of a conventicle keep under cloud of night upon the skirt of Gavinmoor, four myles from this place. I have gott on[e] woman, Bessie Bekett, a fugitive from Dunfrise, who I have found out till have beine ther; by her and some others I have a list of ten or tuelve more who I doubt not to take this night, but for fear (it being a week agoe) your exellencie might have heard of it from others I thought it fitt to send this lyn now. I have hade all the gentlemen round that place at Kirkmaho before 12 hours this morning, all protesting they knew nothing of it till now, save Garnsalloch [i.e., Carnshalloch in Kirkmahoe parish] and those who subscreve the inclosed last night. They had 15 or 16 torches at it, a great many childrin babtised, bot within 24 hours I doubt not but that I can give your Exellencie a larger accompt of it. At present I can ad no more but that I am, may it please your Exellencie, your Exellencie most obedient humble servant. J. Steuart.’ (RPCS, XII, 404.)

Lieutenant Stewart had formerly served in the Earl of Dumbarton’s Regiment. He was commissioned on 4 December, 1684 to a new troop commanded by Lord William Douglas which was added to the King’s Regiment of Horse. His role was to babysit the relatively inexperienced Douglas. At the Revolution, he switched allegiance to William of Orange. (Dalton, Scots Army, 136, 137n, 142.)

Stewart’s Second Letter to Drummond
A day later, on 24 August, Stewart sent a copy of his interrogation of his prisoners at Dumfries to General Drummond:
‘In the informatione given in againest the persons respective afternamed ther being at ane conventicle keapt at Polgavine moor in that place called the Wardlaw upon Sabath by[gane eight] days at night, being the fyftein August instant.’ (RPCS, XII, 405.)

Stewart’s information was eventually delivered to the privy council in a packet of letters from General Drummond on 20 September. (RPCS, XII, 406.)

Stewart initially held a single prisoner from the Wardlaw preaching. They were probably held in Dumfries Tolbooth.

1. Bessie Bekett, Dumfries.
A captured fugitive. She and others provided Stewart with ‘a list of ten or tuelve more who I doubt not to take this night’. She was not sent on to Edinburgh after the suspects were rounded up.

The intelligence provided by Bessie Bekett and Carnshalloch’s letter probably led to the capture of Jean Currie (No. 2), William Beck (No.3) and John McQueen (No.12).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATinwald © Kevin Rae and licensed for reuse.

2. Jean Currie, Tinwald, Tinwald parish.

Map of Tinwald

‘The said day [24 August] in the presence of Lievtennent James St[ewart[ compeared Jean Corrie, prisoner, and aknouledged that she [was present] at ane conventicle holden upon Polgavine moore, Sabath [bygone eight] days at night, quher ther wes above three hundred persones c[onveined] of whom she kneu non but that ther wes amongest them sever[all armed?] men, as also that she heard sermon, the preachers [name be?] report wes called Mr Ranie [i.e., James Renwick], quho baptized severall ch[ildren after] sermon.’ (RPCS, XII, 405.)

She was then interrogated by Lord William Douglas, who was the captain of Stewart’s troop in the King’s Regiment of Horse. Douglas was the second son of the Duke of Queensberry. His uncle was Colonel James Douglas. On 16 June, 1684, he was commissioned in the same regiment as a lieutenant under his elder brother, James Douglas, Lord Drumlanrig. He was quickly promoted to captain of a new troop of horse formed on 4 December. In 1695, William of Orange made him earl of March. He died in 1705. (Dalton, Scots Army, 135, 136, 137n., 142.

In a letter of Lord William Douglas of 28 August, which dealt with his interrogation of ‘Jean Currie’, she confessed to the same details, was described as a prisoner in Dumfries, and dismissively called ‘a silly creatur’. (RPCS, XII, 407.)

William Beck (No.3) stated that she came from Tinwald and that she had informed him about the preaching. (RPCS, XII, 405.)

She was not sent on to Edinburgh with the other prisoners.

3. William Beck, Auchencairn, Kirkmahoe parish.

Map of Auchencairn      Street View of Auchencairn

Beck was captured and brought before Lieutenant Stewart on 24 August:

‘Compeared William Beck in Ahencairne, prisoner, and aknouledged that upon Sabath bygain eight days being the fyftein instant at night about half ane hour after sunsett ther came ane woman to him, he being a litle from his oun house, who as she informed lived in Lo[c]hmaben, and enquyred at him whither or not he would goe alongest with her to a meetting, but declares he absolutly refused the same, but withall that within a quarter of ane hour therafter on Susanna Thomsone in Ahencairne cam and told him of the said meetting to be at Polgavin moore in that place therof called Wairdlau, and desyred him to go thither, she being informed therof by on Jean Corrie in Tinuall, and confesses he went to the said meetting; quhar ther wes above ane hundred hearers with about tuentie armed men, and that ther wes on called Mr Ranie quho preached and after sermon baptized three childring; and being interrogat whom he knew to be at the said meetting, declared that he kneu Janett Martine, coater in Tounfoott of Auchincairn, Marie Corbett, daughter to James Corbett ther, and Robert Irland, sone to John Irland in Ahencairne, to be ther, ratio scientice that the said Janett Martine and Marie Corbett signified soe much to himself.’ (RPCS, XII, 405.)

Under interrogation from Lord William Douglas on 28 August, Beck added that he had also ‘saw Jon Rainie in Hertbuss ther’. (RPCS, XII, 407.)

He was sent on to Edinburgh for further examination.

On 28 September ‘William Beck … taken upon the account of the said conventicle, acknowledges conformis to the last, and all having taken the oath of alleadgeance and inacted accordingly, the Committee ordered them liberate.’ (RPCS, XII, 477-8.)

Besides Jean Currie (No.2), Beck identified six other attenders of the preaching. They were:

4. Robert Ireland, Auchencairn, Kirkmahoe parish.
A neighbour of Beck (No.3) and identified by him. Ireland was not captured.

5. Susanna Thomson, Auchencairn, Kirkmahoe parish.
Another neighbour of Beck (No.3) and identified by him. Like Beck, Thomson was also informed of the preaching by Jean Currie. She was not captured.

6. Janet Martin, a cottar in Townfoot of Auchencairn, Kirkmahoe parish.
Yet another neighbour of Beck (No.3) and identified by him, Martin was not captured.

Map of Townfoot of Auchencairn        Street View of Townfoot of Auchencairn

7. Marie Corbett, Townfoot of Auchencairn, Kirkmahoe parish.
A fourth neighbour of Beck (No.3) and identified by him. Corbett was not captured.

8. Anonymous woman, Lochmaben, Lochmaben parish.
William Beck (No.3) identified her as the first to inform him about the preaching, but he gave no name for her. She was not captured.

Map of Lochmaben

9. John Rennie in Hartbush, Tinwald parish.
The final individual identified by William Beck (No.3) was John Rainie in Hartbush.

Map of Hartbush           Street View of Hartbush

He was interrogated by Captain William Douglas on 28 August.
‘Jon Ranie taken and confesses’.
‘John Ranie in Hartbush confesses his being at the said meiting and being interrogat therannent before my Lord William Douglas, depones that William M’Vittie ther [i.e., in Hartbush] informed him of the conventicle, and that the said William was ther with James Robson sometyme in Achinflowrhill.’ (RPCS, XII, 407.)

He was sent on to Edinburgh.

On 28 September ‘James Rennie acknowledges he was at Renwicks conventicle and is sory heartily; acknowledges the Kings authority and promise never to ryse in armes against the King or his authority and to live regularly and orderly hereafter, and thinks it is his duety and will enact himselfe to that purpose; and having taken the oath of alleadgeance, the Committy thought fit to dismiss him from the barr, he having enacted as forsaid.’ (RPCS, XII, 477.)

10. William McVittie, Hartbush, Tinwald parish.
According to John Rennie (No.9), McVittie both informed him of the Wardlaw preaching and attended it. McVittie was not captured after the preaching.

11. James Robson, Auchenflowerhill, Tinwald parish.
According to John Rennie (No.9), Robson attended Renwick’s Wardlaw preaching. Robson was not captured after the preaching.

Map of Auchenflowerhill         Street View of Auchenflowerhill

12. John McQueen in Cotimpan, Tinwald parish.
McQueen was also apprehended by Lieutenant Stewart on the night of 23 to 24 August. His name is recorded in various forms in the sources including ‘M’Quein’.

Cotimpan, or ‘Cott Tempen’ as it appears on Roy’s map, used to lie to the north of Amishield House/Glenae House. It had vanished by the mid-nineteenth century.

Map of Approximate location of Cotimpan     Aerial View of Approximate location of Cotimpan

On the 24 August, he was interrogated by Stewart:

‘Compeared John M’Koon in Cotimpan, prisoner, and aknouledged that he wes present at the said meetting being in Polgavin moore in the place called Wairdlau the fyftein August instant, quher he heard on Mr James Ranie preach and that his text wes in the Hebrews 13 chap. 13 and 14 verses therof, and that to his present judgment ther wes about four hundred persones ther, great and small, and about threttie armed men quho wes commanded by a little thick man qugo ordered all the people to sitt doun in tym of sermon, and after sermon ther were three or four bairnes baptized and on[e] William Gillespie receaved for fornicatione; and being interrogat whom of the persones present he knew, declared that ther wes ther present at the said meetting John and William Faids in Newlands in the paroch of Kirkmaho, sones to Duncan Faid ther; Robert Litster, sone to Jon Litster in Tinuall; Edward and William Welshes, chapmen, sones to Gilbert Welsh, fugitive, with ther tuo sisters; as also that one named James Harkness who stood at the tent door; and farder declares that he did see James Wallace in Gleddinholme and John Brane ther both present at the said meetting accompanied with their wifes, having childring in ther armes.’ (RPCS, XII, 406.)

Under interrogation from William Douglas on 28 August, ‘John M’Kune’ mentioned that the Welsh brothers were ‘packmen’ and that they often resorted to their sisters at ‘Bettinknowes’ in Lochrutton parish. (RPCS, XII, 406.)

He, too, was sent on to Edinburgh.

On 28 September ‘Jon M’Queen … taken upon the account of the said conventicle, acknowledges conformis to the last, and all having taken the oath of alleadgeance and inacted accordingly, the Committee ordered them liberate.’ (RPCS, XII, 477-8.)

McQueen identified eleven others who had attended the preaching. They were

13. Robert Lister at Tinwald Kirk, Tinwald parish.
Lister presumably lived close to Tinwald Kirk.

Street View of Tinwald Church

He was identified by John McQueen (No.12) of Tinwald parish as present at the preaching.

On 28 August, he was interrogated by William Douglas at Dumfries:
‘Robert Lister taken and confesses as below’. (RPCS, XII, 406.)
‘Robert Lister at the Kirk of Tinuell before mentioned, now prisoner, acknowledges that he was at the said conventicle (but not till confronted with the foirsaid John M’Kune [i.e., McQueen (No.10)]; and being interrogat by Lord William Douglas whom he knew there, declared he saw James and Michell Cowters, sones to Isobell Mair in Rowcan, there, and heard the preachers nam to be Ranie, and to his judgement ther was a thousand hearers quherof 24 had armes; [quhos comander wes said to be James Corsan], quho in tyme of sermon went about the hearers, and that 4 children was babtised, three quherof was held up be women, but knew non of them; that on Gillespie was recaved for for fornication; and further declares he saw non of the Duke of Queensberries tennents ther.’ (RPCS, XII, 407.)

Douglas had an obvious interest in his father’s tenants not being present at the preaching.

Lister was sent on to Edinburgh for further interrogation.

On 28 September ‘Robert Litster having acknowledged conformis precedenti [i.e., the King’s authority], taken the oath of alleadgeance and inacted accordingly, the Committy oredered him to be dismist from the barr.’ (RPCS, XII, 477.)

14. John Faed, Newlands, Kirkmahoe parish.
He was identified by John McQueen (No.12) as present at the preaching. On 28 August, he was interrogated by Douglas at Dumfries:
‘Jon Fied taken and confessed’. (RPCS, XII, 406.)
‘John Fied, sone to Duncan Fead aforsaid, acknowledges that he was at the meiting, where he did sie Robert Couan, rebell, and that there was armed men but cold not condescend on the number. He also depones that it was held on Polgavin moor, betwixt the lands of Clachrie pertaining to Jon Jonston, the lands of Duncow pertaining to the Earl of Nithsdale, and the lands belonging to Homer Maxwell of Kilbane; and further depones that he saw non of the Duke of Queensberries tennents ther.’ (RPCS, XII, 407-8.)

He was also sent on to Edinburgh.

On 28 September ‘Jon Fead … taken upon the account of the said conventicle, acknowledges conformis to the last, and all having taken the oath of alleadgeance and inacted accordingly, the Committee ordered them liberate.’ (RPCS, XII, 477-8.)

15. William Faed, Newlands, Kirkmahoe parish.
A boy identified by John McQueen (No.12) as present at the preaching.

Map of Newlands            Street View of Newlands

On 28 August, Lord William Douglas dismissed the case against him: ‘William Fied taken, a boy of 11 yeir old, dismist’. (RPCS, XII, 406.)

16. Janet Brane, Gledenholm, Kirkmahoe parish.
Identified by John McQueen (No.12) as present at the preaching.

Map of Gledenholm              Street View of Gledenholm

On 28 August, she was interrogated by Douglas at Dumfries:
‘Jennet Brane, spouse to the foirsaid James Wallace in Gleddinholme, confessed she was there, but no more.’ (RPCS, XII, 408.)

Although Brane was captured, she was not sent on to Edinburgh, as Douglas recorded that ‘Wallace wyfe’ was ‘left in Dunfreis prison for infirmitie’ (RPCS, XII, 477.)

17. James Wallace, Gledenholm, Kirkmahoe parish.
Identified by John McQueen (No.12) as present at the preaching. He was not captured after Wardlaw.

18 & 19. John Brane and his wife in Gledenholm, Kirkmahoe parish.
According to McQueen (No.12), they had their child baptised by Renwick at Wardlaw. They were not captured after the preaching.

20. William Gillespie
According to McQueen (No.12), Gillespie was disciplined at Renwick’s field preaching for fornication. He was not captured.

Benloch Burn at BankThe Benloch Burn at Bank © David Brown and licensed for reuse.

21 & 22. Edward Welsh and William Welsh, chapmen/packmen. Bank, Carsphairn parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
Said by John McQueen (No.12) to have attended the Wardlaw preaching. The Welsh brothers were the sons of Gilbert Welsh, a fugitive. A ‘Gilbert Welsh in Bank’, or Banck, in Carsphairn parish, is listed on the published Fugitive Roll of 1684 under the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright for ‘reset and harbour’. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 216.)

Bank lay where the Benloch burn where it meets the Water of Deugh in Carsphairn parish.

Map of Bank             Aerial View of Bank

They were not captured.

23 & 24. ‘——–’ Welsh and ‘——–’ Welsh, in Bettyknowes, Lochrutton parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
John McQueen (No.12) identified that the two Welsh sisters attended the Wardlaw preaching.

Map of Bettyknowes           Street View of Bettyknowes

They were the sisters of Edward and William Welsh (Nos.21 & 22).

According to McQueen, the brothers often resorted to their sisters’ house at Bettyknowes in Lochrutton parish, Kirkcudbrightshire. (RPCS, XII, 406.)

They were not captured after the Wardlaw preaching.

LocherbenLocherben © Mike Green and licensed for reuse.

25. James Harkness, Locherben, Closeburn parish.
Harness was identified by John McQueen (No.12) as present at the preaching.
His name appears under Locherben on the published Fugitive Roll of 1684. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 220.)

Map of Locherben          Street View of Locherben

Harkness was well-known Societies’ activist who had led the daring rescue at the Enterkin Pass in 1684. He was not captured after Polgavin and played a key role in the Societies part in the Revolution of 1688 to 1689.

26. James Corson
He was identified by Robert Lister (No.13) as the commander of twenty-four armed Society people at Renwick’s preaching. During the sermon ‘he went about the hearers’, perhaps checking that Renwick was not in any form of danger. (RPCS, XII, 407.)
Like, Harkness, Corson took part in the rescue at Enterkin Pass in 1684. (Ford, ‘Enterkin and the Covenanters’, Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway natural History and Antiquarian Society, 3rd Series. No. 36., 136.)

He was not captured after the preaching.

27. Robert Cowan, Nithsdale?
‘A rebel’ identified by John Faed (No.14) as present at the Wardlaw preaching.

His name does not appear on the Fugitive Roll. He may have failed to take the Abjuration oath in 1685. He was perhaps the same individual as the Robert Cowan who subscribed a paper from the Societies to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland on 23 October, 1690. (Shields, FCD, 445-8.)

Cowan was not captured after the preaching.

Stewart’s Later Letter to General Drummond
On 25 August, Lieutenant James Stewart wrote to General William Drummond:

‘May it please your Exellence, I have heir inclosed sent your Exellence the confessions of some prisoners taken for being at that meiting at Powgavin moor on that part therof that divyds Closeburne, Deswinton [i.e., Dalswinton] and Jonston of Clauchries lands, on the 15 of this instant. I have upon information taken some other prisoners, particularlie in Rucan in Tarthorell parish tuo brothers James and Michael Cowters, English pedlers, sones of Isabell Mair in Rucan, a suspected recetter [of fugitives]. The fellowes can give no good accompt where they wer that night. On[e] confesses he was out till efter twelve a clock that night. Non of them will swear that they wer not there. When the search was made for them they strove to make ther escape. In the house was found a pair of fixt pistolls, on[e] well charged, and in the poket of Michell a bullett. I’le secure them till I hear from your exellence, as also what other prisoners I can apprehend contained in the depositiones. I hear talkeing of an other conventicle that sould be upon the borders of Anandale, but I am not sure of it yett. [Robert Grierson of] Lagg yesterday told me that he was informed be on[e] of his servants that ther was first six, and a litle efter six more men in armes sein pass by Rucan, going towards Annandale. I have examined a great many persones on that head but can learn nothing of it; this should have bein on Setterday last [i.e., 22 August] in the evening. This is all the accompt I can give your Exellence at present. I am, may it please your Exellence, your Exellence most obedient humble servant. J. Steuart.’ (RPCS, XII, 406.)

If Stewart’s intelligence was correct, then Renwick may have preached on the border between Annandale and Nithsdale on Sunday 23 August. After the Wardlaw preaching, Renwick attended the Societies’ thirtieth convention at Blackgannoch in Sanquhar parish on 18 August.

Stewart appears to have been convinced that the Coultart brother knew more than they admitted.

28 & 29. James and Michael Coultart, or Coulthard, in Roucan, Torthorwald parish.
Robert Lister (No.13.) confirmed that they had attended the Wardlaw preaching on 28 August.

Map of Roucan         Street View of Roucan

On 28 August, they were interrogated by Lord William Douglas at Dumfries:
‘James and Michell Couters taken [by Stewart]. Michell confesses, the other denyes, both denyeing to swear.’ (RPCS, XII, 407.)
‘Michell Cowter, prisoner, son to the foirsaid Isobell Mair in Rucan, acknowledges he was at the conventicle. (If put to it he and his brother can make a full discoverie; both great rouges, and cannot be made to depon what they know.)’ (RPCS, XII, 408.)

The brothers did not appear with the other prisoners from Polgavin Moor on 28 September. However, on 7 December, the Coultart brothers were among a batch of prisoners were brought before a committee of the council. They were the last prisoners to appear. Nearly all the other prisoners before the committee had been sent to the justices. The brothers conformed and were almost certainly liberated:

‘James Coutart, prisoner for being at a conventicle near Lauder [, a error for Polgavin,] with [James] Reny, which he acknowledges and is sory for; owns his Majesties authoritie and prayes heartily for him, and offers to enact himselfe never to ryse in arms against his Majestie or to goe to conventicles hereafter, and to live peaceablie and orderlie.
Michaell Coutart, brother to the said James, acknowledges his being at the said conventicle; owns his Majesties authority; prayes for him, and hes sworne the oath of abjuratione never to ryse in armes against his Majestie or his authoritie upon any account quhatsomever. The committee offer it as their oppinion the said tuo Coutarts be liberat upon their takeing the oath of abjuration and inacting themselves in the termes of their declaration,’ (RPCS, XIII, 22-23.)

Townhead of AuchenleckTownhead of Auchenleck © Darrin Antrobus and licensed for reuse.

By 28 August the tally of prisoners had increased to thirteen. Among those brought before Lord William Douglas at Dumfries on that date were two new prisoners from Closeburn parish.

30. James Gowdie in Auchenleck in Closeburn parish.
Auchenleck is now called Townhead. It appears on Roy’s map of the 1750s as ‘Townhead of Achinlathan’ and on Thomson’s map of 1832 as ‘Auchenleck’.

Map of Auchenleck        Street View of Auchenleck

On 28 August, he was interrogated by Lord William Douglas at Dumfries:
‘James Gowdie in Achinleck in Closburn parish, prisoner, acknowledges that he was there, being informed be Jon Gowdie, son to Robert Gowdie in Achinleck, and being interrogat if he knew any of the children babtised depones that he heard by on Jennet Henderson, cotter in Closburne mill, that Jon Wallace in Closburnmill had on[e].’ (RPCS, XII, 408.)

He was sent on to Edinburgh.

On 28 September ‘James Gawdie, taken upon the account of the said conventicle, acknowledges conformis to the last, and all having taken the oath of alleadgeance and inacted accordingly, the Committee ordered them liberate.’ (RPCS, XII, 477-8.)

CloseburnmillCloseburnmill © Ian Paterson and licensed for reuse.

31. John M’Kein in Closeburnmill, Closeburn parish.

Map of Closeburnmill       Street View of Closeburnmill

On 28 August, he was interrogated by Lord William Douglas at Dumfries:
‘John M’Kein in Closburnmill, prisoner, acknowledges as before, and depones that he heard the said Jon Wallace millers wyfe say that her child was babtised and further that the said Jennet Henderson, cotter ther, informed him that it was the millers child and that the mother carried it ther, and that to the best of his knowledge the childs nam[e] is Robert.’ (RPCS, XII, 408.)

He was sent on to Edinburgh. On 28 September ‘Jon M’Kin … taken upon the account of the said conventicle, acknowledges conformis to the last, and all having taken the oath of alleadgeance and inacted accordingly, the Committee ordered them liberate.’ (RPCS, XII, 477-8.)

32 & 33. John Wallace, miller, and his wife in Closeburnmill, Closeburn parish.
According to James Gowdie (No.30) and John M’Kein (No.31), John Wallace, the miller at Closeburnmill, and his wife had a child named Robert baptised by Renwick at the Wardlaw preaching. They were not captured after the preaching.

Of the thirty-three individuals identified as attending the preaching, thirteen were taken prisoner. Of those, nine were sent on from Dumfries to Edinburgh. The four prisoners who remained behind were three women, Bessie Bekett (No.1), Jean Currie (No.2) and Janet Brane (No.16), and the young William Faed (No.15), who had been released.

Canongate TolboothCanongate Tolbooth

The prisoners were placed the Canongate Tolbooth on 31 August, 1686.

‘For his Excellence, General [William[ Drummond.
Receipt by David Urquhart, clerk of the Cannongate tolbooth, in the name of David Caskie, master thereof, for the persons of James Coter, John Reanie, Robert Litster, Michael Couter, John Fead, William Beak, John M’Quein, John M’Kin, James Gaudie, delivered by James Campbell, corporal in Lord William Douglas’ troop [of Horse]; dated at Cannongate tolbooth, 31 st August 1686.’ (RPCS, XII, 408.)

All nine prisoners sent to Edinburgh were released.

Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved.

~ by drmarkjardine on January 16, 2013.

4 Responses to “The Polgavin Moor Prisoners and Renwick’s Preaching in Nithsdale in 1686”

  1. […] possibly attended Renwick’s preaching at Polgavin Moor in August, […]

  2. […] in Linns was probably related to James and Michael Coultart in Roucan, Torthorwald parish, who were both captured after James Renwick’s preaching at Wardlaw in 1686. Roucan and Linns lie a mile […]

  3. […] his preaching in the Lammermuirs on 18 July, Renwick briefly went to England, before he preached at Polgavin Muir in Dumfriesshire on 15 August. The latter was not the preaching that Nisbet attended, as Renwick […]

  4. […] to stand in the downpour with his hearers, rather than use his preaching tent. Renwick had used a preaching tent at Polgavin Moor in […]

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