James Renwick’s Escape at Tweeddale Muir

Talla LinnTalla Linn in Tweeddale © adam sommerville and licensed for reuse.

In 1710, Wodrow had a conversation with the former Societies’ minister, Thomas Linning, about James Renwick. Linning related a story about Renwick hiding in moors of Tweeddale for two days after a pursuit:

‘[Mr Thomas Linning] told me, likewise, that Mr James Renwick was one day closely purseued, and fled to Tweddail muirs, where he kneu nothing of the way, and was very farr from any house; and that between two mountains, he quitte his horse, and lett him goe beside him, and lay doun to pray, and continoued in that spote upwards of forty-eight hours, in prayer and meditation, and had the nearest communion with God that ever he had in his lifetime. He was in a perfect rapture all the time, and felt neither hunger nor heaviness all the two dayes and nights he was there. And after this, the third day, he took his horse, who stayed beside him eating all the time, and within a litle mett with ane honest man of his acquaintance, who took him to his house, and provided for him.’ (Wodrow, Analecta, I, 289.)

Linning’s account does not identify when Renwick was in Tweeddale, however, the escape possibly took place before Linning left for the United Provinces in 1684. That year Linning presented his testimony to the Societies at the fourteenth convention on 12 June and received a letter of recommendation to foreign churches at the fifteenth convention on 31 July. He probably left for the United Provinces soon after he was in possession of the letter. (Carslaw (ed.), Letters, 104; Shields, Life of Renwick, 63-4; ‘To the Reformed Churches 31 July 1684. Intitled Recommendation of Tho: Linnen’, EUL MSsS. La.III.350. No. 131.)

Renwick attended all of the Societies’ conventions in 1682, but was abroad for most of 1683. That suggests that Renwick was in Tweeddale either in 1682, or between October, 1683, and August, 1684. It is possible that Linning’s story refers to Renwick’s presence at the Societies’ third convention at Talla Linn in Tweedsmuir parish in June, 1682.

Map of Area of Talla Linn

Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved.

~ by drmarkjardine on May 13, 2013.

2 Responses to “James Renwick’s Escape at Tweeddale Muir”

  1. […] When Renwick was returning to Edinburgh after the convention he may have encountered government soldiers somewhere in the hills of Tweeddale. […]

  2. […] James Renwick, the clerk of the Societies who was present at the convention, may have escaped government forces at the time of the Talla Linn convention. […]

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