The Covenanter Donald Cargill was Born Here

What makes a Covenanter? The early life of Donald Cargill gives no sign of the militancy he would later display… A monument to him stands at Hatton in Rattray parish, Perthshire, but he was not born there.

Donald Cargill Monument HattonDonald Cargill Monument at Hatton © Andreas Wilhelm and licensed for reuse.

Donald was the son of Lawrence Cargill and Marjory Blair, who were probably married in 1626. He was probably born in 1627, or perhaps 1628, and was the eldest of five children. Donald was named after his grandfather, a respected local notary and elder in Rattray parish who died in 1623. His father, Lawrence, remained in his family home until he purchased a small holding at Nether Cloquhat in Alyth parish, Perthshire, as a marital home in May, 1626. It was there that Donald spent his earliest years.

Map of Nether Cloquhat            Street View of Cloquhat

In 1634, Donald moved house after his father took up the tenancy of ‘Bonnytown’, now Bonnington, in Rattray parish

Map of Bonnington               Street View of Bonnington

In moving to Rattray parish, Lawrence was filling the shoes of his deceased father and elder brother, John, who were prominent members of the parish. Before the death of his brother in 1632, Lawrence had helped both his father and brother in their business as notaries. After the move to Bonnington, Lawrence took on their mantle as the local notary until his death in 1657. On his father’s death, James Cargill, Donald’s younger brother, inherited Bonnington, while Donald inherited a quarter share of the Wester Banchrie/Banchory in Blairgowrie parish.

Map of Wester Banchory          Street View of Wester Banchory

A monument to Cargill, pictured above, is located at West Hatton, to the east of Bonnington.

Map of Cargill Monument

The Hatton estate belonged to Cargill’s cousin, Donald Cargill of Hatton, the son of the John Cargill. The monument is vague about the date of Cargill’s birth due to an typographic error in Howie of Lochgoin’s Scots Worthies. Cargill took on the Hatton estate and several other local small estates in the 1660s as part of a concerted effort to free his cousin from debt.

One thing Cargill possibly witnessed when he a boy was the local football game for the Silver Ball of Rattray.

In 1637,  at the age of ten or eleven, Donald was old enough to continue his education at Aberdeen Grammar School. It was there that Donald first encountered the turmoil and violence of revolution.

Most of the above is based on an excellent summary of Cargill’s early life which is found in Maurice Grant’s No King But Christ. 11-15.

Cargill’s Leap at Blairgowrie is another local site connected with the Covenanter.

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~ by drmarkjardine on May 29, 2013.

3 Responses to “The Covenanter Donald Cargill was Born Here”

  1. […] For Cargill’s early life, see here. […]

  2. […] Donald Cargill. (Reward 3.000 Merks/£2,000 Scots.) Originally from near Rattray in Perthshire, Donald Cargill was the minister of Barony parish in Lanarkshire before the […]

  3. […] Cargill was born not that far from Blairgowrie. […]

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