The Hidden: Covenanters in Balmaghie parish

In October, 1684, a circuit court was held in Kirkcudbright to deal with fugitive Covenanters and those who supported them. The court in Kirkcudbright was one of three circuit courts that where held in Wigtownshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Dumfriesshire.

In advance of those courts, the authorities collated information on those who were accused of sheltering or conversing with fugitives and summoned them to appear. All three courts were presided over by William Douglas, duke of Queensberry, his son, James Douglas, Lord Drumlanrig, and John Grahame of Claverhouse. The latter two were also military officers.

The summons tells us what information the authorities possessed, rather than giving us a full picture of who hid, or secretly conversed with, the fugitives. Nonetheless, the information found in it confirms a general picture that fugitives hid close to both their homes and their kin.

The cases listed below deal with just two entries in the summons regarding Balmaghie parish. The authorities appear to have known that both fugitives had at least conversed their kin, but had little information about them beyond that.

1. Robert McCartney in Quintinespie, Balmaghie parish.
‘Robert Mackartnie, in Quintinespy, reset and harbour’ appears on the published Fugitive Roll of May, 1684. McCartney was not a fugitive from Bothwell, but had been accused and found guilty in absentia of reset, i.e., hiding fugitives. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 216.)

Map of Quintinespie              Street View of Quintinespie

According to the summons:

‘George McCairtney in Ba[l]magie [was summoned] for converseing with Robert McKairtney, fugitive;’ (RPCS, IX, 374.)

Blates MillBlates Mill © Colin Kinnear and licensed for reuse.

2. Alexander Campbell in Urioch, Balmaghie parish
There are two listings for Alexander Campbell on the Fugitive Roll. They are Alexander Campbell, miller, sometime in Uroch’ and ‘Alexander Campbell, weaver, sometime in Uroch. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 216.)

Both men were probably close kin to each other.

Map of Urioch                Street View of Uiroch

According to the summons:

‘William Campbell att Blattsmiln for converseing with Alexander Campbell and severall uther rebells;’ (RPCS, IX, 374.)

Blates Mill was a grain mill and lies close to Urioch.

Map of Blates Mill          Street View of Blates Mill

Samuel Rutherford Crockett MemorialThe Crockett Memorial @ Chris Newman and licensed for reuse.

Close to all the locations above is a memorial to Samuel Rutherford Crockett in Laurieston. Crockett wrote The Men of the Moss Hags (1896), a novel about the Society people.

Map of Laurieston

For more on Balmaghie parish, see here.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please link to or retweet this post, but do not reblog without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

~ by drmarkjardine on March 12, 2014.

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