Alexander Peden’s Vision of the Killing of John Brown in Priesthill in 1685

John Borwn of Priesthill

According to Patrick Walker, Alexander Peden was ten or so miles from Priesthill, where John Brown was summarily executed, when he had a vision:

‘This Murder [of John Brown at Priesthill] was committed betwixt Six and Seven in the Morning [of 1 May, 1685]; Mr. Peden was about ten or eleven Miles distant, having been in the Fields all Night; he came to the House [in Ayrshire?] betwixt Seven and Eight, and desired to call in the Family, that he might pray amongst them: He said, Lord, when wilt thou avenge Brown’s Blood? Oh, let Brown’s Blood be precious in thy Sight, and hasten the Day when thou’lt avenge it, with Cameron’s, Cargill’s, and many others of our Martyrs Names; and O for that Day when the Lord would avenge all their Bloods.

When ended, John Muirhead enquired what he meant by Brown’s Blood; he said twice over. What do I mean? Claverhouse has been at the Preshill this Morning, and has cruelly murdered John Brown; his Corps are lying at the End of his House, and his poor Wife [Isobel Weir] sitting weeping by his Corps; and not a Soul to speak comfortably to her. This Morning after the Sun-rising, I saw a strange Apparition in the Firmament, the Appearance of a very bright clearshining Star, fall from Heaven to the Earth; and indeed there is a clear-shining Light fallen this Day, the greatest Christian that ever I conversed with.’ (Walker, BP, I, 74-5.)

Walker’s informant for Peden’s vision was John Muirhead, who appears to have been one of Peden’s guard.

Ten or eleven miles from Priesthill would place Peden somewhere in, either Ayrshire, or Lanarkshire. Peden is known to have been in Ayrshire in 1685.

Map of Priesthill

A few days before Brown’s execution, Peden was at a house where James Nisbet, the son of John Nisbet in Hardhill, was in hiding. It is not clear if the house above refers to the same house.

~ by drmarkjardine on April 18, 2014.

2 Responses to “Alexander Peden’s Vision of the Killing of John Brown in Priesthill in 1685”

  1. […] Walker also recounts the story of Peden’s vision of the death of John Brown. […]

  2. […] Nisbet, too, appears to have been in that area, as he records the arrival of John Graham of Claverhouse and the Highlanders in the area on 1 May, which was the day that Claverhouse shot John Brown at Priesthill. On that day, Peden is said to have been ten miles from Priesthill. […]

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