Letter of James Renwick to Alexander Gordon of Earlstoun in Leeuwarden of 20 November, 1682
Renwick wrote to Earlstoun from Rotterdam at the end of a brief visit to the United Provinces to secure Earlstoun’s support for the United Societies’ convention against the breakaway Russellites. Prior to the letter, Renwick had personally delivered a joint letter from the Societies’ fifth convention to Earlstoun.
He left Holland a few days later, probably on c.24 November, 1682. Earlstoun later sided with the United Societies in the schism with the Russellites.
In the letter, Renwick mentions John Hepburn, a Galloway minister who opposed the Societies, and a ‘J. V’, as one who may be reclaimed. ‘J. V.’ may either refer to James Veitch, an indulged minister, or, perhaps more likely, James Welsh, a preacher who is mentioned in an earlier letter in connection to Hepburn. (Vs and Ws were frequently interchanged at this time.)
Earlstoun’s ‘worthy brother, your lady, and her sister’ that Renwick mentions at beginning of the last paragraph were Robert Hamilton, Janet Hamilton, Lady Earlstoun, and Jean Hamilton. The letter confirms that Renwick had met them for the first time in Leeuwarden. He would be close to, and correspond with, all three of them.
The letter is printed in Carslaw (ed.), Life and Letters of James Renwick, 28-30.
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