The Devil in a Cave in Galloway in 1685

In 1685, Alexander ‘Prophet’ Peden was in a cave in Galloway. He was not alone…

Bellany HoggIllustration of Hogg’s Memoirs of a Justified Sinner. Artist John Bellany. Tate collection.

‘About this Time [in 1685], he and John Clark, who ordinarily was called Little-John, were in a Cave in Galloway: They had wanted Meat and Drink long; he said, John, better be thrust thro’ with the Sword, than pine away with Hunger: The Earth and the Fulness thereof, belongs to my Master, and I have a Right to as much of it as will keep me from fainting in his Service; go to such a House, and tell them plainly, that I have wanted Meat so long, they will willingly give it.

John said, Sir, I am not willing to leave you in this Place your alone, for some have been frighted by the Devil in this Cave: No, no, John, you need not fear that, I will take my Venture of him for a Time. John went, and the People willingly gave him some Meat; when he came back, he said, John, It is very hard living in this World, incarnate Devils above the Earth, and Devils beneath the Earth; the Devil has been here since ye went away; I have sent him off in haste, we’ll be no more troubled with him this Night.’ (Walker, BP, I, 67-8.)

John Clark, aka. Little John, was probably the Societies’ activist of the same name who was known to Patrick Walker, who recorded the story. Clark lived in Carsphairn parish in Kirkcudbrightshire, Galloway. The cave, or dugout, if it existed, may have been near to Clark’s home at Moorbrock.

Map of Moorbrock

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

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~ by drmarkjardine on June 6, 2014.

3 Responses to “The Devil in a Cave in Galloway in 1685”

  1. […] Clark, aka. ‘Little John’, was from Carsphairn parish and with Peden in a cave in Galloway at some point in […]

  2. […] similar to Wringhim’s Gil-Martin, such as Peden’s encounters with the Devil in 1685, either in a cave in Galloway, or as follows in the third edition of the […]

  3. […] parish of New Luce. Several stories about Peden record his encounter with the Devil, either in a cave, or entering a room, and his confrontation with a witch in […]

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