Peden’s Cave, Damned Whigs and the Confounded Mist in 1685

Alexander Peden is associated with numerous caves and providential mists…

Peden's Cave Auchengruith Moor

‘34. After this [i.e., Peden’s time on Galloway in early 1685, he was], in Auchengrooch Muirs in Nithsdale, Captain John Matthison and others being with him, they were alarmed that the Enemies were coming fast upon them; they designed to put him in some Hole, and cover him with Heather:’ (Walker, BP, I, 69.)

Auchengruith Moor lies to the north-east of Auchengruith in Sanquhar parish in Nithsdale, Dumfriesshire.

Map of Auchengruith Moor.

‘He not being able to run hard, by reason of Age, he desired them to forbear a little, until he prayed, where he said, Lord, we are ever needing at thy Hand; and if we had not thy Command to call on thee in the Day of our Trouble, and thy Promise of answering us in the Day of our Distress, we wot not what would become of us: If thou have any more Work for us in thy World, allow us the Lap of thy Cloak the Day again; and if this be the Day of our going off the Stage, let us win honestly off, and comfortably thorow, and our Souls will sing forth thy Praises to Eternity, for what thou hast done to us, and for us.

When ended, he ran his alone a little, and came quickly back, saying, Lads, the bitterest of this Blast is over; we’ll be no more troubled with them to Day. Foot and Horse came the Length of Andrew Clark’s in Auchengroch, where they were covered with a dark Mist; when they saw it, they roared like fleshly Devils, as they were, crying out, There’s the confounded Mist again, we cannot get these damned Whigs pursued for’t.

I had this Account from the said Captain John Mathison.’ (Walker, BP, I, 69-70.)

Beside Auchengruith Moor is Peden’s Cave, aka. Peden’s Cove, a traditional site where Peden is supposed to have hidden by the Howat’s Burn in Sanquhar parish.

Map of Peden’s Cave

The cave appears on the top right of the image above. It is possible that some kind of dugout existed at the site.

According to the OS name book in the mid nineteenth century, Peden’s Cave was: ‘A hiding place for Peter Peden one of the [“Stiff Necked” deletion initialled MD] Covenanters. There is not a hole or cave to be Seen but merely a crook in the burn where it is said he resorted for Safety. The name is well known,’

John Mathieson was from Closeburn parish in Nithsdale. In 1684, he was banished to Carolina. However, he managed to return. He was later an activist in the United Societies and a captain in the Cameronian Regiment.

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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

~ by drmarkjardine on June 7, 2014.

2 Responses to “Peden’s Cave, Damned Whigs and the Confounded Mist in 1685”

  1. […] some point in 1685, Mathieson ‘and others’ were with Peden in Sanquhar parish in […]

  2. […] Is was there yet another “Covenanter’s Cave” in Sanquhar parish besides the two Peden caves at Glendyne and by the Howat’s Burn? […]

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