When Argyll was Broken: Peden in Wigtownshire. June, 1685

SONY DSCThe Argyll Stone © Thomas Nugent and licensed for reuse.

In the summer of 1685 and just as the Argyll Rising was about to collapse, Alexander Peden was in Wigtownshire…

‘38. After this, two Days before [the earl of] Argyle was broken and taken [i.e., on Tuesday 16 June], he was near to Wigtown in Galloway; a considerable Number of Men were gathered together in Arms, to go for his Assistance; they pressed him to preach, but he positively refused, saying, he would only pray with them; where he continued long, and spent some Part of that Time in praying for Ireland, pleading, That the Lord would spare a Remnant, and not make a full End in the Day of his Anger, and would put it in the Hearts of his own, to flee over to this bloody Land, where they would find Safety for a Time.’ (Walker, BP, I, 75.)

Patrick Walker does not mention where Alexander Peden was when he was ‘near to Wigtown’ on 16 June, 1685. However, the presence of his former parishioners from New Luce parish, mentioned below, suggests that Peden was to the north of Wigtown in either the parish of Glenluce, Kirkcowan or Penninghame. The later two of those parishes were the logical place for Peden to be, as they were the strongholds of the Society people and Presbyterian dissent in Wigtownshire.

‘After Prayer, they got some Meat, and he gave every one of his old Parishoners [from New Luce parish], who were there, a Piece out of his own Hand, calling them his Bairns; where he advised all to go no further, but for you that are my Bairns, I discharge you to go your Foot-length, for before you can travel that Length, he will be broke; and tho’ it were not so, God will honour neither him [i.e., the earl of Argyll] nor [the Duke of] Monmouth, to be Instruments of a good Turn for his Church, they have dipt their Hands so far in the Persecution.’ (Walker, BP, I, 75-6.)

Argyll had sat on the privy council which conducted the repression of Presbyterian dissent until the end of 1681, when he fled into exile.

Monmouth had commanded the government forces that had defeated the Covenanters at Bothwell Bridge in June, 1679.

‘And that same Day that Argyle was taken [Thursday, 18 June], Mr. George Barclay was preaching, and perswading Men in that Country to go to Argyle’s Assistance: After Sermon, he said to Mr. George, Now Argyle is in the Enemy’s Hands and gone; though he was many Miles distant. I had this Account from some of these his Bairns [in New Luce parish], who were present; and the last from Mr. George Barclay’s self.’ (Walker, BP, I, 76.)

On the 18 June, some of Argyll’s men won the Battle of Muirdykes. However, it was too late.

The earl of Argyll was allegedly captured at the St Conval and Argyll Stone, between Inchinnan and Renfrew, in Renfrewshire.

Map of Argyll Stone

George Barclay was a longstanding opponent of the Society people’s platform. He had been sent to the South-West by the earl of Argyll after he landed at Campbeltown on 20 May, 1685. By 25 May, Barclay was in Carrick to the north of Wigtownshire and sending back optimistic reports of the number of men willing to join Argyll’s rising. Barclay probably preached in either Kirkcowan, or Penninghame, parish.

Peden and Barclay’s presence in Wigtownshire may have taken place at around the same time as Peden’s preaching at Craigminn, which is said to have taken place at ‘around’  the time of the killings of the Kirkcalla martyrs.

After the Craigminn preaching, Peden appears to have headed north into Carrick. In Walker’s narrative, Peden went to Carrick ‘after this’. (Walker, BP, I, 76.)

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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 25, 2014.

11 Responses to “When Argyll was Broken: Peden in Wigtownshire. June, 1685”

  1. I’ve never heard of the Argyll stone, I will have to pay it a visit one day as it’s not too far from home. I know Argyll was briefly in my town of Greenock during the Monmouth rebellion.

  2. […] After this [Peden in Wigtownshire in mid June, 1685], he was to preach at Night, at Pendarroch in Carrick; the Mistress of the House had been too […]

  3. […] possible that it was where Peden preached his two sermons “at Glenluce” in 1682. Peden did preach to some of his old parishioners in June 1685, probably somewhere in Glenluce, Kirkcowan or Penninghame […]

  4. […] There Buchan interrogated John Macgill over a recent armed field preaching, which was perhaps one held by Alexander Peden at the Nick of the Liberty nearby. That preaching may be the one that Peden gave to his old parishioners in June, 1685. […]

  5. […] Patrick Walker recorded a different story about Alexander Peden joining with the rebels for Argyll in Galloway. […]

  6. […] of Argyll were rallying in Galloway on 16 June. Daniel Ker of Kersland was also said to be leading a party there in his […]

  7. […] On reason why soldiers may have been camped in the vicinity, was that a night preaching by Alexander Peden by Pingerrach was betrayed to the authorities. Field preachings were investigated and troops sent to capture the preacher and discover who had attended. That field preaching took place at some point after 16 June, as Peden was near Wigtown on that date. […]

  8. […] parish, but he may have preached there in the parish on more than one occasion. Peden did preach to some of his old parishioners ‘near Wigtown’ in June, […]

  9. […] in Wigtownshire where the McIlroys lived, until 15 June at the earliest. Events in nearby Wigtown, Peden’s preaching on 16 June, and when Kersland was raising men there and Peden had second sight of Argyll’s capture on 18 […]

  10. […] minor victory at Muirdykes on 18 June. A few days before that, ‘a considerable Number of Men were gathered together in Arms’ near Wigtown in support of that […]

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