A Little More on John Law Killed at Newmilns in 1685

The OS Name Book, which was created in the 1850s, sheds a little light on John Law, a Covenanter who was killed in the assault on Newmilns Tower in late April, 1685…

Newmilns TowerNewmilns Castle/Tower

‘This Castle is situated in Newmilns and belongs to the Marquis of Hastings, it is supposed to be very ancient, the date of its erection is unknown. A party of Covenanters taken prisoners by Capt. Inglis at Little Blackwood in the parish of Kilmarnock in the year 1685, were confined in this Castle but rescued by their friends. Two soldiers were killed in the fray and one of the assailants named John Law was shot from the top of the Castle. There is a Tablet in a building a short distance from the Castle, which marks the spot where he fell and was buried.’ (OS Name Book, Ayrshire, Vol.43.)

The entry in the same OS Name Book for John Law’s grave is the only source which identifies where Law was believed to be from. It names him as ‘John Law of Loudounhill’.

The entry also gives a measurement for where the memorial for John Law was relative to the tower of ‘80 links’. There were 100 links to a chain and 22 yards to a chain.

‘About 80 links [i.e., 17.6 yards] from the Castle at Newmilns is a Stone Tablet fixed in the end of a building about 4 feet from the ground to mark the spot where John Law of Loudounhill was buried who was shot in rescuing the Covenanters whom Captain [John] Inglis had confined in the Castle. The following is the Inscription. Here lies John Law who was shot at Newmilns at the rescuing of eight of Christs prisoners who were taken at a meeting for prayer at Little Blackwood in the Parish of Kilmarnock in April 1685 by Capt. Inglis and his party for their adherance to the word of God and Scotlands Covenanted work of Reformation Caused Christs prisoners relieved I of my life was soon berieved By cruel enemies with rage In that encounter did engage The Martyr and his crown Bestowed on me O big renown That I should not only believe But for Christs cause my life I should give.’ (OS Name Book, Ayrshire, Vol.43.)

Loudounhill is a farm at the east end of Loudoun parish, Ayrshire.

Map of Loudounhill           Street View of Loudounhill

John Law does not appear on the published Fugitive Roll of May, 1684, under Loudoun parish. Three fugitives appears the roll under Loudounhill: ‘John Cock, portioner of Loudon-hill’,‘George Nimmo, in Loudon-hill’ and ‘Robert Smith, younger in Loudon-hill’.

For a discussion of John Law’s death, see here.

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

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~ by drmarkjardine on June 27, 2014.

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