‘Prophet’ Peden and ‘Little John’ in the Bounds of Carrick in 1685

Peden Eyes

In the summer of 1685, Alexander Peden was with John Clark in Moorbrock, a fugitive and leading figure among the Society people.

John Clark, aka. ‘Little John’, was from Carsphairn parish and with Peden in a cave in Galloway at some point in 1685.

Walker’s use of the phrase ‘within the bounds of Carrick’ to describe where the following incident took place may suggest that it happened close to the boundary between Carsphairn pairsh and Carrick, i.e., in Straiton parish.

Peden's HutPeden’s Hut

Peden is said to have hidden at Peden’s Hut, a remote site near the boundary between Carrick and Carsphairn parish. Peden’s Hut also lies close to Ballochbeatties, the resident of which, James Cubison, accompanied Peden from his preaching at Craigminn.

In his life of Peden, the story below immediately follows Walker’s story of the betrayal of Peden by an informer in Barr parish in Carrick.

‘40. In the same Year [1685], within the Bounds of Carrick, John Clark in Muirbrook, being with him, said, Sir, What think ye of this present Time? Is it not a dark and melancholly Day? and can there be a more discouraging Time than this? He said, Yes, John, this is indeed a dark discouraging Time, but there will be a darker Time than this: These silly, graceless, wretched Creatures, the Curates, shall go down, and after them shall arise a Party called Presbyterians, but having little more than the Name; and these shall as really as Christ was crucified without the Gates of Jerusalem on Mount Calvary, bodily; I say, they shall as really crucify Christ in his Cause, and Interest in Scotland, and shall lay him in his Grave; and his Friends shall give him his Winding-sheet, and he shall lie as one buried for a considerable Time: O then, John, there shall be Darkness, and dark Days, such as the poor Church of Scotland never saw the like of them, nor shall see, if once they were over; yea, John, this shall be so dark, that if a poor Thing would go between the East-Sea-Bank, and the West-Sea-Bank, seeking a Minister, to whom they would communicate their Case, or tell them the Mind of the Lord, concerning the Times, he shall not find one. John asked where the Testimony should be then: He answered, In the Hands of a few, who shall be despised and undervalued by all, but especially by these Ministers who buried Christ; but after that, he shall get up upon them; and at the Crack of his Winding-sheet, as many of them as are alive, who were at his Burial, shall be distracted and mad, for Fear, not knowing what to do: Then, John, there shall be brave Days, such as the Church of Scotland never saw the like; but I shall not see them, but you may.’ (Walker, BP, I, 76-7.)

Peden died in January, 1686.

The alleged concern of Peden for what would follow the downfall of the Stewart regime, i.e., what became known as the Glorious Revolution, also appears in another story of Patrick Walker’s on Peden at Cameron’s grave.

Walker knew John Clark but had been unable to reach him to check the facts the story of his meeting with Peden which appears in the first edition of his life of Peden in 1724. However, Walker later received confirmation of the story for his third edition in 1728 and added that ‘The said John Clark has been at Mr. Murray’s since, that it is all one for Matter and Substance with what Mr. Peden said to him in this 40 Passage.’ (Walker, BP, I, 77.)

In the third edition, Walker explains that Mr Murray was the minister of Penpont parish in Nithsdale and that Clark had confirmed the details of the story. (Walker, BP, I, 101.)

James Murray was the minister of Penpont from 1693 to 1735. (Fasti, II, 323.)

In his life of Peden, Walker then goes on to relate more episodes of Peden in Carrick immediately after the story of his meeting with John Clark.

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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.

2 Responses to “‘Prophet’ Peden and ‘Little John’ in the Bounds of Carrick in 1685”

  1. […] Patrick Walker records a number of stories about Alexander Peden’s presence in Carrick in 1685, such as Peden being betrayed by an informer in Barr parish and hiding in the bounds of Carrick. […]

  2. […] it may be connected to another story about Peden in Carrick. […]

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