The Hidden: Fugitive and Rebel Covenanters in Minnigaff in 1684

Minnigaff Parish

Minnigaff parish in Kirkcudbrightshire, Galloway, bears a distinctive footprint of Presbyterian dissent.

Five landowners in the parish were forfeited for their part in the Bothwell Rising of 1679: Patrick Dunbar, younger of Machermore, Patrick Herron of Little Park, Patrick Murdoch of Cumloden, Anthony McKie of Glencaird, who hid at the White Cairn in the parish, and John Mackie of Larg (after his death).

In 1680, Minnigaff parish was one of the parishes interrogated for information about the whereabout of the traitors behind the Sanquhar Declaration.

In January, 1685, it was the scene of the killings at Caldons. The Edward McKean summarily executed in Carrick in 1685 was probably from the parish.

Alexander Peden preached there in 1685 and the Earl of Hume’s militia were present at Minnigaff in the middle of that year.

Tradition indicates that James Renwick may have preached at the Preaching Howe in the parish and that the Society people may have killed an intelligencer from the parish.

The summons to the circuit court held in Kirkcudbright in October, 1684, mentions two men who were accused of either being at Bothwell, or hearing preachers connected to the rising.

Alexander Heuchan in Bardrochwood.
‘Alexander Heuchan in Bardrokott for being in the rebellion at Bothuell in July seventie nyne;’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

He appears on the parish list of October, 1684, as ‘Alexr Heuchan, there’ possibly under Strathmaddie to the south of Bardrochwood.

Map of Bardrochwood                    Street View of Bardrochwood

Anthony Dunbar in Craignell.
‘Anthon[y] Dunbar in Craignell for hearing Mr Samuel Arnot and Mr Patrick [or Thomas] Vernor [preach] since Bothuell [in 1679];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

He appears on the parish list as ‘Antony Dunbar in Craignew’.

Craignell was a remote location in the parish. It now lies beside Clatteringshaws Loch, a reservoir created in the 1930s.

Map of Craignell                 Street View of Craignell

The summons to the Kirkcudbright court also offers a fleeting glimpse into the networks of kin, friends and neighbours who hid or assisted fugitives either from the parish, or who lived nearby. The following is listed by the fugitive first, in bold, and then those who were accused of converse with them:

1. & 2. James Gordon, younger of Craiglaw, and James Martinson in Glenhapple.
James Gordon was a forfeited fugitive from Kirkcowan parish and James Martinson a fugitive rebel from Penninghame parish. Both parishes lie in Wigtownshire and directly to the west of Minnigaff.

‘Mr James Algeo, wrytter in Moneygalf, for converseing with James Gordone, younger, of Craiglaw, and James Mertinsone in Glenkapell, rebells, about two yeirs since or therby [i.e., in 1682];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

Algeo appears on the parish list of late 1684 under the Barony of Larg and town of Minnigaff.

Map of Minnigaff

3. William Stewart, son to the Wadsetter of Larg, Minnigaff parish.
He appears on the published fugitive roll of May, 1684, as ‘William Stuart, son to —— Stuart wadsetter of Larg’ under Wigtownshire. The fugitives in Minnigaff parish were listed under Wigtownshire, rather than Kirkcudbrightshire, on the published roll. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 219.)

‘John Macqhannell in Gleckmallock for converseing with William Stewart, rebell, about two yeirs since [i.e., in late 1682];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

He appears on the parish list of late 1684 in Gleckmalloch in the Barony of Gerlis.

Map of Gleckmalloch              Aerial View of Gleckmalloch

‘Patrick McKie in Gleckmallock for converseing with William Stewart, rebell, about two yeirs since [i.e., in late 1682];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

McKie also appears on the parish list in the same household as the above.

ClauchrieClauchrie

‘William Cunninghame in Clauchrie for converseing with William Stewart, rebell, in July, 1681, and with William Kennedie [No.4, below] in January or February last [1684];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

Cunningham appears on the parish list as ‘William Cunningham in Clauchre’.

Clauchrie lay to the west of Torbain and close to the home of Patrick Murdoch of Cumloden.

Aerial View of Clauchrie

The William Kennedy that Cunningham was accused of converse with was another fugitive from Wigtownshire.

4. William Kennedy in Barnkirk, Penninghame parish.
He appears on the Fugitive Roll of mid 1684 as ‘William Kennedy, in Barnkirk’. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 214.)

Barnkirk lies in Penninghame parish, which is located on the western boundary of Minnigaff parish. In the late 1670s, John Welsh, the former minister of Irongray, field preached at Barnkirk.

Map of Barnkirk

‘Mr William McGill, wrytter in Moneygalf, for converseing with William Kennidie, sometyme in Barnkirk, rebell, about the moneth of June last [1684];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

He appears on the parish list as ‘William McGill’ under the Barony of Larg and town of Minnigaff.

‘John Roxbrugh in Moneygalf for converseing with William Kennedie, rebell, in January last [1684];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

He appears on the parish list of late 1684 with Robert Roxburgh at the top of the list for the Barony of Larg and town of Minnigaff.

‘James Kennedie in Moneygalf for converseing with William Kennedie, rebell, about the moneth of July last [1684];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

‘Andrew Herron in Larg, for converseing with William Kennedie, rebell, in May last [1684];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

He appears on the parish list under the Barony of Larg and town of Minnigaff.

5. Anthony Stewart, son to the Wadsetter of Larg, Minnigaff parish.
He appears on the published fugitive roll of May, 1684, as ‘Anthony Stuart, his son [of —— Stuart wadsetter of Larg]’ under Wigtownshire. Anthony was the brother of William Stewart (No.3) and probably the brother of Archibald Stewart (No.6). (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 219.)

‘Robert Walker, violer in Moneygalf, for converseing with Anthon[y] Stewart, rebell, about tuo yeirs since [i.e., late 1682], and with William Kennedie [No.4, above], rebell, about January or February last [1684];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

Walker appears on the parish list under the Barony of Larg and town of Minnigaff.

‘Anthon[y] McMillane in Kirrochtrie for converseing with Anthon[y] Stewart, rebell, in January or February last [1684];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

McMillan appears on the parish list under the Barony of Gerlis.

Kirrochtrie is Kirroughtree. A later house built in 1719, which is now a hotel, stands on the site.

Map of Kirroughtree

DalnawNear Dalnaw © Iain Thompson and licensed for reuse.

‘Alexander Maktaggart in Dalnae for converseing with Anthon[y] Stewart, rebell, in September, 1683;’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

MacTaggart appears on the parish list under the Barony of Gerlis.

Dalnae is Dalnaw.

Map of Dalnaw                  Aerial View of Dalnaw

‘Archibald McHarg in Minnivick for converseing with Archibald Stewart, rebell, in January last [1684];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

McHarg appears on the parish list in ‘Miniwiek’, i.e., Minniwick.

Minniwick lies to the south east of Glentrool Village.

Map of Minniwick                Aerial View of High Minniwick

Minniwick lies near Glenvernoch, the home of one of the Wigtown Martyrs.

The next entry is fascinating, as Caldons/Caldons Wood was were several killings took place a few months after the summons.

‘John McQhirter in Caldone for converseing with Anthon[y] Stewart, rebell, in March or Apprill last [1684];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

McWhirter appears on the parish list under ‘Caldeens’ in the household of Archibald McWhirter and Janet Gordon.

Map of Caldons                Aerial View of Caldons

‘Alexander Thomson in Wood of Crie and Alexander Gibson and William Ker his servants, for converseing with Anthon[y] Stewart, rebell, in March or Apprill last [1684];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

All three of the people mentioned appear on the parish list. Thomson is recorded as ‘Alexr Thomson in Cardorcan’.

Map of Wood of Cree                 Aerial View of Wood of Cree

‘Andrew McMillane in Glenmalloch for converseing with Anthon[y] Stewart, rebell, in March or Apprill, 1682;’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

McMillan appears on the parish list.

Glenmalloch stands beside the Preaching Howe in Minnigaff parish.

Map of Glenmalloch              Aerial View of Glenmalloch

TerreganTerregan

‘John Stewart in Tarchreggan, John McTaggart and Robert Stewart for converseing with Anthon[y] and Archibald Stewarts, rebells, in July, 1683;’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

They appear on the parish list of late 1684 as ‘John Steuart in Tarregan’ as do ‘Rott Steuart’ and ‘John McTaggart’.

Today, Terregan is an unmarked ruin near the Washing Burn

Map of Terregan

6. Archibald Stewart, son to the Wadsetter of Larg, Minnigaff parish.
The Archibald Stewart that was conversed with at Terregan, see above, was almost certainly the brother of Anthony (No.5) and William Stewart (No.3). He is probably recorded on the Fugitive Roll of May, 1684, as ‘——- Stuart, his son’, i.e., the son of ‘——– Stuart wadsetter of Larg’. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 219.)

He, too, was mentioned in the summons as a fugitive who had conversed with others:

‘James McGie, cottar in Palgavin, and Michael Maktagart in Buricastle for converseing with Archibald Stewart, rebell, about tuo yeirs [ago, i.e., 1682];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

They appear on the parish list as ‘John McKie in Palgouen’ and ‘Michael McTagart in Kirkcastle’ in the Barony of Buchan.

Palgowan lies beside Gleckmalloch, see above.

Map of Palgowan                Aerial View of Palgowan

‘Alexander Watsone in Moneygalf for converseing with Archibald Stewart, rebell, about two yeirs since [i.e., c. late 1682];’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

Watson appears on the parish list under the Barony of Larg and town of Minnigaff.

‘Alexander Roxbrugh in Moneygalf for converseing with Archibald Stewart, rebell, in July, 1683;’ (RPCS, IX, 375.)

Roxburgh appears on the parish list at the top of the list for the Barony of Larg and town of Minnigaff.

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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 September 1, 2014.

One Response to “The Hidden: Fugitive and Rebel Covenanters in Minnigaff in 1684”

  1. […] that practice are those summoned from the adjoining parishes of Penninghame, in Wigtownshire, and Minnigaff, in Kirkcudbrightshire. However, when those summons are looked at in detail, it is clear that the hidden fugitives, rather […]

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