A Secret Convention near Loudoun Hill and Eaglesham in 1683

Gathering good intelligence about the Society people was quite a challenge for the authorities between 1682 and 1683. The convention at Myres demonstrates that.

According to Lord Fountainhall:

‘And on the 26 of Februar[y], the Privy Counsell met … about a field conventicle lately held at Drumclog, near Loudon hill.’ (Lauder, Historical Notices, I, 425.)

Myres HillMyres Hill © Iain Thompson and licensed for reuse.

The conventicle, or field preaching, recorded, was in fact the United Societies’ seventh convention which was held at Myres in Eaglesham parish on 14 February, 1683. Myres lies to the north of Loudoun Hill.

Map of Myres

The authorities misunderstood what the form of the meeting was and had no idea about what was discussed at it. At the seventh convention, the Societies’ discussed joining the Rye House Plots, an insurrectionary plot in both Scotland and England which later developed a plan to assassinate Charles II and James, duke of York, with blunderbusses. (Shields, FCD, 49-64; Jardine, ‘United Societies’, I, 93-103.)

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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

~ by drmarkjardine on October 25, 2014.

2 Responses to “A Secret Convention near Loudoun Hill and Eaglesham in 1683”

  1. […] The intercepted letter contained intelligence about a secret organisation that the authorities knew very little about, the United Societies. Following their outrage over the public proclamation of the Lanark Declaration at the beginning of 1682, the Scottish authorities had come close to encountering the Societies’ conventions. In June, John Graham of Claverhouse had heard word about their third convention at Talla Linn. In August, the fourth convention had a narrow escape when the Edinburgh house it was in was overlooked in a search. Intelligence about the seventh convention at Myres was misinterpreted as being about a field preaching. […]

  2. […] At the convention at Myres, the Societies had backed proposals for joint insurrection between Scottish Presbyterians and English Whigs to overthrow Charles II’s Restoration regime, and sent a formal call to Alexander Peden and a handful of other presbyterian ministers to preach to the Societies. Both resolutions opened the way for the cooperation of the Societies with other dissenting groups opposed to the Restoration regime. Intelligence that the seventh convention had taken place was disocvered. […]

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