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.)
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.
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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