The Trial of James Boyle, Renwick’s Precentor, and Forfeitures in 1687.

Cargill Preaching in the Fields

On 26 July, 1687, John Anderson, younger of Westerton, was forfeited for his treasonable expressions:

Lord Fountainhall records:
‘[John] Anderson of Westerton having come in the King’s will for his treasonable expressions, is forfeited, his armes riven, &c.’ (Lauder, Historical Notices, II, 814.)

In November, 1687, Lauder also records the trial of James Boyle, the precentor for James Renwick at his field preachings:

‘7 November 1687, Munday.—At Criminall Court, one Bold ]i.e., Boyle], who had been Precentor or Reader to Renny [i.e., James Renwick] in his feild-conventicles, is pannelled; and tho’ he revoked his confession he had emitted at the Privy Counsell, yet they lead witnesses against him, and prove that he disouned before them the King’s authority, and refused to call Bothuell-bridge ane Rebellion, wheron he was condemned to be hanged, but superceeded for a moneth, till he might get ane remision. For the 10th Act in 1685, sustaining thesse confessions tho’ not renewed to the Assise, is bot temporary till the next Session of Parliament. But he now ouned the King, and recanted all.’ (Lauder, Historical Notices, II, 823.)

Boyle had held a particular position of trust in James Renwick’s field preaching network and must have had considerable knowledge about how it operated as he attended the field preachings. He may have been from Cumnock, or New Cumnock, parish in Ayrshire.

Fountainhall’s account makes it clear that Boyle recanted and owned the King, a decision which probably saved his life.

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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 November 19, 2014.

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