The Day Before the Storm: Lanarkshire in 1679

The day before the assassination of Archbishop Sharp sparked a Presbyterian rising, Government soldiers committed willful fire raising and hamesucken in Pettinain parish…


Near Pettinain © David Hamilton and licensed for reuse.

Pettinain parish, lies around the village of the same in the south-east of Lanarkshire.

Map of Pettinain

Letter of George, Lord Ross, and Captain in the King’s Regiment of Foot Guards, to the Earl of Linlithgow, 2 May, 1679.

‘For the Earle of Linlithgow, Major-Generall to His Majtis forces

Lanerick, 2 May, 1679.

My Lord,
Ther hath nothing occured since yr. Lo[rdship]: parted hence which is considerable, ells I had given you notice of it. By letters from [John Graham of] Claverus at Dumfris, and Captain [James] Murray [of Philiphaugh] from Air, I can learne nothing bot of ane inclination to ryse, bot that ther are non yet actually in armes. Captain Murray says, he finds ther hes bean mor noise made, then ther wes good ground for, in that cuntreye. I have given them notice of the conditione of afaires hear, which at present is prity quyet and peacable. I know not how long it will continew to be soe.

This last night a horible abuse hath fallen out, and of such a nature, that I could not bot give yr. Lo[rdship]: notice of it by this expresse. Som 8 or 10 soldiers, belonging to Captain ]Patrick] Ogilvie’s and Captain [John] Balfour’s companys [of Mar’s Regiment of Foot],being gon to the cuntrey, to the parish of Pitenen [i.e., Pettinain], of purpose (as it seames) to robe, tooke ocasion at night to fall out with some cuntrey peoplle, who having fled to a house wher ther wes a good strong gaite, which the soldiers not being aible to break open did threaten to burne, and accordingly did actually set fire to it; and ther after not being able to fire it, by reson of the unsufficiency of the materialls without, and the peoplles diligence by throwing water upon it from within, they went away, breking open a poor widowe woman’s howse, which was near by, taking away 3 peaces of cloath which wer in the howse. This morning I have aprehended 8 of them, and have examined them in presence of 3 of the complainers; and tho’ all of them denyed most impudently, yet by faire promises I prevailed with one of them to confes, who hes declared wery ingenously, for which caus I must intercead for him, becaus he hes my promise, and is in efecte D. Oats in the caise. My Lord, the raising of wilfull fir[e] and hamsucken (the house being the mens own who wer invaided,) ar things of that high nature, that your Lo[rdship]: will easeyly think that nothing was proper for me bot to lay them in irons, which I have done. I heare many grose things are laid to our charge, bot, belive me, this is the first that hath com to the knowledg of your Lo[rdships]: most faithfull and humble servant,

Thomas Johnston in Grangehall in Pettinain parish was later mentioned by Patrick Walker as one who attended private prayer meetings.

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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 January 8, 2015.

One Response to “The Day Before the Storm: Lanarkshire in 1679”

  1. […] My Lord, I sent on[e] of the E[arl]. of Homes troope [of horse] to Edinburgh on Wensday last [i.e., 30 April], to attend yor. Lo[rdship’s]: comands; by ane other of the same troope on Frydaye therafter [2 May], I gave yor. Lo[rdship]: ane accompt of a disordr comited by some of our men in the cuntrey; non of which being yet returned, I doe againe intreat yor. Lo[rdship]: will give ordore conserning the comiters of that abuse [in Pettinain parish].’ […]

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