Dark Tales: Alexander Peden in New Luce parish in 1685
On his way to a fast-day field preaching in Glenluce parish in 1685, Alexander ‘Prophet’ Peden passed Drumphail in Wigtownshire…
‘Some Time after he came last from Ireland, he came to his old Parish at Glenluce, to whom he still owned a Relation, and had a Concern and Sympathy above all other Parishes, and prayed for them when in Ireland, altho’ he never entred that Pulpit from the Time that he laid an Arrestment upon it; accordingly he, and some of his old Elders, and other friendly Parishoners, appointed a Fast in that Parish, it being Killingtime [of 1685]. When the Day came, he and some other Friends going to the Place, going by Drumpale, the Family thereof being busy working amongst Hay, he said, That Man and his Family have no spare Time to join with us, in mourning over the dreadful Things in this Time; but in a little Time, there shall dreadful Sins fall out in that Family, which shall make him and his Family contemptible: Accordingly it came to pass, he fell in Adultery, and the Mother thereof murdered that Child, which ruined him and his Family. I had this Account in Writ from an old Man who lives in Glenluce, and affirms, that there are other old People alive in that Bounds, who can Assert the Truth of this Passage.’ (Walker, BP, II, 95.)
The residents of Drumphail in late 1684, and probably in early 1685, were: James McIllroy ‘in Drumpail’, Margaret Templeton, his wife, James McIllroy, his son, and He[le]n McIllroy.
None of the residents of Drumphail were listed as irregular or disorderly on the parish list submitted in late 1684.
The location of Peden’s preaching is not known. At some point in 1685, he appears to have preached as Nick Of The Liberty on the boundary of the parish, but he may have preached there in the parish on more than one occasion. Peden did preach to some of his old parishioners ‘near Wigtown’ in June, 1685.
It would appear that not many of Peden’s former parishioners refused to go to the parish church in the months before he returned.
There six irregular persons on the parish list for Glenluce parish in late 1684. Most of them lived in Glenluce, rather than New Luce, parish.
‘Margaret Mcdowel [in Gillespie]
Janet Ross [in Gillespie]
Grissel McDoul [in Gillespie]’
Gillespie lay next to Culquhasen, the home of a forfeited laird, Alexander Hunter of Culquhasen.
Andrew Widder [in Parke under Sir Charles Hay of Park]
Two of the irregular parishioners lived in Alexander Peden’s old parish of New Luce, which was incorporated into Glenluce parish during the Restoration. They were:
‘Hugh McMaster [in ‘Ballnell’, i.e. Balneil]’
‘Janet Auld [in ‘Miltonish’, i.e., Miltonise]’
For more on the Covenanters in Glenluce parish, see here.
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