A Great Fire in the Heavens and a Sword seen over Paisley in 1676

Comet in 1680

In June, 1676, a vision was seen in the heart of the burgh of Paisley…

‘June 1676, at Pa[i]sley, betwixt 11 and 12 at night, was seen by one man and four women a great fire from the heavens, and after that a sword in the air over above the tolbooth, moving here and there, which did much amase the beholders. They being examined by the minister and one of the bailies of that town, did depone upon oath that they saw it.’ (Law, Memorialls, 94.)

The Paisley vision was possibly “witnessed” at an ecstatic prayer meeting. Those meetings often involved women and occasionally female prophetesses. Law notes the presence of four women and one man at the vision.

Later in the year, Paisley would again be the site of strange signs. The ‘dumb’ Laird of Duntreath gave a sign of a drowning at Paisley and in the following February he made signs of ‘some of great troubles and fightings to be in this land in a few months’.

In 1681, Paisley would see an outbreak of militant dissent, again involving women, against moderate presbyterian preachers at a communion.

The sword, presumably a sign of God’s judgement, moved ‘here and there’ above Paisley Tolbooth. The tolbooth was a symbol of both local and royal justice, which Presbyterians believed were repressive. In 1685, two Covenanters, James Algie and John Park, were held in the tolbooth and executed outside of it.

For other wonders of the 1670s and 1680s, see here.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please link to this post on Facebook or other social networks or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

~ by drmarkjardine on August 1, 2015.

One Response to “A Great Fire in the Heavens and a Sword seen over Paisley in 1676”

  1. […] women in an ecstatic prayer session. Similar incidents involving female prophetesses took place at Paisley and near Crossford. The Sweet Singers, or Gibbites, of Bo’ness also produced female prophetic […]

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