The Lost Peden’s Tree in Auchinleck Churchyard #History #Scotland

The Covenanter, Alexander Peden, has many caves, stones and trees that tradition associates with him. One tree lay in the old parish church graveyard at Auchinleck. Is the replacement for it still there?

Auchinleck Graveayrd Entry

Entrance to Auchinleck Graveyard and the old parish church © Billy McCrorie and licensed for reuse.

In 1891, Janet, aka Mrs Collins, recorded the fate of Peden’s Tree:

‘Monday morning dawned bright and cheerful, a foretaste of the pleasant hours we spent in the home of Professor Spence in Auchinleck. In the old graveyard, now handsomely kept, is Peden’s tree planted on the spot where the old tree flourished for many years, and was regarded with affection as a silent witness of the desecration of Peden’s resting place. A handsome church building adorns the center of this churchyard, and it is further interesting as the place of sepulture for the Lords of Auchinleck for generations.’ (Mrs Collins, Reminiscences: Or, a Few Glimpses from Over the Sea (1891), 216.)

Boswell Mausoleum

Old Kirk (Left), Boswell Mausoleum (Right) © Billy McCrorie and licensed for reuse.

Which tree is the replacement for Peden’s Tree, or if the replacement tree still stands well over 130 years later, is not clear. If anyone knows which one it is, please get in touch.

Auchinleck graveyard lies on the south side of the town

Street View of Auchnleck Graveyard

Peden on Monument at Auchinleck

Monument in churchyard © Copyright Robert Guthrie and reproduced by his very kind permission.

A monument to Peden’s burial, the Airds Moss Martyrs and others lies just inside the gate on the way to the Boswell Mausoleum. It reads as follows:

to the memory of
The Rev. Alexander Peden
The noted Covenanter, born 1626
died and was buried in this
churchyard 1686. His body
after six weeks in the grave
was raised by the Dragoons under
Colonel [James] Douglas and in
contempt was buried at the
foot of the gallows-tree at
Old Cumnock, whch place
afterwards became the
parish church-yard.’

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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 November 11, 2015.

2 Responses to “The Lost Peden’s Tree in Auchinleck Churchyard #History #Scotland”

  1. […] Peden’s Tree at Auchinleck allegedly marked the site of his initial burial. […]

  2. […] Sycamore/Plane Tree in question appears to be the original Peden’s Tree that stood by the burial site which had been replaced by 1891. Whether the replacement tree still stands remains to be discovered. If it does, it would now be […]

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