Two Burials For Prophet Peden in 1686 #History #Scotland

Alexander Peden's Grave at CumnockPeden’s Grave at Cumnock Reproduced by the very kind permission of Robert Guthrie.

John Ker of Kersland, a spy, plotter and the brother-in-law of Daniel Ker of Kersland, recorded the two burials of Alexander ‘Prophet’ Peden:

‘[The] Abundance of this good Man’s Predictions are well known to be already come to pass, and therefore those People [ie, the Cameronians/Continuing Society people in the 1720s] are pretty well assured of the Accomplishment of the rest. I shall only trouble the Reader with one of every sort; when he was Sick unto Death in the Year 1686, he told his Friends that he should die in a few Days, but having foretold many Things, said he, which will require some time before they be verified, I will give you a Sign, which will confirm your Expectation that they will as surely come to pass, as those you have already seen accomplished before your Eyes; I shall be decently buried by you, and if my Body be suffered to rest in the Grave where you shall lay it, then I have been a Deceiver, and the Lord hath not spoken by me, but if the Enemy come a little afterwards to take it up and carry [>p9] it away to Bury it in an ignominious Place, then I hope you will believe that God Almighty hath spoken by me, and consequently there shall not one Word fall to the Ground.

Accordingly, in a few Days he died, and was buried in the Church of Auchinleck, in the Shire of Air, and in a little time afterwards came a Party of Dragoons and took up his Body, which they carried to Cumnock, not far distant, and buried it under the Gallows, where his Ashes remain to this Day, and whereupon the Cameronians have erected a Monument [by 1726].’ (John Ker, Memoirs, 8-9.)

Two years before the posthumous publication of Kersland’s Memoirs, a similar story of Peden’s burial and reburial had appeared in the first edition of Patrick Walker’s Life of Peden in 1724. (Walker, BP, I, 83-84.)

Peden’s Tree at Auchinleck allegedly marked the site of his initial burial.

Kersland confirms the existence of a monument at Cumnock, which was probably Peden’s gravestone that was mentioned by Walker in 1724.

Peden was the last Covenanter buried at Cumnock’s gallows. Thomas Richard, David Dun and Simon Paterson were buried there before him in 1685.

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Additional 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 27, 2015.

2 Responses to “Two Burials For Prophet Peden in 1686 #History #Scotland”

  1. […] story of Alexander Peden’s shroud is found in a poem by the Reverend James Dodds. When Peden’s body was exhumed in Auchinleck graveyard, the shroud is said to have been blown by the wind up on to the branch of a nearby plane tree, […]

  2. […] Ker of Kersland reported two stories about Peden’s last sermon and his burials in his memoirs. The second of those stories is connected in later tradition to Peden’s Tree in […]

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