Swords of the Covenanters: Matthew Craig in Plewlands #History #Scotland
On display in the National Museum of Scotland are two swords with scabbards that belonged to ‘Matthew Craig of Plowland’, who is said to have fought at the battles of Drumclog and Bothwell Bridge in June, 1679.
Both swords were bequeathed to the museum by Miss Martha Brown of Lanfine in Galston parish, Ayrshire, possibly in c.1874.
She was the daughter of Dr Thomas Brown of Waterhaughs and Lanfine (1774-1853), who inherited Lanfine from his ‘cousin-german’ in 1829. The house there was built in 1772 by a son born in 1729 to Nicol Brown of Newmilns, and Marion Campbell of Waterhaughs.
At some point, the swords of ‘Matthew Craig of Plowland’ became part of Brown’s collection that was passed on in the late nineteenth century.
Lanfine was a place associated with John Brounen/Browning in Lanfine, who was hanged at Mauchline in May, 1685. It also lies very close to the former home of John Richmond, younger of Knowe, who was hanged at Glasgow in March, 1684.
‘Matthew Craig of Plowland’ almost certainly lived at Plewlands in the neighbouring parish of Evandale in Lanarkshire. In 1776, an ‘Andrew Craig farmer in Ploughland’ in Evandale parish subscribed a book that published Renwick’s sermons. Plewlands also has strong associations with the Covenanters. The battle of Drumclog took place in the parish. (Renwick, A Choice Collection, 605.)
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