James Nisbet’s Escapes near Muirkirk #History #Scotland

Two more locations where James Nisbet claims to have narrowly escaped capture or death during the Killing Times of 1685 lie in Muirkirk parish, Ayrshire, which is some way to the south of his home near Newmilns.


Greenock Mains

What makes where Nisbet escaped interesting is that it reveals possible contacts between Nisbet and other well-known Covenanters, even though Nisbet does not name them in this spiritual autobiography.

Nisbet probably escaped at these locations after he became a fugitive in February, 1685.

‘At Greenockmains’, i.e., Greenock Mains in Muirkirk parish.
Greenock Mains was the home of Thomas Richard, who was summarily executed by Colonel James Douglas in April, 1685. One of the things Richard was executed for was the reset of fugitives. Greenock Mains was also the former home of James Edward, who was banished in 1684.

Map of Greenock Mains

Aerial View of Greenock Mains

‘At Caims-camb’, which is possibly Kaimes in Muirkirk parish.
The place name appears to be compound name that expresses the same feature twice – “Kaimes Comb”. It describes low ridges, from the Scots ‘kame’ meaning ‘comb or comb-like ridge of land’.


There are several place names involving ‘Kaimes’/‘Kames’, but very few of them lie anywhere near where Nisbet is known to have hidden. A ‘Caimshill’, aka. Kaimes Hill, Kaimeshill and Kames, lies in Muirkirk parish next to Upper Wellwood, a known resort of fugitive Covenanters.

Map of Kames/Kames Hill              Aerial View of Kames

For more on the Covenanters in Muirkirk parish, see here.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free 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 4, 2016.

One Response to “James Nisbet’s Escapes near Muirkirk #History #Scotland”

  1. […] Whatever Richard was hoodwinked into confessing appears to have been the key determinant in sealing his fate. Wodrow suggested that he either divulged details of a forthcoming attack or that he confessed to reset of known fugitives. Greenock Mains was one location where the fugitive James Nisbet claimed that he escaped capture. […]

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